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August/September 2002Vol. 3, No. 7News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: New Video, <I>Parent's Choices

Parent's Choices, a video developed in 2002 as a product of an Adoption Opportunities grant to the Colorado Department of Human Services, is intended to increase a parent's awareness of the judicial/social services processes in a dependency case. Using a case vignette format that is narrated from a child's perspective, the 14-minute video helps parents to visually and emotionally understand the impact for their child(ren) of their decisions regarding court-ordered treatment plans and permanency planning.

The video's conceptual framework was developed with input from judges, attorneys, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), and county department supervisors as a tool for workers and court facilitators to use with families before their first court appearance. The video covers family group conferencing and a kinship placement with a relative in another State using the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). An accompanying brief guide is designed for use by professionals with parents, and contains Questions for Discussion, a flow chart of the Dependency and Neglect Process in Colorado, and brief capsules of information related to Family-Group Decision Making, Family Service Plans, Visitation, Kinship Care, and the Permanency Process in Colorado. The video is currently being used in all Colorado social service agencies, and can be adapted to other areas as well, if paired with State-specific information.

The Parent's Choices video was developed as part of Project UPLIFT, a large systemic change initiative designed to address geographic barriers to permanency for children funded through a Children's Bureau Adoption Opportunities Grant. The grant project developed staff training for caseworkers, judges, attorneys, CASAs, and other parties involved in the permanency process for children and families. This multi-year grant has:

  • Addressed establishing Adolescent Connections in five targeted county departments to identify permanency options for adolescents aging out of child welfare.
  • Standardized Colorado's foster and adoption home study process to utilize a single assessment.
  • Partnered with the Rose Foundation to develop the Adoptive Family Resource Registry (AFRR) that allows Colorado workers to search for adoptive families for children by inputting the demographics of a child who they are trying to place.
  • Conducted training to caseworkers, judges, and judicial officers on Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).

The grant also assisted in the development of a Web page for recruitment of foster and adoptive families. The website is

The video was developed by Nicholson, Spencer & Associates (NS&A), a Professional and Family Training Institute that offers training, parent education, a Parent Assistance Line, and assistance in non-profit board development. Visit their website at

To order a copy of Parent's Choices, available for $30 plus tax and shipping, call NS&A at 303-433-6449 or email NS&A at