Children's Bureau ExpressSeptember 2018 | Vol. 19, No. 7

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Workforce Development
In this month's issue, read an address from Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, highlighting the importance of developing a competent and stable child welfare workforce and the need for partnerships among stakeholders, as well as spotlight articles highlighting the personal, educational, and professional needs of the child welfare workforce and other professionals and stakeholders working to better the lives of children, youth, and families.

  • The Need for an Expanded View of the Child Welfare Workforce
  • Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators
  • Beyond Case Management: Improving Caseworker Skills
  • Virtual Child Welfare Expo 2018
  • Exploring the Self-Care Practices of Child Welfare Workers
  • Exploring National Child Welfare Workforce Institute Tools and Resources
  • Supporting the Psychological Well-Being of the Early Care and Education Workforce
  • The Important Role of Lawyers as Partners in Prevention
  • Improving Legal Services for Children and Families

News From the Children's Bureau
Read about a job-skills training program that aims to help disadvantaged youth learn skills and make important connections, a Children's Bureau podcast about a child abuse prevention program that works with families receiving financial assistance, and the latest updates to the Children's Bureau website.

  • Workforce Training Program for Disadvantaged Young Adults Boosts Initial Earnings
  • 'Prevention: Stabilizing Families Through TANF'
  • CB Website Updates

Child Welfare Research
We highlight a program that pairs young parent peer educators with health experts to facilitate a pregnancy- and disease-prevention curriculum for other youth and teens as well as the latest data on child well-being in the United States.

  • Perspectives on Young Parents as Peer Educators
  • 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

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

  • Practice Guidelines for Investigating Suspected Psychological Maltreatment
  • Mapping Transformation: Developing a Theory of Change to Get to Better Outcomes

Resources
This section of CBX 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.

  • Human Trafficking Report Emphasizes Empowering Communities as First Line of Defense
  • What Families Need to Know About Opioid Misuse and Treatment During Pregnancy

Training and Conferences

  • Youth Thrive Course
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Workforce Development

The Need for an Expanded View of the Child Welfare Workforce

Written by Jerry Milner.

National Workforce Month provides an opportunity to express gratitude for all who choose to work in child welfare. It is difficult and often thankless work, but it could not be more important. I sincerely thank everyone for their dedication to serving children and families. I believe it is critical to shine light on two incredibly important points: (1) the child welfare system is more than the child welfare agency and (2) the child welfare workforce is far more expansive than the social workers that populate the child welfare agency. The job of keeping families safe, together, and strong and promoting parent, child, and family well-being is simply too large and too important to belong to one agency and its employees alone. 

To be sure, the child welfare agency and its employees are absolutely invaluable components of the system, but the system must be recognized as broad, including all other agencies, branches of government, partners, and stakeholders that touch the lives of children and families. The child welfare system workforce must be viewed as a network of contributors with different, but complementary, roles. The courts, attorneys for parents, children and the child welfare agency, prevention partners, community-based providers, peer mentors and partners, substance abuse treatment providers, mental health providers, foster parents, and so many others are part of the workforce. Simply stated, we all have a role to play, although too often those roles occur in silos and do not come together in unison to support children and families as effectively as possible.

I invite the workforce to come together in a more coordinated way to harness our collective impact for good with a unified purpose of strengthening families. So much of what makes child welfare work difficult and contributes to stress and burnout is the fact that we are working with children and families after bad things have happened, and we are in a constant state of crisis management and remedial efforts to pick up the pieces. This is largely due to the way our system is funded and structured, but there are steps we can take to begin to realign. If we mobilize around helping families enhance their protective capacities to care for their own children, I believe we will have far more to celebrate. I also believe we will be successful in reducing the trauma that children, parents, and the workforce experience, rather than invoking protective activities after bad things happen. 

This effort requires a jointly owned vision across elements of the child welfare workforce and a joint commitment to seeking outcomes that focus on preserving and strengthening family health and resilience, the quality and strength of parent-child relationships, and the power of communities to support their families. I invite all to come together around the shared vision of primary prevention at the community level to help strengthen families and prevent maltreatment and unnecessary family disruption. It can be done.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5199


Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators

Frequent turnover among wraparound care coordinators can have a negative impact on the children, youth, and families they serve as well as on other wraparound services staff. A recent article from the National Wraparound Initiative and the National Wraparound Implementation Center features a study that focused on the causes and impact of turnover and retention among wraparound care coordinators.

The study used an online survey to collect data about the respondents, their agencies, and what they thought were the reasons behind staff turnover and retention. A total of 331 complete responses were received from wraparound stakeholders in 39 states. The survey also asked if respondents were willing to participate in a follow-up interview that delved deeper into the potential causes of turnover at the individual, organizational, and larger system (e.g., county, region, or state) levels. For each level, researchers included questions that asked about specific factors that were particularly relevant at that level, such as burnout as an individual factor, job demands as an organizational factor, and  state policies as a system factor. The researchers also asked the interviewees to give suggestions on the best ways to reduce turnover.

The study reported the following findings:

Respondents made the following suggestions to improve staff retention:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration produced a companion webinar, "Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators: Rates, Causes, Impacts and Remedies," that highlights key findings from the report as well as presents questions and discussion. It is available at https://nwi.pdx.edu/previous-nwi-webinars/.

To read the article Turnover Among Wraparound Care Coordinators: Perspectives on Causes, Impacts, and Remedies, visit https://nwi.pdx.edu/pdf/Turnover-Among-Wraparound-Care-Coordinators.pdf (1,015 KB).
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5180


Beyond Case Management: Improving Caseworker Skills

Due to time constraints, policies, and other considerations, child welfare caseworkers often are relegated to conducting case management activities rather than engaging in more clinically oriented activities with children and families. An article in the Journal of Children's Services explores how child welfare systems can better equip caseworkers to use clinical interventions in their practice. It includes three examples of initiatives to improve caseworker skills being implemented with the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Social Work and other partners:

"Equipping the child welfare workforce to improve the well-being of children," by Richard P. Barth, Bethany R. Lee, and Mary T. Hodorowicz" (Journal of Children's Services, 12), is available at https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JCS-05-2017-0017. 
 

Related Item

The Children's Bureau produced the podcast, "Collaborating Between Child Welfare and Mental Health," which features a group discussion focused on the Partnering for Success model. The Partnering for Success approach trains mental health and child welfare professionals together and emphasizes the fundamentals of assessments, evidence-based practices, and work processes. The discussion also focuses on the value of professional collaboration in clinically informed case management.

The podcast is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-welfare-podcast-collaborating-between-cw-mental-health.

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5181


Virtual Child Welfare Expo 2018

On Thursday, July 12, 2018, the Capacity Building Center for States, a service of the Children's Bureau, hosted the third annual Virtual Child Welfare Expo. This year's theme was "Fostering a Healthy Workforce." The Expo highlighted the importance of building agency capacity and implementing programs that encourage healthy work environments for child welfare professionals.

Subject-matter experts featured during the Expo included child welfare professionals, partners, parents, and youth. The Expo's sessions focused on strategies for conducting a collaborative workforce needs assessment, how to use coaching effectively within the context of child welfare supervision and casework practice, how to implement a simulation training program at a child welfare agency, and how to provide ongoing support to staff working in a trauma-exposed environment. Each session included presentations and a virtual reflection activity to help participants apply presentation concepts to their day-to-day work.

Although the live Expo has passed, a recording of all sessions and related resources is available in CapLEARN, the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative's learning center (registration required) at https://learn.childwelfare.gov/.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5182


Exploring the Self-Care Practices of Child Welfare Workers

Research has shown that child welfare workers experience higher rates of vicarious trauma, workplace stress, and compassion fatigue than other social service workers and that practicing self-care may help to alleviate the stress associated with this challenging line of work. A study brief published in Children and Youth Services Review discusses the self-care practices of child welfare workers in one southwestern state and examines the relationship between self-care practices and demographic as well as professional variables, such as financial situation, marital status, major area of study for their highest academic degree, type of employer (for profit or nonprofit), and membership in a professional organization.

The study used a cross-sectional survey to gather demographic (e.g., age, race) and professional (e.g., time in child welfare practice, education level and type) information from 222 participants. Next, researchers employed the Self-Care Practices Scale, an 18-item measure used to gauge the frequency in which study participants engaged in professional and personal self-care practices.

Findings from the study include the following:

The study also provided implications for child welfare agencies and emphasized the importance of promoting the well-being of staff by drawing systematic attention to organizational wellness initiatives that are supported by organization leaders and by gathering input from staff about ways to promote well-being and self-care.

"Exploring the self-care practices of child welfare workers: A research brief," by J. Jay Miller, Jessica Donohue-Dioh, Chunling Niu, and Nada Shalash (Children and Youth Services Review, 84), is available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740917308174.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5183


Exploring National Child Welfare Workforce Institute Tools and Resources

The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) produced a webinar series called Tools of the Trade 2018 to help child welfare professionals get the most out of the resources provided on the NCWWI website. The series consists of five 45-minute webinars hosted by NCWWI staff and features the following topics:

Each session is accompanied by PowerPoint slides and handouts, as well as additional resources.

The webinar series is available at http://ncwwi.org/index.php/link/352-tools-of-the-trade-2018-exploring-ncwwi-tools-and-resources.

Related Item
CBX has previously featured The Workforce podcast series, produced by Child Welfare Information Gateway on behalf of the Children's Bureau. The Workforce series provides information on maintaining a competent, committed, and diverse workforce while reducing turnover, building staff capacity, enhancing leadership skills, improving outcomes, and reducing costs. The Workforce series comprises four parts:

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5184


Supporting the Psychological Well-Being of the Early Care and Education Workforce

Although much effort has been put into improving the competency and knowledge of early care and education (ECE) professionals, research suggests supporting the mental health needs of ECE staff also can have a positive impact on their work and on the children they work with. A recent report from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services looks at the linkages between various workforce supports and ECE teachers' psychological well-being.

The study used data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education, a nationally representative survey of the ECE workforce and landscape. The survey participants were asked to answer a six-item measure from the National Health Interview Survey as well as the Kessler-6 Psychological Distress Scale to assess psychological stress.

The report provides the following findings from the study:

The article also lists recommendations to help alleviate psychological stress among ECE workers, including the following:

To read the article, Supporting the Psychological Well-Being of the Early Care and Education Workforce: Findings From the National Survey of Early Care and Education, visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/nsece_psychological_wellbeing_612018_to_opre_508_2.pdf (1,440 KB).
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5185


The Important Role of Lawyers as Partners in Prevention

Attorneys and judges play an important role in the child welfare system and helping to keep children safe. A recent article in Child Law Practice Today written by Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, discusses the need to enhance partnerships with the legal system in order to create a well-functioning, effective child welfare system. Dr. Milner notes that true child maltreatment prevention is feasible only through strong collaborations with other agencies and organizations that serve the needs of children and families, including courts, schools, medical and other service providers, public and private agencies, and communities.

Reflecting on how a consent decree called for the state to revise how it served children and families while he was the state child welfare director in Alabama, Dr. Milner highlights the federal vision for reshaping child welfare in the United States. He explains how the Alabama consent decree pushed the state to center its child welfare services on respecting the parent-child relationship, taking an individualized approach to casework practices and service delivery, and valuing input from families and children—a focus he hopes to apply across the country. Further, the decree eventually led stakeholders to adopt guiding principles that focus on strengthening families and cross-system and community collaboration. In particular, collaboration between the legal and judicial community and the child welfare system can play a major role in preventing unnecessary placements by diligently working to keep families together, promoting child and family well-being, and recognizing the role of community supports..

"Reshaping Child Welfare in the United States: Lawyers as Partners in Prevention" is available at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/child_law/resources/child_law_practiceonline/child_law_practice/clp-today-2018/january---december-2018/reshaping-child-welfare-in-the-united-states--lawyers-as-partner.html.

 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5187


Improving Legal Services for Children and Families

A recent post on the Rethinking Foster Care blog proposes changes to how legal services are delivered in order to better serve children and families who are at risk or currently involved with the child welfare system. The author, a clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, describes four principles regarding legal services for this population and then proposes several steps for improvement.

The following are the four principles set forth in the post:

The following are examples of ways the author suggests to improve the system:

To read the complete post, "Redesigning The Delivery Of Legal Services To Prevent Children From Entering Foster Care," visit https://rethinkingfostercare.blogspot.com/2018/07/redesigning-delivery-of-legal-services.html.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Spotlight on Workforce Development
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5186


News From the Children's Bureau

Workforce Training Program for Disadvantaged Young Adults Boosts Initial Earnings

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation looks at the implementation and initial impacts of the Year Up training program, which provided job skills training to over 3,500 young adults aged 18–24 with a high school diploma or the equivalent in eight cities between 2013 and 2014. Year Up is one of nine initiatives being evaluated in the federally sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation.

Launched in 2000, the Year Up program was designed to give economically disadvantaged young adults without postsecondary credentials an opportunity to develop skills and connections to help keep them engaged in the labor force. The program provides 6 months of full-time training in the information technology and financial service sectors followed by a 6-month corporate internship.

For the evaluation, the team randomly assigned the young adults to treatment and control groups. The report looks at both implementation and early impacts—following up 1.5 to 3 years later, depending on the outcome—with plans for future reports to look at program impacts with a cost-benefit analysis for up to 6 years. The report shows the following:

Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Low-Income Youth: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Year Up Program is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/bridging-the-opportunity-divide-for-low-income-youth-implementation-and-early-impacts-of-the-year-up-program.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5188


'Prevention: Stabilizing Families Through TANF'

Poverty is one of the conditions that can contribute to the likelihood of maltreatment. To help reduce the risk of child maltreatment in economically disadvantaged families, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial support and employment services that may alleviate some of the financial stresses these families face as they strive for self-sufficiency.

A recently released Children's Bureau podcast, "Prevention: Stabilizing Families Through TANF," showcases the Family Support and Connections program in Oregon. The Family Support and Connections program is a community-based child abuse prevention program that works with self-sufficiency program officers and families participating in Oregon's TANF program to identify families' needs, connect them with community resources, and stabilize and strengthen families.

This 35-minute podcast covers the following topics:

This podcast and the accompanying transcript are available for download at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-welfare-podcast-prevention-tanf.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5189


CB Website Updates

The Children's Bureau website hosts 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 the following:

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

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5190


Child Welfare Research

Perspectives on Young Parents as Peer Educators

Young parents employed as peer educators in teen pregnancy prevention programs often advance their own professional skillsets while successfully engaging the youth, according to a recent research brief in Child Trends. The brief looks at a teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention program—called Re: MIX—developed by a global women's health organization, EngenderHealth.

The program pairs peer educators who are young parents with health experts to facilitate a pregnancy and disease prevention curriculum. Child Trends evaluated the delivery of the program in Austin, TX, during 2017–2018. Peer educators participated in three activities: training on how to facilitate the curriculum, classroom implementation of the curriculum, and professional development activities. Peer educators successfully engaged with teens by sharing their personal stories and in so doing developed their personal and professional skillsets.

Child Trends uncovered six major themes in its research:

The authors note that while their work highlights the benefits of the peer educator model, future implementers should consider their organization's capacity to deliver the program as well as the circumstances of the proposed peer educators.

Perspectives on Young Parents as Peer Educators in a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is available at https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/EngendgerHealthBrief_ChildTrends_June2018.pdf (471 KB).
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5191


2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, measures child well-being in the United States in four areas: economic security, education, health, and family/community. In addition, the report raises concerns over a potential undercount of America's children in the upcoming 2020 census and its impact on children and families.

The 2018 Data Book provides current data and, when possible, multiyear trends (from data obtained between 2010 and 2016). The following are data highlights about child and family well-being in the four domains:

The report also points out that many children are never counted in the census because they are in families that move frequently, are homeless, or speak another language other than English. The authors note that the households most likely to be missed often have a disproportionate number of young children and tend to be immigrant families or those of color. According to the report, almost a quarter of all children under age 5 live in neighborhoods that are considered difficult to count—those where poverty is high and where multiunit apartment buildings and rental housing are the norm. Some households may also fail to count all members on the survey, particularly the youngest children who are not yet school age.

The report expresses concern that the most underrepresented children would likely be those most in need of the type of services that would be jeopardized by an undercount. "If we don't count the kids facing the greatest obstacles, we essentially make them and their needs invisible—and their future uncertain," the report warns. The report outlines the following ways an undercount might affect communities:

In order to ensure a more accurate representation of America's children, the report recommends the following actions:

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being is available at http://www.aecf.org/resources/2018-kids-count-data-book/.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5192


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Practice Guidelines for Investigating Suspected Psychological Maltreatment

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, in partnership with The New York Foundling, produced a set of practice guidelines for child welfare professionals to use when investigating and determining whether there was psychological maltreatment (PM) of children and adolescents. PM can also be known as mental, emotional, or psychological abuse and neglect. The exact definition of this type of abuse is different in every state but includes not meeting a child's vital need to feel safe, loved, and respected as a valued individual. Frontline child welfare professionals can use the information and tools in this packet to gain a clearer understanding of what PM is, how to detect it and determine the nature and severity of it, and how it relates to other forms of maltreatment.

This resource includes definitions and explanations of the different forms of PM; information on its prevalence, effects, and risk factors; considerations of PM in investigations; and how to assess and determine PM. It also includes three worksheets that allow frontline child welfare professionals to organize evidence by subtype and record evidence of risk factors and harm to the child.

A companion monograph that provides a more indepth look at the PM guidelines, including case examples, strategies, and guidance for case- and system-wide interventions, among other things, is also available.

The Investigation and Determination of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment of Children and Adolescents is available at https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/4700a8_00c9fcfe4997493cbdad67b8af8f7d8c.pdf (1,200 KB).
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5193


Mapping Transformation: Developing a Theory of Change to Get to Better Outcomes

Written by the Children's Bureau's Capacity Building Center for States.

When establishing goals with families, child welfare workers ask them to envision the results they want to see and what steps they might need to reach them. Similarly, a theory of change helps an agency think through the steps needed to get from an identified problem ¬to a desired outcome. A strong theory of change—developed with stakeholders—helps chart a logical and feasible path to better outcomes.

The Center's new Change and Implementation in Practice brief describes the following five tasks for developing a theory of change:

  1. Gather information on the root cause(s) and target population: The starting point for developing a theory of change is identifying one or more root cause(s)—the underlying source of the problem to be addressed—and the target population that is affected most directly by the problem.
  2. Identify a long-term outcome: Identify the change in behavior or process that will result if the agency effectively addresses the root cause(s). The desired outcome should be clear, directly related to the problem, and realistic.
  3. Develop the pathway of change (causal links): A theory of change includes a series of causal links (or "building blocks")—changes that must unfold and build on each other to achieve the desired long-term outcome. The links make up the pathway of change from the root cause(s) of the problem to the outcome. Starting with the long-term outcome, identify the changes that need to occur, and work backward to the root cause(s). Use data related to the problem and its root cause(s) to identify and justify each causal link.
  4. Define Actions: After developing the causal links, identify the actions that must be taken to lead to the needed changes. Brainstorm ideas in terms of, "if we do x, we can achieve y."
  5. Document Assumptions and Rationale: Clarify the underlying assumptions related to the causal links to reveal expectations about the proposed theory of change. Tying assumptions to available research strengthens your theory of change.

Theory of Change Example

Pathway of Change

Causal Link 1: Caseworkers develop and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to engage and work with noncustodial fathers.

so that

Causal Link 2: Caseworkers engage noncustodial fathers in frequent and quality contacts.

so that

Causal Link 3: Caseworkers assess noncustodial fathers' strengths and needs comprehensively and accurately.

so that

Causal Link 4: Caseworkers refer noncustodial fathers to services that address their needs.

Desired long-term outcomes:

  1. More noncustodial fathers receive services that meet their needs.
  2. The resilience and well-being of noncustodial fathers is enhanced, which fosters healthier relationships and parenting and contributes to the safety, permanency, and well-being of their children.

Potential Actions:

  1. Provide training and coaching for caseworkers on effectively engaging with noncustodial fathers.
  2. Examine how the agency measures contact frequency and quality, including those with noncustodial fathers.
  3. Ensure agency leaders and policies communicate the importance of fathers and demonstrate a commitment to their inclusion and engagement.
  4. Ensure service accessibility.

Assumptions:

  1. Caseworkers receive limited or no training and support on engaging noncustodial fathers.
  2. Effective services that match noncustodial fathers' needs are available in the community.

The Change and Implementation in Practice series offers further information to help agencies engage in a research-based process to effectively make changes to improve outcomes. The following resources can help with exploring problems and developing theories of change:

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5194


Resources

Human Trafficking Report Emphasizes Empowering Communities as First Line of Defense

The U.S. State Department's most recent Trafficking in Persons Report focuses on steps local communities and their governments can take to combat human trafficking. The report focuses on local communities as the first line of defense against human trafficking and explores ways their governments can empower them to prepare local law enforcement, religious and tribal leaders, business executives, teachers, and other civic leaders to collaborate against this threat.

The report features several special interest topics, including the following:

The 2018 report is available at https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2018/ (8,500 KB).
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5195


What Families Need to Know About Opioid Misuse and Treatment During Pregnancy

Opioid use continues to be an issue throughout the nation, affecting families in all socioeconomic levels and in all parts of the country. It is important for those struggling with opioid use disorder to receive the support they need from the important people in their lives in addition to any professional help they may require, especially during pregnancy. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has created a guide for expectant mothers with opioid use disorders and their families to help with prenatal care, delivery, newborn health, breastfeeding, social supports, and what to expect after delivery.

This resource aims to help expectant women and their families by first acknowledging the difficult feelings one can have during pregnancy, especially if a woman has mixed feelings about being pregnant and having a child. Each section provides actionable tips on what can be done, such as making an appointment with a mental health professional during times of depression and anxiety or being mindful of not using judgmental language when speaking to the mother.

The latter half of the guide shifts to how to provide support after the baby is delivered, including a brief overview on neonatal abstinence syndrome and an emphasis on the need to continue supporting the mother in the weeks and months after the delivery.

Pregnancy & Opioids: What Families Need to Know About Opioid Misuse and Treatment During Pregnancy is available at https://drugfree.org/download/pregnancy-opioids/.
 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5196


Training and Conferences

Youth Thrive Course

The Center for the Study of Social Policy developed a course based on the key components of the Youth Thrive Framework, including understanding the impact of trauma on development; youth resilience; the importance of social connections; helping young people better understand their own development; concrete supports in times of need; and social, emotional, behavioral, intellectual, and moral competence in youth.

This intensive course is recommended for anyone involved with residential, educational, or community-based programs; services and supports for adolescents and their families; social services; parents, guardians, and adult allies; and others. The Youth Thrive Framework modules focus on the following themes:

This course consists of three 6-hour classes and participants receive a manual, handouts, and access to additional resources. For more information on the course, visit http://www.youthworkacademy.org/youth-thrive-framework/ or contact frank.eckles@youthworkacademy.org. Please note that registration fees may apply. 

 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5197


Conferences

Upcoming conferences and events on child welfare and adoption include the following:

September

October

November

 

Issue Date: September 2018
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=199&articleid=5198



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