Children's Bureau ExpressJune 2012 | Vol. 13, No. 5

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
ACYF recently issued an Information Memorandum highlighting its focus on promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and youth who experience trauma and receive child welfare services. This month's CBX features articles on strategies for and research on enhancing well-being.

  • T&TA Network Well-Being Workgroup
  • Trauma Victim Resiliency
  • State Measures of Child Well-Being
  • Enhancing Permanent Connections
  • Policies That Promote Well-Being
  • Supportive Housing and Child Welfare Outcomes
  • Program Integration to Improve Well-Being

News From the Children's Bureau
The newest article in our second Centennial Series focuses on the Children's Bureau's role in establishing juvenile court standards. We also highlight new application and eligibility criteria for waiver demonstration projects.

  • ACYF Issues Guidance on Well-Being
  • Centennial Series: The Children's Bureau and Juvenile Court Standards (1922–1932)
  • Children's Bureau Centennial Video
  • Tribe to Operate Child Welfare Services
  • Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Projects
  • New! From CB

Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
Read about a one-stop-shop resource center for child welfare professionals and agencies working with transitioning youth and other updates from the Children's Bureau's T&TA Network.

  • Solutions to Help Transitioning Youth
  • Court Measures of Well-Being
  • More Updates From the T&TA Network

Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
Site visit reports in this month's CBX highlight a comprehensive family assessment project in Alabama and diligent recruitment efforts in Missouri. We also provide information on new funding announcements.

  • Site Visit: Shifting Alabama's Assessment Focus to Safety
  • Site Visit: Missouri Extreme Recruitment
  • Funding Opportunity Announcements

Child Welfare Research
Child welfare news points to research on evidence-based treatments for traumatized youth and an intervention model for cases of chronic child neglect.

  • June Is National Reunification Month
  • Treatment Network for Traumatized Youth
  • Medicaid Managed Care Toolkit
  • Family Asset Builder

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Notifications Field Guide
  • New Issue of Judges' Page
  • Talking With Caring Adults
  • Well-Being Evaluation Tool

Resources

  • NRC for Healthy Marriage, Families
  • Behavioral Issues and Child Welfare
  • Mental Health Rights Tip Sheet
  • Updated Community Services Locator

Training and Conferences

  • Trauma-Informed Care Training
  • Honor Our Voices
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care

T&TA Network Well-Being Workgroup

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) recently released an Information Memorandum highlighting its focus on promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and youth who experience trauma and receive child welfare services. In light of this focus, the Children's Bureau established the Child, Youth, and Family Well-Being Workgroup within its Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network. 

The new workgroup, headed by Lisa D'Aunno, Project Director for the National Resource Center for In-Home Services, and John Levesque, Associate Director at the National Resource Center for Adoption, was established in the fall of 2012. It consists of representatives from across the T&TA Network's National Resource Centers and regional Implementation Centers, as well as from the National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (FRIENDS/CBCAP), the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, and the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health.

The workgroup was charged with ensuring that the Children's Bureau's T&TA Network and its consultants are current on the science, policy, practice, and systemic support of child welfare practice to enhance child, youth, and family well-being. This includes the integration of trauma-informed and trauma-focused practice. Additionally, the workgroup will make recommendations to the Bureau and collaborate to effectively accomplish the following:

The workgroup's vision is to ensure States, Tribes, Territories, and courts served by the Children's Bureau's T&TA Network receive high-quality T&TA that supports child, youth, and family well-being.

The first phase in accomplishing its mission is ensuring the T&TA Network and its consultants are knowledgeable about strategies to enhance well-being. "Making sure we're current and sharing our resources is step one," D'Aunno said. The group is currently conducting an inventory of resources and literature on well-being and using an online portal to share those resources within the Network. The goal is to make them available to the field through Implementation Center websites and the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

D'Aunno and Levesque stressed that integration will play a key role in how the Network provides T&TA to States. "It's important that we focus on integrating these concepts into the work States are already doing around safety and permanency. We need to infuse it into their work to improve interventions for foster care, bring children faster to permanency and ensuring that permanency sticks, and work on relationships to help parents keep kids safe to keep more kids at home."

The workgroup offers the T&TA Network an opportunity to work with States on issues spanning the child welfare continuum and provide shared access to a wide variety of expertise. "Our job will be to reach out proactively to the States and collaborate within the Network so States don't have to talk to 10 different centers. Part of our next decision-making process will be to start developing strategies or proposals to make those tasks easier for States," D'Aunno said.

She added that the workgroup hopes to build the Network's capacity to contribute to the development of new knowledge. "As we work, it will be obvious where the gaps are, and we'll point to those in our recommendations to the Children's Bureau. These might include recommendations about ways States or grantees build new evaluations or child and family well-being measurements into their work."

As for next steps, Levesque said the group continues to evolve. "The participation by members in these early stages has been amazing. We expect to be working into the next fiscal year, and providing recurrent 90-day reports to the Children's Bureau. We're gearing up to be responsive to the Bureau's and ACYF's enhanced focus on well-being, by delivering T&TA  to the States, Territories, and Tribes that represents the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of child welfare."

For information, please feel free to contact John Levesque at jlevesq7@maine.rr.com or Lisa D’Aunno at lisa-daunno@uiowa.edu.

Special thanks to Lisa D'Aunno, Project Director for the National Resource Center for In-Home Services, and John Levesque, Associate Director at the National Resource Center for Adoption, for providing information for this article.

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3534


Trauma Victim Resiliency

A recent study explored the positive influences, both internal and external, that individuals relied on to overcome childhood trauma. The study focused on 22 participants, 16 females and 6 males, varying in age (18 to 60) and ethnicity (73 percent Caucasian, 27 percent Black/African American). All had a history of childhood trauma and defined themselves as having successfully dealt with their trauma. Abuse included any type of abuse, occurring once or multiple times, in addition to having witnessed violence between adults in the home or having been neglected by caregivers.

The qualitative study used unstructured, open-ended interviews that allowed participants to tell their stories "in their own voices," and many of their anecdotal responses are included in the final report. They were asked to discuss two topics: (1) any traumatic experiences that occurred during their childhood and (2) the types of positive influences that helped them overcome these experiences.

Participants described a variety of traumatic experiences, the most frequent of which was sexual abuse, usually by a family member (45 percent of participants). Thirty-six percent of participants recall witnessing violence in the home, and they revealed that this often involved adults who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Over one-third of participants reported experiencing physical abuse, such as being spanked with a belt, and/or psychological abuse that resulted in feelings of low self-esteem. Abandonment by one or both parents was also expressed by one-quarter of participants.

As participants discussed their resilience to childhood trauma, five recurring themes emerged:

In Their Own Voices: Trauma Survivors' Experiences in Overcoming Childhood Trauma, by Jennifer Ann Morrow, Sharon Clayman, and Bonnie McDonagh, is available on the Sage Open journals website:

http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/02/28/2158244012440002.full

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3536


State Measures of Child Well-Being

A recent State-by-State comparison of measures of child well-being showed enormous variation across States and a picture of child well-being that differs from that found in national studies. In this report published by the Foundation for Child Development (FCD), authors William P. O'Hare, Mark Mather, and Genevieve Dupuis combined data from the KIDS COUNT Project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation with the methodology developed for FCD's Child Well-Being Index (CWI). The CWI has been produced every year since 2004 but only for the country as a whole, not for individual States.

The study used a broad quality-of-life measure based on 25 indicators of children's well-being to examine changes in child well-being from 2003 to 2007. The 25 indicators were clustered into seven domains including family economic well-being, health, safe/risky behavior, education attainment, community engagement, social relationships, and emotional/spiritual well-being. The authors set out to answer the following questions:

  1. Which States have the best child well-being?
  2. Which States performed best on each of the seven domains?
  3. Which States improved children's well-being the most from 2003 to 2007?
  4. What demographic factors, economic conditions, and public policies are associated with the States that exhibit higher levels of child well-being?

The analysis revealed drastic variation across States, indicating that a national landscape reveals very little about actual child well-being in the States. However, the data did denote a geographic pattern in which States in the South and Southwest show low rates of overall child well-being and States in the Northeast and Upper Midwest show higher rates of child well-being. No State ranked in the bottom 10 and no State ranked in the top 10 across all seven domains.

Findings included the following:

The implications of these findings for Federal support of children's programs also are discussed in the report.

Analyzing State Differences in Child Well-Being was funded by the FCD and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It is available on the FCD website:

http://fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/Analyzing%20State%20Differences%20in%20Child%20Well-Being_0.pdf  (2 MB)


 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3538


Enhancing Permanent Connections

A four-part series in the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY) newsletter, The Exchange, focuses on improving outcomes for homeless and runaway youth. The issues feature a variety of programs that help achieve and enhance well-being, permanent connections, safety, and self-sufficiency for this vulnerable population.

The first issue in the series, "Focusing on Outcomes for Youth: Well-Being," provides examples of what some organizations are doing to improve the well-being of the homeless and runaway youth in their communities. The issue features The Crib, a low-threshold shelter in Chicago, IL, that provides access to caring adults, family-style meals that foster discussion and peer interaction, and a structured environment that includes chores.

Low-threshold refers to the few requirements for admittance. The Crib does not require a referral or identification. The 20-bed shelter, which is open only at night, serves youth ages 18–24 and meets an important need. The Crib provided shelter to 59 youth and turned away 141 youth in its first month of operation.

This issue of The Exchange also highlights a one-stop-shop health clinic in Minneapolis, MN, that strives to improve well-being by increasing youth's access to health care, and it includes an article on programs that use art therapy to help youth cope with traumatic experiences.

The second issue, "Focusing on Outcomes for Youth: Permanent Connections," highlights programs that aim to achieve and strengthen permanent connections for youth. The article features Boys & Girls Aid, a 126-year-old youth-serving organization in Portland, OR. The organization offers an emergency shelter and transitional living programs, both focused on increasing permanency and achieving permanent connections. When youth enter either program, staff assess their location on the "spectrum of permanency" by evaluating the number of family and friends with whom they interact and the regularity and quality of those interactions. The needs assessment provides staff with a starting point for devising a plan to help youth develop and/or rekindle a relationship with at least one caring adult with whom they can have a lifelong connection.

The issue also features a program in Tucson, AZ, that allows young homeless couples to live together with their children instead of separating families.

The two issues focused on safety and self-sufficiency are forthcoming. Read "Focusing on Outcomes for Youth: Well-Being" and "Focusing on Outcomes for Youth: Permanent Connections" on the NCFY website:

http://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/tools/exchange

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3537


Policies That Promote Well-Being

Policymakers at the State level can promote well-being in children and families through legislation and policies that prevent and address social, emotional, and behavioral health disorders. A recent paper from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) offers research-informed, results-based policy strategies that can help States evaluate their data on children's well-being and then implement evidence-based strategies to address problems. The paper, Promoting Children's Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health, also offers State examples that illustrate how different jurisdictions have addressed child well-being.

The paper notes three factors associated with children's poor social, emotional, and behavioral health: poverty, trauma, and inadequate treatment. Research also points to two factors associated with good mental health: reaching developmental milestones and having a supportive family. These factors help to drive the strategies that policymakers can use to improve child well-being.

The paper urges States to review their data on children with social, emotional, and behavioral health problems, note trends, compare the data to those of other States and the nation as a whole, and then set targets for improvement. Three evidence-based strategies are described for improving child well-being:

The paper also discusses how to implement the strategies so that they are effective and sustainable, and it outlines ways to monitor and evaluate program results. Financing options are outlined, including Federal monies and public-private partnerships.

Access Promoting Children's Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health on the Policy for Results section of the CSSP website:

http://www.cssp.org/policy/papers/Promote-Childrens-Social-Emotional-and-Behavioral-Health.pdf (236 KB)

The Policy for Results web section includes supplementary material on this topic:

http://www.policyforresults.org/topics/policy-areas/children-are-healthy/promote-childrens-seb-health/seb-health/executive-summary
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3535


Supportive Housing and Child Welfare Outcomes

The provision of concrete services, such as housing, can have a positive impact on child welfare outcomes. A new publication by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) highlights results from a longitudinal study in Minnesota evaluating the role of supportive housing on homeless children's well-being, specifically, educational and child welfare outcomes.

Emergency and transitional housing programs often provide temporary housing solutions. Supportive housing programs, however, serve families with long histories of homelessness and provide other social services to help families move toward subsidized or unsubsidized permanent housing.

The authors set out to answer the following questions:

  1. Does receipt of supportive housing services affect children's school attendance rates, school mobility, academic achievement, and rates of Individualized Education Plans (IEP)?
  2. Does receipt of supportive housing services reduce child protection involvement over time?
  3. Do outcomes of children receiving supportive housing services change at significantly different rates than their homeless peers?

Four supportive housing cohorts included students in grades 3–6 (one grade per cohort) receiving services from September 2006 to August 2007. They were tracked for 3 years (ending in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 during the 2008–2009 school year) and evaluated across five indicators: school mobility, school attendance, performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II (MCA-II) test, existence of an IEP, and involvement with child protective services.

Hearth Connection—a nonprofit organization that provides supportive housing services to families with long histories of homelessness—and the Minnesota Departments of Education and Human Services provided data for the study.

Findings included the following:

The Role of Supportive Housing in Homeless Children's Well-Being: An Investigation of Child Welfare and Educational Outcomes, by Saahoon Hong and Kristine N. Piescher, is available on the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare website:

http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/cascw/attributes/PDF/minnlink/Report_No11.pdf (2 MB)
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3540


Program Integration to Improve Well-Being

Strategies for increasing collaboration among the many Federal, State, and federally funded agencies tasked with promoting and protecting child well-being is the focus of a new report funded by First Focus, the Nemours Foundation, the California Endowment, and Voices for America's Children. The authors explore a number of administrative approaches and strategies that can increase the level of partnership across agencies by improving the design, implementation, and evaluation of children's programs.

The paper, Improving Children's Health and Well-being by Integrating Children's Programs, references the cooperative requirement among Federal and State agencies for new child- and family-serving programs created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). An appendix of these ACA-mandated children's programs is included at the end of the report.

The paper also is based on information gathered from the Children's Outcomes Project (COP), a learning community comprised of State- and community-based teams and national program and policy experts that work to improve child health and well-being. COP is heavily invested in bringing about innovative policy changes resulting from multisector initiatives.

The authors make recommendations for agencies in the area of program design and applications:

The authors also recommend more coordinated Federal approaches.

Improving Children's Health and Well-being by Integrating Children's Programs was authored and presented by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and is available on the First Focus website:

http://www.firstfocus.net/sites/default/files/Improving%20Children%27s%20Health%20and%20Well-being%20by%20Integrating%20Children%27s%20Programs_Final%20Report.pdf (743 KB)

 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Spotlight on Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Care
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3539


News From the Children's Bureau

ACYF Issues Guidance on Well-Being

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) is promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and youth who have experienced maltreatment and trauma and are receiving child welfare services. To focus on social and emotional well-being is to attend to children's behavioral, emotional, and social functioning—those skills, capacities, and characteristics that enable young people to understand and navigate their world in healthy, positive ways. This approach can significantly improve outcomes for children while they receive child welfare services and after their cases have closed.

ACYF recently released the Information Memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-12-04) Promoting Social and Emotional Well-Being for Children and Youth Receiving Child Welfare Services. The IM provides guidance to child welfare agencies looking to expand their capacity to make meaningful and measurable changes in social and emotional well-being for children who have experienced maltreatment, trauma, and/or exposure to violence. The document:


The Information Memorandum is available on the Children's Bureau website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/2012/im1204.pdf (149 KB)

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3528


Centennial Series: The Children's Bureau and Juvenile Court Standards (1922–1932)

This is the second article in our second Centennial Series, CB Decade-by-Decade. These articles will examine highlights from each decade of the Children's Bureau's first 100 years. The first Centennial Series addressed some of the social issues, practices, and policies that laid the groundwork for the creation of the Children's Bureau.

The juvenile justice system we know today operates on a foundation that grew from the early efforts of the Children's Bureau. After its creation in 1912, the Children's Bureau's immediate work focused on maternal and infant mortality; however, investigating and reporting on juvenile courts was also part of its legislative mandate. The first Children's Bureau Chief Julia Lathrop and other early chiefs fought for a system of standards that recognized America's children were developmentally different from adults and deserved a chance at rehabilitation and treatment in lieu of punishment.

The establishment of juvenile courts paralleled the creation and early years of the Children's Bureau, and both of these institutions reflected society's changing views of children. The first juvenile court was established in 1899 in Chicago, IL. Forty-five States had followed suit by 1920. These courts often addressed problems with domestic relations pertaining to children who had become dependent on the State due to parental death, desertion, or negligence. These new courts operated under the British concept of parens patriae (the State as parent), which maintains that childhood is a time deserving of public protection and care (Lindenmeyer, 1997).

Not all children ended up in juvenile court as a result of parents' death or desertion. Some children were brought before a judge with a criminal charge. Even then, a child's foray into crime was often attributed to poor home life. In 1918, the Children's Bureau released the report Juvenile Delinquency in Certain Countries at War: A Brief Review of Available Foreign Sources. The report highlighted anecdotal evidence of increased rates of juvenile delinquency in England, Germany, France, Italy, and other countries during World War I (Lathrop, 1918). It was argued that the increase was the result of fathers sent to the frontlines, mothers working outside the home, and overcrowded schools. Juvenile delinquency was a social issue, not a criminal one.

Despite the growing number of juvenile courts, there were no uniform standards for jurisdiction or practices. Fourteen States passed juvenile court laws that extended to children 16 and younger; 13 States extended jurisdiction through age 17; and 17 States to children 18 years of age (Lindenmeyer, 1997). To gain a better understanding of current practices, the Children's Bureau, with support from the National Probation Association, conducted the first nationwide survey of juvenile courts. The study asserted that the classification of juvenile court was reserved for those that had the following (Rosenthal, 1986):

  1. Hearings for children that were separate from hearings for adults
  2. A chancery procedure rather than a criminal procedure
  3. Regular probation services for investigation and supervision
  4. Separate detention for juveniles
  5. A system for recording information on case records
  6. Provisions for conducting physical and mental examinations

The survey was sent to 2,391 courts, and all but 300 responded; however, the responses were underwhelming. Just 45 percent of courts had adopted provisions for probation, and less than half of these had full-time probation officers. Only 23 judges nationwide reported spending all of their time on juvenile court cases (Rosenthal, 1986). The results drove the Children's Bureau to conduct more studies that would set the stage for the development of uniform standards for juvenile courts. One such study—the results of which were published in 1925 in the report Juvenile Courts at Work A Study of the Organization and Methods of Ten Courts—examined 10 juvenile courts in different areas of the country that served populations between 100,000 and 1 million.

Julia Lathrop—who established the precedent of consulting with experts in the field—promoted articles written by juvenile justice experts. Charles Chute from the National Probation Association authored Probation in Children's Courts: A Monograph Prepared for the Children's Bureau, in which he wrote, "Society is at last beginning to see that there should be substituted for its system of prosecution, trial, and punishment—ineffectual to either prevent crime or cure the criminal—a system of investigation, diagnosis, and treatment, such has now been adopted, in theory and at least partially in practice, in the children's courts" (Chute, 1921).

The Children's Bureau and the National Probation Association held a national conference on juvenile court standards in June 1921 where Lathrop appointed a committee charged with generating standards for the courts. After 2 years and input from judges, probation officers, child welfare workers, and others, the committee submitted its final report in May 1923, and the standards were adopted. They mirrored the six requirements set forth in the early survey, in addition to outlining provisions regarding custody decisions, adoption cases, violations of school attendance, determination of paternity and child support, and other issues (Davis & Abbott, 1923). Based on these standards, the National Probation Association formed a committee that drafted a standard juvenile court law, which was approved at the 18th annual conference in 1924.

In 1926, the Children's Bureau began collecting nationwide juvenile court statistics and publishing annual reports on its findings. From 1913 to 1930, the Children's Bureau published 49 studies on juvenile delinquency and dependent children. The Children's Bureau's rigorous evaluation methods and insistence upon child protection in lieu of child punishment created a foundation on which the juvenile justice system stands today (Lindenmeyer, 1997; Rosenthal, 1986). 

References
Chute, C. (1921). Probation in children's courts: Monograph prepared for the Children's Bureau. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.mchlibrary.info/history/chbu/21390.pdf (1.7 MB)

Davis, J., & Abbott, G. (1923). Juvenile-court standards: Report of the committee appointed by the Children's Bureau, August, 1921, to formulate juvenile-court standards. Adopted by a conference held under the auspices of the Children's Bureau and the National Probation Association. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.mchlibrary.info/history/chbu/20531-1923.PDF (804 KB)

Lathrop, J. (1918). Juvenile delinquency in certain countries at war: A brief review of available foreign sources. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=xx7httNcTU0C&printsec=titlepage#v=onepage&q&f=false

Lindenmeyer, K. (1997). A right to childhood: The U.S. Children's Bureau and child welfare, 1912-46. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Rosenthal, M. (1986). The Children's Bureau and the Juvenile Court: Delinquency Policy, 1912–1940. Social Service Review, 60(2) pp. 303–318. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30012344

 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3529


Children's Bureau Centennial Video

As part of its yearlong centennial celebration, the Children's Bureau released a commemorative video honoring its rich history of protecting children and strengthening families. The new video, The Children's Bureau, 1912–2012: A Passionate Commitment. A Legacy of Leadership, features current Bureau staff speaking passionately about their commitment to the Children's Bureau's mission and how that passion translates into better outcomes for children, families, and communities. The video also highlights some of the important work of the Bureau throughout its 100-year history.

The video is available on the Children's Bureau's centennial website:

https://cb100.acf.hhs.gov/videos/cb_video

In addition to the centennial video, the first in the four-part historical webinar series about the Children's Bureau's programs and activities is available on the centennial website. "The Story of the Children’s Bureau, The Early Years: 1912–1937" featured the first 25 years of CB's work to reduce maternal and child deaths, improve maternal and child health, eradicate child labor, and offer relief from Depression-era conditions.

The webinar, transcript, and presentation slides are available on the centennial website:

https://cb100.acf.hhs.gov/webinars


Issue Date: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3531


Tribe to Operate Child Welfare Services

The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe in Washington recently became the first Tribe in the nation allowed under new Federal rules to operate its own foster care, adoption, and other child welfare services. This shift in control over child welfare services is a result of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.

Prior to the passage of Fostering Connections, States made decisions regarding guardianship. Fostering Connections gave Tribes the right to apply for child welfare funding directly from the Federal Government through title IV-E of the Social Security Act and manage their own child welfare services.
Now, the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe can evaluate child abuse and neglect reports and operate its own foster care, adoption assistance, child support, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families programs. The Tribe also plans to develop, in partnership with the State of Washington, a Medicaid and food benefits eligibility pilot program for Tribal members in Kitsap County.

For more information, read the Tribe's press release:

http://www.pgst.nsn.us/images/Title_IV-E_release.pdf (72 KB)

Related Items

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3532


Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Projects

The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-34), signed into law by the President on September 30, 2011, renewed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) authority to approve demonstration projects designed to test innovative strategies in child welfare programs. HHS has the authority to approve up to 10 new child welfare waiver demonstration projects in each of the fiscal years 2012-2014.

New application and eligibility criteria, as outlined in the law, are as follows:

To be approved to conduct a demonstration project, the title IV-E agency must implement at least two "child welfare program improvement policies" within 3 years of the application. One of the program improvement policies may have been implemented prior to the submission of the application, but at least one policy must be new. The policies are listed in statute and include, but are not limited to, extending title IV-E assistance up to age 21, electing to operate a title IV-E guardianship assistance program, establishing a child welfare bill of rights for children in foster care, and implementing plans for meeting the comprehensive health and mental health care needs of children in foster care through such means as ensuring that the child has a medical home and regular wellness medical visits, and when appropriate, addressing the issue of trauma.

Guidance for title IV-E agencies interested in submitting a proposal for a demonstration waiver was released via an Information Memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-12-05 2) on May 14, 2012, which is available on the Children's Bureau's website: 

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/2012/im1205.pdf (490 KB)

Areas of priority for Waiver Demonstrations include:

Other recently released Information Memoranda that may inform the priorities include:
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3530


New! From CB

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: June 2012
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3533


Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates

Solutions to Help Transitioning Youth

The National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) hosts a one-stop-shop resource center for child welfare professionals and agencies working with transitioning youth. The Solutions Desk website provides practice models, reports, statistics and the latest research about transitioning youth, and a bevy of resources to enhance collaboration. Funded by the Children's Bureau, Solutions Desk is a service of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), a 12-agency consortium.

The Solutions Desk's Collaborative Models Library features materials used to develop a multipartner collaborative, including sample mission statements, collaboration plans, and implementation benchmarks; tools for youth and community assessment; resources for collaborative youth service-delivery systems; State and Federal grant applications; and more.

The Community of Practice section provides materials to enhance collaboration and information sharing. To bolster these efforts, the Solutions Desk hosts monthly Community of Practice calls where participants discuss and share strategies and other information to enhance service delivery. 

Child welfare professionals looking for the latest information on issues involving transitioning youth can consult the Transitioning Youth section. Research is also available on court-involved youth, youth at risk of court involvement, Native American youth, youth with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, transgendered, and questioning youth population.

Strategies for building and sustaining partnerships, a list of relevant blogs and discussion forums on youth workforce connections, and a link to the National Association of Counsel for Children are available in the Resources section of the Solutions Desk.

The Solutions Desk is facilitated and coordinated by the National Resource Center for Youth Development, a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau, and is available on the NRCYD website:

www.nrcys.ou.edu/yd/solutionsdesk

Related Item
CBX featured the Solutions Desk after it launched in 2008. Read "The Shared Youth Vision: Collaboration at All Levels."
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3541


Court Measures of Well-Being

The National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues (NRCLJI) has been working with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to propose measures that courts can use to assess well-being outcomes for children and youth in foster care. Some of the collaboration's early work focused on measures of education well-being outcomes and, more recently, the group released proposed measures of physical and emotional well-being outcomes.

In May, the NRCLJI and the NCSC held an interactive webcast to discuss the proposed measures. Gene Flango and Nora Sydow of the NCSC provided the introduction to the discussion. Panel members included Eva Klain, Director, Child and Adolescent Health at American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law; the Hon. Robert Hoffmann, Associate Judge, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, Mason County, TX; and Sandra Moore, Administrator, Office of Children and Families in the Court, Pennsylvania. David Kelly of the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was the moderator.

An audience of judges, court improvement staff, court administrators, child welfare administrators, and medical and mental health practitioners participated in the discussion of the 18 proposed outcome measures for physical and emotional well-being. These measures included health screenings, mental health evaluations, preventive health care and immunizations, sibling placement and visitation, parent visitation, and transition planning for youth aging out of care.

A complete list of the proposed outcome measures is available on the State Justice Institute website:

http://www.icmelearning.com/well-being-event/docs/Well-Being-Measures.pdf  (215 KB)

A paper on the topic, Court Performance Measures for Children, produced by the NRCLJI and the NCSC is also available:

http://icmelearning.com/well-being-event/docs/Well-Being-Measures-Courts-Children.pdf (446 KB)

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3542


More 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 2012
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3543


Children's Bureau Grantee Updates

Site Visit: Shifting Alabama's Assessment Focus to Safety

Through a 5-year Children's Bureau discretionary grant funded in 2007, Alabama's Department of Human Resources (ADHR) is implementing a family-centered comprehensive assessment process (CAP) aimed at shifting case planning from incident-driven to safety-focused. The structured intervention process in three pilot counties includes four objectives:

The three pilot counties—Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile—represent varied populations and different socioeconomic and cultural issues and challenges. Baldwin County, considered one of the fastest growing counties in the State, has high rates of substance abuse, particularly crystal meth. Mobile County, Alabama's second largest county, experiences common urban issues such as violence, crime, and homelessness. Rural Escambia County is home to the State's only federally recognized Tribe and contends with a lack of resources and services.

The CAP  process is composed of four evaluation stages:

The State's new Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) and CAP were rolled out simultaneously—each using different terminology, definitions, and decision-making criteria—which proved to be a significant barrier in the pilot program. Additionally, worker turnover and budget constraints that prevented new hires were also challenges.

Keys to success included:

A comprehensive evaluation of the CAP project is planned that will include comparisons to outcomes in three matched counties where standard comprehensive family assessment and individualized service plan practices were implemented. Other evaluation components will include focus groups, surveys, and interviews.

For more information about this project, contact Sue Ash, Child Protection Services Program Manager, at sue.ash@dhr.alabama.gov.

The full site visit report will be posted on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/familyassessments.cfm  

The Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Process is funded by the Children's Bureau (Award 90CA1751). 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: June 2012
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3544


Site Visit: Missouri Extreme Recruitment

In March 2008, the Missouri Children's Division (MCD) noted that the teen adoption program in St. Louis seemed to take an extremely long time to achieve permanency for youth in care. MCD realized that the typical efforts to find family members led to instability in the family. Due to these concerns, a coalition of partners developed an initiative to increase adoption, permanency, and reconnections. The Children's Bureau awarded a grant to the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition (FACC), Children's Home Services, and the Adoption Exchange to deliver direct service through the Extreme Recruitment grant with the assistance of several other partnering organizations. The resulting Extreme Recruitment project is a collaborative effort among agencies to increase adoption, permanency, and reconnection.

Extreme Recruitment (ER) is a 12- to 20-week individualized recruitment effort that includes preparing youth for permanency; conducting a diligent search to reconnect youth with kin; and achieving permanency through concurrent general, targeted, and child-specific recruitment. It consists of public and private partnerships, including MCD staff, contracted case management agencies, and contracted providers of foster/adopt training and postpermanency support services. The grant includes components such as providing services to unite the family, supporting the family as a whole unit, working with parents to understand and address behaviors and cope with stress, establishing a sense of unity among family members, and allowing families to feel a sense of community and comfort.

The program adheres to the following 10 principles in its diligent recruitment efforts:

  1. No linear thinking. We try ALL recruitment tools at once. General recruitment is reactive; Extreme Recruitment is proactive.
  2. Get out from behind the desk! Diligent search is done in the field, talking to relatives. It is not done in front of a computer.
  3. Don't take "no" for an answer. Teenagers may say that they don't want to be adopted. Although they may not want to be adopted by a stranger, they DO want to be reconnected with their biological family. Youth never stop longing to get back to their birth families.
  4. The number of strangers we can recruit is finite; the number of relatives we can recruit is infinite. The average American has 300 living relatives.
  5. Biological family members are more likely to adopt kids with the toughest challenges. Family may have an advantage by already knowing the youth’s history and needs.
  6. Weekly meetings are necessary. Too much happens with Extreme Recruitment from week to week. If not, then the team is not trying hard enough.
  7. Consensus drives Extreme Recruitment, not 100 percent agreement. Hear everyone's viewpoint. If unanimous agreement is not reachable, go with the majority.
  8. Pay attention to educational issues. The youth and the preadoptive family have enough on their plates. Get the youth's educational concerns taken care of BEFORE the child is placed.
  9. Build trust with the family. The youth's biological family has suffered incredible loss and grief. Honor it. Apologize to the family for the hurt that the child welfare system has caused.
  10. It's not just about permanency; it's about identity. Long-term foster care strips youth of their identity. Extreme Recruitment gives it back.

For more information about this project, contact Sally Howard, Program Manager, Missouri Alliance of Children’s Agencies, at sally@e-mcca.org, or visit the grantee's page on the AdoptUSKids website:

http://www.adoptuskids.org/about-us/diligent-recruitment-grantees/extreme-recruitment

The full site visit report will be posted on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/families.cfm 

The Missouri Extreme Recruitment Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition is funded by the Children's Bureau (Award #: 90-CO-10391). 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: June 2012
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3545


Funding Opportunity Announcements

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families announced new funding opportunity announcements (FOA) for FY 2012.

Information about planned FY 2012 FOAs is now available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants Forecast website:

https://extranet.acf.hhs.gov/hhsgrantsforecast

Please check the forecast site regularly, as forecasts are subject to change.

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3547


Child Welfare Research

June Is National Reunification Month

June 2012 marks the third annual National Reunification Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of reuniting children and families after experiencing foster care. It is also a time to celebrate the professionals that help make reunification possible. National Reunification Month is sponsored by the American Bar Association's (ABA's) Center on Children and the Law.

Celebrations will take place throughout the month of June across the country, with most events occurring on Father's Day, June 17, 2012.

As part of the celebration and in acknowledgement of the work done by children, families, and the professionals that serve them, ABA is asking for nominations of Reunification Heroes. Nominations can include parents, professionals, or youth who made heroic reunification efforts. Nominees' stories will be published on the Center on Children and the Law website. Submit a nomination here:

https://abanet.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6WEauYfafST9M8s

The National Reunification Month website provides several resources to help communities plan and promote their celebrations, including a sample event planning timeline, sample media outreach materials, sample proclamations, highlights from the 2011 National Reunification Month, and more.

National Reunification Month is being promoted by a number of national organizations, including the National Association of Counsel for Children, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Casey Family Programs, Rise Magazine, the National Center for State Courts, and the American Humane Association. 

For more information and to register a community National Reunification Month celebration, visit ABA's Center for Children and the Law:

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/child_law/what_we_do/projects/nrd.html

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3549


Treatment Network for Traumatized Youth

North Dakota's efforts to create a statewide network of treatment providers for traumatized youth are described in a recent article published in Behaviour Research and Therapy. A coalition of universities, research institutes, and State and community-level mental health agencies formed the Treatment Collaborative for Traumatized Youth (TCTY) in 2006 after they determined that North Dakota's abused and neglected children were not receiving adequate evidence-based treatments to reduce the impact of the psychological trauma they experienced. The TCTY also aimed to remedy the fact that the State did not have a central organization to coordinate mental health services for traumatized children and youth.

Contributors to the TCTY set out to identify appropriate child-focused, evidence-based trauma therapy, develop a system to efficiently disseminate treatment options to clinicians, and monitor outcomes for children and youth receiving treatment. The TCTY's structure was based on the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's "learning collaborative" model, in which one coordinating center oversees collaboration between academic centers that design and disseminate evidence-based treatments and State and community organizations that provide mental health services to children and their families.

TCTY researchers implemented two evidence-based treatment models: Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). The TCTY organized its efforts to implement these treatment models statewide in several phases, including:

The authors of the article identified certain areas in which the TCTY experienced difficulties, particularly data collection problems due to insufficient time and resources of clinical staff to input data as well as children dropping out of the program or being inaccessible due to frequent moves. Despite these setbacks, the TCTY has shown promising results, having trained 100 clinicians and treated nearly 600 children. To support continuous improvement, the TCTY now holds an annual training conference for clinicians and others involved in children's treatment and has developed a web-based system for treatment providers to more easily input data. North Dakota's Department of Human Services has entered into a more formal partnership with the TCTY to expand its dissemination of evidence-based treatments, including offering training to child protection workers and foster parents to better understand traumatized children's treatment needs.

"Evidence-Based Mental Health Interventions for Traumatized Youth: A Statewide Dissemination Project" was written by S. A. Wonderlich et al. and was published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 2011. It is available on the ScienceDirect website: 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796711001367

 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3548


Medicaid Managed Care Toolkit

A new toolkit published by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)—Improving Outcomes for Children in Child Welfare: A Medicaid Managed Care Toolkit—offers States and communities strategies for improving collaboration between child welfare agencies and Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). Because children involved with child welfare experience more physical, emotional, and behavioral health conditions than the general population and have higher health care utilization rates, the toolkit addresses ways to improve child health outcomes through better access to and appropriate use of Medicaid services. Many professionals will find the information in the toolkit timely and relevant—not only do a majority of States offer Medicaid to children in child welfare, but more are likely to do so as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 extends health care coverage to former foster youth up to age 26.

The toolkit is based on the experiences of nine MCOs that participated in a CHCS Quality Improvement Collaborative funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Through the collaborative, the MCOs assessed child health care systems, then developed and implemented plans to improve coordination and services primarily for children in foster care and those with subsidized adoptions, serving 71,000 children overall. The toolkit contains lessons learned in the following areas:

The toolkit identified several key "takeaways" for implementing a plan to improve Medicaid services for children in child welfare, such as fostering professional partnerships at all organizational levels, setting clear roles and responsibilities of partners, and reliably gathering and analyzing data in order to support continuous improvement. Because all the MCOs involved with the collaborative saw improvements in the health of children in child welfare, even in relatively short timeframes, the toolkit concludes by encouraging all States and communities to consider developing and implementing plans to improve outcomes for the children they serve.

The toolkit was written by K. D. Allen, S. A. Pires, and R. Mahadevan, and was edited by S. Chazin and A. Baruchin; it is available to download on the CHCS website:

http://www.chcs.org/usr_doc/Child_Welfare_Quality_Improvement_Collaborative_Toolkit.pdf (2 MB)
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3550


Family Asset Builder

In 2009, Casey Family Programs (Casey) and the American Humane Association (AHA) partnered to develop a new intervention model for cases of chronic child neglect. The model, called the Family Asset Builder (FAB), was implemented in two Minnesota counties in February of 2011. It is a strengths-based, solution-focused approach that calls for chronic neglect workers with small caseloads to maintain frequent and consistent contact with affected families over an 18-month period. Casey recently published a report that summarizes the results from the second phase of the initiative's evaluation. 

The report describes the successes and challenges from the first 9 months of the intervention from the perspective of the staff that were involved with the implementation. The second phase of the evaluation specifically used indepth interviews with the FAB workers and notes from monthly consultation calls. In contrast, the first phase focused on staff training, and the final phase will involve obtaining feedback from the parents who received the intervention.

The workers reported some perceived challenges to the implementation of the program, including concerns over slow referral rates, narrow eligibility criteria, program components overlapping with existing practice, and the need for more concrete tools, specific strategies, and training opportunities to enhance the model. The workers also noted many perceived successes. For instance, the model:

Practitioners are using the findings from the evaluation to further inform the development and improvement of the model. The eventual goal is to share the updated model with the field. 

The full report, An Evaluation of the Family Assessment Builder:  A Child Protective Services Intervention for Addressing Chronic Neglect:  Phase II Evaluation, is available on the Casey Family Program's website:

http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/FamilyAssetBuilder2_FR.pdf (1 MB)

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3551


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Notifications Field Guide

A new field guide from the State of Alaska Health and Social Services, Office of Children's Services (OCS), outlines the processes and activities required for notifications of an intent to change placement or a change of  placement of children in foster care. The processes are intended to ensure that child welfare staff deliver timely and accurate notifications to legal parties involved in child welfare cases.

The 17-page guide includes a visual process map—with detailed steps—and activity sheets. Key definitions and frequently asked questions are also presented.

Field Guide: A Visual Process Guide for Noticing: Intent to Change Placement and Change of Placement, by Christy Lawton, is available on the OCS website:

http://www.hss.state.ak.us/ocs/Publications/pdf/fieldguide.pdf (717 KB)

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3554


New Issue of Judges' Page

The most recent statistics indicate that approximately half of the children entering foster care are younger than age 5. As a result, State court judges increasingly are called upon to make decisions for the safety, permanency, and well-being of these particularly vulnerable children. The latest issue of the newsletter The Judges' Page presents an array of articles and resources to support judges who work with the families of babies, toddlers, and young children involved in dependency court proceedings.

For this issue, Lucy Hudson, director of the Safe Babies Court Teams Project at ZERO TO THREE, collected 18 articles written by judges, professors, psychologists, parents, and others. Some of the articles feature the work of State and local courts, including:

Other articles address issues that can be factors in dependency cases, including the value of understanding the developmental needs of infant and toddlers, the impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or childhood sexual abuse on child and family functioning, and the need to understand the cultural context of court-involved families, particularly African-American and Native American families.

The Judges' Page newsletter is published by the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. This issue is available on the National CASA Association's website:

http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.7997865/k.E675/March_2012.htm

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3553


Talking With Caring Adults

The California Department of Social Services has created two conversation guides to accompany a series of four videos about aging out of the foster care system: Talking With Caring Adults: A Conversation Guide for Foster Youth and Talking With Emerging Adults: A Conversation Guide for Caregivers, Social Workers, Probation Officers, Attorneys and CASAs. The videos and guides are a part of the After 18 campaign, aimed at explaining new Fostering Connections legislation to youth in foster care who are about to turn 18 and may age out of the foster care system.

In 2010, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act was signed in to law, allowing foster youth to remain in the system until the age of 20. This new law will allow foster youth to continue to receive support by giving them extra time to work on their education or employment goals and build relationships with trusting adults.

In order to help youth and their caregivers make informed decisions about options, the After 18 campaign created four videos to explain the new legislation and the choices that come with it. The four videos are titled Overview, Probation, Placement, and Eligibility and are available on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/After18CA/videos

After watching the videos, foster youth and their caregivers are encouraged to follow the talking points in the corresponding guides to help direct conversation toward important questions and topics prior to making any decisions.

Talking With Caring Adults: A Conversation Guide for Foster Youth is available on the FosteringConnections.org website:

http://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/Youth-GuideFINAL3-12.pdf (160 KB)

Talking With Emerging Adults: A Conversation Guide for Caregivers, Social Workers, Probation Officers, Attorneys and CASAs is also available on the FosteringConnections.org website:

http://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/CaregiverGuideFINAL3-12.pdf -(153 KB)
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3555


Well-Being Evaluation Tool

The New Mexico Court Improvement Project website provides a Well-Being Checklist as a part of its Child Protection Best Practices Bulletin series. The goal of the checklist is to stimulate conversation among those involved in a specific child welfare case and provide information that will benefit the well-being and overall health of the child.

The "Well-Being Checklist" is a set of questions intended for child welfare professionals and related professionals working with children and families, ranging from judges and other court staff to caseworkers or CASA volunteers. The bulletin explains how professionals in different roles can use the checklist to best benefit the child. Well-being is defined across seven parameters, and questions are provided for evaluating well-being within each category:

Download the Well-Being Checklist:

http://www.nmcourts.gov/CourtImprovement/best/best_practices_docs/well_being_checklists.pdf (288 KB)

The full list of Child Protection Best Practices Bulletins is available on the New Mexico Court Improvement Project website:

http://www.nmcourts.gov/CourtImprovement/best/index.php
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3552


Resources

NRC for Healthy Marriage, Families

A new resource center is promoting the value of integrating healthy marriage and relationship education skills with safety-net services to strengthen families.

The National Resource Center (NRC) for Healthy Marriage and Families is a service of the Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.

Safety-net services are those services provided by States, Tribes, localities, and social service agencies and include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child support, Head Start, child welfare services, and more. Families utilizing these services are often struggling to maintain or regain stability economically, emotionally, or socially. Integrating healthy relationship skills education with these social services benefits and strengthens children, youth, families, and communities.

The NRC's website offers professionals working with families an array of resources to facilitate program integration. The Virtual Resource Center and its library includes factsheets, handouts for families, research and statistics, practice briefs, curricula, and more. The NRC also offers  customized training and technical assistance that includes best practices, research, resource information, and experienced-based strategies for integrating services.

For more information, visit the National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families website:

https://healthymarriageandfamilies.org/home
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3559


Behavioral Issues and Child Welfare

A knowledge brief published by the Models for Change Initiative with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation explores how children with behavioral problems are served by the child welfare system. Researchers compared Washington State child welfare placement data with juvenile and adult arrest data. Analysis shows that youth who entered foster care because of behavioral problems—as opposed to youth who entered the system because of maltreatment—experienced more instability in care, were more often placed in group homes rather than with foster families, and were at an increased risk of arrest.

The authors discuss the implications for policy and practice and recommend increased collaboration between child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 

How Well Is the Child Welfare System Serving Youths with Behavioral Problems? is available on the Models for Change Initiative website:

http://www.modelsforchange.net/publications/318/Knowledge_Brief_How_Well_Is_the_Child_Welfare_System_Serving_Youths_with_Behavioral_Problems.pdf (446 KB)

 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3556


Mental Health Rights Tip Sheet

Transitions RTC, a project of the Center for Mental Health Services Research at the University of Massachusetts, has produced several informative tip sheets for youth. My Mental Health Rights on Campus aims to ease youth's fears about attending college with a mental health condition. My "Must Have" Papers provides youth with tips for obtaining and protecting important personal information.

College students with a mental health condition may be anxious about having to face potential stigmatization and discrimination on campus. My Mental Health Rights on Campus highlights some common areas of concern for college students struggling with a psychological or psychiatric disorder. Using a question-and-answer format to meet the specific information needs of this population, the guide explores the following topics:


The tip sheet also outlines available supports and services, including referrals to 24-hour telephone hotlines for crisis support counseling, as well as resources ranging from to mental health care to student run organizations.

My Mental Health Rights on Campus tip sheet is available on the University of Massachusetts Medical School website:

http://labs.umassmed.edu/transitionsRTC/Resources/publications/RightsonCampusTipSheet5.pdf (466 KB)  

My "Must Have" Papers uses a checklist format to help youth gather and file important personal records, including birth certificates, Social Security cards, education documents, medical information, and more. The tip sheet also provides youth with information about where to obtain these documents and which information should never be disclosed or shared.

My "Must Have" Papers is also available on the University of Massachusetts Medical School website:

http://labs.umassmed.edu/transitionsRTC/Resources/publications/PersonalInformationTipSheet.pdf (378 KB) 
 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3558


Updated Community Services Locator

The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University released a new edition of its Community Services Locator, an online directory of community service organizations geared toward helping children and families. The locator is composed of topical sections that include financial support, family support, and child care, and the locator includes national, State, and local resources. Professionals are encouraged to use the locator in conjunction with Where to Seek Help: A Bright Futures Referral Tool for Providers to create a custom resource directory.

Where to Seek Help: A Bright Futures Referral Tool for Providers can be found on Georgetown University's Bright Futures website:

http://www.brightfutures.org/tools/BFtoolsWhere.pdf   (197 KB)

A Spanish version is also available:

http://www.brightfutures.org/tools/BFtoolsWhere_SP.pdf (197 KB)

The Community Services Locator is available on the Maternal and Child Health Library’s website:

http://www.mchlibrary.info/KnowledgePaths/kp_community.html

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3557


Training and Conferences

Trauma-Informed Care Training

Oregon's Multnomah County posted materials from of its 2011 Trauma Informed Practice Training on the Oregon Judicial Department website.

The following presentations are available:

These presentations and the agenda from the December 2011 conference are available here:

http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OSCA/cpsd/courtimprovement/jcip/2011MultnomahTrauma.page

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3560


Honor Our Voices

The University of Minnesota's School of Social Work added a new online training module to its list of professional development resources. 

Honor Our Voices is presented by the Avon Foundation for Women, the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. It allows viewers to see and experience domestic violence through the eyes and voices of three children. The unique module aims to raise understanding of the effects of domestic violence on children. A downloadable guide for practice and a digital library of audio recordings of children's voices highlighting promising practices are also available.

Viewers who opt to take the quiz at the end of the module—and score an 80 percent or higher—are eligible for one continuing education credit at the cost of $15.

Honor Our Voices is available on the University of Minnesota School of Social Work website:

http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/cascw/PracResources/Modules/ModuleHome.asp

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3561


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through August 2012 include:

July 2012


August 2012


September 2012


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:

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


 

Issue Date: June 2012
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=136&articleid=3562



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

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


Contact us at cb_express@childwelfare.gov.

Return to the Children's Bureau Website.