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Children's Bureau ExpressJuly/August 2010 | Vol. 11, No. 6

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
This month, CBX spotlights the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Articles focus on Family Connection grants, implications for kin, and resources for implementing the Act.

  • Family Connection Discretionary Grant Cluster
  • The Fostering Connections Resource Center
  • States' Implementation of Fostering Connections
  • T&TA Network Resources on Fostering Connections
  • Recognition for Informal Kinship Care With Kinship Navigator Programs

News From the Children's Bureau
Find links to the latest news, including the President's Fatherhood Initiative, changes at ACF, a new Report to Congress, and more.

  • Nazario Resignation
  • The President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative
  • ACF Grants Available
  • Report to Congress on Grants to Help Children Affected by Parental Substance Abuse
  • Site Visit: Changing Systems to Improve Family Engagement
  • 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 citizen review panels, kinship adoption, immigrant families, and runaway and transitioning youth.

  • Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System
  • Study on Runaway Youth Examines Lifetime Prevalence
  • The Rise in Kinship Adoption
  • Characteristics of Effective Citizen-State Child Welfare Partnerships
  • Effective Program Strategies for Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood

Strategies and Tools for Practice
CBX brings you information on using technology for virtual home visits and information exchange, and connects you to useful child insurance information.

  • Virtual Home Visits Provide Effective Home Intervention Services
  • Roadmap for Electronic Information Exchange
  • National Children's Health Insurance Toolkit

Resources

  • Data on Latino Children's Well-Being
  • Health Care for Transitioning Youth
  • Youth-Related State Legislation in a Searchable Database
  • Fellowships for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Training and Conferences

  • Forensic Interviewing and Related Trainings
  • Conferences

Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act

Family Connection Discretionary Grant Cluster

One of the key components of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) was the creation of the Family Connection Grants Program. The purpose of these grants is to help children who are in, or at risk of entering, foster care to reconnect with family members. As demonstration projects, these grants are serving as testing grounds for new and unique approaches for family connection services and as sources of guidance and insight for States and localities seeking to implement similar programs.

In September 2009, the Children’s Bureau awarded grants to 24 public child welfare agencies and private nonprofit organizations across the United States. Family Connection grantees are implementing one or more of the following programs:

Eight grants were awarded to projects that are implementing two or more of these programs.

To assist the Family Connection grants, the Children’s Bureau has established two support mechanisms for the project. The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) provides programmatic technical assistance, and James Bell Associates provides evaluation technical assistance and is conducting a cross-site evaluation.

For a list of all awardees, including links to project abstracts, visit the NRCPFC website:

http://www.nrcpfc.org/grantees.html

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2923


The Fostering Connections Resource Center

The Fostering Connections Resource Center is a comprehensive source of information for the various stakeholders working to implement the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. The Resource Center provides access to the latest information, training, tools, experts, and advocates, including:

The Implementation Approaches section of the website highlights successful efforts from States and Tribes. Among the featured examples are family-finding efforts, guardianship assistance programs, kinship placement strategies, transition planning efforts, and foster parent recruitment.

The Resource Center is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Duke Endowment, Eckerd Family Foundation, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Sierra Health Foundation, Stuart Foundation, and Walter S. Johnson Foundation.

There are several ways to stay current with the Fostering Connections Resource Center:

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2925


States' Implementation of Fostering Connections

The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA) was one of the first national organizations to compile and publish information on how States were addressing the various requirements found in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Partnering with Casey Family Programs, NAPCWA surveyed the 50 States and the District of Columbia and posted the survey results on its website.

The survey results (currently available for 36 States) are presented for each State under the following headings:

Visit the NAPCWA website to find State-specific information on implementing Fostering Connections:

www.napcwa.org/Legislative/fostering.asp

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2924


T&TA Network Resources on Fostering Connections

Several of the Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network members have developed, collected, and disseminated resources to help States and Tribes implement the Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351). These include:

The National Quality Improvement Center on Nonresident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (QIC-NRF)
The winter 2010 issue of QICNews features articles about Fostering Connections legislation as it applies to fatherhood:
www.fatherhoodqic.org/qicwint10.pdf (672 KB)
The site also offers a paper from the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 Offers Help to Children Raised by Relatives:
www.fatherhoodqic.org/lesson3%20handouts.pdf (450 KB)

National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues (NRCLJI)
The NRCLJI has posted a working document, Implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, with hyperlinks to information about Children's Bureau policy, guidance, and other implementation activities for the law:
www.abanet.org/child/rclji/fostering_connections_single_resource.doc

National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC)

The NRCPFC offers training and technical assistance to States and Tribes on Fostering Connections as it applies to education, health, kinship/guardianship, and Tribes.
www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/TA%20for%20States%20and%20Tribes_Fostering%20Connections.pdf  (34 KB)
The NRCPFC has a webpage of links to resources: 
www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/FCSIAA-2008.html
The NRCPFC has also created a Fostering Connections Hot Topic page:
www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/fostering-connections.html

Related Item

To provide guidance on the Fostering Connections legislation and requirements for States and Tribes, the Children's Bureau has made a number of policy/program issuances:

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2927


Recognition for Informal Kinship Care With Kinship Navigator Programs

Through Family Connection grants authorized by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, $5 million will be directed annually toward "kinship navigator" programs. These programs can help children in foster care or at risk of child welfare involvement connect with relatives such as grandparents. Navigator programs also support relatives caring for children at risk of entering the child welfare system by connecting the families with services and supports.

Writing about kinship navigators in Common Ground, the newsletter for New England child welfare professionals, Gerard Wallace suggests that this type of support for private caregivers may "signal a new direction in child welfare policy and practice" that could allow informal kinship care to become better integrated into States' and agencies' plans and resource allotments. Wallace points out that the informal kinship system cares for 12 times more children than foster care, but informal kinship caregivers have only limited access to the resources and supports often provided through formal foster care.

Wallace's article, "Kinship Navigators: The New Child Welfare System," goes on to describe some of the new kinship navigator programs funded through Fostering Connections, including programs in Maine and Rhode Island. He also explores existing kinship navigator programs, including the New York State Kinship Navigator, which he directs.

State programs that predate Fostering Connections vary in their components, size, and personnel. While some offer just information and referrals, others provide more extensive services, including advocacy, case management, and direct services. In some jurisdictions, grandparents answer phones and provide referral information. In other jurisdictions, child welfare workers serve as navigators for kinship caregivers. Generally, kinship caregivers who contact the programs are looking for four types of support: general services, child welfare services, specialized services such as support groups and respite care, and legal assistance.

In discussing the potential of the Family Connection grant support for kinship navigators, Wallace notes that the new grants may help identify what works best for informal kin caregivers. The funded programs may also serve as emerging models for other State programs, and they may pave the way toward integrating kinship navigator programs permanently into child welfare planning.

Wallace's article is available on the website of the Common Ground, Vol. XXV(1) (p. 3):

www.jbcc.harvard.edu/publications/cg/Common%20Ground%20Feb%202010%20final.pdf (2.21 MB)

Related Item

See "Family Connection Discretionary Grant Cluster" in this issue for information about the Family Connection grantees.

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Spotlight on the Fostering Connections Act
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2930


News From the Children's Bureau

Nazario Resignation

Carmen Nazario, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, is resigning her post effective July 16. Nominated by President Obama, her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on September 23, 2009.

During her tenure, Assistant Secretary Nazario has defined the goals of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as helping families achieve economic success, supporting healthy and comprehensive child development, and improving ACF's institutional capacity to make a difference in the lives of children. Secretary Sebelius has commended Nazario for overseeing ACF's first organization assessment, for her focus on program oversight and integrity, and for initiating an outreach program to engage underserved populations.

Assistant Secretary Nazario is resigning for family reasons. Until a new nominee is identified and confirmed by the Senate, ACF's current Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, David Hansell, will serve as Acting Assistant Secretary.

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2920


The President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative

On June 21, President Obama announced his new Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. The initiative addresses father absence in America through partnerships with fatherhood and family-serving groups. The initiative has three steps:

Read more about the Fatherhood and Mentoring initiative, and find information about joining, on the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse website:

www.fatherhood.gov

Read about the President's national conversation on fatherhood and personal responsibility on the White House website:

www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-launches-next-phase-fatherhood-efforts-with-presidents-fatherhood-a

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2917


ACF Grants Available

The Administration for Children and Families has announced new funding opportunities with summer deadlines, including the following Children's Bureau discretionary grants:

Other ACF grants of interest include:

In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in collaboration with ACF, offers the following funding opportunities:

For a listing of current open ACF discretionary grants, visit the ACF website:
www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/type/Discretionary

General information about the 2010 Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants can be found on the Children's Bureau website:
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/general/cb_disc_grant.htm

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2919


Report to Congress on Grants to Help Children Affected by Parental Substance Abuse

The Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-288) provided authorization and funding to implement the Targeted Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse. In 2007, under this legislation, 53 organizations around the country were competitively awarded Regional Partnership Grants (RPGs) to implement interagency collaborations and provide integrated child welfare and substance abuse treatment services. As required by the legislation, the Children's Bureau recently completed the first Annual Report to Congress on the RPG program.

The report describes the activities and progress of the RPG program and the grantees from October 2006 through July 2008. During this time, significant accomplishments included:

The 53 grantees developed activities and services in five broad areas: systems collaboration and improvements, substance abuse treatment linkages and services, services for children and youth, support services for parents and families, and expanded capacity to provide treatment and services to families. After only 6 months into their grants, more than half the grantees were providing a broad array of services to children and adults. During this same time period, grantees provided trainings to more than 3,500 RPG staff.

The report documents the significant progress that grantees have made in achieving their first-year program and evaluation objectives. Future reports will focus on grantees' continued progress, drawing on data from the 23 performance indicators.

To read the full report, Targeted Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse: First Annual Report to Congress, visit the Children's Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/targeted_grants/targeted_grants.pdf (1.14 MB)

For additional information on this cluster of grants, please go the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare website at www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov.  For questions, please contact the Federal Project Officer, Elaine Stedt, at elaine.stedt@acf.hhs.gov.


Related Item

Children's Bureau Express last wrote about the RPG program in "Regional Partnership Grants Strive to Improve the Lives of Children and Families Affected by Methamphetamine and Other Substance Abuse" (October 2008). 

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2921


Site Visit: Changing Systems to Improve Family Engagement

An effort is underway in Fairfax County, VA, to make organizational changes within the Department of Family Services to improve engagement with families involved in the child welfare system. The effort is an outgrowth of one professional's experiences with the National Child Welfare Leadership Institute (NCWLI) training program, which was designed to build leadership skills in mid-level managers in public and Tribal child welfare agencies. Sponsored by the Children's Bureau, NCWLI prepares managers to develop and implement changes in their communities through two sessions totaling up to 8 days of training, as well as ongoing technical assistance.

In May 2008, the Quality Assurance Manager for Fairfax County's Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Division began her training with the NCWLI program. Training sessions focused on the stages of change and applying evidence-based management skills and data-driven decision-making to systems change efforts. The Fairfax County manager leveraged these new skills and knowledge to launch a two-phased family engagement project.

The first phase of the project brought together a voluntary workgroup of 30 supervisors and frontline staff to determine what broad changes were needed to improve CYF efforts to engage families. The Division had previously initiated several practices focused on family engagement, such as the development of a strengths-based model of practice and Family Group Conferencing, but the workgroup's initial assessment identified a number of ways the Division’s structure did not support family engagement.  These structural issues included the assignment of different caseworkers as families moved through the system, multiple family assessments, “siloed” services, and lengthy investigations. Differing practices among in-home services social workers and inadequate resource allocation also contributed to the lack of systemic support for family engagement. The workgroup developed the following short- and long-term goals for making organizational changes to promote a more fluid, family-focused system:

Phase two of the county's effort convened a smaller workgroup to develop a model for implementing these goals. The workgroup assessed how to engage families at each stage of the child welfare process and what skills staff would need to accomplish more meaningful engagement. The CYF management team was also tasked with developing a management plan and revising leadership job descriptions in accordance with the proposed changes.

Although the Family Engagement project is still in the planning stages, the project's leaders feel that participation in the NCWLI has contributed to their efforts by helping them to see the big picture regarding systems change and to apply effective leadership principles to their initiative.

Two other systems change initiatives are also occurring in Fairfax County and across Virginia that may support the Family Engagement project. The first involves a department-wide Lines of Service review of protocol and practice to identify gaps and inefficiencies and develop action plans to address them. The second is the Children's Services System Transformation (http://vafamilyconnections.com/), a statewide effort to follow a new practice model to enact systems change in a number of areas, including family engagement and enhanced communication among partners.

For more information on Fairfax County's project, contact Allison Lowry, Quality Assurance Manager, at allison.lowry@fairfaxcounty.gov

The full site visit report will be posted on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
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: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2945


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: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2918


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!
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb
 

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2922


Child Welfare Research

Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System

Over the past decade, immigration patterns have contributed significantly to the changing demographic profile of the child welfare system, such that 9.6 percent of children reported to child welfare agencies are living with a foreign-born parent or caregiver. These children may be at risk of maltreatment due to the stresses involved with immigration, acculturation, and differences in parenting and discipline styles.

In an effort to identify some of the characteristics of this group, American Humane and partners recently published two new research briefs based on data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). The NSCAW was conducted with a nationally representative sample of children who were subjects of child protective services (CPS) reports in 1999 and 2000, including 3,336 children with native parents and 351 children with immigrant parents.

Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System: Findings From the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, by Alan Dettlaff and Ilze Earner, notes a number of similarities and differences between children in the child welfare system who have native parents and those of immigrant parents. For instance, children of immigrant parents were significantly more likely to:

Children of native parents were significantly more likely to:

In many ways, the two populations were similar, including their income levels and neighborhood and community factors.

The authors suggest that child welfare professionals need to assess the strengths as well as the risk factors of immigrant families reported to CPS.

The article can be viewed on the American Humane website:

http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/children/pc-childofimmigrantpdf.pdf (436 KB)

Latino Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System: Findings From the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, by Alan Dettlaff and Ilze Earner, looks specifically at the characteristics of Latino families that come to the attention of the child welfare system, comparing families with at least one immigrant parent with families with native parents. For instance, compared to children of native-born Latino parents involved with child welfare, children of immigrant Latino parents were more likely to:

Children of native Latino parents were significantly more likely to:

The authors discuss the results in terms of protective factors that may be present in immigrant families and the implications for child welfare agencies that work with these populations.

The article can be found on the American Humane website:

www.americanhumane.org/assets/docs/protecting-children/PC-LatinoChildreofImmigrant.pdf (432 KB)

Related Item

The Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) website provides information and resources on immigrant and refugee children, including those involved with child welfare:

www.brycs.org

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2933


Study on Runaway Youth Examines Lifetime Prevalence

A new study from the Urban Institute uses new methodology to yield estimates of the number of youth who run away from home, the number of times they run away, and their age when they first run away. In On the Prevalence of Running Away From Home, author Michael R. Pergamit draws on the data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort (NLSY97), to develop measures not generally found in the literature. The data follow a cohort of youths from age 12 to age 18. The measures combine to provide an estimate of the lifetime prevalence of runaway behavior.

Results indicate that nearly one in five U.S. youths will run away from home before age 18, and almost 30 percent will do so three or more times, greatly heightening their risk of violence and many other dangers. Females and Black youth run away the most often, although findings show a heterogeneous population in terms of their runaway histories. The author also points out that most runaway and homeless youth have histories of runaway (and throwaway) episodes.

The publication is available on the Urban Institute website:

www.urban.org/publications/412087.html

Related Item

The National Runaway Switchboard provides an array of services to help keep runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Foremost among its services is a 24-hour crisis line staffed by counselors who provide free, anonymous, and confidential assistance to a teenager who is thinking of running away from home, has a friend who has run away and is looking for help, or is a runaway ready to go home. They also can provide advice to teachers looking for information to pass along to students about alternatives to running away from home.

The National Runaway Switchboard services are provided in part through funding from the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FYSB website provides resources for parents and the media, a runaway prevention curriculum, and materials for Runaway Prevention Month held each November.

www.nrscrisisline.org

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2935


The Rise in Kinship Adoption

A new issue brief created by ChildFocus and the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Kinship Adoption: Meeting the Unique Needs of a Growing Population, was developed to draw attention to and explore the needs of children adopted by their relatives. The issue brief points out that the number of children in foster care finding permanent homes with relatives is steadily growing—up from 21 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2008. The authors look at why this trend persists and how agencies can promote and support kinship adoption.

Why is kinship adoption on the rise? The authors point to:

According to the brief, some of the benefits of kinship adoption include kinship caregivers' unique knowledge about the child and the family dynamics and the greater likelihood of children maintaining some kind of connection with their birth parents, if desired.

How can agencies best support kinship adoption? The authors point to the need to:

The full issue brief is available on the ChildFocus website:

www.childfocuspartners.com/pdfs/CF_Kinship_Adoption_Report_v5.pdf (523 KB)

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2934


Characteristics of Effective Citizen-State Child Welfare Partnerships

Research has shown that agencies can benefit from citizen participation in child welfare. A national study published in Children and Youth Services Review examines citizen review panels (CRPs) in particular, exploring the relationships between characteristics of CRPs—information flow between CRPs and States, group cohesion, and self-governance—and perceived effectiveness of CRPs. The study presents findings from online surveys completed by 426 CRP members and 42 CRP coordinators across the United States and from data analyses that identify and explain relationships among variables.

Findings from the study include:

The authors also offer recommendations for improving CRP effectiveness, including the need for panel autonomy, consistency in sharing information with panels, and intentional relationship building between panel members and State agencies.

"Key Features of Effective Citizen-State Child Welfare Partnerships Effective: Findings From a National Study of Citizen Review Panels," Children and Youth Services Review, 32(4), by Valerie Bryan, Blake Jones, and Emily Lawson, is available for purchase online:

http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.12.006

 

Related Item

Visit the National Citizens Review Panels virtual community for information about CRPs:

www.uky.edu/SocialWork/crp


 

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2932


Effective Program Strategies for Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood

A new factsheet from Child Trends, What Works for Older Youth During Their Transition to Adulthood: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions, synthesizes results from experimental evaluations of 31 programs geared towards positively influencing older youth (ages 18 to 25). Researchers examined the effects of programs such as Job Corps, Upward Bound, New Chance, and others to identify strategies that worked across outcomes, as well as promising findings for education, career, reproductive health, and substance use outcomes. The factsheet highlights the following pertinent findings:

The report also contains a chart that provides detailed information on individual program success across the outcome categories. The authors also offer suggestions for further research, noting that this particular age group is often overlooked because of assumptions that this population is already benefiting from general services available for adults.

The factsheet, by Alena M. Hadley, Kassim Mbwana, and Elizabeth C. Hair, is available on the Child Trends website:

http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2010_03_09_FS_WWOlderYouth.pdf (282 KB)

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2931


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Virtual Home Visits Provide Effective Home Intervention Services

Barriers related to geography, time, and transportation can make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for IDEA Part C early intervention programs serving remote rural areas to provide the required home visits. These federally funded programs are obligated to serve all eligible infants and toddlers in their area, regardless of difficulty.

Efforts to overcome these barriers in rural Utah where harsh winters pose a particular challenge is discussed in a recent article in Family Center on Technology and Disability News & Notes. The article, "A New Approach to Early Intervention: Virtual Home Visits," describes efforts by workers at the Early Intervention Research Institute, Center for Persons with Disabilities, at Utah State University to utilize technology-based virtual home visits to overcome those barriers in a way consistent with the current digital culture. Although nontraditional, the new approach meets the criteria for service provision and has enabled IDEA Part C providers to maintain a consistent schedule of home visits for families who may live as far as 125 miles away from the provider's home base.

Using grant money to help families acquire computers and other equipment, service providers were able to set up video conferencing with families. The center also developed some online tutorials to take parents through the steps of installing their cameras and microphones and downloading the desktop software. Through these video conferences, providers can observe parent and child interactions and provide instruction to the families.

Families generally have been receptive to the visits, although early intervention staff prefer direct contact with children and families, so virtual visits are regarded as supplemental and not as a replacement for home visits.

News & Notes
is available on the Family Center on Technology and Disability website:

www.fctd.info/assets/newsletters/pdfs/275/FCTD-News-Feb2010.pdf (1.80 MB)
 

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2938


Roadmap for Electronic Information Exchange

Children in foster care often have complex needs that require the support of multiple State or local agencies. If providers are empowered to share key information across systems more quickly and efficiently, children will benefit.

A recent analysis by The Children's Partnership (TCP) presents a guide for States and jurisdictions interested in improving their information systems and policies to support the electronic exchange of information on children in foster care. The report highlights some of the benefits of using electronic information exchange:

Recent Federal legislation requires States to examine their ability to exchange information on the health-care needs of children in foster care. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 mandates that the State or Tribal agency responsible for foster care services work with the State Medicaid agency to develop a plan for ongoing oversight and coordination of health care services for children in foster care, including how medical information for those children will be updated and shared.

Considering the benefits of electronic information exchange and both Federal and State initiatives that address such exchanges, the report analyzes the potential for California to develop and implement a shared electronic data system for health and child welfare agencies. The report includes two models, with differences in how the agencies could develop privacy restrictions for data storage and access. The report also outlines several issues for the State to consider as it creates a strategic plan to fund and design the new system. Some of the recommendations include:

The report, Electronic Information Exchange for Children in Foster Care: A Roadmap to Improved Outcomes, was written by Stefanie Gluckman with Ashley Phelps. Visit the TCP website to download the full report or an executive summary:

www.childrenspartnership.org/report/roadmap


Related Item
 

The Federal Government's National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is designed to enable information sharing. Read about NIEM's applicability for youth and family services on the NIEM website:

www.niem.gov/Domains_YouthAndFamilyServices.php

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2936


National Children's Health Insurance Toolkit

InsureKidsNow.gov, a website that offers State-specific information on health insurance coverage for children through Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), now offers an online toolkit for professionals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services designed the toolkit to help organizations raise public awareness and understanding of children's health insurance programs, thereby encouraging eligible parents and guardians to apply for coverage on behalf of their uninsured children. A variety of information, materials, tools, and tactics are provided to assist in education and outreach efforts and are organized into the following toolkit sections:

Organizations also may add their logos and local contact and State-specific information to the toolkit's customizable materials. This toolkit will be updated as new successful strategies and practices emerge. Currently, parts of the toolkit are in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information, visit:

www.insurekidsnow.gov/professionals/toolkit/toolkit.html

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2937


Resources

Data on Latino Children's Well-Being

A new data book gives an overview of current national and State-level trends for Latino minors relative to non-Hispanic White and Black children. America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends provides State-specific data for Hispanic children between the years 2000 and 2008 for 25 indicators in the following data book sections:

The book was produced by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Population Reference Bureau and is now available on the NCLR website:

http://www.nclr.org/index.php/publications/americas_future_latino_child_well-being_in_numbers_and_trends/

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2940


Health Care for Transitioning Youth

The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA) has published an issue brief, Addressing the Health Care Needs of Transitioning Youth, that describes how some States are working to provide health care to youth who are transitioning out of foster care and into independence.

Children in foster care are more likely to experience acute and chronic health conditions. While they are entitled to health-care benefits through Medicaid, a lack of Medicaid providers reduces their chances of consistent and timely care—and those benefits end when they leave the foster care system.

The Fostering Connections Act of 2008 requires States to create and maintain a health oversight and coordination plan for each young person in foster care. The objective of these plans is for health-care providers to ensure that each child receives regular and comprehensive care, access to services beyond his or her 18th birthday, and a medical passport—an electronic, portable record of the child’s medical and family health histories.

Thirty-two States extend Medicaid coverage to youth beyond age 18. The paper gives examples of how some States coordinate and monitor health-care provision for youth in, and out of, foster care:

To read the issue brief, go to:
www.napcwa.org/Youth/docs/HealthCareBrief2010.pdf (47 KB)

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2941


Youth-Related State Legislation in a Searchable Database

Information on the status of State legislation on topics related to youth, including juvenile justice, financial literacy, substance abuse and prevention, youth in transition, and youth violence, is available in a searchable database from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

NCSL works in cooperation with StateNet to provide up-to-date information about youth legislation for all 50 States and the District of Columbia. The database tracks related youth legislation from the 2009 and 2010 session and can be searched by State, topic, keyword, year, status, or primary sponsor.

The NCSL Youth Legislation Database is available on the NCSL website:

www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=17570

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2942


Fellowships for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago have launched the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The fellowship program contributes to knowledge development in the field of abuse and neglect and the creation of effective strategies for preventing child maltreatment.

The program is open to doctoral students at U.S. academic institutions who are interested in a career in child abuse and neglect prevention. With the guidance of expert mentors and an annual stipend of $25,000 for up to 2 years, fellows will tackle important issues in the field, as well as participate in professional development opportunities. The multidisciplinary program reflects the various fields that work to prevent child maltreatment, including social work, public health, medicine, public policy, education, and economics.

Students can apply to the first of two 15-fellow cohorts beginning August 15, 2010. Applications are due December 15, 2010.

For more information on the Doris Duke Fellowship, visit:

http://chapinhall.org/assets/video/introduction-doris-duke-fellowships-prevention-child-abuse-and-neglect

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2939


Training and Conferences

Forensic Interviewing and Related Trainings

The National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC) provides training, prevention, intervention, and treatment services to fight child abuse and neglect. The trainings are offered online, on the NCAC campus in Huntsville, AL, and at trainee locations through customized arrangements.

As part of its training series, online presentations on a variety of child maltreatment and investigation topics are offered at no charge. The trainings are developed by experts in the field and are designed to be viewed by individuals or groups of child abuse or related professionals. Access the 23 online trainings on the NCAC website.

Trainings on the NCAC campus include forensic interviewing and evaluation, as well as family and victim advocacy. Customized trainings are available through special arrangements and can include a variety of topics centering on forensic interviewing.

Visit the NCAC website for more information:

www.nationalcac.org/professionals/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Issue Date: July/August 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2943


Conferences

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

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 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: July/August 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=118&articleid=2944



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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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