Children's Bureau ExpressApril 2013 | Vol. 14, No. 3

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
As part of our Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CBX highlights a CBCAP grantee, the Maryland Family Network. We also present research on the science of neglect, new State legislation amending existing child maltreatment laws, and promising practices in child abuse prevention.

  • April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • Maryland Family Network
  • Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships
  • States Consider New Child Abuse Laws
  • The Science of Neglect
  • Promising Practices in Child Abuse Prevention

News From the Children's Bureau
In a special message, Joe Bock, Acting Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, gives his final thoughts on the Bureau's centennial year. We also feature a study on the economic well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth transitioning out of care and a report on the number of intercountry adoptions in 2012.

  • Children's Bureau Centennial Wrap-Up
  • ACF Evaluation Policy
  • Economic Well-Being of LGB Youth in Care
  • Annual Intercountry Adoption Report
  • New! From CB

Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
Updates from CB's T&TA Network this month include a new bulletin on chronic child neglect, a guide to help agencies implement a family-centered practice model, and a toolkit for child welfare professionals about the developmental and emotional importance of maintaining sibling relationships.

  • Bulletin on Chronic Child Neglect
  • NRCOI Practice Model Guide
  • Siblings in Foster Care Toolkit
  • More Updates From the T&TA Network

Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
Every spring, ACF recruits new grant reviewers. Find out how to become a grant reviewer, and read about a report examining whether an implementation science model would be effective for Federal child welfare programs.

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement
  • Apply to Be a Grant Reviewer
  • Implementation Science and CB Grantees

Child Welfare Research
CBX points to research on the causes of broken adoptions, funding reinvestment in child welfare, and health-care issues faced by youth transitioning out of foster care.

  • Finding Kin With Facebook
  • Study Explores Broken Adoptions
  • Funding Reinvestment in Child Welfare
  • Health-Care Issues for Transitioning Youth
  • Evaluating Trauma-Informed Care Training

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Implementing Evidence-Based Practice
  • Strengthening Families and QRIS Integration

Resources

  • Social Media Tips for Caregivers
  • Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice
  • Teen Guide to Adoption
  • Judges' Page Promotes Well-Being

Training and Conferences

  • Cultural Competence Training
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and promote activities aimed at protecting children and supporting families. This year's Prevention Month activities continue to reflect the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect's (OCAN's) June 2011 conference theme, Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: Network for Action.

The annual observation of Prevention Month includes the release of an updated resource guide, with the latest research, practices, and information centered on prevention. Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action: 2013 Resource Guide continues to include the six protective factors that can help families safeguard children from the risk of abuse. The six protective factors include:

In addition to tools and strategies for integrating the protective factors into everyday child and family services, the guide also includes 14 tip sheets for parents. The tip sheets, available in both English and Spanish, cover topics that range from "10 Ways to Be a Better Dad" and "Connecting With Your Teen" to "Dealing With Temper Tantrums."

The 2013 Resource Guide has been refreshed with new information, while maintaining some of its main content structure.

The resource guide is the result of collaboration among the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children's Bureau, OCAN, Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and numerous national organizations.

To view or order a copy of the resource guide, please visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/guide2013/ 

Child Welfare Information Gateway updated its Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect web section to reflect the new material in the guide and more. The title of the Prevention section on Strengthening Families was changed to Promoting Child & Family Well-Being to indicate this new focus. The updated section offers new pages on the following topics:

Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway webpage to access these tools and materials:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3824


Maryland Family Network

As part of its effort to prevent child abuse and neglect, the Children's Bureau provides funding to States to develop, expand, and enhance community-based, prevention-focused programs that strengthen and support families. To receive these funds, governors must designate a lead agency to receive the funds and implement the program. One of the Bureau's community-based child abuse prevention (CBCAP) grantees is the Maryland Family Network (MFN). 

Maryland was one of the first States awarded a CBCAP grant in 1992. Linda Ramsey, Deputy Director of Family Support, said Maryland Family Network is one of the few nonprofits in the country that serves as a CBCAP lead for its State. "When I go to CBCAP conferences, I am struck with how many (child welfare) agencies in States take leadership roles. We're excited that Maryland has designated us as the lead for the program." She notes that one reason behind the program's leadership selection is its statewide network of Family Support Centers.

Maryland Family Network sponsors 21 Family Support Centers that offer comprehensive programs that serve young families, pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Their emphasis is identifying and building family strengths. "Everything we do in those centers is about child abuse and neglect prevention," Ramsey added. MFN adapted Strengthening Families, a framework that advocates the promotion of protective factors (parental resilience, social connections, parenting knowledge, concrete support, and children's social and emotional development) to prevent child maltreatment.

The key to Maryland Family Network's programs is easy access and easy entry. Melanie Martin, Program Consultant, said any child from birth through age 3 and their parents, or pregnant women, can participate.

Seven of the Family Support Programs are Early Head Start models and for those seven, there are income and other requirements for enrollment and eligibility. Ramsey said MFN was creative with funding streams for those programs, using some State general funds, to maintain the flexibility to serve a small number of families who might be over Federal poverty guidelines but within that working poor gray area and could benefit from Early Head Start services.

Funds from Maryland's Race-to-the-Top Early Learning Challenge Grant will allow MFN to  transform two Family Support Centers in Baltimore into Community Hubs. Hubs will reach more families in the neighborhoods they serve through home visiting, services for child care providers, and assistance to families as their children make the transition to school.

One of the important features of Family Support Centers is transportation, removing the barrier to center participation. While 2,100 participating families throughout the State may not be a lot, Ramsey said the intensity of services provided prevents MFN from serving larger numbers. "Our programs are about children and parents together," Ramsey said. "Parents don't come in without children, or just drop off their children. These are programs designed to address the needs of parents and provide developmentally appropriate activities to bring parents and children together."

At Family Support Centers, staff work with parents to ensure that children receive immunizations on time. Children are screened for age-appropriate developmental milestones to identify delays early and link families with resources. Parents develop parenting skills, increased educational attainment through MFN's adult education programs, and work on self-sufficiency. They are achieving positive outcomes:

MFN's Family Support Centers are truly  community-based programs. MFN contracts with sponsoring agencies and local communities to operate centers. The strength of the program lies in the partnership with local agencies familiar with their communities and families. Partnerships are formed with a range of local agencies, such as Housing Authorities, community colleges, school districts, private nonprofits, hospitals, health departments, and more. When there is money for new centers, MFN releases a Request for Proposal (RFP) in communities without Family Support Centers. "People have to want these centers in their community and make a case for the need and willingness of the community to embrace and operate these programs. Centers belong to their communities and work best when the community takes ownership of them," said Ramsey. They are required to have an advisory board made up of parents and community partners who meet on a regular basis to give feedback and input on center activities.

Another innovative aspect of MFN programming is its 2-day Parent Leadership Institute. Two annual trainings are focused on parent advocacy, decision-making, communication skills, and other competences. After the training, parents are charged with serving in a leadership capacity within in their centers and their community. The Family Support Centers provide transportation to these events and a stipend for child care. "We believe these trainings are a critical piece of our programming," Ramsey added. 

Special thanks to Jean Mitchell, Program Director, Melanie Martin, Program Consultant, and Linda Ramsey, Deputy Director Family Support, for providing information for this article.

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3825


Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships

Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) are paramount to healthy child development and preventing child maltreatment. To help concerned individuals and communities promote these healthy relationships and environments, a new guide offers evidence-based strategies for helping children grow and thrive.

The guide, produced by the National Center for Injury Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention, within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is organized into four sections that reflect the goals and subsequent steps necessary for community action:

The scope of child maltreatment is discussed, and common types of abuse are defined. Similarly, the guide describes each component of SSNRs and provides insight into why SSNRs are so important to a child's well-being. The authors reiterate that while child maltreatment is a pervasive public health concern, it is preventable with the help of communities that are committed to fostering nurturing relationships and safe neighborhoods where today's children and future generations can flourish.

Essentials for Childhood: Steps to Create Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships and other related documents are available on the CDC website:

http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/childmaltreatment/essentials/index.html

Related Item:

Essentials for Childhood: Steps to Create Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships is also part of the Public Health Leadership for Child Maltreatment Prevention Initiative toolkit, which was developed to aid State health departments in their child maltreatment prevention efforts. The toolkit and related items are accessible on the VetoViolence website:

http://vetoviolence.cdc.gov/childmaltreatment/phl/index.html

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3826


States Consider New Child Abuse Laws

Summaries of legislation that would amend existing State child maltreatment laws have been compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Approximately 53 bills in 21 States on the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect have been introduced so far during the 2013 legislative session, which is nearly three times the number of bills introduced in 2012.

The issues being addressed by these bills include:

The complete list of pending legislation can be found on the NCSL website:

http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/human-services/mandatory-rprtg-of-child-abuse-and-neglect-2013.aspx

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3827


The Science of Neglect

In 2010, 78 percent of the half a million reported cases of child maltreatment were reports of neglect. Research over the past 30 years has shown that young children who experience neglect are at risk for several negative outcomes, including cognitive delays, academic struggles, social adjustment difficulties, and more. A white paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child outlines research on the science of neglect, from neuroscience and molecular biology to the behavioral and social sciences, to promote greater public understanding of this threat to child well-being. 

The authors define neglect as the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness. While the four most common forms of neglect (physical, medical, educational, and psychological) tend to co-occur, judging the severity of neglect and determining when to intervene remains difficult. Understanding the science of neglect can help ameliorate these difficulties.

The paper describes four types of diminished responsiveness and their consequences to provide a framework for developing effective interventions that can protect children.

Promising interventions, such as attachment and biobehavioral interventions, child-parent psychotherapy, and treatment foster care for preschoolers are described as effective for children who have experienced significant neglect. The paper also outlines a number of public misconceptions about the effects of neglect and implications for policy and programs.

The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain is available on the Center on the Developing Child website:

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/working_papers/wp12/

Related Item

The January 2013 issue of Practice Notes, a publication of the North Carolina Division of Social Services (NCDSS) Child Welfare Services Statewide Partnership, is centered on the theme "Child Neglect: Impact and Interventions." The issue highlights the impact of neglect on child brain development and outlines promising evidence-based interventions.

Practice Notes is available on the NCDSS website:

http://www.practicenotes.org/v18n1/cspnv18n1.pdf  (199 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3828


Promising Practices in Child Abuse Prevention

A new publication identifies promising trends or lines of learning that may be useful in efforts to improve child maltreatment prevention and policies. In Innovations in the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention: A Review of the Literature, author Genevieve Benedetti presents the results of a Chapin Hall study designed to identify promising programs and examples of successful collaboration across State agencies, or improved methods of service.

The study consisted of a review of academic journals in order to pinpoint promising programs in the areas of child abuse and neglect prevention, public health, parenting and family support, and child development. In addition, interviews were conducted with 22 experts from a range of fields. Participants were asked to identify key trends in their respective fields.

The findings are organized into eight topical areas or trends:

Innovations in the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention was published by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and is available on the Chapin Hall website: 

http://www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/Child%20Abuse%20&%20Neglect%20Prevention_09_11_12.pdf (415 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3829


News From the Children's Bureau

Children's Bureau Centennial Wrap-Up

A message from Joe Bock, Acting Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau

The Children's Bureau is the oldest government agency in the world that actively serves children, youth, and families. Our centennial celebration has included a yearlong series of activities to reflect on our accomplishments, challenges, and visions for the future. The centennial has also provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate and expand our commitment to achieving the safety, permanency, and well-being of the nation's children and families. Our goals for the centennial year were to:

To achieve these goals, and more, we produced several materials and organized a variety of events:

While we have had much to celebrate this past year, there is still much work to be done. As we look toward the future of child welfare, we will continue to meet our noble mission of supporting those in the field who serve America's children and families.

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3819


ACF Evaluation Policy

In November 2012, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released its evaluation policy. To achieve its goal of fostering health and well-being through "providing Federal leadership, partnership, and resources," ACF's evaluation policy ensures its activities are assessed for quality and effectiveness.

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) oversees many of ACF's evaluations; however, ACF program offices consult with OPRE when developing evaluation activities, or request that OPRE design and oversee evaluations. The policy is rooted in rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics.

The Evaluation Policy is available on ACF's website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/acf_evaluation_policy_november_2012.pdf (131 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3822


Economic Well-Being of LGB Youth in Care

While much research has centered on racial and ethnic differences in the self-sufficiency of youth transitioning from foster care to independent living, less research has been conducted concerning differences related to sexual orientation. An issue brief from Mathematica Policy Research describes the characteristics and economic well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth who age out of foster care.

Data were pulled from the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth, which followed a sample of youth from Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin through their transition from foster care to independent living. Five waves of survey data were collected between 2002 and 2011. This issue brief focuses on the economic well-being of study participants interviewed at wave 3 when they were 21 years old. Of that sample, 437 identified as heterosexual and 67 as LGB.

Findings included the following:

The authors note that physical and mental health well-being were not explored in this study, and such outcomes should be examined in future research.

The Youth Demonstration Development issue brief series is funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as part of a larger ACF project to develop research-based frameworks to promote the well-being of at-risk youth.

The Economic Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care, by Amy Dworsky at Chapin Hall, University of Chicago, is available on the ACF website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/opre_lgbt_brief_01_04_2013.pdf  (954 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3821


Annual Intercountry Adoption Report

The Office of Children's Issues within the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued the Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption. The report is mandated by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-279).

The report outlines the number of intercountry adoptions during fiscal year (FY) 2012 involving immigration to the United States, regardless of whether the adoption occurred under the Hague Adoption Convention, and it also outlines the number of intercountry adoptions involving emigration from the United States. A number of tables in the report provide 2012 intercountry adoption statistics, including average days to completion and fees. The report also shows:

 FY 2012 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption Report is available on the website for the Office of Children's Issues:

http://adoption.state.gov/content/pdf/fy2012_annual_report.pdf  (525 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3820


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:

For news from the Administration for Children and Families, read the latest entries in its blog, The Family Room:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog

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

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

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3823


Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates

Bulletin on Chronic Child Neglect

Children who experienced neglect make up approximately three-quarters of children identified as maltreatment victims, and child welfare cases involving neglect are more likely to recur than cases involving other maltreatment types. While there is no single definition for chronic child neglect, a new bulletin from Child Welfare Information Gateway provides identifiers, examples of neglect, and characteristics and stressors. The bulletin was written in partnership with Caren Kaplan, M.S.W.

Families impacted by chronic neglect often experience a range of complex needs that may change over time. Chronic neglect differs from incident-based neglect in terms of duration, frequency, duration of need for services, and referrals for multiple types of maltreatment. Chronic neglect often is more pervasive, yet less visible. To help caseworkers better identify the varying types of chronic neglect, the bulletin highlights trainings and resources to support professionals' work with families, including examples of what agencies are doing. Information on practice principles and on addressing chronic neglect in casework, from intake and assessment to case planning and intervention, is also available.

Chronic Child Neglect is available on Information Gateway's website:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/chronic_neglect.cfm
 

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3832


NRCOI Practice Model Guide

Having a clearly defined practice model can help child welfare agencies better direct their work; partner with families, service providers, and other stakeholders; and achieve positive outcomes. To help agencies accomplish these goals, the National Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) published a guide focused on developing and implementing a family-centered practice model or enriching an agency's current model.

The guide discusses common practice model elements, culturally responsive and inclusive models, and managing parallel processes. Implementation is addressed in detail, including a discussion of 14 implementation drivers, and the guide outlines necessary action items at various stages, from exploration and program design to initial and full implementation. The guide also includes a list of links and organizations for ongoing support, as well as three worksheets that can help agencies do the following:

Guide for Developing and Implementing Child Welfare Practice Models is available on the NRCOI website:

http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/strategic_pm.htm

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3830


Siblings in Foster Care Toolkit

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) developed a web-based toolkit to help child welfare agencies better work with siblings in foster care and understand how sibling relationships affect children and youth in care. The toolkit provides an overview of recent research on the developmental and emotional importance of maintaining sibling relationships.

Youth definitions of and views about their siblings, information about the impact of placing siblings together, and characteristics of sibling groups that are most and least likely to be placed together are also included. The toolkit provides examples of State definitions of "siblings," as well as a section that discusses provisions in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 that directly address the needs of siblings.

Through the toolkit's Organizational Self Study, agencies can identify and assess their strengths and needs. The Practice Components and Resources section is divided into 10 components and covers topics such as:

Access the entire web-based toolkit through NRCPFC's website:

http://www.nrcpfc.org/toolkit/sibling/index.html

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3831


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: April 2013
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3848


Children's Bureau Grantee Updates

Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families announced a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Information about planned FY 2013 FOAs is available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants Forecast website:

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

To find the Children's Bureau's FOA forecasts, go to the forecast website and enter the title or Funding Opportunity Number (FON) in the search box. Please check the forecast site regularly, as forecasts are subject to change.

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3849


Apply to Be a Grant Reviewer

Each spring, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recruits reviewers and panel chairpersons for its grant programs, including those administered by the Children's Bureau. Grant reviewers receive training and then review grant applications—reading, evaluating, discussing, and scoring grant proposals. Grant reviewers and chairpersons, including students, receive compensation for their time, as well as valuable experience in the Federal grant review process.

To apply, visit:

https://www.acfgo.com/public/sitePage.aspx?key=Home

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3833


Implementation Science and CB Grantees

As the Children's Bureau places greater emphasis on the use of evidence-based programs and interventions by its grantees, much focus has shifted toward implementation science to examine issues affecting application and execution. A report prepared by James Bell Associates on behalf of the Children's Bureau outlines the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) implementation model and examines whether the model would be effective for Federal child welfare programs.

The report outlines organizational characteristics and processes necessary to support successful implementation of Bureau programs. For a quantitative study in 2011, data were gathered via document reviews, site visits, and discussions with 17 Bureau grantees that had demonstrated successful program implementation. 

After examining more than 100 implementation factors from the NIRN model, the authors suggest that while NIRN's implementation model provides useful concepts, its focus is on the replication of evidence-based practices. Because the Bureau's grantees often implement untested, albeit innovative interventions, the model may be of limited use.

Lessons Learned Through the Application of Implementation Science Concepts to Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Programs

http://www.jbassoc.com/reports/documents/cb_impsciencereport_final_012413.pdf (1 MB)

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express highlighted the National Implementation Research Network in the October 2010 issue, which featured Implementation as the theme for the Spotlight section.


 


 
 

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Children's Bureau Grantee Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3834


Child Welfare Research

Finding Kin With Facebook

A news release from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in January highlights its use of social media to find kin for children and youth involved with child welfare. Hoping to prevent children and youth from moving from one unfamiliar home to another, a resource developer with DHHS found Facebook to be a beneficial tool when searching for relatives.

Debi Schriner was challenged by DHHS to find new ways to locate kin. She was familiar with the ability to "friend" family members through Facebook's photo tagging, so she established a page and began to search for relatives of the children and youth in her caseload. Her focus has been on reconnecting children with family after long stays in foster care, even if parental rights have not been terminated. Schriner found that she rarely struggles to find kin of the children and youth in care. Through confidential messages exchanged, Schriner has looked for relatives of about 80 families thus far. All information about the children and youth is confidential and is not posted on the DHHS Facebook page.

The news release highlights specific cases for which Facebook has been used to locate kin. The news release is available on Nebraska's DHHS website:

http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Newsroom_Newsreleases_2013_Jan_Facebook.aspx

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3835


Study Explores Broken Adoptions

While there are no reliable statistics, a new study suggests that a significant number of children who have been adopted from foster care later reenter out-of-home care. In a recent journal article, "The Revolving Door of Family Court: Confronting Broken Adoptions," authors Dawn Post and Brian Zimmerman of the Children's Law Center New York (CLCNY) examine case data collected from attorneys who work with the New York City family court to determine the causes of broken adoptions and whether such disruptions were preventable.

The authors reviewed 6 months' worth of cases of broken adoptions and guardianship cases in which the children returned to family court, in addition to surveying the New York City Family Court bench and several attorney groups. Of the survey responses, 70 percent said they had seen cases return to family court, and one-third of the respondents indicated that between 5 and 25 percent of cases that returned to the family court involved adopted children.

Adopted children can return to the court system in a number of ways, including through allegations of abuse or neglect in the adoptive home, requests by the parent for voluntary placement of the child, or charges of juvenile delinquency. Although each family's situation is unique, a common theme throughout these cases was the adoptive family's realization that they lacked the resources to adequately address the adopted child's needs.
The authors suggest that many broken adoptions could be prevented by better preparing the adoptive family before placement and expanding the availability of targeted postadoption services.

Originally published in the Capital University Law Review, the article is available from the CLCNY website:

http://www.clcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/the-revolving-doors-of-family-court-confronting-broken-adoptions.pdf (508 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3836


Funding Reinvestment in Child Welfare

While child welfare agencies are trying to identify and use evidence-based practices to improve well-being outcomes for families, they are also dealing with significant economic challenges. Noting that child welfare agencies are operating under evolving conditions, Casey Family Programs published a research brief providing strategies for shifting resources to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency.

The brief suggests that, in order to free up funds for investing in the latest child welfare innovations and interventions, agencies need to first reduce investments in less effective programs (descaling). Examples of ineffective initiatives are:

Funds for these ineffective programs can then be reallocated to finance evidence-based practices. For each of the above examples of an ineffective initiative, the brief provides an example of a State that successfully shifted its resources to fund a more effective practice. Yellow Medicine County, MN, for example, reduced spending on foster care placements from over $635,000 in 2002 to $70,000 in 2009 after implementing restorative justice and Signs of Safety frameworks. The brief concludes by suggesting financing and implementation strategies that agencies can use in their funding reinvestment initiatives.     

Shifting Resources in Child Welfare to Achieve Better Outcomes for Children is available on the Casey Family Programs website:

http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/ShiftingResources.htm

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3837


Health-Care Issues for Transitioning Youth

Despite having three to seven times more chronic health or behavioral/mental health issues than youth in the general population, youth in foster care are half as likely to have health insurance compared to their peers. An article in Pediatrics describes the obstacles that transitioning youth face when trying to address health-care needs.

In recent years, provisions within a number of health-care laws have provided a range of supports to youth exiting care, and the article describes the Federal Government's efforts to provide youth with access to health care. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, for example, requires States to work with youth to develop a transition plan that includes securing health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, beginning in 2014, extends Medicaid eligibility to age 26 for youth aging out of foster care.

The article highlights future challenges and provides recommendations for physicians and pediatricians working with child welfare agencies, including the following:

"Health Care of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care," by P. Jaudes, was published in Pediatrics, 130(6), 2012, and is available on the American Academy of Pediatrics website:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/1170.full.html

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3838


Evaluating Trauma-Informed Care Training

Research shows that children who suffer abuse or neglect are more likely to be exposed to other trauma-inducing situations, such as domestic violence or parental substance abuse. Additionally, children receiving child welfare services may experience further trauma if they are removed from the home, live in multiple out-of-home settings, transfer to new schools, or are forced to separate from their existing social networks. These findings suggest the need for child welfare agencies to develop trauma-informed practices and to train workers in these practices. A recent study in the Child and Youth Services Review evaluated such a training program for promoting trauma-informed practices among child welfare workers. 

The study looked at statewide implementation feasibility, as well as the effects the program had on participants' relevant knowledge, attitude, and behaviors. The researchers tested a training curriculum developed by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). The program was designed to:

The participants were 102 child welfare area directors and supervisors from the Arkansas Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) who participated in 2-day training sessions. Participants were surveyed on their knowledge and current implementation of trauma-informed practices at three points in time: prior to training, immediately following the training, and 3 months after the training.

Results indicated that participant knowledge of trauma-informed practices increased significantly immediately after the training. At the 3-month follow-up, participants reported increased use of trauma-informed practices, and these changes were significantly correlated with improvement in knowledge. The majority of participants were able to partially implement action steps taught in the training; however, time constraints, heavy caseloads, lack of staff, and limited resources were listed as barriers to full implementation.

"A Statewide Introduction of Trauma-Informed Care in a Child Welfare System," by Teresa Kramer, Benjamin Sigel, Nikki Conners-Burrow, Patricia Savary, and Ashley Tempel, was published in the Children and Youth Services Review, 35, and is available for purchase:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740912003945

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3839


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Implementing Evidence-Based Practice

As the child welfare field continues to move toward employing evidence-based practice models and interventions, much focus is being placed on best practices for integrating and implementing these programs. Using the principles of implementation science to successfully transfer the lessons learned from evidence-based practice models into programs that deliver effective services was the focus of a 1-day symposium at the University of California, Davis campus.

At the symposium, "Implementation Science: Closing the Gap Between Innovation and Practice," human services professionals, which included workers from the fields of education, mental health, child welfare, and criminal justice, participated in a series of workshops and facilitated discussion groups to learn how to use implementation science to build effective programs. The topics of the workshops included models of implementation science, building organizational structures to support implementation, and adapting the innovations identified in evidence-based practice models to specific program needs.

Documents from the symposium, including the program, PowerPoint presentations and handouts from many of the workshops, and a resource guide, are now available from the website of the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC):

http://calswec.berkeley.edu/2013-leadership-symposium-evidence-based-practice-implementation-science-closing-gap-between

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3840


Strengthening Families and QRIS Integration

Strengthening Families is an evidence-based framework designed to promote the positive development of children and prevent child abuse through family engagement and empowerment. A growing number of States are integrating Strengthening Families into their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), which they are developing to systemically measure interactions with families. An issue brief by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) highlights implementation strategies and State approaches to integrating Strengthening Families into QRIS.

The brief offers an overview of the various tools that can be used for implementation of the Strengthening Families framework, developing quality improvement plans, and monitoring activities. Profiles of pilot initiatives in four States and lessons learned, as well as additional State examples, are also featured.

To support continuous improvement, CSSP also recommends States explore alignment with other nationally recognized quality standards and measurement tools, implementing practices that are more culturally and linguistically competent and including QRIS validation as a required activity.  

Integrating Strengthening Families Into Quality Rating and Improvement Systems is available on the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website:

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcyf/cdb/documents/sf-article.pdf  (218 KB)

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3841


Resources

Social Media Tips for Caregivers

The Department of Human Services in Oregon produced a tip sheet for foster parents and relative providers about the world of social media. The tip sheet identifies the various types of social media and highlights what respective audiences need to know regarding social media, networking, and texting.

The tip sheet also explores the roles of those involved in the lives of youth in foster care and assesses the risks, benefits, and safety issues of using the Internet. Links to advice on how to establish rules and guidelines with youth for social media are also included. Child welfare and related professionals will find an outline of the State of Oregon's Confidentiality guidelines for posting pictures of children in foster care on the Internet.

Social Media Tips for Foster Parents and Certified Relative Providers is available on the Oregon Department of Human Services website:

http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/features/Pages/social-media-tips.aspx

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3842


Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare and the Ambit Network partnered for the winter 2013 edition of CW360°. The annual publication provides communities and child welfare and human services professionals with information related to key areas affecting child well-being. The winter 2013 issue of CW360° focuses on trauma-informed practices within the child welfare system. Twenty-four articles written by a variety of child welfare, mental health, and related professionals explore the issue of traumatic stress, as well as best practices for implementing trauma-informed practices into child welfare programs.

The articles presented in the publication are divided into three sections: overview, practice, and perspectives. The overview section defines traumatic stress and explores the impact traumatic stress has on families served by child welfare and how traumatic stress can inform child welfare policy. The practice sections offer articles on training, evidence-based and promising practices, and cultural awareness. Lastly, the articles in the perspective section share lessons learned and provide recommendations for creating policy and implementing practices through a trauma-informed lens.

CW360° Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice is available on the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare website:

http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/cascw/attributes/PDF/publications/CW360-Ambit_Winter2013.pdf (1 MB)

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express featured previous issues of CW360° in the following articles:

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3843


Teen Guide to Adoption

Children and youth who are adopted often have difficult questions and complex feelings about themselves and their experiences. A book about adopted teens with personal stories told by adopted teens may help this population address their fears and concerns.

Suzanne Slade, an adoptive mother and author of more than 50 books on children and youth, wrote Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide. The book provides personal experiences of other adopted teens, as well as ideas and strategies from experienced child welfare professionals. Information from adoption experts, including Hollee McGinniss from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Judy Stigger from The Cradle, and Kathleen Morrison from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, also is included.

The 17 chapters explore a range of topics, including:

Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide is available for purchase through Scarecrow Press:

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810857742

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3844


Judges' Page Promotes Well-Being

The January 2013 issue of The Judges' Page newsletter presents articles on child well-being and the multilayered aspects of what it means to ensure well-being for children and youth in foster care. In one article, Bryan Samuels, the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), outlines strategies the courts and other partners with the child welfare system can use to focus their efforts on child well-being.

Other article topics focus on the continuous quality improvement approach to help States evaluate interventions that improve child well-being, the role of legislation in enhancing well-being, and how model courts impact the social and emotional well-being of foster children and youth. 

The Judges' Page is a publication of the National CASA Association in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is available on the National CASA website:

http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5301323/k.8E21/Judges_Page.htm

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3845


Training and Conferences

Cultural Competence Training

A partnership among the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN), the Alaska Office of Children's Services, and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council Child and Family Services Department led to the development of a cultural competence training for child welfare workers. In addition, the partnership resulted in the creation of a case example of an Alaska Native family that could serve as an illustration of a typical family for Alaska child welfare workers who completed the North Carolina Family Assessment Scales. The cultural competence training is linked with the use of the North Carolina Family Assessment Scales, the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for General Services (NCFAS-G), the NCFAS-R (for families that are reunifying), and NCFAS-G+R assessment tools. The training is recommended for workers who have used the assessment tool for at least 1 year.

The training includes:

The training package can be purchased for $200 per agency, which covers training for workers licensed to use the assessment tools. For more information, or to order the training, visit NFPN's website:

http://nfpn.org/products/253-cultural-competence.html

The case example is also available on the NFPN website:

http://nfpn.org/articles/252-alaska-native-research-report.html

Issue Date: April 2013
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3846


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through July 2013 include:

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

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: April 2013
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=145&articleid=3847



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


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