Children's Bureau ExpressJune 2010 | Vol. 11, No. 5

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Father Engagement
This month, CBX spotlights "Engaging Fathers" and the importance of fathers and paternal relatives in the lives of children involved with the child welfare system. Articles focus on federally funded efforts to study and promote father involvement, as well as promising practices from the field.

  • Bridging the Child Welfare System and Father-Focused Services
  • Community Roundtable on Responsible Fatherhood
  • The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
  • Involving Dads in Family Group Decision-Making
  • Father Involvement in the Illinois Integrated Assessment Program
  • Fathers as Family and Community Resources

News From the Children's Bureau
CBX announces the launch of a video designed to increase awareness of CBX as a timely resource for professionals. In addition, this June issue brings you the latest news from the Training & Technical Assistance Network and from the Children's Bureau, including six new Program Instructions.

  • Children's Bureau Express: The Movie!
  • Updates From the T&TA Network
  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

Child Welfare Research
Child welfare research news links you to articles on some of the most critical issues in the field, including placement stability, immigration, workforce turnover, and transitioning youth.

  • Placement Stability From a Variety of Perspectives
  • Impact of Immigration Enforcement on the Welfare of Children
  • Workforce Turnover and Career Commitment
  • Areas Where Transitioning Youth Need Services

Strategies and Tools for Practice
This month, CBX links you to tools for National Reunification Day, self-assessment, and consumer satisfaction.

  • Plan a National Reunification Day Celebration!
  • Self-Assessment Tools for Programs Serving Young Children
  • Measuring Consumer Satisfaction With Treatment Foster Care

Resources

  • Justice Department Launches New Website for Tribes
  • Tips for Youth in Foster Care
  • Out-of-Home Care by State and Urban/Rural Designation
  • Highlights From Adoption USA

Training and Conferences

  • For Resource Parents Caring for Traumatized Children
  • Team Decision-Making and Domestic Violence Curriculum
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Father Engagement

Bridging the Child Welfare System and Father-Focused Services

Both the Child and Family Services Reviews and research have highlighted the lack of engagement of nonresident fathers in the child welfare system. The Engaging Fathers project, a collaboration between the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and Fathers and Families Center (the Center), is taking steps to bridge this gap to improve outcomes for children in Marion County, Indiana. This project, which is one of four subgrants of the National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (QIC NRF), utilizes a 20-week, peer-led support group curriculum for nonresident fathers that was developed by the QIC NRF.

The Center has a full-time male staff person onsite at the Marion County DCS office to serve as the initial contact for nonresident fathers. This person helps the project—and DCS—locate nonresident fathers and also helps the fathers who come into contact with the agency understand their cases and navigate the child welfare and court systems. Additionally, the staff person provides training and support to DCS staff about father engagement on the project.

Eligible fathers are invited to attend the 20-week peer support group and may also receive other services through the Center, such as job assistance, GED preparation, relationship counseling, and transportation. The project is currently on its ninth cohort of fathers attending support groups, with approximately two to eight fathers in each cohort. The project team reports that the support groups—in addition to providing information about parenting skills, the child welfare system, legal issues, and other areas—have helped empower the fathers and supply a much-needed support network. Within the groups, fathers share the successes and challenges that each has experienced in trying to become a more engaged father.

The collaboration between DCS and the Center has proven beneficial for the partnering organizations as well. The Center's staff have learned more about the child welfare system and are able to offer help in that area to fathers. Center staff now ask fathers whether their children are involved with the child welfare system (and are surprised by the number of fathers with positive responses). Similarly, DCS staff have become more familiar with fatherhood issues and the Center.

Some project funding was used to make the Marion County DCS office more father-friendly by adding an infant changing table to the men's restroom and supplying posters, brochures, and other resources that highlight the role and presence of fathers. The project also has been able to use its experience to support other organizations. For example, Casey Family Programs provided 1 year of funding to three other regions in Indiana to improve father involvement in the child welfare system. The Center has provided technical assistance about how to better involve and locate fathers and how to develop and implement an amended version of the curriculum.

Although the evaluation of the project is still preliminary, the team noted that they are aware of several fathers who attended the support group—or the paternal families—that have since received custody of their children. They also reported that DCS has been making a concerted effort to locate and engage nonresident fathers and verify information about fathers that was provided by mothers or other individuals. Although the project staff believe they have made a lot of headway in connecting the child welfare system and father-focused services, they are still amazed at how many fathers are left out of the child welfare process.

"Several project fathers have told us during their peer group meetings that they were unaware that they were to take part in their children's Family Team Meetings and various court hearings," stated Tiffany Mitchell of DCS.

The project team stresses the importance of remembering that families include fathers, even if they may not live with their children, and recognizing that including fathers in the process should not be an afterthought.

Funding for this project came through the QIC NRF, which was created in 2006 with funding from the Children's Bureau to American Humane and its partners, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and the National Fatherhood Initiative. As a part of this initiative, the QIC NRF funded four sites in 2008 to help determine the impact of nonresident father involvement on child welfare outcomes. In addition to the Indiana project, awards were made to projects in Fort Worth (TX), Seattle (WA), and Colorado Springs (CO).

For more information, visit the QIC NRF website:
www.fatherhoodqic.org

Many thanks to Tiffany Mitchell of the Indiana Department of Child Services and Robert Ripperger and James Melton of Fathers and Families Center for providing the information for this article.

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express first wrote about the QIC NRF in "Engaging Dads: The National QIC on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System" in the February 2008 issue.
 

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2904


Community Roundtable on Responsible Fatherhood

The inaugural White House Community Roundtable and Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families was held in Chicago, IL, on August 5, 2009. The event was the first in a series of locally focused meetings designed to highlight the importance of fatherhood in communities across the nation. It provided a forum for responsible fatherhood program representatives, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers at the Federal, State, and local levels to discuss the successes and challenges faced by fathers and responsible fatherhood programs.

A new publication, White House Community Roundtable and Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Report, provides an overview of the discussions and exchanges that were shared at the Roundtable. Discussions revolved around four topics:

The Roundtable was sponsored by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Administration for Children and Families. The report was prepared by the Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network for the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and is available on the website:

http://peerta.acf.hhs.gov/uploadedFiles/Chicago%20Fatherhood%20Meeting%20Combined%20508%20Compliance.pdf (1,561 KB)

Related Item

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides an array of resources for fatherhood programs in the areas of healthy marriage, effective parenting, improving economic stability, child visitation and support, and other related topics on its Promoting Responsible Fatherhood website.

http://fatherhood.hhs.gov/index.shtml
 

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2903


The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

"We all know the remarkable impact fathers can have in our children's lives. So today, on this 100th anniversary of Father's Day, take a moment to celebrate responsible fatherhood and the men who've had the courage to step up, be there for our families, and provide our children with the guidance, love and support they need to fulfill their dreams"  First Lady Michelle Obama, June 21, 2009

The strength of a father's presence not only provides basic benefits for raising healthy children, it can actually improve child outcomes. When fathers are involved in the lives of their children in a positive way, their children are more likely to experience better friendships, fewer instances of criminal behaviors and behavioral problems, lower incidences of substance abuse, a greater capacity for empathy, and higher educational achievement than average.

The bottom line is that responsible, involved fathers benefit children! This is the overarching message of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), which is funded by the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Family Assistance. Through this portal, fathers, families, and program leaders from local, State, and Federal organizations can locate the latest research on responsible fatherhood. This includes the most up-to-date information on responsible fatherhood programs whose promising practices are making a significant impact within the communities they serve.

Highlighted on the NRFC website are grassroots programs like the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families and The Ridge Project (Ohio), which are successfully demonstrating that fathers can overcome the barriers to healthy parent involvement. Other resources are targeted to a variety of audiences, including:

For fathers who are actively and intimately engaged in their children's lives, the NRFC has resources to help them to strengthen their ability to nurture their children's abilities, uniqueness, and success. Resources like "Spotlight on Dad" and multimedia Public Service Announcements are designed to encourage, educate, and equip fathers from all walks of life.

"Take time to be a dad today" is more than a catch phrase. It represents the mission, vision, and hope for strengthening families, and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is proud to be a part of this great endeavor!

Visit the NRFC website to find resources on fatherhood issues:  
www.fatherhood.gov

Contributed by Randell Turner of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2902


Involving Dads in Family Group Decision-Making

Family group decision-making (FGDM), which emphasizes the importance of reaching out to and including all members of a child's family, can be a powerful tool for improving the engagement of fathers and paternal relatives in the lives of children involved with the child welfare system. To support these efforts, American Humane recently published an issue brief that describes how child welfare agencies can use FGDM to locate fathers and more effectively use paternal family members as a resource for children.

Several studies have identified potential barriers to father involvement in child welfare, including workers' biased perceptions of fathers, the perceived difficulty of engaging fathers, and the gender dynamics of a largely female child welfare workforce. The brief highlights FGDM as a way to avoid some of these barriers by using an independent coordinator to organize family meetings and work closely with both the mother and father to reach as many family members as possible. Doing so ensures more family members play a role in determining the best options for the safety and well-being of the child.

The brief pays particular attention to situations in which the mother-father relationship is strained, such as cases of domestic or family violence. Although participants may have safety concerns, the brief describes strategies to minimize those concerns through careful preparation, attention to detail, and follow-through after the meeting.

Involving more family members in decision-making and case planning processes, particularly fathers and paternal relatives, can lead to better outcomes for children in the areas of permanency, stability, and cognitive, social, and emotional development. The brief recommends that child welfare agencies should consider the use of FGDM to improve family engagement and enhance supportive connections in children's lives.

"Dads and Paternal Relatives: Using Family Group Decision Making to Refocus the Child Welfare System on the Entire Family Constellation," was written by Molly Jenkins and Ellen Kinney. It is part of the series FGDM Issues in Brief, and can be downloaded on the American Humane website:

www.americanhumane.org/assets/docs/protecting-children/PC-FGDM-dads-paternal-relatives.pdf (171 KB)

Related Item

American Humane offers tools, research, and training in the areas of fatherhood and FGDM. Visit the website for more information:

http://www.americanhumane.org/children/programs/fatherhood-initiative
http://www.americanhumane.org/children/professional-resources/program-publications/family-group-decision-making/
 

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2899


Father Involvement in the Illinois Integrated Assessment Program

Chapin Hall recently released a report that examined the extent to which fathers of children entering foster care were involved in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Integrated Assessment (IA) program. The IA program partnered child welfare caseworkers with licensed clinicians who interviewed families of children entering the child welfare system to gather better information about child and family strengths, support systems, and service needs. This study specifically looked at the extent to which fathers were interviewed as part of the IA process and the factors associated with fathers being interviewed.

More than 9,000 families were interviewed, and 45 percent included interviews with fathers. The researchers noted a number of demographic characteristics associated with the fathers interviewed for the IA program, including various problematic behaviors such as alcohol and/or drug abuse and criminal backgrounds. The study also found that, while nearly all nonresident fathers were described as being positively involved with their children, the same was not true for all resident fathers.  

Researchers noted that the information covered in the assessments and the recommendations made by the IA reports or service plans were often not aligned. Findings also highlight the difficulties in providing multiple services to fathers. Finally, the study found that when both parents were interviewed as part of the IA process, children were significantly more likely to be reunified than when only one or neither parent was interviewed.

The researchers note several implications from the findings, including:

The full report, Identifying, Interviewing, and Intervening: Fathers and the Illinois Child Welfare System, by Cheryl Smithgall et al., is available on the Chapin Hall website:

www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/DCFS_Fathers_02_03_10.pdf (966 KB)

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2900


Fathers as Family and Community Resources

A recent article in American Humane's Protecting Children describes the impact of fathers in the lives of families involved with the child welfare system, as well as ways to support and promote positive father involvement. The article, "Fathers as Resources in Families Involved in the Child Welfare System," focuses on the evaluation of a model program for low-income families involved with the child welfare system. 

More than 500 families with child welfare involvement were randomly divided among three interventions: a fathers-only group, a couples group, and an information-only (control) session. The fathers and couples groups received 32 hours of group training and discussion over 16 weeks, facilitated by a clinically trained couple using the Supporting Father Involvement curriculum. Before the intervention and 2 and 11 months after the intervention, parents were assessed for mental health and well-being, quality of the couple's relationship, quality of the parent-child relationship, generational transmission of expectations and behaviors, and balance of life stresses and social supports.

Results show the interventions' success in reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors:

In addition, agencies that hosted the fathers-only groups showed improvement in father-inclusive policies and services.

The authors note that this ongoing program is still learning how to best provide parents with the skills and supports that are needed to eradicate old patterns and improve family relationships.

The article, by Marsha Kline Pruett, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Philip A. Cowan, and Kyle Pruett, was published in American Humane's Protecting Children, Vol. 24(2), which was a special issue on "Bringing Back the Dads: Engaging Non-Resident Fathers in the Child Welfare System."

The issue is posted on American Humane's website:

http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/children/protecting-children-journal/pc-24-2.pdf (2.4 MB)

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Spotlight on Father Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2901


News From the Children's Bureau

Children's Bureau Express: The Movie!

For 10 years, Children's Bureau Express (CBX) has been a trusted source of child welfare news. It's your source for timely, reliable child welfare information, but what about your colleagues? Do they know where to find reliable news from the Children's Bureau and other organizations and timely information to help them in their work to protect children and strengthen families?

A two-and-a-half-minute video is now available that describes the features and benefits of CBX. Share the new CBX video with your colleagues to let them know where they can find child welfare news and reliable resources to help them ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.

http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewCBXPromoVideo

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2895


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: June 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2896


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 six new Program Instructions (PIs):

Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new!
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2897


Child Welfare Research

Placement Stability From a Variety of Perspectives

CW360°, a journal that focuses each issue on a single topic, covering it from a variety of perspectives, tackles "placement stability" in its spring issue. The issue provides an overview of the research on placement stability, looks at current child welfare practice aimed at achieving stability, and then presents the unique perspectives of different individuals who have the power to affect or are affected by placement stability.

The 28 short articles include the perspectives of professionals, families, and youth. Some of the topics address placement stability with regard to therapeutic foster care, parent training, home studies, inclusive practice, Native American children, and youth with disabilities. The articles are accompanied by quotations from children and youth in foster care, commenting on their experiences and their thoughts about placement stability, what makes certain placements work, and when it is in the best interests of a child to move to a new placement.

CW360° is published by the University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, and the full issue is available online:

www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/CASCW/attributes/PDF/publications/CW360_2010.pdf  (9.49 MB)

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2898


Impact of Immigration Enforcement on the Welfare of Children

An estimated 73 percent of the children of unauthorized immigrants are born in the United States and therefore are U.S. citizens. When the parents of these children are arrested because of their immigration status, the children are at high risk of prolonged separation from their families, and many end up in long-term foster care.

A new report from First Focus, The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare, looks at the impact on children and families involved in immigration cases. Authors Wendy Cervantes and Yali Lincroft discuss the need for Federal, State, and local agencies to develop more humane protocols when conducting enforcement actions in order to minimize children's trauma when a parent is detained. They also note that a parent who has been detained as an undocumented alien is often hindered in meeting child welfare case plan requirements. The authors suggest that better communication and coordination between law enforcement and child welfare systems is needed.

The report includes key provisions of humanitarian guidelines developed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that consider the needs of children during worksite immigration enforcement; relevant Federal legislation; and policy recommendations for ICE, immigration court, and child welfare.

The report is available on the First Focus website:

www.firstfocus.net/library/reports/the-impact-of-immigration-enforcement-on-child-welfare

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2905


Workforce Turnover and Career Commitment

The consequences of high turnover in the child welfare workforce are costly. A recent study, "Commitment to Child Welfare Work: What Predicts Leaving and Staying?" notes a number of negative outcomes of high turnover, including workers with less experience making important decisions about child safety, higher caseloads for remaining workers (which leads to lower quality of services), and agencies forced to use their limited funds to train new workers.

In an effort to identify ways to predict worker commitment, researchers conducted a longitudinal study of 460 workers in a Midwestern State who were new to their child welfare agencies. The study examined the reasons that study participants chose their current job and worked in child welfare, their commitment to their agencies and to child welfare, and how these variables relate to worker turnover. Findings from the study indicate:

"Commitment to Child Welfare Work: What Predicts Leaving and Staying?" by Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Marguerite Grabarek, and Robert M. Ortega, was published in Child and Youth Services Review, Vol. 32(6), and is available for purchase online:

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V98-4YC80K2-1/2/d2a7ff7ec816523fa28c6bcb7fe92145

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2906


Areas Where Transitioning Youth Need Services

In the effort to achieve independent adulthood, youth who age out of foster care have, in general, four possible avenues of life experience as they struggle to make it on their own long before the majority of their peers. These subgroups are identified in the latest issue brief from the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (Midwest Study): Distinct Subgroups of Former Foster Youth During Young Adulthood: Implications for Policy and Practice. The study's goal is to provide States with the first comprehensive view of how former foster youth are faring since the John Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 became law.

The study has been following 732 youth from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Findings in this issue brief are from the fourth wave of data collected from interviews conducted with 584 youth when they were 23 and 24 years old.

Researchers took into consideration the youths' experiences in the following transition domains:

Based on indicators, the four classes of former foster youth are:

Researchers propose that these distinct subgroups support the call for more targeted policy and practice for youth to help them handle the challenges of moving into adulthood from foster care. The Fostering Connections Act, which allows youth to remain in foster care past age 18, may provide a policy framework to support effective social work practices for these youth.

The issue brief, by Mark E. Courtney, Jennifer L. Hook, and JoAnn S. Lee, can be downloaded from Chapin Hall Center for Children:

http://chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/publications/Midwest_IB4_Latent_Class.pdf  (PDF - 404 KB)

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express has published other stories about the Midwest Study and the well-being of children in foster care:

FindYouthInfo.gov

Youth-serving organizations can find a wealth of information on the FindYouthInfo.gov website, created by the Federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP). The IWGYP provides resources for effective youth programs on the website and also identifies promising and effective strategies and promotes enhanced collaboration to achieve healthy outcomes for youth. The IWGYP is composed of 12 Federal agencies that support youth services.

www.findyouthinfo.gov

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2907


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Plan a National Reunification Day Celebration!

In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of family reunification to children in foster care and to celebrate families and communities coming together across the country, June 19, 2010, is being recognized as the first National Reunification Day. When children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care, reunification is the preferred outcome. It takes hard work and commitment from social workers, parents, family members, and the community, among others. Hundreds of thousands of children are reunited with their families each year, which is their best option for a permanent home.

To learn how you can plan your own National Reunification Day celebration, the American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law website has a page dedicated to help. This page provides tools to make your event successful, such as a planning timeline, logos, a proclamation, tips for media outreach, and guidelines for identifying key speakers.

Organizations that make plans to celebrate National Reunification Day are encouraged to report their plans via the ABA website. This will help them know what other jurisdictions are doing to celebrate successful reunifications.

To learn more about National Reunification Day and to view the American Bar Association’s Reunification Day webpage, please visit:

www.americanbar.org/groups/child_law/projects_initiatives/nrd.html
 

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2908


Self-Assessment Tools for Programs Serving Young Children

Strengthening Families recently revised and expanded its Online Self-Assessment Package for use by all programs serving young children and their families, including early care and education, home visitation, family support, and child welfare. The tool helps programs make small but significant changes in their day-to-day practice to dramatically impact the lives of parents and children. It begins with a self-assessment in which programs answer a series of questions about the services and supports they provide to families. The assessment is structured around the seven Strengthening Families program strategies:

The assessment results can be used to create an action plan for program areas needing improvement. To help programs measure the impact of their improvement efforts, the package also includes two survey tools for use with parents and staff to gauge changes in behaviors and attitudes over time. The surveys address staff interaction with families and parents' perceived strengths related to the five protective factors.

Program staff may download the tools in PDF format or create an online account to input and analyze the results of the self-assessment and surveys. Using the online system can help programs create an action plan, generate reports based on survey data, and share results with local, State, regional, and national entities.

View the materials, create an account, or watch a webinar describing the Online Self-Assessment Package on the Strengthening Families website:

www.strengtheningfamilies.net/index.php/online_resources/guide_assess/category/self_assessment

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2909


Measuring Consumer Satisfaction With Treatment Foster Care

Agencies that provide Treatment Foster Care (TFC) often need to collect consumer satisfaction information for a number of purposes, including monitoring service quality or staff performance, informing strategic planning, or interpreting client outcomes. A new publication, User’s Guide to Measuring Consumer Satisfaction in Treatment Foster Care, has been developed to provide guidance to TFC agencies considering consumer satisfaction surveys.

Produced by Martha Morrison Dore for the Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA), the guide presents survey results from 91 FFTA-member agencies and provides an analysis of currently used instruments designed to measure consumer satisfaction in treatment foster care. The guide also outlines the factors to be considered in any decision on measuring consumer satisfaction in treatment foster care. A decision tree provides a graphic representation of these decisions.

Many TFC agencies have developed their own multidimensional instrument to measure consumer satisfaction to reflect specific aspects of their program’s structure, process, and outcomes. Information included in this guide about existing standardized multidimensional instruments, their construction, and their content may help agencies assess and improve their current measures. It may also help agencies that are considering the development of a multidimensional measure to have a clearer understanding of how to construct such an instrument and some of the advantages and pitfalls in developing and using such a measure.

The guide is available on the FFTA website:

www.ffta.org/research_outcomes/consumer_user_guide.pdf (335 KB)

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2910


Resources

Justice Department Launches New Website for Tribes

In an effort to improve public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal communities, the U.S. Department of Justice has created a new website, Tribal Justice and Safety.gov. The website presents information and resources to assist Tribal governments in their efforts to improve public safety in Tribal communities, ensure the security of Native women, and build a better future for young people who are the future of Tribal communities.

The new website provides timely information to Tribal communities on new policy initiatives and grant opportunities. The site represents the department's commitment to increase communication and resources available to Tribal governments and consortia.

A featured resource is information and application forms for the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). The CTAS is a streamlined grant-making process that was developed by the Justice Department in response to concerns of many Tribal leaders that the process was too complicated.

www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2914


Tips for Youth in Foster Care

The Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (FCARC) has produced a series of tip sheets for youth in foster care. The sheets are three to four pages in length in easy-to-print PDF format and include links to book, online, and other resources. Among the titles are:

FCARC is a project of Adoption Resources of Wisconsin, Inc., Anu Family Services, and St. Aemilian-Lakeside, Inc., in partnership with the Wisconsin Department Children and Families. FCARC staff welcome suggestions for future tip sheets. Access their current list:

www.wifostercareandadoption.org/snav/248/page.htm

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2913


Out-of-Home Care by State and Urban/Rural Designation

The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire has developed a factsheet of out-of-home care placement rates based on metropolitan status. Federal AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) data from 2007 were categorized into the following areas:

The factsheet includes a table that shows rates (per 1,000) of children and youth in out-of-home care at any time in 2007 by place, State, and region. The average placement rate for the country was 10.5 (per 1,000). Higher rates of out-of-home care were found in remote rural areas both nationally and within each region, and nearly half of the States have their highest placement rates in remote rural areas.

The report's authors provide several possible explanations for findings:

For more information, read Out-of-Home Care by State and Place: Higher Placement Rates for Children in Some Remote Rural Places, by Marybeth J. Mattingly, Melissa Wells, and Michael Dineen, published by the Carsey Institute:

http://carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/FS_Mattingly_Out-of_Home.pdf  (175 KB)

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2912


Highlights From Adoption USA

Adoption USA: Summary and Highlights of a Chartbook on the National Survey of Adoptive Parents presents findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Adoption USA: A Chartbook on the National Survey of Adoptive Parents, comparing key population characteristics for adopted children, the general population of U.S. children (based on data from the National Survey of Children’s Health), and children across adoption types.

The 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP) is the first survey to provide representative information about the characteristics, adoption experiences, and well-being of adopted children and their families in the United States. The NSAP is a collaborative effort among three agencies within the HHS: the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Administration for Children and Families, and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The Adoption USA summary article provides information about the number of adopted children in the United States—about 2 percent in 2007—and adopted children by adoption type, as well as other characteristics, including:

Adoption USA: Summary and Highlights of a Chartbook on the National Survey of Adoptive Parents, by Sharon Vandivere, Karin Malm, and Amy McKlindon, appears in the National Council for Adoption's online newsletter, Adoption Advocate, and is available on the website:

www.adoptioncouncil.org/images/stories/documents/AdoptionAdvocate22.pdf (886 KB)

The full report, Adoption USA: A Chartbook on the National Survey of Adoptive Parents, is available on the ASPE website:

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/NSAP/chartbook

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2911


Training and Conferences

For Resource Parents Caring for Traumatized Children

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers an online curriculum to help foster parents and other resource parents better understand how trauma can affect children's behavior and feelings and how the parents can promote healing.

Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents is a PowerPoint-based training curriculum designed to be taught by a mental health professional and foster parent as co-facilitators. The curriculum includes nine case studies of foster children ages 8 months to 15 years, as well as cases of secondary traumatic stress in parents.

The training provides practical tools for parents to help their children heal and manage their feelings and behaviors, to advocate for the children, and to seek useful support from others.

Download the workshop package from the NCTSN website:

www.nctsn.org/nccts/nav.do?pid=ctr_rsch_prod_rpc_guide

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2915


Team Decision-Making and Domestic Violence Curriculum

The Family Violence Prevention Fund has developed an advanced domestic violence (DV) curriculum, Team Decisionmaking and Domestic Violence: Guidelines for Facilitators. This day-long, 6-hour training was designed to aid Team Decisionmaking facilitators and child protection supervisors in preparing for and managing effective meetings, discussing DV issues with parents, assessing the impact of children’s exposure to DV, and making decisions and plans to increase safety for children and battered mothers.

This curriculum incorporates a number of current child welfare concepts, including comprehensive family assessment, family-centered practice, and solution-focused interviewing.

The following curriculum and tools are available on the website:

Find the materials on the Family Violence Prevention Fund website:

http://endabuse.org/content/features/detail/1468

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2916


Conferences

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

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

Further details about national and regional child welfare and adoption conferences can be found through the Conference Calendar Search feature on Child Welfare Information Gateway:
http://www.childwelfare.gov/calendar/index.cfm

 

Issue Date: June 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=117&articleid=2894



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