Children's Bureau ExpressApril 2010 | Vol. 11, No. 3

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
This month, CBX spotlights National Child Abuse Prevention Month and its "Strengthening Families and Communities" message. We include a number of articles on ways that the Children's Bureau supports prevention efforts around the country, as well as articles on framing the prevention message and programs in parenting education and strengthening families.

  • April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • Promoting Optimal Development and Preventing Child Maltreatment: The QIC on Early Childhood
  • Tribal and Migrant Prevention Programs
  • Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting (EBHV) Grantees: Lessons Learned From Planning Year 1
  • Framing Effective Child Abuse Prevention Messages
  • Parenting Programs Improve Child Outcomes
  • Family Strengthening Programs Around the Country

News From the Children's Bureau
The April issue of CBX links you to several newly released items from the Children's Bureau, including the latest national statistics on child maltreatment, a site visit to a NCWLI grantee, the latest from the Training & Technical Assistance Network, and more.

  • HHS Releases 2008 Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Updated T&TA Network Webpages and Online Directory Now Available!
  • Child Welfare Outcomes 2003-2006
  • Children's Bureau Discretionary Funding Available
  • Federal Prevention Webinars
  • Site Visit: Supporting Leaders to Improve Collaboration in Connecticut
  • Updates From the T&TA Network
  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

Child Welfare Research
Research from the child welfare field includes the latest look at engaging communities to address racial disproportionality in child welfare, helping youth make permanent connections, and strengthening homeless families with young children.

  • Engaging the Community to Address Disproportionality
  • Providing Social Capital in Permanency Planning
  • Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children

Strategies and Tools for Practice
CBX provides tools and examples of programs that improve educational outcomes for children in foster care, help agencies hire child welfare workers who will stay, and serve children of incarcerated parents.

  • Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Out-of-Home Care
  • The Impact of Realistic Job Previews in Child Welfare
  • A Toolkit for Working With Children of Incarcerated Parents

Resources

  • CDC Hosts Parent Portal for Healthy, Safe Children
  • Focusing on Caseworker Visits to Improve Outcomes for Children
  • Free Journal Issue on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

Training and Conferences

  • Training on Frame Analysis and Changing Public Perceptions
  • University of Minnesota's Online Learning Modules
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

"Strengthening Families and Communities" is the ongoing theme for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The theme conveys the message that service providers and concerned individuals can help families and communities identify their strengths and build on those strengths to provide a safe, loving environment for their children.

Strengthening Families and Communities: 2010 Resource Guide is a free resource that supports service providers who work with parents, other caregivers, and their children. The guide highlights strategies to strengthen families by promoting five key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect:

This year's guide also includes additional resources for working with families and communities, including:

The guide was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and numerous national organizations and parents.

View or order the free resource guide on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/res_guide_2010

Just in time for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Welfare Information Gateway has enhanced the selection of child abuse prevention resources on its website to support child welfare and related professionals this month and throughout the year. Enhancements to the website include:

Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website to find these resources and more:
www.childwelfare.gov/preventing

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2845


Promoting Optimal Development and Preventing Child Maltreatment: The QIC on Early Childhood

The National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC) is hard at work studying how collaborative interventions increase protective factors and decrease risk factors to achieve optimal child development, increased family strengths, and decreased likelihood of child maltreatment within families of young children at high-risk for child maltreatment. The focus of the QIC-EC underscores the nation's urgent need to find innovative, effective approaches to maltreatment prevention for children 0-5. Current research indicates that children in this age group are subject to the highest rates of child maltreatment and are at the greatest risk of lifelong harm from trauma. Research also reveals that the early years of life can be a very important period for influencing a child's developmental trajectory and the parent-child relationship, including parental behavior patterns, before neglectful or abusive patterns are established.

The QIC-EC Projects
Following a year of intensive study and deliberations with a distinguished national advisory committee, it was clear that reducing maltreatment was not sufficient. Increasing family strengths and promoting optimal development are equally important to ensuring the best outcomes for very vulnerable young children.

Four research and demonstration (R&D) projects were selected from more than 40 highly competitive proposals from across the country to study effective ways to achieve these goals. The focus of the QIC-EC is primary prevention, so the R&D projects will target infants and young children who are at high risk for abuse and neglect but for whom there is no substantiated child protective services report. Children will be 0-24 months old when they are accepted into the project. The R&D projects will employ randomized control or quasi-experimental designs that implement a range of collaborative interventions with families.

The main activities of the R&D projects illustrate the range of families, communities, service systems, and interventions that will be studied over the next 3 years:  

In addition to the rigorous evaluation conducted by each individual project, the QIC-EC will also conduct a cross-site evaluation that includes both outcomes and processes.

The QIC-EC Learning Network
The QIC-EC will provide ongoing information from these creative interventions over the next 3 years via its information-sharing Learning Network. The QIC-EC's Learning Network (LN) serves as an active mechanism for exchange of information between the QIC-EC and a multidisciplinary group of organizations and individuals who share the commitment to maltreatment prevention in very young children. The QIC-EC has convened quarterly LN webinars, including:

Webinar slides can be downloaded from the QIC-EC website: 

www.qic-ec.org

The QIC-EC Award
The Children's Bureau awarded a 5-year cooperative agreement in 2008 to the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to establish the QIC-EC to promote the development, dissemination, and integration of new knowledge about maltreatment prevention among infants and young children (0-5) who are at high risk for abuse, neglect, and abandonment. CSSP's partner organizations are ZERO to THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation provided matching funds.

For more information about the work of the QIC-EC, including detailed grantee profiles and information from previous LN webinars, visit the website:  

www.qic-ec.org

For more information, contact:
Charlyn Harper Browne, Project Director
charlyn.harperbrowne@cssp.org

Contributed by Charlyn Harper Browne

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2863


Tribal and Migrant Prevention Programs

The Children's Bureau is committed to supporting programs and activities that prevent the occurrence and reoccurrence of child abuse and neglect within Tribal and migrant populations. Title II of The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program) specifies that 1 percent of the available funding from Title II is reserved to fund Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Migrant Programs for child abuse and neglect prevention efforts. In 2007, the Children's Bureau funded two Tribal programs and one migrant program to carry out their proposed child abuse prevention activities. These activities are consistent with the goals outlined in the legislation.

Funded projects include:

These grantees have developed unique approaches to address child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in their communities. Each grantee has chosen a different evaluation approach, but they all share similar program outcomes. Some of these outcomes include increased knowledge of parenting skills, access to support services within the community, implementation fidelity, cultural competence, parental empowerment and development, and improvements in children’s behavior in response to positive parenting. Dissemination efforts include a focus at the community, State, and national levels, providing information directly to service agencies and researchers through conference and workshop presentations. 

For additional information on this cluster of grants, please contact the Federal Project Officer, Rosie Gomez, at rosie.gomez@acf.hhs.gov.

To read about a site visit to the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website: http://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/sitevisits/yakima.cfm

Contributed by Rosie Gomez, the Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

 

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2848


Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting (EBHV) Grantees: Lessons Learned From Planning Year 1

For home visiting interventions to have the greatest effects possible, the systems in which home visiting programs operate must be integrated, supportive, and conducive to service delivery. Knowledge is needed about how to build the infrastructure and service systems necessary to implement and sustain EBVH programs with fidelity to their models and whether and how to scale up these programs and adapt them for new target populations.

In 2008, the Children’s Bureau (CB) funded 17 grants, through 5-year cooperative agreements, to address this knowledge gap and prevent child maltreatment. Grantees are to leverage their grant funding with other funding sources to support the implementation of, scaling up, and sustaining home visiting programs with high fidelity to their evidence-based models. In addition, grantees will contribute to the knowledge base about large-scale implementation with fidelity by conducting local implementation and outcome evaluations, along with analysis of program costs. The first year (fiscal year [FY] 2008-2009) was a planning year; grantees are to implement their plans during the remaining 4 years (FY 2009-2010 through FY 2012-2013 subject to the availability of Federal funding). The grantees, spread across 15 States, are supporting five different home visiting models:

The cross-site evaluation is being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall.  The following are the lessons learned from the first year of this initiative:

Information about each of the 17 programs, the cross-site evaluation design, and resources on home visiting is now available through the Supporting EBHV website. The website was developed and is maintained by the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention:

www.supportingebhv.org

The project has also produced an online newsletter, the EBHV Connector, which can be accessed through the website and includes articles on each grantee's work:

www.supportingebhv.org/newsletter

Reference:

DelGrosso, P., & Daro, D. (2009). Cross-site evaluation of the supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting grantees: Summary of the planning year. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services. Contract No. GS10F-0050L/HHSP233200800065W. Available from Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.

Contributed by Melissa Brodowski, the Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2850


Framing Effective Child Abuse Prevention Messages

A new report from the FrameWorks Institute presents the Institute's latest research on effectively communicating with the public about child abuse prevention. With the support of Prevent Child Abuse America and the Doris Duke Foundation, The Frameworks Institute compared different "frames" for talking about child abuse and early childhood development and how those frames impact public support for policies that improve children's development and prevent child abuse and neglect.

In the study, 4,200 registered voters read 1 of 17 different narratives (or frames) that presented different ways of thinking about early childhood development. The participants then answered questions that measured their support for certain child-related policies. The research found participants were particularly sensitive to issues involving the physical and emotional welfare of children, and the following frames were most effective for increasing support for child-related policies:

Although participants' concern for child well-being was already high, the study found that exposure to these frames increased support for child-related policies by an additional 5-10 percent. Combining the Prosperity or Ingenuity frames alongside other messages proved to be particularly effective. The FrameWorks Institute suggests that programs and advocates should use these different frames to meet their communication needs for increasing public support for policies that promote early childhood development and child abuse prevention.

Framing Child Abuse and Neglect: Effects of Early Childhood Development Experimental Research, by Tiffany Manuel, is available on the Prevent Child Abuse America website:

www.preventchildabuse.org/canp/resources/pdf/FramingChildAbuseandNeglect_researchreport_2009.pdf (4,320 KB)

Related Item

Visit the FrameWorks Institute Toolkit on "Talking About Child Abuse Prevention" for more research and communication tools to increase public support for child abuse prevention policies:

www.preventchildabuse.org/canp

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2847


Parenting Programs Improve Child Outcomes

Intended to provide caregivers with the information, skills, support, and services they need to address the developmental needs of their children and prepare them for adulthood, parenting programs play an important role in child well-being. In fact, according to a recent report from Partnership for America’s Economic Success (PAES), parenting education can potentially break the intergenerational transmission of negative social problems such as poverty, violence, and family instability. Effective parenting education has also shown promise for financial benefits to society by stemming child maltreatment, school failure, and criminal activity.

The PAES report, which seeks to understand the economic benefits to society of investing in effective parenting education programs, reviewed 10 rigorously evaluated programs shown to be effective in improving parenting and/or child outcomes. The programs showed that parenting education programs can affect parenting attitudes, knowledge, skills, and disciplinary practices, as well as children's health, safety, behavioral, and academic outcomes. Unfortunately, there was insufficient data on longer-term impacts and limited data on cost-effectiveness. However, the report does provide estimates for cost-effectiveness for the two programs that showed reductions in child maltreatment (Nurse Family Partnership and Parent Education Program for Teen Mothers). In the cases of these programs, reducing maltreatment among adolescents could lead to annual crime-related savings between $9.9 million and $16.2 million and an estimated cost savings of between $506 and $1.65 billion in lost future productivity.

The report's authors make recommendations about future research on parenting programs, focusing on the need to gather long-term impact data and cost savings data.

The PAES report, Developmental and Economic Effects of Parenting Programs for Expectant Parents and Parents of Preschool-age Children, by Sharon M. McGroder and Allison Hyra, is available online:

www.partnershipforsuccess.org/docs/researchproject_mcgroder_200903_paper.pdf (1,088 KB)

Related Item


Casey Family Programs and the Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Community Services, conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of Louisiana's Nurturing Parenting Program, a 16-week group and home-based program that targets parents and other caregivers of infants, toddlers, and preschool children involved in the child welfare system. Researchers assessed the changes in parental attitudes of 564 participants involved in the child welfare system following an allegation of abuse or neglect of one or more children in their care. The study found that the program was successful in retaining clients, improving parental attitudes toward childrearing, and reducing repeat maltreatment.

Evaluation of the Statewide Implementation of a Parent Education Program in Louisiana’s Child Welfare Agency: The Nurturing Parenting Program for Infants, Toddlers, and Pre-School Children, by Rhenda H. Hodnett, Karen Faulk, Amy Dellinger, and Erin Maher, is available on the Casey Family Programs website:

www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/EvaluationParentEdLA_FR.pdf (967 KB)

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2846


Family Strengthening Programs Around the Country

A new report from the Center for the Study of Social Policy takes a broad look at the impact of the Strengthening Families initiative across the country as reflected in States' efforts to implement new strategies for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In particular, A Look at Strengthening Families in the States examines the evolution of the family strengthening approach—from the establishment of an advisory committee and introduction of seven State pilot projects to the launch of the Strengthening Families National Network (SFNN), a forum for sharing and disseminating information among States, territories, and Tribes.

Based on the results of a 2009 structured study of Strengthening Families work, the report describes the progress of the initiative and its responsiveness to the needs of the child welfare field. Some of the key elements to successful implementation include:

To support the continued improvement and expansion of the Strengthening Families initiative, the authors identify three critical approaches that need further growth and attention. They include:

Appendices offer detailed looks at the Strengthening Families efforts in Minnesota, Kansas, Georgia, and Washington.

A Look at Strengthening Families in the States is available on the Strengthening Families' website: 

http://strengtheningfamilies.net/images/uploads/pdf_uploads/(2.1_.1)_A_Look_at_Strengthening_Families_in_the_States_.pdf (584 KB)

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2849


News From the Children's Bureau

HHS Releases 2008 Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released Child Maltreatment 2008, an annual report of data collected from the States' child protective services (CPS) agencies via the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. The report provides national and State statistics on topics that include reports of abuse and neglect, child characteristics, fatalities, perpetrators, and services provided to children and families.

According to the new report:

To download the full report on national and State statistics, visit the Children's Bureau website:
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm08

To read the Administration for Children and Families' press release, visit:
www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2010/child_maltreatment_2008.html

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2838


Updated T&TA Network Webpages and Online Directory Now Available!

The 2010 online edition of the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network Directory is now available. The updated webpages and directory contain brief information on the 30 network members.

The T&TA Network helps States, territories, Tribes, courts, and grantees meet Federal requirements related to child welfare. Network members also can provide assistance in improving outcomes for children and families as identified in States' Child and Family Services Reviews.

New additions to the directory are the National Resource Center for In-Home Services, the National Resource Center for Tribes, and the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System.

The entry for each network member describes the organization's mission and goals and supplies website addresses and contact information. States can request help from the T&TA Network by contacting their Regional Office.

Download the directory from the Children's Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/tta/index.htm

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2844


Child Welfare Outcomes 2003-2006

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released Child Welfare Outcomes 2003-2006: Report to Congress, the eighth in a series of reports designed to inform Congress, the States, and the public about State performance on delivering child welfare services. Child Welfare Outcomes provides information about State performance on seven national child welfare outcomes related to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children involved in the child welfare system. The outcomes reflect widely accepted performance objectives for child welfare practice.

Data come from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), and the report includes some data analyses across States.

Highlights of the recent report show:

The full report is available on the Children's Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cwo03-06/

1 The methodology for calculating the total number of child maltreatment victims differs between the Child Welfare Outcomes Report and Child Maltreatment 2006. In Child Maltreatment 2006, a victimization rate is computed by dividing the total number of victims (885,245) by the child population for the 51 States that reported this data to NCANDS (73,393,682) and multiplying by 1,000. A national estimate of 905,000 child victims was then calculated by multiplying the victimization rate by the national population for all 52 States (74,754,213), dividing by 1,000, and rounding to the nearest 1,000. The Child Welfare Outcomes Report uses the sum of the total number of child maltreatment victims (885,245).
 

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2840


Children's Bureau Discretionary Funding Available

The Children's Bureau's first discretionary grant announcement of FY 2010, released on March 23, 2010, announced the availability of funds for Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants. The deadline for submission of applications is June 21, 2010. Find the full announcement here:
www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/hhs-2010-acf-acyf-cs-0048

The Children’s Bureau is publishing several separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) this year, rather than one consolidated announcement, and is currently forecasting a total of five FOAs in FY 2010. Information about planned FY 2010 FOAs is now available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grants Forecast website (select "Advanced Search," then select "Administration on Children and Families"): https://extranet.acf.hhs.gov/hhsgrantsforecast

For general information about Children's Bureau discretionary grants, visit the Programs and Funding Section of the Children's Bureau website: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/index.htm#disc

For information on specific grants, visit the following websites:

Print copies of funding announcements will not be routinely mailed out but will be sent upon request. To receive print announcements or learn more about the grants process, call the CB Operations Center at 866.796.1591.

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2864


Federal Prevention Webinars

The Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect leads the Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect (FEDIAWG), a committee of more than 40 Federal agencies that work together to coordinate their child maltreatment prevention activities. Since 2008, FEDIAWG has conducted webinars on prevention programs, and these archived presentations are available on the Children's Bureau website as video files and as PDF transcripts. Topics have included positive parenting, the Safe Start initiative, the perspective of children's hospitals, and more.

Visit the FEDIAWG webinar webpage to access the archived webinars and to find information on upcoming webinars:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/fediawg/index.htm#webinars
 

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2841


Site Visit: Supporting Leaders to Improve Collaboration in Connecticut

A leadership training program for midlevel managers in public and Tribal child welfare agencies has contributed to the success of a collaborative system in Connecticut serving families affected by substance abuse. A Connecticut child welfare agency manager helped lead the collaborative efforts after participating in the National Child Welfare Leadership Institute (NCWLI), a project funded by the Children's Bureau to help local child welfare professionals understand and implement systems change projects in their communities through a series of trainings and ongoing technical assistance.

The goal of the Connecticut project was to support and improve upon the redesign of a collaborative system for substance abuse treatment and child welfare work in one area of the State. Although a system had been in place since 1995, evaluations indicated it was less effective than desired in providing services to substance-abusing parents involved with the child welfare system. Elements of the redesign included:

In order to promote the long-term success of the redesigned collaborative system, one of the NCWLI participants helped plan and implement several strategies based on the systems change principles she learned during the training. Focusing on the importance of staff commitment to and understanding of systems change, she organized several events, such as:

Staff members report several indications that the redesign is having the desired impact. The system has seen a significant increase in the rate at which parents engage in substance abuse treatment. Service providers from both systems appear committed to the redesign and feel the project is sustainable in the long term. Staff members have also been contacted by other regions of Connecticut interested in replicating the redesigned system.

For more information on Connecticut's collaborative project, contact Christine Lau, Regional Director: christine.lau@ct.gov.

The full site visit report will be posted on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
http://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/leadership.cfm

For more information on NCWLI, visit the NCWLI website: www.ncwli.org

The National Child Welfare Leadership Institute is funded by the Children's Bureau, CFDA #93.648.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: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2839


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: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2843


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:

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

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2842


Child Welfare Research

Engaging the Community to Address Disproportionality

In an effort to address the disproportionate number of African-American children entering the child welfare system in Texas, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) embarked on a project to engage community members in understanding this issue and proposing solutions. These efforts are documented in a recently published article in The Journal of Community Practice.

In the article, authors Joan Rycraft and Alan Dettlaff indicate that the project came about as a result of (1) DFPS working with the Casey Family Programs' Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Reducing Racial Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System and (2) State legislation requiring child welfare reform. Researchers chose two communities with high numbers of African-American children involved in the child welfare system, and they conducted eight focus groups with community members (including parents, community leaders, kinship caregivers, and others). Additional focus groups were conducted with legal and child welfare professionals.

The focus groups identified four barriers to collaboration between child protective services (CPS) and the community:

A number of solutions to these barriers came out of the focus groups, including:

The authors also suggest that CPS agencies need a strategic plan for community engagement and that schools of social work and professional social work organizations can play a role in promoting the involvement of community stakeholders. Community engagement and involvement can then lead to a collaborative approach to addressing disproportionality and other issues.

The complete article, "Hurdling the Artificial Fence Between Child Welfare and the Community: Engaging Community Partners to Address Disproportionality," appeared in The Journal of Community Practice, Volume 17, and is available for purchase online from the publisher:

www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/10705420903300025

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2851


Providing Social Capital in Permanency Planning

Research on adolescents' transition to adulthood confirms the importance of "social capital" in the form of support from parents and others in order for youth to become independent adults. According to a recent article in the Children and Youth Services Review, a lack of social capital is the problem with many programs that promote Independent Living for youth aging out of the foster care system with no permanent connections to adults.

The article goes on to describe a promising practice model established through a Children's Bureau Grant with the You Gotta Believe! program. Located in New York City, this program used a "social capital-building approach" to establish the Permanent Parents for Teens Program and find families who would adopt teens from foster care. Permanency Action Recruitment Teams were used to engage teens and all those involved in their lives, including social workers, staff, and relatives in setting goals for permanency prior to their exit. Teens without potential permanency options were invited to participate in a variety of activities with prospective families.

Other components of the program included:

Results show that almost 50 percent of referred teens were permanently placed, and 63 percent of the 120 adults who completed the parent training had teens placed with them. Adults already known to particular youth had the highest completion rate for trainings and placement.

The article, "An Examination of Theory and Promising Practice for Achieving Permanency for Teens Before They Age Out of Foster Care," by Rosemary Avery, was published in Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 32, and is available for download from the You Gotta Believe! website:

www.yougottabelieve.org/articles/Children%20and%20Youth%20Services%20Review%20Article%20-%20YGB%20Promising%20Practice.pdf (256 KB)

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2853


Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children

The Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children Initiative focuses on addressing the health, housing, and developmental needs of at-risk, homeless mothers and children. The initiative bridges the child welfare, child development, and housing and homelessness fields by supporting locally based partnerships that include representatives from these different types of local agencies.

Currently, there are four pilot communities and grantees:

While these pilot programs are currently undergoing an evaluation, data collected thus far indicate that the programs share some important similarities, for example:

The ongoing evaluations will focus on outcomes and program effectiveness for improving the services for at-risk, homeless young mothers and children. The results may provide guidance on what type of program design is optimal for serving homeless populations that have a history of child welfare and foster care system involvement.

The Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children Initiative is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH), the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and ZERO TO THREE. The full report is available on the NCFH website:

www.familyhomelessness.org/?q=node/46

The initiative has two recent publications that address family unification and home visiting:

www.familyhomelessness.org/node/61

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2852


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Out-of-Home Care

When a child is removed from home and placed in out-of-home care, a change in school placement is often necessary. For many children in foster care, such interruptions to their education result in their falling behind both academically and socially. Thus, children in foster care have higher dropout rates, are less likely to complete high school, and are less likely to complete postsecondary education. Several new resources present guidelines to help both the child welfare and education systems collaborate to provide educational stability for these children.

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2854


The Impact of Realistic Job Previews in Child Welfare

High worker turnover in the child welfare system is expensive in terms of both dollars and the impact on services for children and families. In a recent study conducted by Kathleen Coulborn Faller et al., "Realistic Job Previews in Child Welfare: State of Innovation and Practice," the use and effectiveness of videos that provide realistic job previews (RJPs) as tools for recruitment, selection, and retention for child welfare employees was reviewed. The article, published in Child Welfare, explores the development of RJPs, the content of RJPs used with child welfare, and the impact RJPs have on the industry.

RJPs have been present in businesses for 40 years, with the goal of providing potential employees an accurate picture of what the new position will entail. A lower turnover rate and higher job satisfaction are expected if employees have a realistic view of their job.

The authors analyzed the content of 10 States' RJPs and identified seven child welfare task areas they found in common:

The emphasis of each RJP varied, although there seemed to be a greater emphasis on working with families versus working with children. All RJPs viewed by the authors also addressed the job-related stress that child welfare workers often feel.

The study's authors interviewed human resources personnel associated with seven of the RJPs. Each participant in the study considered the use of RJPs to be beneficial when used for recruitment, retention, and selection in the child welfare field. However, outcome data had been collected for only one State. In that case, the employees who had viewed the RJP before being hired were more likely to still be at their jobs than those employees who had not viewed the RJP.

"Realistic Job Previews in Child Welfare: State of Innovation and Practice," by Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Michael Masternak, Claudette Grinnell-Davis, Marguerite Grabarek, Judy Sieffert, and Freda Bernatovicz, was published in Child Welfare, Vol. 88(5), and is available for purchase online:

 www.cwla.org/articles/cwjabstracts.htm#0905

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2855


A Toolkit for Working With Children of Incarcerated Parents

Current research suggests that children and youth of incarcerated parents often experience trauma that may have long-term effects on their mental health and may put them at risk for experiencing other traumas, such as child maltreatment. Accordingly, to promote understanding among social service practitioners, the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) within the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Health and Recovery Services Administration, teamed with DSHS' Office of Planning, Performance and Accountability to create an online toolkit, which includes tools for professionals, information for youth and caregivers, and research on interventions.

This web-based training toolkit provides practitioners with the skills required to respond to the needs of children of parents who are in prison or have an incarceration history.  Information includes:

A Behavioral Health Toolkit for Providers Working With Children of the Incarcerated and Their Families is available on the Washington State DSHS website:

www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/dbhr/youthtxtoolkit.pdf (534 KB)

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2856


Resources

CDC Hosts Parent Portal for Healthy, Safe Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched Parent Portal, an encyclopedic website with links to information from all areas of CDC. "The portal is a source for credible, accurate information in helping parents raise healthy kids and provide a safe home and community," according to the CDC.

Some of the many sections hold information about pregnancy, children's topics by age range, and issues of concern to parents arranged in alphabetical order. The widely varied topics include autism signs, body piercing, lice, school violence, and travel vaccinations.

Another section has information on topics targeted to health-care professionals and researchers, including subjects such as child abuse prevention, a brain injury toolkit for physicians, a parent training guide, and information on the effects of childhood stress.

Quick links go to developmental milestones and safety in the home, among other subjects. Other resources list product recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts.

Users can subscribe to receive email updates and RSS feeds. Podcasts are also accessible. Visit the portal on the CDC site:

www.cdc.gov/parents


Related Item

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University offers an interactive web feature that explains key concepts in the science of early childhood development. Readers can view a series of slides that illustrate and describe how early experiences, such as toxic stress, affect the developing brain.

To see that and other interactive features, visit:

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/library/multimedia/interactive_features/coreconcepts

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2857


Focusing on Caseworker Visits to Improve Outcomes for Children

The connection between caseworker visits and improved outcomes for children, as indicated by findings from the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), is the focus of the December 2009 issue of Practice Notes, produced by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program. This issue addresses the following topics to help child welfare workers and agencies increase their focus on visits:

The December 2009 issue of Practice Notes is available online:

www.practicenotes.org/v15n1.htm

 

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2858


Free Journal Issue on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Elsevier has published a special issue of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal that is freely available to the public for 1 year. Articles in the issue address a variety of topics related to the CRC, which sets standards designed to protect the economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights of children. The treaty was unanimously adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in November 1989 and has been ratified by almost every country.

Child rights and protection experts from around the world contributed to the special issue. The introduction offers a retrospective look at international progress in the areas of research, data collection, and reporting over the last two decades. Other topics addressed in the journal include:

The guest editors of the special issue are Yanghee Lee and Kimberly Svevo-Cianci. Find parts 1 and 2 of the issue on the Elsevier website:

Part 1, November 2009, 33(11):
www.sciencedirect.com/science/issue/5847-2009-999669988-1554191

Part 2, January 2010, 34(1):
www.sciencedirect.com/science/issue/5847-2010-999659998-1648104

A press release is available on the Elsevier website:
www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authored_newsitem.cws_home/companynews05_01365

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2859


Training and Conferences

Training on Frame Analysis and Changing Public Perceptions

The Frameworks Institute offers an online training designed to help organizations tell the right kinds of stories in order to bring about social change. The training promotes the use of Strategic Frame Analysis (SFA) to help the public understand social issues in a broader context and look to community-based solutions for social problems. The training is composed of four parts:

An "extra credit" section describes how one organization used SFA to support legislation for a graduated driver's license in Kansas.

Visit the Frameworks Institute website to access the training:

http://sfa.frameworksinstitute.org

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2861


University of Minnesota's Online Learning Modules

The University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare offers online learning modules developed by affiliated faculty on a number of child welfare topics. Each module incorporates evaluation findings and includes discussion questions, selected references, additional resources, suggested guest speakers, and a PowerPoint presentation. The most recent topics added to the collection include:

Access these learning modules and many others from the Center's website:

http://cascw.umn.edu/portfolio_category/online-modules/

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2860


Conferences

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

May 2010

June 2010

July 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:
http://www.childwelfare.gov/calendar/index.cfm

Issue Date: April 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=115&articleid=2862



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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