Children's Bureau ExpressOctober 2009 | Vol. 10, No. 8

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Cultural Competence
This month, CBX rounds up some of the newest information on cultural competence, including examples of programs and strategies from across the country, as well as resources from the T&TA Network that can help you evaluate and implement culturally competent practices.

  • Cultural and Linguistic Competency in the Child Welfare System: State Strategies
  • Evidence-Based Practice in American Indian Communities
  • The Journey of Cultural Awareness
  • T&TA Network Resources on Cultural Competence
  • Resources for Working With Immigrant Youth and Families
  • Direct Service and Organizational Cultural Competence Strategies
  • Training in Cultural Competency and Domestic Violence

News From the Children's Bureau
CBX brings you information on engaging local grantees in State CFSRs, as well as a report about an Iowa grantee, information on trends in child well-being and CPS practice, and the latest from the Training and Technical Assistance Network.

  • Confirmation of New Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
  • Making the Connection: Linking Discretionary Grant Work With State Planning and Program and Improvement Activities
  • $35 Million Awarded in Adoption Incentives
  • Site Visit: Training Supervisors to Improve Outcomes for Iowa Youth
  • Indicators of Child Well-Being
  • New Study Examines Trends in CPS Practice
  • Updates From the T&TA Network
  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

Child Welfare Research
Recent reports from the child welfare field look at electronic recording in investigations, children in kinship care when a parent is incarcerated, and correlates of infant spanking.

  • Documenting Investigative Child Abuse Interviews
  • Kinship Care When Parents Are Incarcerated
  • Linking Spanking to Mothers' Childhood Experiences

Strategies and Tools for Practice
Find tools and examples that can help you with concurrent planning, identifying evidence-based practices, and recruiting and training older mentors.

  • Concurrent Planning How-Tos and Promising Practices
  • Updates on Evidence-Based Practices
  • Mentoring at Any Age

Resources

  • Addressing Racial Disproportionality in the Courts
  • New Book on Supervision
  • A Child's Book About Recovering After Sexual Abuse
  • Improving the Legal System's Approach to LGBTQ Youth In Foster Care
  • Grants for Grandparents Raising Children

Training and Conferences

  • Domestic Violence Training for Resource Families
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Cultural Competence

Cultural and Linguistic Competency in the Child Welfare System: State Strategies

Cultural and linguistic competency is an essential guiding principle to support the needs of families involved in child welfare systems, because children of color continue to be overrepresented in child welfare systems. As part of its A Closer Look report series, the National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Child Welfare Systems of Care Grantees recently published an issue on cultural competence. The report provides examples of strategies for achieving culturally and linguistically proficient child welfare systems by grantees of the Children's Bureau's Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Through Systems of Care Initiative. The strategies respond to four major cultural competence challenges in child welfare:

To address these challenges, the grantees developed a number of changes in practice, policy, training, and evaluation, for example:

Many grantees embedded cultural and linguistic competency objectives into federally mandated activities (e.g., Program Improvement Plans) and/or State reforms to reduce the impact of staff turnover and ensure there is a constant focus on cultural and linguistic proficiency.

The report concludes by stating that changing and strengthening how States provide culturally and linguistically competent services goes beyond direct services and into an agency's values, principles, beliefs, policies, and practices.

The full report, "Cultural Competency," is available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/acloserlook/culturalcompetency/culturalcompetency.pdf (1,360 KB)

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2705


Evidence-Based Practice in American Indian Communities

Organizations serving children and youth are encouraged to incorporate evidence-based practices into their work, but research shows that services are more effective when they are tailored to the cultural values and traditions of the communities they serve. In response to the growing need for culturally appropriate treatment programs for children who have experienced trauma, the Indian Country Child Trauma Center (ICCTC) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center offers several evidence-based treatments for use with American Indian and Alaska Native children and youth.

A recent article in ABA Child Law Practice describes how ICCTC, in collaboration with the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), adapted existing evidence-based treatments to incorporate traditional healing practices, teachings, and concepts relevant in Indian Country. Each program emphasizes the American Indian value of respecting and honoring children and incorporates the importance of cultural identity and individuality:

For more information, read "Adapting Evidence-Based Treatments for Use With American Indian and Native Alaskan Children and Youth," by Delores Subia BigFoot and Janie Braden, published in ABA Child Law Practice, 28(5), pp. 76-78:

www.abanet.org/child/clp/archives/vol28/jul09.pdf (96 KB)

Related Item

SAMHSA recently released a new pocket resource for service providers working with Tribes. "CultureCard: A Guide to Build Cultural Awareness: American Indian and Alaska Native" is a portable guide that provides brief summaries of customs, beliefs, and social norms to improve cultural competence when serving families in Tribal communities. Workers are encouraged to carry the guide with them and read it as a refresher before they visit Tribal communities.

Some of the many topics addressed in the guide include:

Download the "CultureCard" or order copies on the SAMHSA website:

store.samhsa.gov/product/American-Indian-and-Alaska-Native-Culture-Card/SMA08-4354


 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2706


The Journey of Cultural Awareness

Cultural competence was the theme of one of last year's issues of FOCUS, the quarterly newsletter of the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association (FFTA). A dozen articles explored ways to build cultural competence, described in the lead article as a journey that requires a willingness to acknowledge what we don't know and a desire to widen the scope of our experiences. This article, by Lee Mun Wah, goes on to suggest ways for family members to become culturally aware with their foster child.

Other articles explore other facets of cultural competence:

Other articles include "Working With Deaf Youth," "Understanding Traditions and Beliefs," "How 'Competent' Is Your Organization?" and a book review.

The full 18-page issue is available on the FFTA website:

www.ffta.org/publications/focus_archives/2008_summer.pdf (1,730 KB)

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2707


T&TA Network Resources on Cultural Competence

The Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network offers a number of resources on cultural competence, most of which are available through the members' websites. In addition, several Network members provide Spanish translations of portions of their website and publication inventory. The following list highlights some of these offerings:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development

National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (FRIENDS)

National Resource Center for the Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Parents at AdoptUSKids

National Resource Center on Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning

Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2708


Resources for Working With Immigrant Youth and Families

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) recently revised its toolkit for service providers who work with immigrant youth. In Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working With Refugees and Immigrants, authors Susan Schmidt, Lyn Morland, and Jennifer Rose present a positive youth development perspective for designing a program that will help immigrant and refugee youth succeed in school and employment. This strengths-based approach emphasizes helping youth grow into successful adults rather than just preventing problem behaviors. The toolkit pulls together articles, resources, and programs that can assist agencies in adopting a positive youth development approach to working with newcomer youth. The authors note that culturally competent programming that helps develop the strengths of these youth is critical to their success in this country.

BRYCS is funded by ACF's Office of Refugee Resettlement and is a joint project of Lutheran Immigration Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services. The publication is available online:

www.brycs.org/documents/growingupinanewcountry-web.pdf (657 KB)

In "Unique Challenges for Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System," Casey Family Services provides another perspective on the hurdles child welfare agencies face when working with immigrant families. In many jurisdictions, child welfare professionals are not prepared to deal with families who do not speak English, have few support systems, fear deportation, and have little knowledge of their rights as parents. In addition, a family's cultural norms may not perceive a problem with crowded living conditions or corporal discipline.

The article suggests that agencies need to conduct training on these issues and provide language access for these families, either through bilingual staff or translators. The article appears in the Spring 2009 issue of Voice, pp. 6-7, which is available on the Casey website:

www.caseyfamilyservices.org/userfiles/voicemagazine/voice-2009-spring.pdf  (1,306 KB)
 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2709


Direct Service and Organizational Cultural Competence Strategies

A recent study examined how mental health services organizations provide culturally competent services for racially and ethnically diverse children and families. The findings may be useful for other social services organizations seeking to increase their cultural competence and services for a diverse population. Researchers interviewed personnel, funders, community partners, and family members at each of 12 study sites. The results are presented in terms of increasing service availability for diverse populations, including African-Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Native Americans.

Direct service strategies found to increase services for these groups included:

Researchers also identified a number of organizational infrastructure strategies that agencies could implement internally, including:

Both direct service and organizational strategies are necessary to increase cultural competence. Direct service strategies can make services comfortable and responsive to families, while organizational strategies support staff efforts to provide these services.

The full study, Serving Everyone at the Table: Strategies for Enhancing the Availability of Culturally Competent Mental Health Service, by Janis Prince Inniss et al., was published by the Research & Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, University of South Florida, and is available on the website:

http://rtckids.fmhi.usf.edu/rtcpubs/CulturalCompetence/availability/Availability-Monograph.pdf (529 KB)

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2710


Training in Cultural Competency and Domestic Violence

An online course on cultural competency is now available for social service professionals who work with victims of domestic violence. The course aims to help professionals master culturally sensitive attitudes, skills, and behaviors so that they may create and supply services more effectively. "Cultural Competency" is one of three courses offered by TrainingForums.org, a program run by the nonprofit Witness Justice and the Office on Violence Against Women within the U.S. Department of Justice.

The course is a narrated series of 139 slides with statistics, examples of cultural norms, "internal and external barriers" to women who don't seek help, multiple-choice questions, and more information. It can be accessed at the student's convenience, and completion is based on a series of short tests. Certification for completion will be available in the near future.

www.trainingforums.org/lms/course
 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Spotlight on Cultural Competence
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2721


News From the Children's Bureau

Confirmation of New Assistant Secretary for Children and Families

On September 23, the U.S. Senate confirmed Carmen Nazario as Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. She will oversee the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which includes the Children's Bureau. Ms. Nazario has an extensive background in human services and public service, particularly child welfare, and has served at every level of government. Her most recent experience in the Federal Government was as the principal deputy assistant secretary of ACF during the Clinton Administration. From 2003 to 2008, she served as the administrator for the Administration for Children and Families for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

To read the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' press release on the confirmation, visit:

www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/09/20090923a.html

 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2726


Making the Connection: Linking Discretionary Grant Work With State Planning and Program and Improvement Activities

Recognizing the importance of collaboration between its funded discretionary grant projects and the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), the Children's Bureau (CB) implemented a new process to improve this linkage, beginning with the CFSRs scheduled for FY 2009. The CFSRs and Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) present opportunities for States and discretionary grant programs to work together as partners in systems change initiatives.
 
Collaboration promises to benefit both States and discretionary grantees. States are finding that discretionary grantees can be a valuable resource during Statewide Assessments, CFSR planning, Onsite Reviews, and PIP planning and implementation. Through their work with a broad spectrum of populations within the child welfare arena, these grantees are engaged within their communities and develop a wealth of knowledge. Grantees are key stakeholders, frequently doing work that may impact the State's Statewide Assessment and improve CFSR outcomes. Participation in State planning and program improvement processes benefits discretionary grantees by helping them disseminate findings to a wider audience, sustain their programs, and improve outcomes for their target populations.

This process features a top-down approach, as well as a bottom-up approach. From the top down, CB provides information to the Regional Office and the State under review about the discretionary grant programs operating within the State, including the purpose of the grant, the funding period, grantee contact information, and Federal Project Officer contact information. From the bottom up, grantees are informed of upcoming CFSRs in their States and encouraged to participate.

Additionally, presentations have been made at the 2009 Grantees Meeting and the Agencies and Courts Meeting. These presentations emphasized the benefits of collaboration for all parties.

We have already seen successful CFSR/PIP/CFSP (Child and Family Services Plan) collaborations between State agencies and discretionary grantees. One example is a grantee from CB's Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Through Systems of Care Initiative that was successful in infusing the systems of care principles into the State's policies and procedures, as well as its PIP activities. This cross-pollination of grant activities into State agency practice benefited the grantee by sustaining the work beyond the life of the grant and assisted the State in creating a consistent and clear PIP that is supported by systems of care and CFSR principles.

For more information about CB discretionary grants, please visit the following websites:


For more information about the CFSRs, please visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/index.htm#cfsr

Contributed by Bethany Miller, Research and Innovation Division, the Children's Bureau

 

 

 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2699


$35 Million Awarded in Adoption Incentives

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that 38 States and Puerto Rico will receive Adoption Incentive funds to reward their progress in increasing the number of children adopted from foster care in FY 2008. Originally created as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Adoption Incentives program was strengthened by the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. Under the new legislation, States continue to be rewarded for increasing adoptions from foster care, and they receive additional compensation for increasing adoptions of older children and children with special needs.

To read the full HHS press release, visit www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/09/20090914a.html

To view the list of State awards, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2009/fy09_adoption_incentive_awards.htm
 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2725


Site Visit: Training Supervisors to Improve Outcomes for Iowa Youth

A new training program helps Iowa child welfare supervisors work with caseworkers and communities to improve outcomes for youth transitioning from foster care to independence. The University of Iowa School of Social Work collaborated with the Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS), youth, and community partners to develop and implement the "Improving Outcomes for Youth in Transition" project. Project staff conducted focus groups with a variety of stakeholders across the State—including workers, youth, and families—and used that information in developing the curriculum for supervisors. The resulting training materials focused on the following tenets:

Four groups of 25 Iowa child welfare supervisors participated in the supervisor trainings. The supervisors then helped design and deliver 1-day trainings to caseworkers and communities in eight service areas throughout Iowa. The "community day" events gave supervisors and caseworkers the opportunity to train and exchange ideas with lawyers, judges, foster parents, group home staff, school district representatives, and other stakeholders about the importance of transition planning for youth leaving the child welfare system.

Among the participants at supervisor, caseworker, and community trainings were foster care youth representatives from Elevate, a program sponsored by Children and Families of Iowa for youth ages 13+ who have been in the child welfare system. These youth spoke individually and in panels, answering questions and sharing their stories. They made a noticeable impression on caseworkers when they talked about how important caseworkers are to youth—including what they liked and disliked about their own workers.

Short-term evaluation results showed that supervisors and caseworkers made gains in their knowledge about transition planning as a result of the training. The long-term evaluation will focus on whether transition planning improves for youth in Iowa.

The State of Iowa is expecting to receive additional Chafee funds for this project, with which it hopes to expand the project further in the State and adapt it for training foster and adoptive parents. In the meantime, the content of the training has been integrated into the graduate and undergraduate curricula of the university’s social work classes on child welfare.

For more information, contact the principal investigator:
Miriam Landsman, Ph.D.
The University of Iowa School of Social Work
351 North Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
319.335.4965
miriam-landsman@uiowa.edu

The full site report can be found on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
http://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/sitevisits/iowa_independent.cfm

Improving Outcomes for Youth in Transition is funded by the Children's Bureau, Grant 90CW1133, under the Children's Bureau Priority Area: Training of Child Welfare Agency Supervisors in the Effective Delivery and Management of Federal Independent Living Service for Youth in Foster Care. This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from Children's Bureau site visits.
 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2700


Indicators of Child Well-Being

"America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009" presents important national key indicators affecting children's lives. Developed by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the user-friendly report presents data from 2007 gathered by Federal agencies on 40 key indicators that characterize the well-being of a child and the likelihood that a child will grow to be a productive and healthy adult. The indicators are divided among seven categories:

One of the indicators under Family and Social Environment is Child Maltreatment. The report uses 2007 data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System to present statistics on rates and types of maltreatment as well as characteristics of abused children. This year's report also includes a special feature on Children With Special Health Care Needs. Supplementary information is available in the extensive appendices.

For more information about the present and previous reports, visit the Forum's website:

http://childstats.gov

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2701


New Study Examines Trends in CPS Practice

A new report released by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) examines how the delivery of child protective services (CPS) in the United States has changed in recent years. The results reflect some of the responses that States have developed to meet requirements of their Federal Child and Family Services Reviews and Program Improvement Plans.

The report, Recent Trends in Local Child Protective Services Practices, compares data from the 2002 National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts (HHS, 2003) to 2005-2006 data from the CPS Structure and Practices Mail Survey (Li, Shusterman, and Sedlak, 2009), which is a substudy of the Fourth National Incidence Study on Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4). Both studies surveyed administrators of nationally representative samples of CPS agencies to collect information about local agencies' investigative practices.

Findings show changes in a number of CPS practices, resulting in more standardization. At the same time, the availability of services for families generally declined, although parenting training and substance abuse treatment became somewhat more available through CPS agencies. Most practice changes appeared unrelated to child maltreatment outcomes over this time period; however, alternative response practices were associated with lower maltreatment rates, even at the same time that the use of alternative responses dropped from 69 percent in the 2002 study to 39 percent in the 2005-2006 study. In addition, agencies that always reviewed previous child abuse history records during investigations had higher rates of maltreatment on a number of measures.

The report was prepared by Westat, Inc., and is available on the ASPE website:

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/TrendsinCPS/index.shtml

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2702


Updates From the T&TA Network

The Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network continues to produce resources that can help States and Tribes in their work with children and families. Some recent resources are listed below:

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2703


New! On the Children's Bureau Site

The Children's Bureau website carries information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more. The "New on Site" section includes grant announcements, policy announcements, agency information, and recently released publications.

Recent additions to the site include two Program Instructions (PIs):

Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new!

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2704


Child Welfare Research

Documenting Investigative Child Abuse Interviews

A recent article in the newsletter of the National Child Protection Training Center reviews research on the reliability and admissibility in court of electronically recorded interviews with child abuse victims. The article also examines reliability and admissibility of other forms of interview documentation, as well as States' legislative and judicial history, including relevant State court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Best practice guidelines recommend that documentation of a forensic interview with an alleged child abuse victim includes the child's exact verbal statements and emotional or behavioral displays, as well as the interviewer's questions and interactions with the child. However, research demonstrates that interviewer recall deteriorates over time, with interviewers forgetting more than one-third of the details provided by the child during an interview and more than 80 percent of the questions they asked the child. Electronic recordings greatly reduce the need to rely on the interviewer's memory and ensure more accurate and complete documentation. Other benefits of electronic recordings of interviews include:

"Electronic Recordings of Investigative Child Abuse Interviews," written by Amy Russell, was published in the July 2009 issue of Center Piece. It is available on the National Child Protection Training Center website:

www.ncptc.org/vertical/Sites/%7B8634A6E1-FAD2-4381-9C0D-5DC7E93C9410%7D/uploads/%7B0B9329AD-C748-4012-8954-C3E8587A9865%7D.PDF (676 KB)

 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2711


Kinship Care When Parents Are Incarcerated

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at the involvement of the child welfare system when parents are incarcerated and children are placed in kinship care. The report, Kinship Care When Parents Are Incarcerated: What We Know and What We Can Do, by Creasie Finney Hairston, provides statistics about the number of families affected and explores the current research on this issue.

More than 1.7 million children in the United States have a parent who is incarcerated, and caregiving by relatives is the dominant form of care for these children. In some cases, the children are placed by the child welfare system as part of the formal foster care system; in other cases, the children may be voluntarily placed with relatives. The relatives who step in to care for these children often face many obstacles. In addition to financial issues and domestic arrangements, families may face stressors such as poverty and physical and mental illnesses.

The report looks at the effects of policies and regulations on the parent-child relationship. For instance, research shows that incarceration of a parent reduces a child's chances of reunification with that parent after foster care.  The report also discusses Federal initiatives developed in response to the growing population of children with incarcerated parents, including mentoring and parent education programs.

To access the full report, visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation website:

www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Topics/Child%20Welfare%20Permanence/Foster%20Care/KinshipCareWhenParentsAreIncarceratedWhatWeKn/10147801_Kinship_Paper06a%203.pdf (1,598 KB)

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2712


Linking Spanking to Mothers' Childhood Experiences

While research generally supports the potential harmfulness of corporal punishment, spanking remains a relatively common practice in the United States, even by parents of infants. A recent study published in Pediatrics examined the link between mothers' childhood experiences of violence and abuse and their subsequent use of infant spanking.

In "Parenting Attitudes and Infant Spanking: The Influence of Childhood Experiences," the authors interviewed 1,265 mostly low-income women during their first prenatal care visit and 3 and 11 months after they gave birth. The new mothers provided information about their attitudes toward corporal punishment and about their own childhoods, including any experiences of violence or other adverse childhood experiences. During the third interview, the mothers also provided information about how often they spanked their infants.

Researchers found that 14 percent of mothers in this group spanked their infants, and 19 percent valued corporal punishment for infants. Mothers who had experienced physical abuse as a child were 1.5 times more likely to spank. More adverse childhood experiences were related to a greater propensity to spank.

The study's authors discuss the need for early counseling about the potential harmful effects of spanking, especially with at-risk mothers who experienced physical abuse as children, in order to stop the intergenerational transmission of corporal punishment.

The article, by Esther K. Chung et al., was published in Pediatrics, Vol. 124(2), August 2009, and is available for purchase online:

http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1542/peds.2008-3247

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2713


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Concurrent Planning How-Tos and Promising Practices

Northern California Training Academy has focused the spring/summer issue of its newsletter, Reaching Out: Current Issues for Child Welfare Practice in Rural Communities, on concurrent planning, the practice of working on more than one option at a time for achieving a permanent home for children in out-of-home care. The newsletter covers topics related to concurrent planning and how they are applied in California, such as components of successful models and improvements implemented in concurrent planning by the State as a result of its 2008 Child and Family Services Review.  

Other articles cover:

Reaching Out is available online:  

http://humanservices.ucdavis.edu/news/pdf/091_252_ro.pdf (3,009 KB)

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2714


Updates on Evidence-Based Practices

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) provides a database of evidence-based child welfare programs and practices, each of which undergoes a thorough review by a topical expert and a national scientific panel prior to inclusion on the website.

CEBC has posted two new topic areas. “Mental Health Treatment for Children” includes a multisystemic therapy program. The second addition is “Screening and Assessment Tools for Child Welfare,” which contains new tools and can be located in the Assessment Tools section of the CEBC website. These tools are:

In addition, new programs have been added to the existing topic areas of:

The CEBC is run by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families, in cooperation with the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center.

www.cachildwelfareclearinghouse.org

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2715


Mentoring at Any Age

MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership has developed two guidebooksone for staff and one for mentorsfor recruiting and training mentors aged 50+ years. The staff guidebook discusses some of the reasoning behind focusing on this age group and the potential benefits for mentoring organizations and the youth and children they serve.

The Wisdom of Age—A Staff Guide, by Andrea Taylor, also provides guidance for program staff on intergenerational mentoring, training older mentors, matching mentors with youth, and possible mentoring activities.  The companion guide for older mentors addresses how to get started with mentoring, typical behaviors of youth today, and suggestions for mentoring activities.

Both guidebooks are available on the MENTOR website:

www.mentoring.org/news/136
 

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2716


Resources

Addressing Racial Disproportionality in the Courts

Reducing racial disproportionality and disparate treatment of minority children is the focus of a new initiative from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). The Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care Initiative brings together judicial officers and other systems’ experts to set a national agenda for court-based training, research, and reform initiatives to reduce the disproportionate representation of children of color in dependency court systems.

The Initiative is working to identify and evaluate all decision points in the dependency court system to determine where specific action can be taken and to recommend strategies for court and systems change. Resources available on the website include a national agenda, implementation tools, project news, a newsletter, research data, model court data, and links to other resources.

The Initiative is funded by Casey Family Programs and supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Information can be found on the NCJFCJ website:

www.ncjfcj.org/content/blogcategory/447/580

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2717


New Book on Supervision

Child Welfare Supervision, edited by Cathryn C. Potter and Charmaine R. Brittain, provides a practical guide to the topic for supervisors and managers, applying principles of supervision, management, and organizational theory to the child welfare practice environment. Chapters focus on critical areas of child welfare supervision, including:

The book is available from Oxford University Press: www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/SocialWork/?view=usa&ci=9780195326765

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2718


A Child's Book About Recovering After Sexual Abuse

Sarah's Waterfall: A Healing Story About Sexual Abuse is a new tool for helping girls, ages 7 to 12, heal after the trauma of sexual abuse. A series of journal entries trace a young girl's participation in a survivors' group led by a school psychologist. Readers follow the heroine's journey as she makes friends, participates in therapy, learns to express herself through art, and recovers. The book focuses on normalizing the recovery experience and on providing a message of hope and healing.

Sarah's Waterfall: A Healing Story About Sexual Abuse, by Ellery Akers, is available from the publisher, the Safer Society Foundation, Inc.:

www.safersociety.org/allbks/wp135.php

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2724


Improving the Legal System's Approach to LGBTQ Youth In Foster Care

Addressing the barriers to safety, permanency, and well-being for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth is the focus of the Opening Doors Project: Improving the Legal System's Approach to LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care. During this 3-year project, staff of the American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law aim to:

Resources available on the project's website include a 1-hour webcast and PowerPoint slides, an overview of training and technical assistance, summaries of research conducted on attorneys' and judges' attitudes toward LGBTQ youth, and links to additional resources for advocates. In addition, published articles on such issues as the role of attorneys and judges, improving attitudes toward LGBTQ youth, and legal advocacy and decision-making are available for download.

Also available on the site is ordering information for the manual Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: A Guide for Lawyers and Judges. Written by ABA staffers Mimi Laver and Andrea Khoury, this guide provides tools for lawyers and judges to aid their advocacy and decision-making on behalf of LGBTQ youth.

www.abanet.org/child/lgbtq.shtml

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2719


Grants for Grandparents Raising Children

Once again, the Brookdale Foundation's Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) is offering its Local, Regional, and State Seed Grant Initiatives. Grants will be made to promote the development and expansion of programs that help grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The deadline for the local and regional program applications is December 3, 2009. The deadline for State public agency proposals is January 7, 2010. For more information, visit the RAPP website:

www.brookdalefoundation.org/RAPP/rapp.html

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2720


Training and Conferences

Domestic Violence Training for Resource Families

The Family Violence Prevention Fund offers a 3-hour training curriculum for resource families titled "Connect: Supporting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence." The training is designed to be used in child welfare settings with foster parents, kin caregivers, and adoptive parents. The training covers:

Training materials also include videos and mini-magazines for helping caregivers talk to children about violence against women.

For more information about this training, visit the Family Violence Prevention Fund website:

http://endabuse.org/content/features/detail/1314

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2722


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through January 2010 include:

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found through the Conference Calendar Search feature on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

www.childwelfare.gov/calendar/index.cfm

Issue Date: October 2009
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=109&articleid=2723



Articles in Children's Bureau Express are presented for informational purposes only; their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Children's Bureau or Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Children's Bureau Express does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information, including email addresses, unless required for law enforcement by statute.


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