Children's Bureau ExpressApril 2015 | Vol. 16, No. 3

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
CBX spotlights this year's National Child Abuse Prevention Month initiative, features an article on different protective factors approaches to promoting child and family well-being, points to a report on mandated reporting for afterschool staff, and highlights an intervention model targeting cases of chronic child neglect.

  • April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • A Comparison of Two Protective Factors Approaches
  • Family Asset Builder, Chronic Neglect Intervention
  • Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being
  • Afterschool Staff and Mandated Reporting
  • Nationwide Survey Celebrates 40 Years of IFPS

News From the Children's Bureau
We highlight new data releases from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) and a report from the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation on a behavioral intervention to support incarcerated noncustodial parents.

  • Associate Commissioner's Page
  • NDACAN Issues New Data Releases
  • Modifying Child Support Orders for Incarcerated Parents
  • CB Website Updates

Child Welfare Research
CBX explores a study examining the residential settings of California's young adults in extended foster care, an article on proper implementation of wraparound services, and an annual report on child and youth well-being.

  • 2014 National Child and Youth Well-Being Index
  • Implementation of Wraparound Services
  • Residential Settings for Young Adults in Foster Care
  • Recommendations of the Birth Parent Advisory Committee

Strategies and Tools for Practice
This section of CBX offers publications, articles, reports, toolkits, and other instruments that provide either evidence-based strategies or other concrete help to child welfare and related professionals.

  • Dependency Court Hearings and Family Engagement
  • Safety Resources and Kinship Placements
  • Trauma in Dual-Status Youth

Resources
This CBX section provides a quick list of interesting resources, such as websites, videos, journals, funding or scholarship opportunities, or other materials that can be used in the field or with families.

  • Sex Trafficking in Schools
  • Resources for Prospective Parents With Disabilities
  • Promoting Sibling Connections in Foster Care

Training and Conferences

  • Preventing Teen Dating Violence
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Each year during the month of April, the Children's Bureau observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month—a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and promote activities across the nation aimed at protecting children and supporting families. This year's Prevention Month initiative continues to highlight the theme chosen by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect's (OCAN's) 2014 National Conference, "Making Meaningful Connections," which focuses on the community and cross-system collaborations required to protect children and strengthen families.

The 2015 Prevention Month website features resources, publications, videos, and more aimed at protecting children and strengthening families. Also highlighted is the updated 2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections. This year's Resource Guide features the following:

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

In support of the Prevention Month initiative, Child Welfare Information Gateway refreshed its Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect web section with updated resources and a new section on Home Visiting and Maternal Mental Health.

For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month or to view or order a copy of the Prevention Resource Guide, visit the Prevention Month website at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4448


A Comparison of Two Protective Factors Approaches

Protective factors are strengths and resources that may mediate or serve as a buffer against risk factors that contribute to maltreatment. These factors may strengthen parent-child relationships, a family's ability to cope with stress, and parents' capacity to provide for children. Studies have shown that in order to successfully ensure child well-being, interventions need to not only reduce families' risk factors but also increase their protective factors. There are several different approaches programs, agencies, and professionals can use to promote protective factors. A new factsheet developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) provides information on two approaches: CSSP's Strengthening Families™ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Essentials for Childhood.

The factsheet begins by highlighting the commonalities between the two approaches. Both aim to ensure that children have safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with their parents and caregivers. They both also work toward shifts in families' environments to help ensure that children and families have safe, stable, and nurturing experiences in their larger social context. This, in turn, helps promote these same factors in their more intimate family settings. The differences between the two approaches are primarily concerned with where interventions are implemented within a family's environmental sphere. For example, Strengthening Families aims to affect families by intervening in the programs and systems that interact with families, such as child welfare and education systems. Essentials for Childhood seeks to influence families via larger environmental context by effecting change in the communities in which they live. This could include, for example, ensuring access to affordable child care or physical and mental health care.

The factsheet discusses the benefits of implementing both frameworks simultaneously, as well as some issues to consider when doing so. Benefits can include the following:

To access the factsheet Essentials for Childhood and Strengthening Families, visit the CSSP website at http://www.cssp.org/reform/strengtheningfamilies/2014/EfC-SF.pdf (166 KB).

For more information on Strengthening Families and Essentials for Childhood, view their jointly sponsored webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/100000000064298584;jsessionid=abc8jX9w7b6oHdjLGhjWu.

You can also download the webinar presentation slides at http://www.cssp.org/media/webinar-assets/Strengthening_families_State_Partners_Webinar_Slides.pdf (1 MB).

To read more about protective factors approaches, read Child Welfare Information Gateway's issue brief Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare, available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/issue-briefs/protective-factors/.

Related Item

Both the Strengthening Families and Essentials for Childhood approaches are discussed in detail in the 2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections, highlighted in this month's Children's Bureau Express. Read more in the article "April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month."
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4449


Family Asset Builder, Chronic Neglect Intervention

In 2009, Casey Family Programs and the American Humane Association (AHA) partnered to develop a new intervention model targeting cases of chronic child neglect. The Family Asset Builder (FAB) intervention model was established using AHA's six-point framework for effectively working with families involved with child protective services (CPS) as a result of chronic neglect. It is based on the assumption that a strength-based, solution-focused approach to service delivery is necessary to address neglect early in a family's CPS involvement. An article in the Journal of Family Strengths describes the development and core components of the FAB intervention approach.

The FAB model offers intensive case-management services to families with a history of chronic neglect that focus on the family's needs, strengths, and the underlying parental and family behaviors that contributed to the neglect and the family's involvement with child welfare. The model was created in response to a lack of specialized interventions designed specifically to address neglect and a lack of evaluative studies to assess the effectiveness of such interventions. According to recent national estimates, the majority of all child maltreatment victims—over half a million children—suffered from neglect. While rates of physical and sexual abuse among victims of maltreatment have fluctuated little over time, neglect rates have increased from 63 percent in 2000 to 78 percent in 2013 among child maltreatment victims. Additionally, neglect is more likely than other forms of maltreatment to reoccur in families with a history of child welfare involvement. This pattern of chronic neglect, especially in early childhood, can have long-lasting, harmful effects on children's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

The article describes the intervention approach and reviews the 2011 piloting of the FAB approach in two Minnesota counties, an evaluation study of the model, lessons learned from implementation, and preliminary findings from the intervention. Authors also present recommendations and discuss FAB's role in expanding the field's knowledge around chronic neglect and informing future child welfare research, policy, and practice.

"Development and Evaluation of the Family Asset Builder: A New Child Protective Services Intervention to Address Chronic Neglect," by T. W. Corwin, E. J. Maher, M. Idzelis Rothe, M. Skrypek, C. Kaplan, D. Koziolek, and B. Mahoney, Journal of Family Strengths, (14)1, 2014, is available at http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1244&context=jfs (262 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4450


Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being

Adolescence is when youth explore and further develop their identities and independence and cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to traverse the path to adulthood. Studies indicate that the presence of healthy family settings and relationships can assist youth in this phase of development. Conversely, negative family factors can present additional challenges to an inherently tumultuous period and have long-lasting consequences that can follow youth into adulthood. A new Child Trends research brief focuses on the importance of a positive and supportive family environment in promoting adolescent well-being.

The brief builds on and provides updated findings to the 2006 publication The Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being: Exposure to Positive and Negative Family Influences. It also explores the following five key areas of interaction between family environment and adolescent well-being: parent and adolescent closeness and communication, parental relationships, parental monitoring, eating meals together, and parental healthy behaviors. Some key findings include:

When available, data is presented by age, gender, ethnicity, income/poverty level, parental education, and family type (two-parent family [biological, step, or adoptive], single mother, and single father).

The November 2014 brief, The Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being, by V. Sacks, K. Anderson Moore, A. Shaw, and P.M. Cooper, is available on the Child Trends website at http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-52FamilyEnvironmentRB.pdf (633 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4451


Afterschool Staff and Mandated Reporting

With more than 8 million children and youth spending an average of 8 hours a week in an afterschool program, providers and staff for these programs play an important role in identifying and reporting suspected child maltreatment. The fall 2014 issue of Afterschool Matters features an article on the role of afterschool program staff as mandated reporters and in keeping children safe.

Mandated reporters are classified as anyone whose employment puts them in contact with children and are therefore required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. This designation includes afterschool program staff. However, there is no current research on mandated reporting of child maltreatment by afterschool staff, and research on the related field of child care shows that child care providers are far less likely to report suspected abuse.

The article features findings from a survey of 71 staff from a large afterschool program in California—using questions from the Educators and Child Abuse Questionnaire—inquiring about staff knowledge surrounding child maltreatment and its signs and symptoms, mandated reporting, and training. Training for mandated reporters varies by State and, while California law encourages employers to provide training, only school districts are required to provide training.

Survey findings showed that nearly all staff knew they were responsible for reporting suspected maltreatment. However, about 80 percent of respondents were not aware of the required timeframes for making reports—California law requires that, when a reporter suspects abuse, a phone report be made as soon as possible and a written report be submitted within 36 hours. Of the survey respondents, 21 percent had never received mandated reporter training, and 89 percent said they wanted more training. Findings suggest that more training may improve staff knowledge about child maltreatment and reporting laws. The article also discusses factors influencing staff decisions to make a report and implications of survey findings for program administrators.

"Keeping Children Safe: Afterschool Staff and Mandated Child Maltreatment Reporting," by M. Gandarilla and J. O'Donnel, Afterschool Matters, 20, 2014, is available at http://www.niost.org/pdf/afterschoolmatters/asm_2014_20_fall/ASM_Fall2014_Fullarticle.pdf (5 MB).

For more information on mandatory reporting, read Child Welfare Information Gateway's Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect, available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/manda/.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4452


Nationwide Survey Celebrates 40 Years of IFPS

Since its inception in 1992, the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) has served as the national voice for intensive family preservation. Through research-based tools, training resources, and technical assistance, NFPN works with public and private child- and family-serving agencies to promote family preservation, reunification, and father involvement. One of its avenues for achieving these goals is through the promotion of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS), an intervention strategy that works to reduce the number of children entering out-of-home care by strengthening and preserving families. Starting in 1994, NFPN has conducted periodic nationwide surveys of IFPS that examined topics such as exemplary programs in use across the nation and information about less intensive programs being implemented by States.

The 2014 IFPS Survey Report coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Institute for Family Development's HOMEBUILDERS® model, the United States' oldest and best-documented IFPS program. The model provides intensive, in-home crisis intervention, counseling, and life-skills education for families with children who are at imminent risk of placement in foster care. In honor of the HOMEBUILDERS® milestone, the 2014 survey report highlights 40 years of IFPS events and activities that have helped families stay safely together. The report is divided into four sections:

The report provides a table illustrating how exemplary States have successfully implemented the HOMEBUILDERS® model. A list of contacts for exemplary States is also included. A timeline walks readers through major IFPS events starting in 1974, which is when HOMEBUILDERS® was first implemented in Tacoma, WA. The report compares specific results from the 1994 and 2014 surveys, and it concludes with a discussion of ideas regarding how IFPS will continue to be implemented after the current leaders in the field have retired.

Access IFPS Nationwide Survey 2014 Special Edition: Celebrating 40 Years: Past, Present, and Future on the NFPN website at http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/2014-ifps-survey.

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express interviewed Charlotte Booth, Executive Director of the Institute for Family Development, and Priscilla Martens, Executive Director of NFPN, in the May 2014 issue. Read more in "Intensive Family Preservation Services Turns 40."
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4453


News From the Children's Bureau

Associate Commissioner's Page

The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current Children's Bureau Express (CBX) Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work on the topic.

As I noted in my letter at the beginning of the 2013 Child Maltreatment Report (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2013), we have seen great progress in the reduction of child abuse and neglect in recent years. From 2009 to 2013, there were 23,000 fewer victims of child maltreatment. As we kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I'd like to draw attention to new efforts to prevent child maltreatment, specifically within the issue of human trafficking.

The U.S. Department of State's 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report (http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/?utm_source=NEW+RESOURCE:+Trafficking+in+Persons+R) noted that approximately 44,000 survivors of trafficking were identified around the world within the previous year. These victims are often from the most vulnerable populations, including children and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning; youth who have run away from home or foster care; and children and youth involved with child welfare. The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183) was signed into law on September 29, 2014, and includes provisions with direct implications for child welfare workers and agencies. In addition to defining sex trafficking, the law also sets title IV-E requirements for identifying, reporting, and determining services to victims.

Among other requirements, the act requires title IV-E agencies to:

The Children's Bureau released an Information Memorandum (IM) providing information on the new law, including title IV-E plan changes, new case plan requirements and definitions, additions to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, modifications to the Family Connection grants, Chafee program, and reauthorization of the Adoption and Guardianship Incentive Program. The IM is available on our website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/im1403.pdf (337 KB).

The July/August 2013 issue of Children's Bureau Express spotlighted the intersection of human trafficking and child welfare and featured articles on a training and technical assistance center offering services to professionals who may encounter victims and a handbook for enhancing the child welfare response to human trafficking. The spotlight section is available at https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewSection&issueID=148&subsectionID=50.

The 2015 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections provides a new tip sheet, "Human Trafficking: Protecting Our Youth." The tip sheet defines trafficking, outlines some signs and symptoms of trafficking, and offers tips to parents and communities on being aware of tactics used to recruit youth into trafficking and where to report suspected trafficking. The tip sheet is available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/Human%20Trafficking%20%20Protecting%20Our%20Youth.pdf (88 KB), and the entire Resource Guide is available on the website for Child Welfare Information Gateway at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resource-guide/. For more information on the Bureau's prevention initiative, see the article "April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month" in this issue.

As the methods of human traffickers continue to evolve, so must our efforts to protect children and youth. Our goal is that the Children's Bureau will continue to strengthen your capacity to respond to the issue of human trafficking and keep children and youth safe.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4454


NDACAN Issues New Data Releases

The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) promotes research, analysis, and information sharing in the child welfare field by providing dataset and technical assistance and promoting collaboration in the scientific community. NDACAN recently released four new datasets focusing on youth in transition, children and adolescents' well-being, and children in foster care.

To learn more about these and other similar releases, visit the NDACAN website at http://www.ndacan.cornell.edu.
 

 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4455


Modifying Child Support Orders for Incarcerated Parents

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a report about a behavioral intervention in Texas designed to support incarcerated noncustodial parents in modifying their child support orders. This intervention is part of OPRE's Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, which uses a behavioral economics approach to improve programs that serve poor and vulnerable families. Child support staff in Texas noticed that less than one-third of incarcerated parents took advantage of the modification program, which allowed them to temporarily decrease the amount of their child support order, thereby decreasing the debt they accrue while incarcerated and easing their reentry to the community.

Project staff conducted an analysis of the modification packet and determined potential behavioral reasons for parents not applying. They then designed a revised packet and tested it using intervention and control groups. Parents receiving the revised packet were more likely to apply for child support order modifications than those receiving the standard packet (39 percent versus 28 percent).

Additional information about the intervention, including the full report Taking the First Step: Using Behavioral Economics to Help Incarcerated Parents Apply for Child Support Order Modifications, is available on the OPRE website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/taking-the-first-step-using-behavioral-economics-to-help-incarcerated-parents-apply-for-child-support-order-modifications.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4456


CB Website Updates

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.

Recent additions to the site include:

Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4457


Child Welfare Research

2014 National Child and Youth Well-Being Index

The Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy recently released its annual Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI) report, which includes an analysis of key national indicators and trends from 1975 through 2013. The CWI incorporates data across seven domains:

The following are a sample of key trends discussed in the report:

The 2014 report includes the new Child Suffering Index, which assesses the barriers to children's well-being and happiness. The CWI report is available at http://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Child-Well-Being-Report.pdf (3 MB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4458


Implementation of Wraparound Services

Children, youth, and families who are involved with more than one child- and family-serving system, such as mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and special education, may need extra help receiving individualized and coordinated care to best meet their complex needs. Wraparound services aim to emphasize child and family strengths and deliver coordinated, unconditional services to achieve positive outcomes. The Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health (TA Network) published an article on how improper implementation of wraparound services can affect child and family outcomes and how wraparound can be implemented properly.

While 20 years of research on wraparound implementation in small and controlled pilot project settings found wraparound services to be associated with increased positive outcomes, the article discusses situations in which wraparound has had less success when implemented in a more "real world" setting. Two studies are examined in which wraparound services were implemented with larger groups of children and youth in Nevada and Ontario, Canada, while a comparison group received more traditional intensive case management. Due to the poor implementation of wraparound components, the outcomes for the wraparound groups were not significantly different than the group that received more traditional case management.

The article explains what it means to "do wraparound well" and what steps systems and programs can take to ensure they are implementing wraparound services properly. These include the following:

The article includes a link to guidelines for training, coaching, and supervision for wraparound facilitators. Access "Wraparound Is Worth Doing Well: An Evidence-Based Statement," by E.J. Burns, The TA Telescope, 1(2), 2015, at https://mlsvc01-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/57c33206301/01f96080-ebf2-4214-a90a-7ff405a8ce7c.pdf (677 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4459


Residential Settings for Young Adults in Foster Care

Since 2012, California's Fostering Connections Act (based on the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act) has given youth in foster care the option to remain in care past their 18th birthday. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago published a report on a study that examined the residential settings of California's young adults who choose to remain in care.

Young adults in California who choose to remain in extended foster care must fulfill specific requirements. Unless they have medical conditions that would preclude them from doing so, they must be in school, work at least part time, and participate in employment assistance programs. They must also live in specific residential settings as stipulated in the Federal Fostering Connections Act.

The Chapin Hall study held seven focus groups with 61 youth in or eligible for extended foster care in California to collect details about their residential settings. The report discusses the different types of residential settings available to these youth and the variance in their condition. Youths' feelings about their residential settings are addressed, as are the challenges they face in their residential settings (e.g., long commutes, financial challenges like learning to balance a budget). While most of the young people interviewed found their residential settings and experiences to be positive and helpful in their transition to adulthood, there were some challenges regarding residential setting conditions, feelings of isolation or loneliness, and difficulty managing their new independence.

Access Residential Settings of Young Adults in Extended Foster Care: A Preliminary Investigation, by L. Napolitano and M. E. Courtney, on the Chapin Hall website at http://www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/Qualitative%20Report.pdf (337 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4460


Recommendations of the Birth Parent Advisory Committee

The Birth Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) for Casey Family Programs released a report that outlined a set of recommendations to improve four components of the child welfare system:

The report is based on a 2-day meeting in 2013 that included members and staff from Casey Family Programs and the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds. BPAC is composed of a national set of parents who have a wide range of expertise and personal experience with the child welfare system and currently hold a variety of roles within the system.

A Vision for a Better Child Welfare System: Birth Parent Advisory Committee Recommendations Report is available at http://www.ctfalliance.org/images/pdfs/BPAC%20Recommendations%20Report%20lr.pdf (2 MB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4461


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Dependency Court Hearings and Family Engagement

A recent article in the journal Advances in Social Work highlights a study that examined the effect of particular settings on the development of positive partnerships between child welfare professionals and the families with whom they work. This qualitative study discussed the importance of engaging effectively with families in order to promote healthy cross-collaborative relationships. Using focus group interviews and dependency court observations, interactions between families and dependency court professionals were assessed in order to determine factors that can impede collaboration between professionals and families, in addition to those that may contribute to increased family engagement. The data provided suggest needed changes in the organizational conditions of dependency courts in order to promote collaboration in sustaining family permanency, as well as cross-system trainings with child welfare professionals, attorneys, and judges.

"Engaging Families Building Relationships: Strategies for Working Across Systems From a Social Exchange Perspective," by K. Rice and H. Girvin, Advances in Social Work, 15(2), 2014, is available at https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/view/8766/18386.

For more information on engaging and supporting families, see Child Welfare Information Gateway's Family Engagement Inventory (https://www.childwelfare.gov/FEI/) and Engaging Families webpage (https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/famcentered/engaging/).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4462


Safety Resources and Kinship Placements

In a 2014 survey of its State's child welfare professionals, the North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) learned that professionals were keenly interested in accessing quality and consistent information on the topic of safety resources and kinship care. In an effort to create some consistency among child welfare agencies on the use of safety resources and kinship placements, DSS and the Family and Children's Resource Program developed an issue of Practice Notes that addresses some of these concerns. Some of the topics discussed in the issue include the following:

Access Practice Notes: Safety Resources and Kinship Care, 20(1), 2014, at http://practicenotes.org/v20n1.htm.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4463


Trauma in Dual-Status Youth

The Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Children's Action Corps and the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice published a brief outlining the significance of identifying and treating trauma in children and youth with both child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement—also known as dual-status youth. The brief begins by examining the prevalence of exposure to potentially traumatic events among dual-status youth, as well as the prevalence of trauma-based behavior among this population. The importance of creating "best practices" to identifying these trauma-based behavioral or psychological problems is discussed, including practices for screening and assessment methods. The brief pinpoints five core needs in making first steps to supporting dual-status youth experiencing trauma: defined objectives regarding what needs to be identified, a best-practice screening and assessment protocol, guidelines for information collected and shared, a response protocol to screening and assessment, and staff training.

This brief is designed to be the first in a series that will provide indepth information and tools for recognizing and responding to trauma-based issues affecting dual-status youth.

Trauma in Dual Status Youth: Putting Things in Perspective, by T. Grisso and G. Vincent, is available on the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice website at http://www.rfknrcjj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Trauma-in-Dual-Status-Youth-Putting-Things-In-Perspective-Grisso-Vincent-RFKNRCJJ.pdf (867 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4464


Resources

Sex Trafficking in Schools

The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) published a brief for educators and school personnel on recognizing and preventing sex trafficking of students. The brief offers suggestions, resources, statistics, definitions, reporting information, and a general overview on trafficking.

Recognizing signs that a youth may be a target of sex trafficking is the first step in identifying a victim. The brief emphasizes the importance of school personnel recognizing signs of trafficking and knowing how to effectively respond to the situation. Some of the indicators that a child may be a victim of trafficking can include unexplained truancy, sudden change of behavior, homelessness, psychological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and/or an overly submissive attitude), and evidence of physical trauma. The brief also outlines the following recommendations by NCHE for schools to set in place in order help school personnel effectively respond to trafficking of students:

The brief also discusses subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Federal legislation that addresses the education of homeless children and youth, as well as the importance of State Coordinators for Homeless Education and school districts' local homeless education liaisons in preventing the trafficking of students.

Sex Trafficking of Minors: What Schools Need to Know to Recognize and Respond to the Trafficking of Students is available at http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/trafficking.pdf (627 KB).

Related Items

To read more about this topic, see the Children's Bureau Express July/August 2013 Spotlight on Child Welfare and Human Trafficking, as well as the following CBX articles:

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4465


Resources for Prospective Parents With Disabilities

A new web section from AdoptUSKids focuses on the unique challenges faced by parents with disabilities pursuing adoption, as well as the strengths of these families. This section is designed for parents with disabilities considering adoption or foster parenting and the professionals who work with them. It features information on the challenges associated with fostering and adopting, the real-life story of a parent's journey adopting from foster care, and online resources and support for prospective parents. Additional resources for more information are included, such as links to the following:

To access this new web section, visit AdoptUSKids at http://adoptuskids.org/for-families/who-can-foster-and-adopt/resources-for-people-with-disabilities.

For more resources for parents with disabilities, visit Child Welfare Information Gateway's Services for Parents With Disabilities webpage at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/services-to-children-and-youth-with-disabilities/youth/disabilities/.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4466


Promoting Sibling Connections in Foster Care

Recognizing that sibling relationships are critical for the healthy development of a child, child welfare agencies make efforts to keep siblings together in foster care whenever possible. Sometimes, however, not all siblings can remain together. The Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, developed a tip sheet for foster parents regarding ways to support sibling connections for the children and youth they are fostering who have been separated from their siblings. The tip sheet also addresses challenges resulting from these separations.

Some of the topics covered by the guide include:

The tip sheet also offers useful recommendations aimed at supporting the family bond and preserving contact among siblings, such as the following:

Links to related books, web resources, and tip sheets from other organizations are also included.

Fostering a Child Whose Sibling(s) Live Elsewhere is available on the Coalition's website at
http://www.wiadopt.org/Portals/WIAdopt/Tipsheets/ChildrenYouth/FosteringSiblingsinSeperateHomes.pdf (505 KB).
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4467


Training and Conferences

Preventing Teen Dating Violence

VetoViolence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's violence prevention website, is offering an online training course for educators and professionals who work to improve the health and well-being of teens. The course, Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention, explores the definition of teen dating violence and ways mentors can prevent it through communication with teens. Course highlights include:

The course also features interviews with experts, interactive exercises, engaging video storytelling, and a resource center with additional information and tools.

For more information, visit http://vetoviolence.cdc.gov/apps/datingmatters/.
 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4468


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through July 2015 include:

May 2015

June 2015

July 2015

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

 

Issue Date: April 2015
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=166&articleid=4469



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

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


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