Children's Bureau ExpressMarch/April 2001 | Vol. 2, No. 2

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

  • Prevent Child Abuse America Releases Child Abuse Prevention Packet 2001
  • Governors Association Reports on States' Efforts to Prevent Family Violence
  • April 4 Is National Day of Hope
  • April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • American Southwest Setting for 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

News From the Children's Bureau

  • Child and Family Services Reviews Focus of Teleconference Series
  • New Children's Bureau Website Debuts
  • Former Wisconsin Governor Thompson Takes Helm at HHS

Child Welfare Research

  • Researchers Study Early Intervention for Preschool Foster Children
  • Report to Congress Shows Alcohol Abuse Prevalent in Homes with Children
  • Abuse Can Permanently "Rewire" Children's Brains
  • Nebraska Group Addresses Needs of Children Subjected to Domestic Violence
  • Options for Children in Long-Term Out-of-Home Placements
  • First National Study on Law Enforcement's Response to Child Abuse and Neglect Cases Launched
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics Report Reveals Increase in Incarcerated Parents
  • Three Recent Studies Rank Child Well-Being in the U.S.
  • Panel Discusses Reporting Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Videoconference Series on Recognizing Child Abuse Opens with Session on Legal Framework for Reporting
  • New Law Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • The GrandFamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren
  • Corporate Partnerships Increase Adoption of Foster Care Children
  • Guidebook Encourages Social Workers to Pursue Adoptions Across State Lines

Resources

  • The Child Welfare Challenge: Policy, Practice, and Research
  • Family Matters: Interfaces Between Child and Adult Mental Health
  • Evaluation of the Sexually Abused Child: A Medical Textbook and Photographic Atlas
  • Directory II--Legislative Leadership, Committees & Staff 2000
  • Global Views on Child, Family Policy and Child Abuse
  • Tax Season Assistance for Foster/Adoptive Parents and Kinship Caregivers
  • Language and Parenting Guide Smoothes Russian Adoptions
  • Two Florida websites Provide Leadership on Solving Problems of Children and Families

Training and Conferences

  • Using Information Management to Support the Goals of Safety, Permanency and Well Being: Trainer's Guide

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Prevent Child Abuse America Releases Child Abuse Prevention Packet 2001

Get help planning for Child Abuse Prevention Month--celebrated annually in April--with materials from Prevent Child Abuse America. This year's packet was made possible through funding by Target Stores.

Using the Spring theme of "growth and nurturing," the materials focus on the nurturing of our children and "positive parenting" as an effective tool to prevent child abuse. A flower graphic appears throughout the handouts and is reflected in the activities for kids, including making a scarecrow, planting an avocado, growing pizza ingredients, and coloring a flower garden.

The packet contains the following items:

Prevent Child Abuse America offers the following suggestions for using these resources:

Most of the materials--except the poster, publications catalog, and stickers--are available online. Materials from Prevention Month 2000 also are also available. Call 800-CHILDREN to order a packet or download the materials at: http://www.preventchildabuse.org/learn_more/cap_index.html

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=228


Governors Association Reports on States' Efforts to Prevent Family Violence

A new Issue Brief produced by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices deals with family violence and how States are combating it. Since family violence affects adults and children alike, prevention strategies that take a collaborative and cross-system approach are the most effective, the report states.

The report begins with an overview of family violence in America today, providing data on its monetary and non-monetary costs. It breaks down family violence into three categories--domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse--and gives more detailed information on the incidence and consequences of the first two categories (elder abuse is not covered in depth in the report).

The report also explores three levels of governmental responses to family violence--the legal system, human services, and health services. Some recent trends and current efforts in these areas are described, including activities in four States: Arizona, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.

Topics relating to the legal system include cross-agency training; dedicated and specialized courts; batterer interventions; automated databases; the full faith and credit provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act; protective orders; risk and danger assessments; and animal control officers.

Topics under human services include collocation of specialists and/or cross-agency training; screening and assessment; employment leave and unemployment insurance laws; emergency payments and address confidentiality; and child support enforcement protections.

Health-related topics include developing protocols for victims and perpetrators of violence; educating families and women about violence-related issues; addressing domestic violence as part of teen pregnancy prevention and parenting programs; maintaining medical records for use as evidence of assault in legal proceedings; and providing special advocacy and mental health services for mothers and their children who are victims of family violence.

Included are a list of Federal funding sources relating to family violence, and lists of related publications and organizations.

To obtain a copy of report, entitled Building Bridges Across Systems: State Innovations to Address and Prevent Family Violence, contact Thomas MacLellan at 202-624-5427 or download a copy of the 23-page report online at: http://www.nga.org/cda/files/001017FAMVIOLENCE.PDF.

Related Items

"Nebraska Group Addresses Needs of Children Subjected to Domestic Violence" (March/April 2001)

Search for more CB Express articles on domestic violence by typing "domestic violence" in the CBX Search box at http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=229


April 4 Is National Day of Hope

As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Childhelp USA is sponsoring the third annual National Day of Hope, held each year on the first Wednesday of April. This year it falls on April 4.

The U.S. Congress showed its support of Childhelp USA's National Day of Hope by introducing a Concurrent Resolution (S. CON. RES. 14) on February 14, 2001 (available through Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov). The resolution calls for:

The activities planned for April 4 vary by State and community. Many observances incorporate three-wick candles to symbolize the three children who die each day from abuse and the millions more who suffer. For example:

Harley-Davidson motorcycle clubs throughout the U.S. are supporting the National Day of Hope by participating in the "Cycle of Hope." This cross-country motorcycle ride focusing national attention on the tragedy of child abuse will begin on March 24 in Cabazon, California (near Palm Springs), and end on April 4 in Washington, DC. For the scheduled route and events, visit: http://www.childhelpusa.org/child/harley_event.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer active.)

Childhelp USA is one of the oldest and largest national non-profits dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. It has chapters across the country staffed by volunteers and operates the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD).

For more information about how to get involved in Childhelp USA's National Day of Hope, visit the Childhelp USA website at: http://www.childhelpusa.org/child/Day_of_Hope.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer active.) For information on participating as a restaurant or motorcycle rider in the National Day of Hope activities described above, contact Sylvia Hopkins at Childhelp USA's national headquarters: 480-922-8212 or svhopkins@aol.com.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=248


April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

"You Have the Power to Prevent Child Abuse"—that's the message promoted by the Children's Bureau in commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation since 1983.

The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, sponsored by the Children's Bureau, is among the many entities observing Child Abuse Prevention Month. Visit the Clearinghouse's revised and updated “Prevention 2001” Web page, scheduled for launch on April 1. (Reach the prevention page through the Clearinghouse's home page at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov). The 2001 page highlights new prevention resources focused on cultural diversity, as well as contacts, statistics, background information, and a "hotlinked" compilation of online resources.

The Clearinghouse has prepared a print packet containing many of the materials available on the website as well as a four-color poster. To obtain a free packet, call the Clearinghouse at 800-FYI-3366 or send an email request to nccanch@caliber.com.

Many public and private agencies, community organizations, volunteers, and concerned citizens will sponsor events and conduct outreach during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Organizations that partner with the Clearinghouse to commemorate Prevention Month include the following:

Many States have plans for commemorating Child Abuse Prevention Month. Visit the FRIENDS Technical Assistance Resource Center website for information and ideas.

Also, Childhelp USA will sponsor the third annual National Day of Hope on April 4. For more information about this special Prevention Month activity, see the article "April 4 Is National Day of Hope" in this issue of CB Express.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=249


American Southwest Setting for 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

Head to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, sponsored by the Children's Bureau, April 23-28. Many other government agencies and national organizations are serving as national co-sponsors. All Faiths Receiving Home, the local host agency, is central New Mexico's preeminent non-profit organization providing an array of services for children and families affected by childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma.

The conference will offer a mix of interactive educational sessions on such topics as prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Sessions will reflect the conference theme, Faces of Change: Embracing Diverse Cultures and Alternative Approaches.

The Exhibit Hall will feature numerous displays including one from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, a co-producer of the Children's Bureau Express.

Plenary sessions will feature the following speakers:

Conference participants can gain knowledge and insight into local history, culture, and practice issues--for American Indian and Hispanic cultures, in particular--by taking advantage of special tours and events offered at additional cost.

For further information or to obtain a registration packet, contact:

PaL-Tech
1901 N. Fort Myer Dr.
Suite 301
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 703-528-0435

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=220


News From the Children's Bureau

Child and Family Services Reviews Focus of Teleconference Series

Join the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement in its teleconference series on the new Federal child and family service reviews. The series features Children's Bureau officials, representatives of States with experience in the review process, and Resource Center technical assistance providers who will discuss each stage of the review process.

The schedule of the series, offered at 2:30 pm EST is as follows:

The National Child Welfare Teleconference Line brings programs to your office over the telephone. No special equipment is needed, although a speakerphone allows any number of people at the same location to participate for a single registration fee. Costs are 75 percent reimbursable as a training expense under Title IV-E.

The Resource Center's Winter 2001 newsletter, Managing Care, also focuses on the new reviews with a general overview of the process, an interview with Children's Bureau official Jerry Milner, lessons learned from Rhode Island in the pilot review process, and a list of resources to help prepare for the reviews. Access the newsletter online at: http://www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/mc.html.

In addition, a new information package on the child and family service reviews is available from the Resource Center. This package provides copies of material used in State/regional office trainings, official documents on the review produced by ACF, and other material on the review process from the Children's Bureau website. It also contains a Handbook on the review process produced by the last pilot review site. Download it at: http://www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/rcnews.html.

To register for the teleconference and to order audiotapes of past sessions, the newsletter, or the information package, contact:

National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
One Post Office Square
PO Box 15010
Portland, ME 04112-5010
Phone: 207-780-5810
Toll-free: 1-800-HELP KID
FAX: 207-780-5817
Website: http://www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=221


New Children's Bureau Website Debuts

Visit the new Children's Bureau website, which has been completely redesigned and updated to meet the needs of agency staff and the general public. Its new organization and expanded content make finding the information you need easier than ever. The site also features interactive headers on each page to make navigation through the site fast and easy.

Special features include:

Access the new and improved Children's Bureau website at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=218


Former Wisconsin Governor Thompson Takes Helm at HHS

Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, was unanimously confirmed on Jan. 24 by the U.S. Senate to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services in President George W. Bush's Cabinet.

Thompson, the nation's longest-serving governor, was in his fourth term and 14th year in that post. A hallmark of his administration was the use of HHS waivers to pursue innovations in Federal social programs. In 1990, Wisconsin became the first state to request a waiver allowing the State to place time limits on public assistance and to require welfare recipients to work. In tandem, he increased State subsidies for child care, health insurance, and job training low-income families.

In an address to HHS employees on February 2, Thompson mentioned several priorities for the Department under President Bush's administration, including improving foster care and adoption programs, helping people move from welfare to economic success, and providing access to health insurance for uninsured Americans.

Secretary Thompson's address is available on the HHS website at http://www.hhs.gov/news/speech/2001/010202.html.

An HHS press release about Secretary Thompson is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20010202.html.

His confirmation hearing address to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on January 17, 2001 is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/speech/2001/010117.html.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=233


Child Welfare Research

Researchers Study Early Intervention for Preschool Foster Children

Foster children under age 5 who have been abused are at high risk of developing developmental, behavioral, emotional, and medical problems, and placements of preschool children often disrupt. How can professionals help ensure positive results for this portion of the foster care population?

Researchers in Oregon report that an approach that engages foster parents as "therapeutic agents" for their young charges shows promise.

Researchers with the Oregon Social Learning Center in Eugene studied an Early Intervention Foster Care (EIFC) program. A report of their research, published in the November 2000 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (http://www.jaacap.com), explains that the EIFC program trains foster parents to provide therapeutic intervention with preschool foster children who have been maltreated.

The EIFC program includes:

Researchers collected data from three groups: 10 preschoolers in EIFC foster homes, 10 preschoolers in regular foster care homes, and a community comparison group of 10 non-maltreated children living with their biological families. Researchers assessed the children 2 to 3 weeks after placement in a new foster home and again 12 weeks later. Questionnaires were used to measure parenting strategies, parent stress related to the child's behavior, and child behavior problems. Reseachers measured chemical levels in the children's saliva to evaluate stress.

The results show that EIFC foster parents adopted and maintained positive parenting strategies similar to those of the community comparison group, while the regular foster care parents did not. Positive parenting strategies included consistent discipline, positive reinforcement, and close supervision and monitoring. Children and parents in EIFC homes exhibited less stress than their counterparts in regular foster homes. Additionally, EIFC children had fewer behavior problems.

Researchers write in the article that despite the limitations of the study, such as lack of random subject assignment and small sample size, they hope the findings can be used as a "first step" in developing interventions that reduce risks for maltreated preschool children.

For more information about this study, contact:

Philip Fisher, Ph.D.
Oregon Social Learning Center
160 E. 4th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401-2426
Phone: 541-485-2711
Fax: 541-485-7087
Email: ilf@oslc.org
Website: http://www.oslc.org

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=223


Report to Congress Shows Alcohol Abuse Prevalent in Homes with Children

Alcohol and children don't mix. Alcohol ingestion by pregnant women places babies at risk for severe developmental disabilities; alcohol abuse in families places children at risk for violence, abuse, neglect, accidental injury, and--eventually--for becoming alcohol dependent themselves.

The 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health details significant new scientific findings about alcohol use and alcoholism, including new information about how alcohol damages the brain and other organs, from prenatal exposure to later in life.

The report found that one in four children under the age of 18 lives in a household with one or more family members who are alcohol-dependent or abuse alcohol. Researchers are still unclear as to the role heredity plays in alcoholism.

Besides the basic relationship between alcohol use and violence, the report notes that researchers have begun to focus on the following areas:

In examining parenting and the family environment, researchers find that alcohol-abusing parents have poor parenting skills--lack of parental emotional support, lack of control and monitoring of child behavior--that lead to early conduct problems and early onset of alcohol use. Children in these families also may lack emotional and behavioral control and social skills.

The 492-page report is available online at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/10report/intro.pdf.

To order a print copy, contact: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Suite 409 Willco Building 6000 Executive Blvd. MSC 7003 Bethesda, MD 2089207003 Phone: (301) 443-3860

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=224


Abuse Can Permanently "Rewire" Children's Brains

Physical scars may heal, but abuse leaves an indelible impression upon children's developing brains, according to investigators at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Physical, psychological, or sexual abuse can "rewire" the developing brain during childhood, and these changes eventually may cause disorders such as anxiety and depression to surface in adulthood. "The science shows that childhood maltreatment may produce changes in both brain function and structure," said lead investigator Dr. Martin Teicher. His team found that the following four types of abnormalities were more likely to be present in child abuse and neglect victims:

In reviewing animal studies that showed that neglect and emotional trauma trigger changes in hormones and neurotransmitters in parts of the brain that regulate fear and anxiety, the research team speculated that the same process occurs in child victims. "We know that an animal exposed to stress and neglect early in life develops a brain that is wired to experience fear, anxiety and stress," Teicher said. "We think the same is true of people."

For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of several psychiatric disorders that may be fueled by childhood trauma. Usually associated with combat veterans, PTSD victims continually relive a traumatic event in dreams and in waking life.

Teicher and his colleagues hope their findings about childhood abuse's impact on the brain will lead to new ideas for treatment and better efforts at prevention. "Childhood abuse isn't something you 'get over,'" Teicher observes.

The study is published in the Fall 2000 issue of Cerebrum (http://www.dana.org/books/press/cerebrum).

The McLean Hospital press release on this study is available online at: http://www.mcleanhospital.org/PublicAffairs/ 20001214_child_abuse.htm.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=225


Nebraska Group Addresses Needs of Children Subjected to Domestic Violence

The Nebraska Health and Human Services System has been working with two other agencies--Voices for Children and the Nebraska Domestic Violence Coalition--to collaborate and improve the system for children and victims. The working group has agreed on the following four principles to guide interventions:

Chris Hanus, with the Protection and Safety Division of the Nebraska HHS said it is not up to the victim to be accountable for the abuse or for making it stop, but rather the court's decision to weigh the need for the child to retain a connection to both parents against the need for the child's safety. The group has debated such issues as redefining the witnessing of domestic violence as child abuse if the child shows serious mental or behavioral reactions that can be verified by a licensed mental health practitioner.

For more information, contact:

Chris Hanus
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 95044
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5044
Phone: 402-471-9308
Fax: 402-471-9034
Email: chris.hanus@hhss.state.ne.us

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=230


Options for Children in Long-Term Out-of-Home Placements

A September 2000 policy brief produced as a part of the Brookings Institution's "Children's Roundtable" examines the problem of the growing number of children who are languishing in foster care for extended periods of time, with little likelihood of any eventual reunion with their biological parents or adoption.

The brief's author, Joyce A. Ladner, argues that traditional foster care has worked reasonably well when it has been short-term, with the idea that the child will either be reunited with his family or adopted fairly quickly. Foster care has been less effective in situations where reunification with parents or adoption are not realistic options, either because the parents are not likely to be rehabilitated, or the child is unlikely to be adopted due to age or handicap or some other reason.

Compounding these difficulties, as Ladner shows, are a shortage of trained social workers and a growing caseload nationwide. Ladner suggests that some new approaches are in order: "The question is what to do with children who are unlikely either to be reunited with their parents or adopted. The option of congregate (institutional) care bears examination."

She briefly describes several modern-day examples of successful congregate care institutions: SOS Children's Villages, which are now operating in several foreign countries; The Villages, founded by Dr. Karl Menninger and located in Kansas; and Girard College in Philadelphia.

Ms. Ladner acknowledges that the popularity of congregate care in the U.S. has declined over the last century, but she argues that it deserves to play a role, particularly in cases where there are no better options available. "Although congregate care is not appropriate for every child, it can help alleviate both overcrowding and inappropriate foster care placements," writes Ladner. "The fact is that fewer and fewer Americans are living in the traditional nuclear family, and that ideal family setting is virtually unattainable for many children now in public care. Care in congregate homes is certainly preferable to the care of biological parents who are neglectful or abusive. It is also preferable to the revolving door experience of too many children in foster care. Children who have been damaged in their biological families and from multiple foster care placements can find in congregate care skills to cope effectively and make a successful transition to adulthood."

A copy of the Children in Out-of-Home Placements Children's Roundtable Report is available online at: http://www.brookings.edu/comm/childrensroundtable/issue4.htm.

To order a print copy or to send questions/comments about this policy brief, contact:
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-797-6105
Email: policybriefs@brookings.edu

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=238


First National Study on Law Enforcement's Response to Child Abuse and Neglect Cases Launched

The issue of whether or not to involve law enforcement officials in the reporting and investigation of child abuse will come under close scrutiny in a new national study by the American Humane Association (AHA), a national leader in child and animal protection issues since 1878.

With funding from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, AHA will provide a comparative look at different social service and law enforcement models. "Traditionally, the role of reporting on and investigating charges of child abuse has fallen on social wokers," said Paul DiLorenzo, Director of AHA's Children's Services. "If a charge is made, it is the responsibility of a local social service agency to determine whether abuse or neglect has occurred, and then what to do to ensure the safety of children. Over the past few years, we've witnessed a change where some communities are handing that responsibility directly to law enforcement agencies."

The study will solicit input from social service, law enforcement, and judicial arenas. At the end of the two-year project, a report will be produced, which outlines and assesses various policy options for communities considering the use of law enforcement agencies to handle child abuse cases.

A copy of the AHA press release is available online at http://www.americanhumane.org/pressroom/law_abuse.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

Contact Information: Vicky Bollenbacher, Ph.D.
American Humane Association
Children's Division
63 Inverness Dr. E.
Englewood, CO 80112-5117
Email: Vicky@americanhumane.org
Phone: 303-792-9900

Related Item

A related manual entitled The Role of Law Enforcement in the Response to Child Abuse and Neglect provides a foundation for the involvement of local, State, tribal, and military law enforcement agencies in combating the crime of child abuse and neglect. It is currently being revised, however the 1992 version is available on the website of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information:

HTML format: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/usermanuals/law/index.cfm

PDF format: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/usermanuals/law/law.pdf

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=239


Bureau of Justice Statistics Report Reveals Increase in Incarcerated Parents

A recent study by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that 2% of American children under age 18 have an incarcerated parent, which represents an increase of a third since 1991.

The study breaks these numbers down by race/ethnicity, showing that 7% of black children and 2.6% of Hispanic children have a parent serving time, compared to less than 1% of white children with locked up parents.

Most of these incarcerated parents are fathers, but in 1999, approximately 53,000 incarcerated parents were mothers, representing a 98% increase--almost double the number in 1991. The majority of prisoners with minor children were convicted of drug charges rather than violent offenses. Most were repeat offenders and more than half had been previously incarcerated.

The care arranged for children differed markedly by gender of the parent inmate. Mothers in State prison were more likely to leave their children in the care of their children's grandparents or other relatives (79%), while most inmate fathers in State prison (90%) entrusted the care of at least one of their minor children with their mother. Although a majority of parents in both State and Federal prison reported having some contact with their children (telephone, mail, in person), about half of all parents serving time reported never having had a personal visit with their children since their admission.

Other highlights of the study include:

The study was based on personal interviews in State and Federal correctional facilities. Inmates described aspects of their lives both before and during incarceration, including history of mental illness, substance abuse, education, employment, income, homelessness, and marital status. Tables present data on current offenses, criminal histories, and sentence lengths, among other information.

Download a copy of the special report, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children and accompanying tables at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/iptc.htm.

It is also available from:

Related Items

Read about a new program aimed at reunifying Wisconsin foster children with their incarcerated mothers through regular prison visits at: http://www.jsonline.com/news/ state/oct00/mama30102900a.asp.

See "Working With Children and Families Separated by Incarceration: A Handbook for Child Welfare Agencies" in the November 2000 Children's Bureau Express for a summary of the Child Welfare League of America's report, which provides an overview of child welfare services needed by children when their parents are arrested and incarcerated.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=243


Three Recent Studies Rank Child Well-Being in the U.S.

The Children's Defense Fund, the Urban Institute, and the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire have weighed in on the state of the nation's children.

2000 Children in the States is the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) annual compilation of data on key children's indicators in each State. (Editor's note: the original link is no longer available. More data can be found at www.childrensdefense.org/data/childreninthestates/ default.aspx). The State profiles are meant as tools for planning and action. Readers can compare how their State's data measures up to the national average, find the amount of available State funds, and get a list of quotable "moments" for their State's children, e.g. "Every 5 minutes a baby was born into poverty."

CDF's rankings measured children's health coverage, babies born to mothers who received early prenatal care, infant mortality, babies born with low birthweight, child immunizations for two-year-olds, children living in poverty, child support collected when assigned to the State, and State spending per student for public elementary and secondary pupils.

The States that appeared most often in CDF's Top 10 Best rankings were:

The States that appeared most often in CDF's Worst 10 Rankings were:

Focusing on 1999 data from 13 States, the Urban Institute's Snapshots of America's Families II, examines changes in family economic well-being; health insurance, access, and health status; and family environment and child well-being (http://newfederalism.urban.org/nsaf/snapshots_index.html). The survey compares data collected in 1997 and highlights the experiences of low-income families.

Although the study found that the income gap between black and white adults grew, as did the health insurance gap between low-income Hispanic and white adults, the strong economy contributed to the following good news:

The University of New Hampshire's Family Research Laboratory provides an alternative way of ranking States in child well-being (http://www.unh.edu/frl/pdf2/kidscount.pdf). Their study argues that the Kids Count Data Book, published annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares data from one point in time (1996) and does not take into account demographics. The Family Research Laboratory adjusted the Kids Count State rankings on 10 indicators based on percent change from 1985 to 1996. It also adjusted scores based on racial composition, specifically percent of black children in each State.

These two methodologies revealed different images of child well-being in each State. When ranked according to the percent change in the indicator over an 11-year period:

When States were ranked after controlling for the percentage of black children:

To order print copies of these reports, contact:

Related Items

For Federal statistics on children and families, see these three annual publications, available through the U.S. Government Printing Office (202-512-1800) and online via the websites below:

See these back issues of the Children's Bureau Express (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov) for other articles on the status of U.S. children:

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=244


Panel Discusses Reporting Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect

A panel discussed child abuse and neglect from several perspectives during a live national teleconference January 18 sponsored by the Maryland School of Public Affairs. Panel members were David Lloyd, Director of the Pentagon's Family Advocacy Program; Dr. Mimi Kanda, pediatrician and Director of the Office of Population Affiars; and Caren Kaplan, Director of Child Welfare League of America's "Protecting America's Children" Project.

Lloyd discussed the Department of Defense's concerns regarding child abuse and neglect, and mentioned DOD's special programs for new parents, exemplary child care facilities, and public awareness prevention efforts. The DOD is responsible for reporting cases of child abuse that occur on all Federal lands, including national monuments and parks and Federal buildings. In general, the Federal child abuse reporting requirements are greater than those of the States and can include siblings. Reports are made to civilian authorities. Lloyd advised if no action is taken, the reporter should be that child's advocate and report again. In domestic violence situations, military social workers assess both the couple and children. "We can approach it more holistically than in the civilian community," said Lloyd.

Kanda noted than the Office of Population Affairs works to prevent child abuse by assisting families in deciding when to have children and supporting parents through Head Start. As a pediatrician, she encountered many children with concerns about child abuse but found it was difficult to assess those situations. She cautioned that medical personnel should not attempt to "interview" young children, which requires specialized training and could do more harm than good. However, Kaplan said "it is a great source of frustration for the physician not knowing the outcome" and noted a need to promote training and partnerships.

Kaplan explained that the Child Welfare League of America, comprising 1,100 member agencies, serves all children at risk before they come to the attention of the child welfare worker. Like Kanda, she cautioned against further inquiry and advocated "treading lightly" if not skilled. Rather, a reporter should rely on the child protective worker who has the authoritative power and the ability to offer therapeutic services. She also noted that domestic violence and animal cruelty statutes in some States dictate whether or not to report an offense to child protective services.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=235


Videoconference Series on Recognizing Child Abuse Opens with Session on Legal Framework for Reporting

Just under 1 million children are abused or neglected in the United States each year. Proper recognition and reporting is a crucial first step in addressing this individual and social tragedy.

To educate the public and professionals about these issues, a live national teleconference series presented by the Maryland School of Public Affairs aired its first of 6 installments on January 18. Co-sponsoring the series are Parents Anonymous, Prevent Child Abuse America, Childhelp USA, and Child Welfare League of America. The trainer, Douglas S. Besharov, a professor at the Maryland School of Public Affairs, discussed the legal framework for reporting child maltreatment.

Besharov stressed the need for a balanced approach to reporting. Over the last 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of reported child abuse cases, due to deteriorating social conditions and increased awareness. Yet, studies show professionals only report about half of what they see. At the same time, there are many unfounded or unsubstantiated reports, which overburden the child protective agencies and subject children to traumatic investigations. Besharov called for clear standards and training, rather than relying on a "gut feeling" to report.

Concerning mandated/permissive reporting, Besharov noted that reporting laws vary from State to State. Every State requires most child-serving professionals to report child abuse, including physicians, nurses, emergency room personnel, coroners, dentists, mental health professionals, social workers, teachers, day care providers, and law enforcement personnel. Some States require others, such as clergy and film processors, to report. In 20 States, all people are required to report. Besharov added that anyone may report, and anonymous reports are permissible. Criminal and civil penalties only apply to mandated reporters who fail to report.

Besharov also discussed the issue of reportable child maltreatment. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act identifies a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define physical abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. According to CAPTA, child abuse and neglect is, at a minimum:

With CAPTA as a foundation, States laws vary regarding what is considered reportable child abuse and neglect and who is considered a "caretaker"--some States define caretaker broadly and others more narrowly. In all States, any suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to local child protective services agencies.

Future training broadcasts, scheduled from 12:30-3:30 EST, include:

To register to be a downlink site or to find a viewing site in your area, visit www.welfareacademy.org/newsite/childabu/body.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

For information about obtaining Besharov's textbook, Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned and companion Trainer's Manual, contact:
The American Enterprise Institute Welfare Reform Project
1150 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-4879
Email: info@welfareacademy.org
Website: http://www.welfareacademy.org

Related Items

From this issue of Children's Bureau Express:

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=234


New Law Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

New language in the Older Americans Act (PL 106-501), reauthorized last November, makes more grandparents and other older relatives who are caring for grandchildren eligible to receive supportive services.

The intergenerational initiative, known as the National Family Caregiver Support Act, provides services to individuals under age 60 for the first time. The following five program components will be administered by a partnership between local area agencies on aging, community service providers, and consumer organizations:

Additionally, the legislation contains the Native American Caregiver Support Program, which makes grants available to tribal organizations to provide these multi-faceted services. The bill also funds programs that provide opportunities for older individuals to engage in multigenerational activities and to obtain computer training and enhanced Internet access. Funding also will be made available to organizations providing legal support and clinical assistance to the elderly.

For a bill summary and legislative history of the Older Americans Act, access Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d106:HR00782:

For more information about the National Family Caregiver Support Act, and how it affects grandparent and relative caretakers, contact:
Generations United
122 C St., NW
Suite 820
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-638-1263
Email: gu@gu.org
Website: http://www.gu.org

The Administration on Aging's website includes a description and list of frequently asked questions about the Older Americans Act and the new caregiver program at: http://www.aoa.gov.

National Family Caregiver Support Program grant allocations to States are available on the HHS website at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20010215.html.

Related Item

See related article in this issue of the Children's Bureau Express, "The Grandfamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren."

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=232


Strategies and Tools for Practice

The GrandFamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren

The first of its kind in the nation, the GrandFamilies House is a housing facility in Boston targeted at low-income grandparents who are their grandchildren's primary caregivers.

For a variety of reasons, the number of children being raised by grandparents has been rising dramatically in recent decades, yet there has been little in terms of public assistance specifically for low-income people in this situation. To address this problem, three organizations in the Boston area (Boston Aging Concerns-Young and Old United, the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development, and the YWCA) banded together.

After several years' planning and extensive renovations, an old nursing home was transformed into a 27-unit facility, designed with the needs of older people and children in mind. For example, there are grab-bars in the bathrooms and safety covers on the electrical outlets. A playground in the rear is situated within easy view of caregivers. A live-in manager is available for emergencies and other needs. A Resident Services Coordinator organizes meetings, transportation, and other services.

A number of services are offered in the basement of the building administered by the Boston YWCA, ranging from a preschool and after-school care for the children, to exercise and parenting classes for the grandparents. Microsoft donated equipment and volunteers for a computer lab. A van funded by the Mellon Trust is available for trips and errands.

A key to the successful launch was a new program of special section 8 rental vouchers created by both the State of Massachusetts and the city of Boston just for grandparents raising grandchildren. The rent subsidies also allow other parenting grandparents to live in affordable housing in the nearby community. Pro-bono attorneys helped put together other public and private financing for the project, which included low-income housing tax credits for lenders.

The GrandFamilies House has drawn media attention, and has received inquiries and visits from social organizations from various parts of the country. "Grandfamilies is definitely a model for other communities to emulate," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino when the project opened in the fall of 1998.

For more information, contact:

Janet Van Zandt
Executive Director
Boston Aging Concerns-Young and Old United
67 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-266-2257, ext. 223

Related Items

See related article in this issue of the Children's Bureau Express, "New Law Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren."

Visit the website of the National Adoption Information Center for a list of resources related to grandparents raising grandchildren (http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?subjID=30&rate_chno=AR-0028A).

The AARP Grandparent Information Center offers a newsletter for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, entitled Raising Grandchildren, as well as several tip sheets on their website (http://www.aarp.org/life/grandparents/) about financial assistance, tax tips, support groups, and other resources. You also can contact them by phone at 202-434-2296 or by email at gic@aarp.org.

For legal issues related to custody and guardianship of grandchildren, contact:
Grandparents Rights Organization
100 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 250
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: 248-646-7191
Website: http://www.grandparentsrights.org

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=226


Corporate Partnerships Increase Adoption of Foster Care Children

What do hospitals, furniture retailers, and children's clothing stores have in common? Through innovative partnerships with adoption agencies, they have all helped waiting children find homes.

An estimated 110,000 foster children in the United States need permanent homes. Many of them are school-age or older, were abused or neglected, are mentally or physically challenged, or are part of a sibling group.

Two years ago, the Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association (IHHA) joined the Illinois Department of Children and Families Services (DCFS) and the Illinois Child Care Association in establishing a model workplace recruitment program. IHAA recently was honored with an Adoption 2002 award (see "HHS Annouces Winners of Adoption 2002 Excellence Awards" in the January 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express). To date, 41 hospitals employing 65,000 workers have helped publicize the need for adoptive families. DCFS asked each hospital to participate in the following ways:

The Illinois Child Care Association has provided guidance in the selection of private agencies to partner with IHHA members hospitals. Private agencies enter into a contractual agreement with DCFS that pays incentives for each completed application, licenses issued to a family within 75 days of the application submission, placements in an adoptive home for 30 days, and matches made within 90 days of a family being licensed. In return, the agency must agree to a customer-friendly approach to recruitment, training, licensing, and matching.

The Dave Thomas Foundation arranged for DCFS to team with marketing staff from Wendy's Restaurants (also founded by Dave Thomas) to develop marketing materials. The recruitment materials--brochures, magnets, posters, banners, table tents, and employee paycheck inserts--can be personalized with the hospital's and private agency's logo and contact information.

The project, known as the Corporate Partnership for Recruitment of Adoptive Families, has generated widespread interest among hospital employees and created new families for 11 adopted children, with more families waiting matching, placements, and finalizations. New corporate partners, particularly African American-run or owned businesses, are currently being sought to expand the pool of permanent families for Illinois' waiting children.

In Massachusetts, a corporate partnership between Jordan's Furniture stores and the nonprofit Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) has had similar success in finding adoptive families. The partnership was launched following an adoption party sponsored by Jordan's in February 1999 that attracted 2,000 prospective parents--the most successful party in the State's history. The Massachusetts Department of Social Services and MARE developed a Memorandum of Commitment which outlined changes required of agencies in order to benefit from the financial and marketing support provided by Jordan's. These changes required agencies to:

As a result, agencies have developed uniform processes and are working more collaboratively. Jordan's has continued to lend its support, with events such as an adoption party for older boys, a button campaign during which employees wore a waiting child's picture, and displays of books featuring waiting children in their stores.

Last November, Family Builders Adoption Network (FBAN)--a national network of 15 public and private adoption agencies--launched a national interstate program to match children with families. Through a partnership with Children's Orchard, a national chain of children's clothing stores, FBAN was able to obtain funding and marketing support. Children's Orchard's 100 franchise stores promote special needs adoptions and its corporate website presents adoption success stories.

The stores also encourage in-store fundraising by asking customers to round up their purchase price, leave cash in cans, or purchase a coupon book to benefit Family Builders' agencies. Donations from Children's Orchards have funded a staff position that facilitates interactions between Family Builders agencies to place children across State lines. To date, 16 special needs children have been placed through the pilot program.

For more information, contact:

Diane DeLeonardo
Statewide Project Coordinator
Corporate Partnership for the Recruitment of Adoptive Families
1945 S. Glenwood
Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: 217-544-0254
Fax: 217-544-0522
Email: leonardo@fgi.net

Carolyn Smith
Executive Director
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange
45 Franklin Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02110-1301
Phone: 800-882-1176 or 617-542-3678
Fax: 617-542-1006
Website: http://www.mareinc.org

Maureen Heffernan
Family Builders Adoption Network
3766 Fishcreek Road, # 276
Stow, OH 44224-5408
Phone: 330-673-2680
Email: msh627@aol.com
Website: http://www.childorch.com/fban_home.htm (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

Related Items

See these related articles in the Children's Bureau Express:

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=227


Guidebook Encourages Social Workers to Pursue Adoptions Across State Lines

Two statutes--the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)--govern the safe placement of children across State lines and ensure that medical and other post-adoption services continue. Yet many caseworkers are still hesitant to expand their recruitment efforts for families nationally.

A new guidebook provides information to caseworkers who may have concerns about placing children across State lines. Produced by the National Adoption Center and the Adoption Exchange Association, it encourages the adoption of children who are currently in the foster care system.

The booklet explains how to use both compacts, including the sending agency and receiving agency's responsibilities. It outlines the steps involved in placing children outside the State, from the first contact to the sharing of information and arranging pre-placement visits. It also discusses money issues, including accessing subsidy programs and financing homestudies, pre-placement visits, and post-adoption services.

Helpful hints from experienced social workers include ideas on planning pre-placement visits, lining up resources, and arranging post-placement supervision. Other testimonies from the adoption coordinators in Louisiana, New Jersey, and Washington show how they have succeeded in these types of placements, with strategies such as:

The appendices provide a glossary of terms, instructions for completing an Interstate Compact Request form, steps to placing a child in another State, a suggested timetable for placement, information about volunteer pilots available for travel associated with interstate placements, and the ICPC and ICAMA contacts in each State.

To obtain a copy of Placing Children Across Geographic Boundaries: A Step-by-Step Guide for Social Workers, contact:

Adoption Exchange Association
820 South Monaco Parkway
PMB #263
Denver, CO 80224
Phone: 303-755-2806
Fax: 303-755-1339

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=242


Resources

The Child Welfare Challenge: Policy, Practice, and Research

Modern Applications of Social Work Series. Second Edition. Pecora, P. J.; Whittaker, J. K.; Maluccio, A. N.; Barth, R. P.; Plotnick, R. D. Aldine de Gruyter, New York, NY. 2000. 612 pp. $30.95. Paperback.

Policy, practice, and research issues intertwine to shape today's child welfare practices, as well as tomorrow's new directions. The authors examine these issues in an historical context, describing current problems in the field, and reviewing recent innovations that could be used to solve these problems. The focus is on areas of service to children who are served by publicly funded agencies:

In each chapter, the authors highlight historical milestones, show how practice has changed in response to response to research findings and public policy, and describe how policy initiatives and research data can or should influence program design and implementation.

To purchase a copy, contact:
Aldine de Gruyter
200 Saw Mill River Rd.
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Phone: 914-747-0110
Fax: 914-747-1326
Email: degruyter.ny@worldnet.att.net
Website: http://www.degruyter.de

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=2386


Family Matters: Interfaces Between Child and Adult Mental Health

Reder, P.; McClure, M.; Jolley, A. (Editors). Taylor & Francis, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 2000. 359 pp. $32.95. Paperback.

Rather than focusing on either child or adult mental health, the authors focus on the complex interactions between parents with mental illness and their children, and how the parents' mental health affects their children's lives. Topics include:

Based on research and practical experience, the authors recommend changes, including the development of new services for the treatment of adolescents, parenting breakdown, and perinatal psychiatric illness, and liaison initiatives to facilitate treatment planning between child and adult mental health services.

To purchase a copy, contact:
Taylor & Francis, Inc.
325 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-625-8900
Fax: 215-625-2940
Email: info@taylorandfrancis.com
Website: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=2387


Evaluation of the Sexually Abused Child: A Medical Textbook and Photographic Atlas

Second Edition. Heger, A.; Emans, S. J.; Muran, D. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 2000. 351 pp. $79.50. Hardbound, with CD-ROM.

Physicians examining children for suspected sexual abuse often do not have the training they need to make a skilled diagnosis. This comprehensive resource provides step-by-step guidance on interviewing and clinically evaluating possible child sexual abuse cases, and includes sixty-three pages of color photographs that document sexual abuse injuries, and offer comparisons to accidental injuries as well as normal anatomical variations. Also covered:

A CD-ROM offers interactive case studies, an electronic photographic atlas, and additional readings. Appendixes include several State sexual abuse protocols. An annotated bibliography and a glossary are also included.

To purchase a copy, contact:
Oxford University Press, Inc.
2001 Evans Rd.
Cary, NC 27513
Phone: 800-451-7556 or 919-677-5202
Fax: 919-677-1714
Email: orders@oup-usa.org
Website: http://www.oup-usa.org

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=2388


Directory II--Legislative Leadership, Committees & Staff 2000

The Council of State Governments, Lexington, KY 40578. 469 pp. $49.00. Paperback.

This easy-to-use State legislative directory will assist you in locating legislative organizations, selected officers, selected committees, and selected legislative functions. Contact names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, website addresses, email addresses and office hours are provided. Organized alphabetically by State and jurisdiction, all 50 States are included in addition to the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To purchase a copy, contact:
The Council of State Governments
P.O. Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40578-1910
Phone: 800-800-1910
Fax: 859-244-8001
Email: info@csg.org
Website: http://www.csg.org

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=2389


Global Views on Child, Family Policy and Child Abuse

Gain a global perspective on issues affecting children, youth, and family through a new website sponsored by Columbia University and a new book on child abuse by Greenwood Publishing Group.

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth, and Family Policies provides cross-national, comparative information about the policies, programs, benefits, and services available to address child, youth, and family needs. While currently focusing on the advanced industrialized countries, including the U.S., coverage of other countries is planned. The Clearinghouse also plans to expand its reporting to include policies and programs related to child welfare, abuse, and neglect; substitute care; and lone mothers.

Users can research a particular country's policies and programs or access multi-country tables for comparative data. The following benefits and services are profiled:

In addition, the site contains comparative country background data, reference publications, and statistics on health, poverty, educational attainment, and youth. Links to international sites; international conventions, treaties, and resolutions; a currency converter and glossary are also useful research tools. A bulletin board provides an opportunity to post questions to Clearinghouse staff and other professionals.

Visit the Clearinghouse site at: http://www.childpolicyintl.org

A new book, Child Abuse: A Global View, delves into the way child abuse and neglect is defined, prevented, and treated worldwide. Sixteen countries, including the U.S., were chosen to represent all the regions of the world. Scholars explore each country's approach to the problem, including:

Order a copy of the 296-page book for $49.95 from:

Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
Phone: 203-226-3571
Website: http://info.greenwood.com/books/0313307/0313307458.html

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=240


Tax Season Assistance for Foster/Adoptive Parents and Kinship Caregivers

Gear up for tax season with new materials to share with resource families! The Casey National Center for Resource Family Support's website offers materials to help foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers claim the maximum tax benefits available to them. Since they are not considered legal advice, resource families are advised to consult with a professional tax advisor.

The items available online are:

The general tax information explains eligibility for the following:

Foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers should be aware that newly discovered tax benefits may be claimed retroactively for up to three years. Additionally, these resource families can obtain free assistance for tax preparation and disputes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinices (LITC).

Access Casey National Center's tax benefits material online at: http://www.casey.org/cnc/support_retention/federal_tax_benefits.htm. (This link is no longer available.)

Related Items

Visit the AARP Grandparent Information Center website for a fact sheet on tax tips for grandparents raising grandchildren (http://www.aarp.org/life/grandparents/helpraising/Articles/a2004-09-07-grandparents-taxtips.html).

The Secretary of the Treasury conducted a study of the effect the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL 104-188) had on adoptions, which included tax provisions to assist families who adopt children--the Adoption Tax Credit and the exclusion of certain employer-paid or employer-reimbursed adoption expenses. Find the October 2000 Report to the Congress on Tax Benefits for Adoption online at: http://www.treas.gov/taxpolicy/library/adoption.pdf.

Order free IRS publications on tax benefits for adoption and foster care by calling 1-800-829-3676 or download from the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html.

The American Bar Association Section of Taxation maintains a website with a page that lists over 100 links to tax-related websites, including Federal and State agencies, and private organizations at: http://www.abanet.org/tax/sites/html.

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=241


Language and Parenting Guide Smoothes Russian Adoptions

After all the other obstacles are overcome, and prospective parents finally meet the child they are adopting from another country, they still have to cope with communication problems.

Adopting From Russia: A Language and Parenting Guide smoothes the process by helping parents prepare for adopting and parenting a child who speaks Russian. The guide illustrates words and phrases, which are vocalized on the follow-along audiocassette, that will help them talk to their child and comfort her in her own language.

Besides teaching hundreds of "adoption-specific" Russian phrases and vocabulary, the guide gives practical ideas for waiting, travel, enhancing bonding, and decreasing frustration. It also familiarizes the reader with Russian culture and customs. Similar guides will soon be available for parents who are planning adoptions from China, Korea, and Latin America.

To order the 45 minute English/Russian cassette tape and 65-page handbook ($39.95 plus $3.00 S/H; discounts for bulk orders; AZ residents add 5% sales tax), contact:
Teresa Kelleher
Tender Loving Communications
PO Box 90
Taylor, AZ 85939-0090
Email: Adopttlc@aol.com

Related Items

See these factsheets related to Russian adoptions on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website (http://naic.acf.hhs.gov):

Direct prospective adoptive parents to the "parents" section of the NAIC site for more information related to domestic and international adoptions at: http://www.calib.com/naic/parents/index.cfm. (Note: this link is no longer available, but relevant information can be found at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/parents/prospective/adopttype/index.cfm.)

Search the NAIC documents database for other consumer titles related to adoption at: http://basis1.calib.com/BASIS/chdocs/docs/naicweb/SF

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=246


Two Florida websites Provide Leadership on Solving Problems of Children and Families

Floridians and child welfare staff from other States can access the TEAM Florida Partnership website as a gateway to information and resources for children and families. Supervised visitation providers can also network through the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation.

The TEAM Florida Partnership consists of representatives from child serving agencies, organizations and programs, advocates, consumers, legislative staff, Governor's staff and community facilitators. It serves as a State level planning, technical assistance, and policy support workgroup.

The website has a calendar of local and national events, many annotated resource links, and a directory of directories. It includes an online Initiatives Mapping Database for users to find information on publicly funded programs. Names, keywords, lead entity, and geographic location can be searched. The site also has a link to Florida Starting Points, an initiative to coordinate public and private efforts to meet the needs of children, ages 0 to 3.

Access the TEAM Florida Partnership website at: http://www.teamfla.org.

Like the Partnership site, the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation, based at Florida State University's School of Social Work, is funded by the State of Florida. Its website contains a message board, chat room, directory of supervised visitation providers, law enforcement guide, and other publications. Links to other supervised visitation sites are also included.

In addition these online resources, the Clearinghouse provides a competency-based training manual for supervised visitation providers, two newsletters, video for parents, and technical assistance to existing and emerging programs.

Log on to http://familyvio.ssw.fsu.edu, then click on the Clearinghouse logo. You can access the site after registering for a password, which you will receive via email.

Contact Information:
Karen Oehme, J.D.
Project Director
Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation
Institute for Family Violence Studies
School of Social Work
Florida State University
C3405 University Center
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570
Phone: 850-644-6303
Email: fsuvisit@aol.com

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=247


Training and Conferences

Using Information Management to Support the Goals of Safety, Permanency and Well Being: Trainer's Guide

University of Southern Maine, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, Institute for Child and Family Service, Portland, ME. 2000. 249 pp. Free to download from website. Binder.

Information management skills are critical for child welfare supervisors if they are to be able to access and utilize Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems (SACWIS). The purpose of this trainer's guide is to give supervisors a chance to learn, practice, and enhance these skills, using experiential, active learning methods, in a competency-based curriculum. The curriculum is designed to complement and integrate with a State's existing SACWIS and supervisory training, and is organized into eleven modules, which can be customized to fit the needs of any public child welfare agency. Topics include:

After completing this training, participants should be able to apply what they have learned to their daily supervisory work, and use information from the SACWIS system to improve accountability in child welfare practice.

A Supervisory Seminar Trainer's Guide and a final report for the project are also available at the website.

To purchase a copy, contact:
Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service
96 Falmouth Street
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, Maine 04104-9300
Phone: 207-780-4430
Fax: 207-780-4417
TTY: 207-780-5646
Email: skanak@usm.maine.edu
Website: http://www.muskie.usm.maine.edu
Full text online: http://www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/sacwis

Issue Date: March/April 2001
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=15&articleid=2385



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