• Dec 2008/Jan 2009
  • Vol. 9, No. 10

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From the Associate Commissioner's Office

Welcome to the December/January issue of Children's Bureau Express. As the year comes to a close, we at the Children's Bureau (CB) are taking this opportunity to not only look back at what we have accomplished, but to look ahead to the coming months. Since the passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351), CB has issued a Program Instruction (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/2008/pi0805.htm) and an Information Memorandum (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/2008/im0803.htm), both of which are posted on our website. CB also has conducted two informational teleconferences for States and Tribes. I encourage you to check the Children's Bureau website often as we will continue to provide guidance over the coming months to both the States and the Tribes around this new law.

The Children's Bureau also is in the midst of implementing the second round of the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process. To date, all States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have completed their first-round 2-year CFSR Program Implementation Plan (PIP) period resulting from the first round CFSRs conducted from 2001 to 2004. The second round of CFSRs began in 2007. To date, CB has completed 32 CFSRs, and the remaining 20 CFSRs will occur during FYs 2009 and 2010. As with the first round, all States that have thus far completed their second round CFSR will be required to develop a PIP, and CB is actively engaged with States in this process to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.

November was National Adoption Month and a wonderful time to honor both the dedicated professionals who work to find homes for the children in foster care as well as the families who have opened their hearts to these children. States continue to make great strides in finding permanent homes for children in foster care. Twenty-one States earned awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care in FY 2007 through our Adoption Incentives program. States use these Adoption Incentive awards to enhance their child welfare programs. So far, States have reported that over 51,000 adoptions were finalized in FY 2007. This number is an increase of over 1,000 adoptions from the same point in time for FY 2006. And as States can report finalized adoptions at any time, we expect this number to increase over time.

This issue of the CBX includes a Spotlight on Child Welfare Leadership and its impact on the workforce. CB has recently awarded new funding in this area, including a 5-year cooperative agreement to support a National Child Welfare Workforce Institute to strengthen the child welfare workforce among public, private, and Tribal child welfare systems. I encourage you to read the articles in the Spotlight to learn more about current resources and new opportunities in this area.

Thank you for subscribing to CBX, and I encourage you to share this newsletter with others who may benefit from these resources. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Christine M. Calpin
Associate Commissioner
Children’s Bureau

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