Children's Bureau ExpressNovember 2010 | Vol. 11, No. 9

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Adoption Month
This month, CBX spotlights National Adoption Month, with a special focus on the adoption of siblings from foster care. We've included an article on how one grantee was able to help older youth find adoptive families. Read about National Adoption Month resources and more.

  • Honoring National Adoption Month All Year
  • And the Adoption Excellence Award Goes to . . .
  • Adoption for Older Youth
  • The Diligent Recruitment Grantees
  • Siblings on the AdoptUsKids Website
  • Top Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

News From the Children's Bureau
Find links to the latest Federal child welfare news, including the announcement of CB discretionary grant awards, the latest from the T&TA Network, reports from other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, and more.

  • Award of CB Discretionary Grants
  • Office of Child Care Debuts
  • Updates From the T&TA Network
  • Children and Disasters Report and Resources
  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

Child Welfare Research
This section includes reports and articles on ways some jurisdictions and agencies are learning to assess families for their strengths and then help them build on their strengths to prevent child maltreatment.

  • Strengthening Families to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Using Video Feedback to Promote Better Parenting
  • Achieving Safety Through Collaboration

Strategies and Tools for Practice
CBX links you to information on sharing data, funding, making active efforts to reunify Indian children and families, and assessing your agency for cultural competence.

  • Sharing Data Across Youth-Serving Agencies
  • Kinship Toolkit for GAP Funding
  • Making Active Efforts for Indian Children in Out-of-Home Care
  • Assessing for Cultural Competence

Resources

  • Adoptees Have Answers Program in Minnesota
  • Making Classroom Assignments More Adoption-Friendly
  • Advocating for an End to Corporal Punishment
  • Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth
  • Doris Duke Prevention Fellowship

Training and Conferences

  • Leadership Academy for Middle Managers
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Adoption Month

Honoring National Adoption Month All Year

November is National Adoption Month, but this year's campaign reminds us to celebrate adoption and adoptive families all year long. Aimed at adoption professionals, the National Adoption Month initiative focuses on five themes that can help adoption professionals recruit, retain, and support adoptive families for the 115,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption:

The National Adoption Month website promotes these five themes and offers related tools, resources, and examples to help adoption workers in their recruitment and retention of families. The website also provides a variety of other resources for celebrating National Adoption Month, including the following:

National Adoption Month is a coordinated effort by the Children's Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and AdoptUsKids. Visit the website to learn more:

www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/index.cfm

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3019


And the Adoption Excellence Award Goes to . . .

Every year since 1997, the Children's Bureau has presented Adoption Excellence Awards to individuals, families, jurisdictions, and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to achieving permanency for children and youth in foster care awaiting families. By conferring these awards, the Children's Bureau acknowledges its commitment to the 424,000 children in foster care across the country, including the 115,000 children awaiting adoption.

On October 4, 2010, the 2010 Adoption Excellence Awards were presented to 10 recipients in five categories at a luncheon that was part of the Children's Bureau's Policy to Practice Dialogue meeting in Arlington, VA. The winners represented a broad range of backgrounds, projects, and accomplishments. What they all had in common was an extraordinary commitment to helping vulnerable children find their forever families.

The winners:


Congratulations to the 2010 winners!

Read more details about the winners and their projects on the Children's Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/current_initiatives/aeawards10.htm
 

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3017


Adoption for Older Youth

Recognizing that older youth in foster care often refuse to consider adoption because they fear losing connections with their birth family, the Children's Bureau funded nine grantees in 2005 for projects that would promote adoption while maintaining birth family connections. The Adoption Opportunities grant "Improving Permanency Outcomes by Developing Services and Supports for Youth Who Wish to Retain Contact With Family Members" provided grantees with both funding and a mutual support group as they implemented and evaluated their projects over the subsequent 5 years.

You Gotta Believe!, based in New York City, used its grant to work with youth in foster care in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. County social workers referred teens who were resistant to adoption to the Long Island Opening Adoption's Door to Teens Project. Instead of accepting the teens' resistance, project staff used one-on-one counseling sessions with each teen to identify why the teen objected to the idea of adoption. In counseling, the teens were able to discuss their fears about losing connections with siblings, parents, and other important people in their lives, and they received assurance that adoption would not end those ties. Over the course of six to eight counseling sessions, the teens' reluctance was addressed, the benefits of open adoption were discussed, and staff were able to proceed to help the teens find families.

In addition to helping the teens accept and welcome the idea of adoption, the project had four other components:

As part of the overall grant process, You Gotta Believe! and the other grantees participated in quarterly phone calls and annual meetings at which they shared their ideas, findings, and resources. According to Pat O'Brien, Executive Director of You Gotta Believe!, one of the ideas that arose again and again turned out to be particularly useful: Several of the programs recruited adults as mentors or weekend parents or just friends for the teens. These were adults who were willing to have a long-term relationship with a teen but were not willing or able to adopt. Hearing that idea, You Gotta Believe! staff decided to implement it and take it one step further. Adults are starting to be recruited and "deputized" to establish relationships with the teens and then go out and find permanent families for them. The adults will take teens to family reunions, escort them to meet and greets, and involve themselves in other events in teens’ lives where they might meet prospective permanent families. In this way, the project will enlarge its recruitment staff by using volunteers, and the teens will establish ongoing relationships with other adults who care about them and want to help them find their lifetime permanent families. 

You Gotta Believe! is wrapping up its Long Island project and expects the evaluation to show that approximately half of the teens referred to the project found families who gave the teens permanency while helping them stay connected with their birth families. Looking ahead, You Gotta Believe! is hoping to incorporate lessons learned from this grant into its future projects for youth. For instance, family-finding techniques and social media (such as Facebook) will be added to the repertoire of tools that staff will use on a regular basis to help older youth in foster care find permanent families. Capitalizing on the networks that teens already have will give teens a greater chance of finding the person or family who can be their "forever family."

For more information on You Gotta Believe!, visit the website:

http://www.yougottabelieve.org

For more information on the "Improving Permanency Outcomes by Developing Services and Supports for Youth Who Wish to Retain Contact With Family Members" grantees, visit the National Resource Center for Adoption website:

[Editor's note: This link is no longer available.]


Many thanks to Pat O'Brien, Executive Director of You Gotta Believe! for providing the information for this article.

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3016


The Diligent Recruitment Grantees

The Children's Bureau's Adoption Opportunities program provides discretionary funds to projects designed to eliminate barriers to adoption and help find permanent families for children. In October 2008, eight grantees were selected to address the diligent recruitment of families for children in the foster care system. Each grantee is currently developing and implementing a comprehensive, multifaceted diligent recruitment program for kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families, with the ultimate goal of improving permanency outcomes for children and youth.

The eight grantees are:

The AdoptUsKids website summarizes each grantee project and provides access to materials produced by the grantees. Highlighted below are some of the strategies the grantees plan to implement as part of their efforts to enhance the diligent recruitment of families for children and youth:

Visit the AdoptUsKids website for more information on the diligent recruitment grantees:

http://adoptuskids.org/professionalResourceCenter/diligent-recruitment

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3018


Siblings on the AdoptUsKids Website

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 includes a number of provisions to help children and youth maintain family connections, which offer them increased opportunities for adoption and permanency. For instance, Fostering Connections provides States with the option to use title IV-E funds for guardianship assistance; however, the legislation requires relative guardians to meet State foster care licensing requirements, although States may waive nonsafety standards on a case-by-case basis.

As part of this year’s national campaign to promote adoption of sibling groups from foster care, AdoptUsKids recently released a report by its Evaluation Team that analyzed data on the sibling groups that have been listed on the AdoptUsKids national photolisting. Special Report: Characteristics of Sibling Groups Registered on the AdoptUsKids Website looks at data on children who were adopted, children awaiting adoption, and families awaiting a child or children. Data were current as of August 1, 2010.

Among the 13,396 children from the AdoptUsKids photolisting who have been placed with families, 6,529 were siblings (49 percent), and they included 2,747 sibling groups. The average size of these sibling groups was 2.5 children, but they were as large as 8 siblings!

The report includes data about the gender, age, race, and geographic location of these children, as well as the children currently awaiting families. Of the 4,542 children currently listed on the website and awaiting families, 25 percent are part of sibling groups who need to be placed together.

The good news is that the majority of families (83 percent of the 4,636 families waiting to adopt) are willing to adopt more than one child. While most prefer to adopt 2 or 3 children, there are families who are willing to adopt up to 12 children.

The report was prepared for AdoptUsKids by Sunju Sohn, Jina Jun, and Lauren Alper and submitted by Ruth McRoy, who is the Principal Evaluator for the AdoptUsKids Evaluation Team. Read the report on the AdoptUsKids website:

www.adoptuskids.org/images/resourceCenter/AUK-special-report-characteristics-of-sibling-groups-registered-on-AdoptUsKids.pdf (240 KB)

Factsheets on Sibling Adoption


AdoptUsKids has developed the following two new factsheets on sibling adoption. The easy-to-use factsheets provide quick information for adoption workers and parents.

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3022


Top Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

The Dave Thomas Foundation recently released its 2010 list of top adoption-friendly employers—that is, those that offer some of the best benefits for their employees who adopt. Benefits include financial reimbursement and paid leave. The list is based on the results of a survey that employers submit on their behalf.

The 2010 list includes many different kinds of corporations, specifically:

  1. Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc.
  2. Citizens Financial Group, Inc./RBS Americas
  3. Liquidnet (tie)
  4. LSI Corporation (tie)
  5. Putnam Investments
  6. Vanguard Group
  7. Subaru of America, Inc.
  8. BHP Billiton
  9. The Timberland Company
  10. Barilla America, Inc.

The Dave Thomas Foundation also offers a toolkit for employers interested in establishing or enhancing adoption benefits for their employees. Visit the website for more information on the list of top adoption-friendly workplaces and the employer toolkit:

www.davethomasfoundation.org/Our-Programs/Adoption-Friendly-Workplace/2010-Best-Adoption-Friendly-Workplaces-List

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Spotlight on National Adoption Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3023


News From the Children's Bureau

Award of CB Discretionary Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Children's Bureau announced the award of a number of discretionary grants for research and program development. Awards include:

To read the full list of grantees, visit the Children's Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/discretionary/2010.htm

Several other agencies within HHS also announced awards in recent weeks. These include:

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3010


Office of Child Care Debuts

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reorganized to establish the Office of Child Care (OCC). The new OCC replaces the Child Care Bureau and will administer the Child Care and Development Fund, which provides child care subsidies to low-income families. The OCC will focus on improving the quality of child care and early childhood programs, as well as increasing child care options for parents.

Read the press release on the ACF website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2010/office_child_care.html

Visit the new OCC website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ccb/

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3014


Updates From the T&TA Network

The Children's Bureau 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: November 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3015


Children and Disasters Report and Resources

On October 6, the National Commission on Children and Disasters (NCCD) delivered to the President and Congress its comprehensive report on the nation’s state of readiness for helping children in times of disaster. The 2010 Report to Congress cites a number of persistent gaps in the nation’s response systems, and the report calls for the development of a national strategy for children in disasters to ensure that children are protected before, during, and after an emergency. The report makes a series of recommendations to Federal, State, and local governments and nongovernmental organizations to close the gaps in the response systems and improve preparedness to better protect children.

The NCCD was established by Congress and the President in 2007 as an independent, bipartisan body to identify gaps in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for children and make recommendations to close the gaps.

Find the report on the NCCD website:

www.childrenanddisasters.acf.hhs.gov


Children and Disasters Resource Webpage       

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has compiled a webpage of resources on children and disasters. The Children and Disasters webpage is part of DHS’s Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) website and is the result of a partnership among LLIS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and NCCD. The resource page provides links to guidance documents, training programs, and lessons learned from emergency exercises and real-world incidents involving children.

The webpage is available to those who deal with emergencies and disasters, and potential viewers must register to view the webpage. Visit the LLIS website to find information about registering to view the Children and Disasters webpage:

https://www.llis.dhs.gov/index.do
 

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3011


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: November 2010
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3013


Child Welfare Research

Strengthening Families to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Strengthening Families is an innovative approach to child abuse and neglect prevention designed to reach millions of children and their families before any maltreatment occurs. A new publication, Allied for Better Outcomes: Child Welfare and Early Childhood, presents an overview of the research and application of this approach for very young children.

In this publication, authors Kate Stapleton, Jean McIntosh, and Beth Corrington, emphasize the promotion of protective factors—as well as the reduction of risk factors—to guide caseworkers and their partners in child welfare in ensuring the healthy development of young children. These protective factors allow families to create healthy, nurturing environments that promote the positive development of children. These factors include:

The core of the Strengthening Families approach is the Guiding Principles for Strengthening Families in Child Welfare. When child welfare systems and their partners address the developmental needs of young children and strengthen their families, these principles provide the foundation for their efforts:

The authors present a series of five broad goals for developing a web of effective services. Profiles of pilot programs in three States and the lessons learned also are presented. 

Strengthening Families is an initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) with the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The report is available on the CSSP website:

http://strengtheningfamilies.net/images/uploads/pdf_uploads/ALLIED_FOR_BETTER_OUTCOMES.pdf (985 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3027


Using Video Feedback to Promote Better Parenting

Child welfare and related professionals often struggle to find parent education programs and modalities that can help at-risk parents make long-lasting changes in their parenting practices. An evidence-based, strengths-based program that relies on video feedback has shown promising results for parents and others.

The Video Home Training® (VHT) and Video Interaction Guidance® (VIG) are programs of SPIN (a Dutch acronym for the Association for the Promotion of Intensive Home Training in the Netherlands) that have been used successfully in the Netherlands and elsewhere to train parents, families, teachers, and others, particularly in working with vulnerable children. Research documents the success of these programs in such areas as parent-child attachment, child welfare supervision, professional development for teachers/caregivers in early childhood, and leadership development. VIG also is used in this country to strengthen staff practice and improve model fidelity and program implementation.

Central to all of these programs is the use of video feedback in which the participants have opportunities to view video clips of themselves in successful interactions. Aided by trained guides who facilitate the positive interactions and then choose clips to reinforce the participants' desirable behavior, participants are able to actively master the appropriate behaviors.

The SPIN VHT Parenting/Family Support Program Model helps child welfare staff assess parents' strengths and use those strengths to improve family functioning and parent nurturing behaviors. The program has been used with professionals who work with teenage parents, at-risk parents of infants and toddlers, vulnerable families, and fathers.

For more information on SPIN programs and the research behind the programs, visit the SPIN USA website:

www.spinusa.org/index.htm

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3026


Achieving Safety Through Collaboration

In 2008, the New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors (NEACWCD) partnered with Casey Family Programs to launch a regional Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) on Safety and Risk Assessments with 22 teams from six New England States. The BSC is a quality improvement methodology that uses existing knowledge to test multiple ideas, measure results, and then implement new strategies and tools on a very small scale. The participating teams simultaneously share lessons learned and new initiatives with other teams so that successes can be quickly expanded.

Common Ground, the NEACWCD newsletter for New England child welfare professionals, provides a snapshot of the team experiences in its July 2010 issue. The selected teams were composed of staff at a variety of levels, youth, parents, and community partners from each participating jurisdiction. They all shared a common history of innovation and risk taking as well as previous participation in the Breakthrough Series.   

Common Ground
articles present highlights from the teams, such as:

The articles note that the BSC program effectively mobilized child welfare agencies to explore new ideas and enhance learning skills. Key recommendations focus on the importance of institutionalizing youth and parent engagement through policy and practice. 

Common Ground
, Volume XXV, Number 2, is available on the Judge Baker Children Center, Harvard University, website:

www.jbcc.harvard.edu/publications/cg/Common%20Ground%20July%202010.pdf (4.68 MB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3025


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Sharing Data Across Youth-Serving Agencies

A new promising practice profile from the Finance Project describes the development and implementation of Philadelphia's Policy Analysis Center (PAC), an initiative that began in 2010 to increase data sharing across all human service agencies in the city. Jointly run by the city's school district and the deputy mayor for health and opportunity, PAC strives to increase the quality and availability of data that organizations and decision-makers can use to enhance service coordination and ultimately improve youth outcomes.

Because data from Philadelphia's human service agencies previously existed in separate case management systems, PAC will combine those databases into one integrated system. The Finance Project describes the challenges faced by the initiative but also summarizes the benefits the city has already experienced. In particular, PAC has used the data to research the effects of early childhood education on school readiness, coordination between homeless shelters and child welfare agencies, and factors related to school dropout. The staff at PAC encourage the city's human service agencies to reap the benefits of the integrated data system by seeking cross-system research that evaluates program effectiveness and assesses the impact of various city programs on youth.

The report concludes with recommendations for successfully creating a shared data system across youth-serving agencies:

Read the full profile, Sharing Data Across Youth-Serving Agencies: Philadelphia's Policy and Analysis Center (PAC), on the Finance Project website:

www.financeproject.org/publications/PPP-DataSharing.pdf (64 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3028


Kinship Toolkit for GAP Funding

The Fostering Connections Kinship Toolkit was designed to assist States considering applying for Guardian Assistance Program (GAP) funding. The toolkit was developed by the Resource Center's Kinship Network, which is led by the Children’s Defense Fund and Child Focus, and features tools to help assess any impact of the GAP, common myths and facts, as well as sample State legislation to help implement the program. Identification and notice tools, such as a sample letter for notice to relatives, also are included.

To view the toolkit, visit the Fostering Connections website:

www.fosteringconnections.org/resources?id=0002

Related Item

A new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law presents an overview of how States are handling the waivers of foster care licensing standards, and it includes recommendations to help States make the best use of the new legislation. Relative Foster Care Licensing Waivers in the States: Policies and Possibilities provides background information on waivers, eligibility for title IV-E funds, and Fostering Connections licensing requirements.

Find the report on the CLASP website:

www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/Relative-foster-care-licensing-waivers-in-the-states101810.pdf (175 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3029


Making Active Efforts for Indian Children in Out-of-Home Care

A new publication from Oregon, Active Efforts: Principles and Expectations, offers guidelines for evaluating whether "active efforts" have been made in Indian child welfare cases in accordance with requirements in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The document directly applies to the active efforts requirement to provide services to allow a child to safely return home after he or she has been placed in out-of-home care.

The guide is designed to be used as a training tool and a guideline for agency staff, courts, and review board members to use in making active efforts findings. Some of the elements of making active efforts include:

This document was developed in consultation with the federally recognized Tribes of Oregon by the Department of Human Services and the Citizen Review Board. The publication received support from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and Casey Family Programs. It is available on the NCJFCJ website:

www.ncjfcj.org/images/stories/dept/ppcd/pdf/oregonactiveeffortprinterfinal.pdf (1,639 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3024


Assessing for Cultural Competence

The National Center for Cultural Competence recently published A Guide for Using the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Family Organization Assessment Instrument. The CLCFOA was developed as a self-assessment tool for family organizations dealing with children and youth who have mental, emotional, and/or behavioral health disorders or special health-care needs or disabilities, and it was designed to help these organizations do the following:

The recently published guide gives detailed instructions to help organizations use the CLCFOA in a self-assessment that can help them gauge how well they are meeting the needs of diverse populations. The guide recommends using a four-phase approach to the self-assessment process, including:

  1. Establish a structure to guide the work
  2. Create a shared vision and shared ownership
  3. Collect, analyze, and disseminate data
  4. Develop and implement a plan of action

For each phase, the guide gives more detailed instructions and tips on how to best go about conducting each stage of the assessment.

Link to the guide on the National Center for Cultural Competence website:

www11.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/documents/NCCC_CLCFOAGuide.pdf (169 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3030


Resources

Adoptees Have Answers Program in Minnesota

Adoptees Have Answers (AHA), based in Minnesota, is an all-adoptee staffed and led initiative and a live and virtual community designed to be a safe environment for the exchange of adoption-related knowledge and communication between adoptees. This new program is the first of its kind in the country. AHA's foundation is based in current research and reflects the belief that adoptees are experts on their own needs and benefit greatly from sharing their experiences with their peers – other adoptees.

As an online forum, AHA provides individual profile pages, discussion boards, blogs, and a monthly e-newsletter. AHA also offers education from an adoptee perspective, which includes adoption and foster care factsheets, webinars on such topics as how to start an adoptee support group for adults and youth, CDs, and videotapes. A number of live events and Minnesota-based support groups also are hosted by AHA staff and listed on the website.

This program was launched in April 2010 and is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. For more information, visit the website:

http://aha.mn

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3031


Making Classroom Assignments More Adoption-Friendly

The September 2010 issue of Adoption Advocate, a publication of the National Council For Adoption, discusses how the classroom can be more adoption-friendly for foster and adopted children. "Back to School: A Guide to Making Schools and School Assignments More Adoption-Friendly," by Christine Mitchell, is designed to help educators become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of children in foster care and children who have been adopted and to help foster and adoptive parents advocate for their school-age children.

The article explains how typical school assignments can turn into a source of distress and discomfort for foster or adopted children and offers alternative assignments that are more inclusive and have a broader scope. Alternatives are suggested for such assignments as "bring a baby picture to class," "complete your family tree," "tell your family history," and "create a timeline of your life." The importance of positive adoption language in the classroom also is emphasized.

Download the full article from the National Council For Adoption website:

www.adoptioncouncil.org/images/stories/NCFA_ADOPTION_ADVOCATE_NO27.pdf (663 KB)

 

Related Item

The Adoptive Families website offers a number of adoption-related resources for the classroom that can help parents, teachers, and students better understand adoption:

www.adoptivefamilies.com/school/index.php

 

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3032


Advocating for an End to Corporal Punishment

Eliminating spanking as a means of disciplining children is the focus of Plain Talk About Spanking, a factsheet from Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE). Author Jordan Riak describes both the short-term physical and emotional damage that can be inflicted by spanking and the long-term consequences of physical punishment, including delinquency, truancy, drug abuse, domestic violence, and adult criminal behavior.

The factsheet, which is written in easy-to-understand language, also includes a section of frequently asked questions about spanking, advice from child experts on the topic, and suggestions for advocacy.

Originally published in 1992, the factsheet has recently been updated and made available online.

www.nospank.net/pt2010.pdf (801 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3035


Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth

For unaccompanied homeless youth who lack the support and guidance of an adult, the hope of attending college presents many struggles, such as how they will pay tuition and where will they reside when campus housing is closed. The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) has developed an issue brief to inform postsecondary educators and education administrators about the struggles of homeless youth and possible solutions that can help these youth achieve a college education.

This NCHE brief provides:

NCHE is funded by U.S. Department of Education Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs. The brief, Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth: Information for Colleges and Universities, is available on the NCHE website:

http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/higher_ed.pdf (620 KB)

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3034


Doris Duke Prevention Fellowship

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago are offering the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Doctoral students interested in careers in child maltreatment prevention are encouraged to apply for the fellowship program, which will provide $25,000 annually for up to 2 years. The application deadline is December 1, 2010. For more information, visit the Chapin Hall website:

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

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3033


Training and Conferences

Leadership Academy for Middle Managers

Nominations are being accepted for the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM), a national leadership development program of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, a service of the Children's Bureau. The goal of the LAMM is to enhance the leadership skills of child welfare middle managers who are developing and implementing a sustainable systems change initiative to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families in their State, region, Tribe, or metropolitan area.

Participants in the LAMM program will complete several pretraining assignments, attend a 5-day residential training program, and participate in posttraining peer networking activities. The training addresses topics such as:

States and Tribes are encouraged to nominate middle managers in significant leadership roles from public and Tribal child welfare systems and from private agencies contracting with the State to provide case management services. LAMM participants will be selected from all 10 Federal Regions, and the trainings will occur several times in locations across the country over the next 3 years.

Find more program and nomination information on the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute website:

[Editor's note: This link is no longer available.]

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3036


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through February 2011 include:

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

 

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

www.childwelfare.gov/calendar/index.cfm

Issue Date: November 2010
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=121&articleid=3037



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