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March 2014Vol. 15, No. 3Associate Commissioner's Page

The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current CBX Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work on the topic.

Of the nearly 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, one-third are between the ages of 12 and 17. We know that youth who leave foster care without a permanent family or a lifelong connection to a caring adult are more likely than their peers to experience negative outcomes, including homelessness, joblessness, and low educational attainment. The Children's Bureau strives to help all children and youth involved with child welfare achieve safety, permanency, and well-being. In recent years, increased attention has been paid to older youth with serious barriers to permanence. Our Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) is just one of our many efforts to help older youth in foster care establish healthy, nurturing, and permanent connections.

In 2010, the Children's Bureau committed to awarding $100 million over 5 years to six grantees to test innovative approaches to improving outcomes for youth in foster care. In February, my "Associate Commissioner's Page" message pointed to the Recognize Intervene Support Empower (RISE) initiative that is working to address barriers to permanence for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children and youth. Other PII grantees include the following: 

  • The California Partners for Permanency (CAPP) is working toward a goal of improving permanency outcomes for African-American and American Indian children in foster care by implementing a Child and Family Practice Model that addresses systemic bias and includes culturally sensitive engagement; empowerment of family, Tribal, and community networks; and use of culturally based healing practices and practice adaptations.
  • The Fostering Readiness and Permanency Project (FRP), developed by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Central Region (Eastern Maricopa and Pinal Counties), uses coordinated service provision to prepare children who have been in or are most likely to remain in continuous out-of-home care and their potential caregivers for permanency.
  • The Illinois Trauma Focus Model for Reducing Long-Term Foster Care project is working to implement an evidence-based trauma intervention to promote more timely achievement of permanence among youth ages 11 to 16 who have reached their 2-year anniversary in foster care.
  • Kansas Intensive Permanency Project (KIPP) is working to accelerate permanence for families of children with serious emotional disturbances  by delivering intensive home-based parent training and support services shortly after children have been removed from their homes.
  • The Nevada Initiative to Reduce Long-Term Foster Care aims to reduce the number of children in long-term foster care by implementing an intervention approach, SAFE-FC, to keep children safe, prevent them from entering foster care, and to improve permanency outcomes for subgroups of children that have the most serious barriers to permanence.

We hope that our work at the Children's Bureau enhances your work helping youth establish permanent, lifelong connections that promote their health and well-being.

Resources from and information about each of the PII grantees is available on the Children's Bureau website: