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Children's Bureau ExpressJanuary 2014 | Vol. 15, No. 1

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Family Engagement
This month, CBX looks at family engagement, a family-centered and strengths-based approach to partnering with families in making decisions, setting goals, and achieving desired outcomes. We highlight an interactive microsite that will launch in 2014, lessons to help child welfare agencies implement and maintain effective family search and engagement practices, and more.

  • Family Engagement Across Disciplines
  • Lessons Learned for Search and Engagement
  • Cultural Adaptations to Family-Strengthening Programs
  • Maintaining Connections in Hawaii
  • Newsletter Focuses on Family Reunification
  • Engaging Parents Online

News From the Children's Bureau
Child Maltreatment 2012 provides the most recent State-level data on reports of abuse and neglect made to child protective services. We also point to a guide from the Office of Head Start that offers strategies for implementing father engagement programming across systems and services.

  • Child Maltreatment 2012
  • New 2014 Discretionary Grants Forecasts
  • Head Start Father Engagement Program Guide
  • New! From CB

Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
A new issue brief from the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health addresses how the Affordable Care Act will impact specific health-care issues faced by immigrant children, youth, and families in the United States. We also provide other recent updates from the Bureau's T&TA Network members.

  • Health-Care Reform and Immigrant Families
  • More Updates From the T&TA Network

Child Welfare Research
CBX points to a report examining scenarios for delinking title IV-E eligibility from income requirements set forth under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program, an evaluation of Family Finding used with children new to out-of-home care, and a blog post about a special visa that may help undocumented children achieve permanency.

  • Delinking IV-E Eligibility and Income Standards
  • Family Finding for Youth New to Foster Care
  • Strategies for Counting Homeless Youth
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Visas
  • Building Capacity for Evidence-Based Practice

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Helping Youth Access Credit Reports
  • Child- and Adolescent-Fair Courtrooms
  • Becoming a Permanence-Driven Organization
  • Guidance for Mandated Reporters

Resources

  • Birth Parent National Network
  • Family Preservation Services Blog
  • Youth Financial Management Laws
  • Magazines for Youth, by Youth
  • CWLA Launches E-Newsletter
  • Traumatic Stress Judicial Benchcards

Training and Conferences

  • Strengthening Parent Provider Relationships
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Family Engagement

Family Engagement Across Disciplines

Family engagement is recognized as a core ingredient to success and improved outcomes for children and families across the human services and education fields. Child Welfare Information Gateway, the information service of the Children's Bureau, is developing an interactive Family Engagement Inventory (FEI) microsite that will be launched in 2014. This dynamic site will focus on family engagement in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, early childhood education, and education. The FEI will highlight how family engagement is defined and implemented across disciplines and aims to promote understanding and cross-system collaboration by providing practical information to those working directly with families, managing programs, and leading systems.

The FEI will provide information and resources on the definitions, themes, benefits, and evidence-based practices of family engagement for each human services field, as well as offer information and resources on strategies for the following:

Professionals can use the FEI to compare themes, approaches, and resources; explore commonalities across fields; and access links to useful and valuable information and websites.

Look for the FEI in 2014 on Child Welfare Information Gateway's website:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4080


Lessons Learned for Search and Engagement

Based on their agencies' experiences locating and engaging relatives to promote family connections for youth, an Ohio workgroup offers 10 lessons to help other child welfare agencies implement and maintain effective family search and engagement (FSE) practices.

Lessons related to general FSE implementation include:

Practice-oriented lessons include:

In addition to specific tips related to each lesson, Ohio's FSE publication also includes success stories, sample cold call language, and information on the costs and benefits of various search engines.

The lessons learned document is a culmination of activities that began with FSE training in multiple Ohio counties in 2010. For 2 years following the training, participants convened by phone bimonthly to discuss their FSE approaches and share ideas. Family Search and Engagement Workteam members represented public children services agencies, private agencies, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center.

Family Search and Engagement: Lessons Learned in Support of Ohio's Child and Family Services Review Program Improvement Plan for Purposes of Dissemination to PCSAs, compiled by Jodie Hembree, is available on the website of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program:

http://www.ocwtp.net/PDFs/Trainer%20Resources/FSE%20Lessons%20Learned.pdf (1 MB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4081


Cultural Adaptations to Family-Strengthening Programs

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 funded several marriage education programs that target Hispanic couples; however, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs in reaching and serving this population. The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) funded the Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative Grantee Implementation (HHMI) Evaluation to examine intervention adaptations that increase cultural responsiveness. The latest in a series of reports from the evaluation examines HHMI project revisions to make family-strengthening programs more culturally relevant.

Despite the fact that Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the United States—expected to be nearly 20 percent of the nation's population by 2030—human services interventions are often created by and for White, nonminority populations. The lack of cultural responsiveness in family-strengthening interventions can impact the recruitment, retention, effectiveness, and overall participation of these programs. Additionally, a lack of cultural relevance often is cited by individuals as a reason for not seeking services. This is particularly poignant given that less than 60 percent of Hispanic children live with two married biological or adoptive parents, and Hispanic children are three times as likely as non-Hispanic White children to live in poverty.

Adaptations employed by HHMI grantees aimed to fulfill one of two goals: (1) increase program participation and (2) increase effectiveness by targeting the underlying risk and protective factors that correlate with program outcomes. Adaptations included those that addressed language, diversity, racism, and immigration issues. The report focused on family-strengthening programs describes the cultural values adaptations undertaken by the grantees, including the following: 

Hispanics and Family-Strengthening Programs: Cultural Strategies to Enhance Program Participation, and the previous four evaluation reports, are available on the OPRE website:

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/hispanics-and-family-strengthening-programs-cultural-strategies-to

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4082


Maintaining Connections in Hawaii

Using a grant offered under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, EPIC 'Ohana and the Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) studied and addressed family engagement and family conferencing. The result is a manual that describes the family engagement process in native terms as the agencies attempt to identify the "piko" (umbilical cord/attachment) and undo the "hihia" (knots) so that families can be attached and secure in their connections to one another.

The manual explains the influence of native Hawaiian values, the Maori of New Zealand family group decision-making process, and western mediation on 'Ohana conferencing that is used to engage immediate and extended family members in child welfare. The manual also describes in detail and provides examples for the following eight values child welfare professionals use when they engage families and service providers in making decisions with families:

EPIC 'Ohana and DHS have discovered integrating these values with the culture, values, and the wisdom of each family into the decision-making process is relevant to achieving the best outcomes for children and their families.

Maintaining Connections: The Values Behind Family Engagement Practices Within the Child Welfare System is available on Epic 'Ohana's website:

http://www.epicohana.info/resources/grant%20manual%20web.pdf (3 MB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4083


Newsletter Focuses on Family Reunification

The June 2013 issue of Practice Notes focuses on the goal of family reunification—the process of returning children in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin. The issue also provides information to assist child welfare professionals in their efforts to safely reunite children with their parents.

The first two North Carolina-specific articles highlight the State's reunification efforts. "Reunification in North Carolina: How Are We Doing" provides data and several info graphics that show State performance and child and family outcomes in this area. "North Carolina is Changing Its Family Reunification Program" discusses why and how the State's outdated and underutilized family reunification program was restructured—namely, county agencies referred too few families to Intensive Family Reunification Services providers—and it explains the goals of the new Time-Limited Family Reunification Services approach, which was implemented on July 1, 2013.

Other articles look at:

This issue of Practice Notes, 18(3), 2013, produced by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, is available on the Practice Notes website:

http://www.practicenotes.org/v18n3/CSPN_v18n3.pdf (376 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4084


Engaging Parents Online

Even with the presence of in-person, evidence-based parenting programs aimed at reducing child maltreatment, many high-risk parents face barriers to participation, including logistical difficulties, the stigma of attendance, and availability within their communities. A recent article in the Journal of Public Child Welfare—"Enhancing Accessibility and Engagement in Evidence-Based Parenting Programs to Reduce Maltreatment: Conversations With Vulnerable Parents"—assessed the potential for online programs to reach high-risk parents.

The study team conducted 11 focus groups with 160 Black and Hispanic parents in high-poverty situations in Los Angeles County, CA, to determine their views on the acceptability, feasibility, and helpfulness of participating in a parenting program in an online format—both with and without a social media component. At the beginning of each focus group, the parents viewed 35 minutes of clips of the online version of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, an evidence-based program. The parents in the focus group all were participants in a parenting program other than Triple P. The study team also used an Internet survey to assess the Internet usage of 238 additional parents.

An analysis of the focus group discussions showed that most parents were enthusiastic about the online program, thought it would be convenient, and saw the potential value to them as parents, especially using the social media component to learn through shared experiences. Some parents, however, expressed concerns about learning on a social networking site and Internet accessibility.

The Internet usage component of the study showed that 78 percent of the parents had Internet access, 63 percent had an email account, and 33 percent used social networking sites (e.g., Facebook). These findings highlight the feasibility of reaching this population through a parenting program that uses an online social networking format.

"Enhancing Accessibility and Engagement in Evidence-Based Parenting Programs to Reduce Maltreatment: Conversations With Vulnerable Parents," by Susan M. Love, Matthew R. Sanders, Carol W. Metzler, Ronald J. Prinz, and Elizabeth Z. Kast, Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7(1), 2013, is available for purchase here:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15548732.2012.701837

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Spotlight on Family Engagement
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4085


News From the Children's Bureau

Child Maltreatment 2012

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released Child Maltreatment 2012. This is the 23rd in a series of reports designed to provide State-level data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). The annual reports include information on reports of abuse and neglect made to child protective services (CPS) agencies, the children involved, types of maltreatment, CPS responses, child and caregiver risk factors, services, and perpetrators.

Highlights of the 2012 report include the following:

A press release highlighting the report and its findings is available on the website for the Administration for Children and Families: 

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/press/fewer-child-abuse-and-neglect-victims-for-sixth-consecutive-year

The full report is available on the Children's Bureau website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2012

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4076


New 2014 Discretionary Grants Forecasts

The Children's Bureau announced new discretionary grants forecasts for fiscal year (FY) 2014.

Information about grants forecasts is available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants Forecast website, a database of planned grant opportunities proposed by its agencies:

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

To find the Children's Bureau's Funding Opportunity Announcement (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: January 2014
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4077


Head Start Father Engagement Program Guide

Recognizing that father engagement is an essential component of family engagement, the Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, produced a guide offering strategies for implementing father engagement programming across systems and services. The guide addresses serving expectant fathers and fathers of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and is designed for all Head Start staff. Other service providers who work with fathers, including teachers, home visitors, or parent leaders, may also find the guide useful.

The guide is divided into three parts: (1) the foundations of father engagement programming, (2) program impact areas of father engagement, and (3) a toolkit. Related resources also are included. This new resource builds on the Office of Head Start's Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework.

The Head Start Father Engagement Birth to Five Programming Guide is available here:

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/father-engage-programming.pdf (2 MB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4078


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 information about the Children's Bureau's 100-year history, download the new e-book, The Children's Bureau Legacy: Ensuring the Right to Childhood:

http://cb100.acf.hhs.gov/CB_ebook

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

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

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4079


Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates

Health-Care Reform and Immigrant Families

The landmark health-care reforms delineated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), focus on alleviating the disparities in access to and quality of health-care services for vulnerable and underserved U.S. populations. The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health (TA Partnership) published an issue brief that addresses how the ACA's provisions impact specific health-care issues faced by immigrant children, youth, and families in the United States.

The brief touches on some of the specific problems related to the U.S. health-care system that the ACA seeks to rectify and goes on to discuss in detail how ACA provisions address these issues, including projected timelines and particular health-care benefits, such as insurance and essential health benefits, as well as coverage expansion. However, there are provisions related to eligibility for immigrants that will affect many children, youth, and families residing in the United States, many of whom may have come from life experiences that have impacted their mental health. For example, the ACA provides legal permanent residents and refugees with the same benefits as U.S. citizens, and this will include access to mental and behavioral health services through the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). However, undocumented children, youth, and families will not have access to these public health-care services and will not be able to purchase health-care coverage through the insurance exchanges. The brief also addresses a number of key health equity provisions and includes a glossary of ACA terminology.

To read Health Reform and Immigrant Children, Youth, and Families: Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Behavioral Health, visit the TA Partnership website:

http://www.tapartnership.org/docs/Health_Reform_Immigrant_Children.pdf (889 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4086


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: January 2014
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4087


Child Welfare Research

Delinking IV-E Eligibility and Income Standards

Current title IV-E eligibility is tied to whether the family from which a child is removed would have met the income standard of the 1996 Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which has since been replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. When child welfare professionals and policymakers discuss child welfare finance reform, eliminating the AFDC income requirements from title IV-E foster care eligibility—known as delinking—is a common suggestion. To explore this further, the American Public Human Services Association recently released The Cost Modeling Project: An Analytical Tool for Child Welfare Agencies to Assess the Impact of Delinking.

Since AFDC is based on 1996 income standards that are not adjusted for inflation, many children who are in foster care are not able to receive Federal financial support because of their families' income levels. This places an increased financial burden on States and links assistance to family income rather than child needs. The report provides background about title IV-E financing and describes how several scenarios for delinking title IV-E from AFDC would affect five jurisdictions that have different characteristics (e.g., average annual expenses, the State's Federal Medical Assistance Percentage). It also includes an assessment tool that States and localities can use to assess how delinking may affect them.

The Cost Modeling Project: An Analytical Tool for Child Welfare Agencies to Assess the Impact of Delinking, is available here:

http://www.aphsa.org/content/dam/NAPCWA/PDF%20DOC/Home%20Page/ImpactofDelinking.pdf (285 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4088


Family Finding for Youth New to Foster Care

The Family Finding model promotes positive relationships and secure commitments from adults who are expected to remain involved in a child's life after he or she ages out of foster care. Historically, the approach has been used to find and secure family networks for older youth who have lost touch with their families as a result of having been in foster care for long periods of time. More recently, there has been interest in the child welfare field in implementing the model with children new to out-of-home care. Child Trends recently published the results of an evaluation of Family Finding in San Francisco with this broader population.

Researchers conducted an impact assessment, as well as an implementation evaluation. The study utilized random assignment procedures in which 123 children received "services as usual," and 116 children received Family Finding services. The goal of the impact study was to determine whether Family Finding services affected the likelihood of reunification and of a child's goal being changed to something other than reunification.

Results from the impact study indicated that the likelihood for reunification did not significantly differ between the treatment and control groups; however, a larger percentage of children in the treatment group were reunited with their parents during the study period. Children receiving Family Finding services were significantly more likely to have a goal of reunification than a goal of adoption, but they were also more likely to return to out-of-home care after reuniting with their parents.

Results from the implementation study indicated that caseworkers faced barriers in attempting to adhere to the Family Finding program model. Most notable were the findings that caseworkers had difficulties evaluating permanency plans and providing follow-up supports for the children receiving the Family Finding treatment.

Family Finding for Children and Families New to Out-of-Home Care: A Rigorous Evaluation of Family Finding in San Francisco, by Karin Malm, Tiffany Allen, Amy McKlindon, and Sharon Vandivere, is available on the Child Trends website:

http://www.childtrends.org/family-finding-for-children-and-families-new-to-out-of-home-care-a-rigorous-evaluation-of-family-finding-in-san-francisco/

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4089


Strategies for Counting Homeless Youth

To help fulfill the Obama administration's quest to end homelessness, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the Youth Count! initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to develop promising strategies for counting the number and characteristics of unaccompanied homeless youth in the United States. This data can help providers and policymakers tailor services to reach specific subgroups of homeless youth, such as those who have aged out of foster care. Nine sites participated in data collection during the winter 2012/2013.

In July 2013, the Urban Institute released Youth Count! Process Study, which assesses the Youth Count! process and identifies promising strategies and lessons learned for improving counting methods. The report is based on interviews, observations during the count, and document reviews. Promising strategies for counting homeless youth include engaging youth service providers, involving youth in the planning and implementation, using social media to connect with youth, and measuring housing instability rather than just homelessness. The study also includes detailed descriptions of the sites' methodologies, a discussion of challenges, and recommendations.

To view the Youth Count! Process Study, visit:

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412872-youth-count-process-study.pdf (968 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4090


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Visas

A growing number of children and families involved with child welfare are immigrants or refugees. This population has a unique set of needs and face different challenges than other families involved with child welfare. In a guest blog post for the Center for Advance Studies in Child Welfare, Rebecca Scholtz, an attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, highlights a Federal immigration provision that may help undocumented children achieve permanency.

The Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS) visa allows some undocumented children receive lawful permanent resident status in as little as 6 months. This visa can help:

SIJSs can change children's lives and help send them down the path toward permanency. Scholtz notes that child welfare professionals play an important role in identifying undocumented children. Because children lose SIJS eligibility when they turn 21, early identification and application is crucial.

The blog post explains the value of the SIJS, how to obtain the visa, and the visa's ramifications on children's permanency. Scholtz links to a bulletin from the Minnesota Department of Human Services offering more detailed information and resources for professionals working with this vulnerable population.

"Guest Blog Post: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Child Welfare," by Rebecca Scholtz, in the Child Welfare Policy blog, is available on the website for the Center for Advance Studies in Child Welfare:

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cascw/policy/2013/06/guest-blog-post-special-immigr.html

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4091


Building Capacity for Evidence-Based Practice

In recent years, the Federal Government has made the funding and development of evidence-based practices a top priority within the child welfare field. Despite these policy directives, many State and local programs lack the capacity to effectively implement and sustain evidence-based programs. Furthermore, the research literature on capacity is limited. A recent article in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services features a case study that addresses some of the gaps in the evidence-based capacity-building literature.

The study used the Prevention Support Systems (PSS) element of the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation (ISF) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the organizing theory to examine a real-world example of a federally funded evidence-based practice implementation. The PSS element of the ISF model describes support structures that are needed for full delivery and implementation of research-based initiatives.

The case study was conducted in two States, Kansas and Nebraska, which were chosen because they were early adopters of evidence-based practice and exploring pathways to capacity building and systems change. Kansas used standardized measurements, requests for proposals, and self-assessment and quality improvement tools within their grant-making process, while Nebraska utilized State partnership and community collaboration development. The study showed that both States experienced successes in increasing the use of evidence-based practices in prevention efforts with the help of the multilevel PSS framework.

The article concludes by discussing lessons learned from the study and providing recommendations for building stronger implementation capacity.

"Translating Evidence-Based Policy to Practice: A Multilevel Partnership Using the Interactive Systems Framework," by Melissa Brodowski, Jacqueline Counts, Rebecca Gillam, Linda Baker, Valerie Collins, Edi Winkle, et al., Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 94(3), is available for purchase through the journal website:

http://alliance1.org/fis/new-issue

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4092


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Helping Youth Access Credit Reports

For a young person transitioning out of foster care, poor credit can add to the challenges of getting an apartment, a bank account, or a student loan and achieving financial stability. A new reference guide provides child welfare agency staff with detailed information on accessing credit reports for youth in care and helping resolve common credit report errors, as required by Federal mandate. The guide—developed by the Credit Builders Alliance and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation—also presents tips on educating youth about the importance of building credit and protecting against identify theft.

Accessing Credit Reports for Foster Youth: A Reference Guide for Child Welfare Agencies, by Staci GoldbergBelle and Sarah Chenven, is available from the Credit Builders Alliance website:

http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={50BF110B-78E2-41E3-B109-580AB93F61F3}

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4093


Child- and Adolescent-Fair Courtrooms

A recent issue of CenterPiece, the peer-reviewed newsletter of the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC), presents the perspective of a frightened 7-year-old girl who was the victim of sexual abuse. Through her eyes, readers experience the intimidating world of the criminal and family court system. The article highlights the need for child- and adolescent-fair courtrooms, because when children feel comfortable, their testimony is more accurate and efficient and they experience less retraumatization.

The issue discusses the many challenges of and the considerations that should be made when children and adolescents appear in the courtroom and during other legal proceedings, including the following:

"A Courtroom for All: Creating Child and Adolescent-Fair Courtrooms," by Allie Phillips, J.D., and Susanne Walters, CenterPiece, 3(7&8), 2013, is available on the NCPTC website:

http://www.ncptc.org/vertical/Sites/%7B8634A6E1-FAD2-4381-9C0D-5DC7E93C9410%7D/uploads/CenterPiece.NL.Vol3.Iss78.pdf (3 MB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4094


Becoming a Permanence-Driven Organization

Anu Family Services, a treatment foster care agency, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare published a how-to guidebook for child welfare agencies on improving permanency outcomes for youth in care. After implementing evidence-informed practices and undergoing a cultural and organizational change, Anu Family Services improved permanency outcomes for youth by 84 percent. The guidebook is based on the organization's lessons learned from this work, which began in 2006.

The guidebook outlines the process for becoming a permanency-driven organization that include the following steps:

A glossary of permanency terminology, permanency-related tools, and information about sustaining organizational change during times of diminishing resources also are included.

Creating a Permanence Driven Organization: A Guidebook for Change in Child Welfare is available on the Anu Family Services website:

http://www.anufs.org/forms/AnuGuide.pdf (9 MB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4095


Guidance for Mandated Reporters

A two-page brochure from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) answers frequently asked questions about mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect, such as:

In addition, the brochure outlines the steps for making a report and what happens after the report is made. While tailored to Massachusetts' laws and procedures, this product may be useful as a model for other child welfare agencies seeking to educate mandated reporters in their jurisdictions.

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting: A Guide for Mandated Reporters is available from the website of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dcf/can-mandated-reporters-guide.pdf (125 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4096


Resources

Birth Parent National Network

The National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds, with its long-term commitment to parent partnerships and its well-established national network of State children's trust and prevention funds, has joined with Casey Family Programs and other key partners to establish the Birth Parent National Network (BPNN). The ultimate policy goal of the BPNN is to improve outcomes for children and families at-risk of child welfare involvement, or who are currently involved with the child welfare system.

The BPNN is working to educate policymakers and other stakeholders about the need for an alignment of child welfare goals, including the safe reduction in the number of children in foster care by 50 percent by 2020 and the funding of child welfare services. The BPNN invites organizations and birth parents to join as partners to promote and support the voices of parents in child welfare systems reform. The BPNN is for:

Parents who:

Organizations that are:

To join the BPNN, contact the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds at info@ctfalliance.org.

More information about the Children's Trust and Prevention Funds on its website:

http://www.bpnn.ctfalliance.org

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4097


Family Preservation Services Blog

In April 2013, the National Family Preservation Network launched the Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) Coast to Coast blog. The blog is aimed at all members of the IFPS community—therapists, administrators, supervisors, and advocates—and its goals are to increase the visibility and expand the reach of IFPS.

Recent blog posts include:

Read these and other posts from the IFPS Coast to Coast blog here:

http://ifpscoasttocoast.wordpress.com/

For more information on the National Family Preservation Network, visit its website:

http://www.nfpn.org/

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4098


Youth Financial Management Laws

The American Bar Association's (ABA's) Center on Children and the Law recently released a State-by-State list of laws and child welfare agency policies on the preparation of financial management skills for youth in care. The list outlines the provisions for the 14 States with such laws, followed by State child welfare agency policies in the 6 States with such policies.

State Laws and Child Welfare Agency Policies on Preparation of Foster Youth for Financial Management and Related Skills is available on the ABA website:

http://www.nationalfostercare.org/uploads/8/7/9/7/8797896/foster_youth_financial_indpendence_laws-aba.pdf (653 KB)

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4099


Magazines for Youth, by Youth

Represent magazine and its sister publication, YCteen, provide useful information to youth in foster care and offer child welfare professionals insight into teens' concerns. Represent offers youth information on aging out, addiction, child abuse, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) issues, mental health, and other topics. YCteen publishes true stories from youth in care. Both publications are sponsored by Youth Communication, an organization dedicated to helping youth reach their full potential in school and their community through reading and writing.

For more information, visit:

YCteen:

http://www.ycteenmag.org/

Represent:

http://representmag.org/topics/aging%20out.html?include=independent+living+OR+aging+out+of+care+OR+.html

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4100


CWLA Launches E-Newsletter

The Child Welfare League of America recently launched a biweekly e-newsletter, The Networker. The newsletter—aimed at administrators, social workers, and child and family experts—features upcoming conferences, the latest news from the child welfare field, the newest child welfare resources, and training opportunities.

To subscribe to The Networker, visit:

http://multibriefs.com/optin.php?cwla

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4101


Traumatic Stress Judicial Benchcards

Research shows that children and youth who are involved with the court system often exhibit high levels of traumatic stress caused by adverse childhood experiences, and this stress often manifests as disruptive, defiant, and/or antisocial behavior. In July 2013, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) released two new judicial benchcards (a benchcard is a set of topic-specific guidelines and questions that should be considered in legal proceedings) developed to help judges better understand and, therefore, make decisions based on the growing scientific research in the area of traumatic stress.

The benchcards NCTSN Bench Card for the Trauma-Informed Judge and NCTSN Bench Card for Court-Ordered Trauma-Informed Mental Health Evaluation of Child: Sample Addendum are available on the NCTSN website:

http://www.ncjfcj.org/sites/default/files/JudgeBenchCards_final.pdf (581 KB)

These cards supplement a larger selection of materials on child and adolescent trauma, available and downloadable from the NCTSN Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System Resource webpage:

http://www.ncjfcj.org/resource-library/publications/juvenile-justice

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4102


Training and Conferences

Strengthening Parent Provider Relationships

ZERO TO THREE's Center for Training Services now offers an online project to guide communities in supporting parent-provider relationships to promote the well-being of very young children. The project is composed of eight interactive 1-hour lessons that include activities such as virtual Communities of Practice sessions.

These tools are aimed at communities and multidisciplinary professionals who work to strengthen families, promote well-being, and encourage healthy early childhood development. Information regarding Request for Applications for soliciting the participation of communities interested in organizing cross-sector/multidisciplinary groups of professionals to participate in the online lessons is also available through the Center.

Access the Sharing the Care: Partnering to Promote Child Well-Being project on the ZERO TO THREE website:

http://www.zerotothree.org/about-us/areas-of-expertise/training-and-professional-development/sharing-the-care.html

Issue Date: January 2014
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4103


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through April 2014 include:

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

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: January 2014
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=153&articleid=4104



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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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