Children's Bureau ExpressJune 2021 | Vol. 22, No. 6

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on Reunification
This edition of CBX highlights reunification. When out-of-home care becomes necessary, family reunification is often the ultimate goal. In this issue, we feature a message from Associate Commissioner Aysha Schomburg about our country's history of separating families and how this year's National Reunification Month is a good time to recognize how far the child welfare system has come in keeping families together and the work that has yet to be done to ensure families stay together. We also spotlight a webinar from the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law about this year's National Reunification Month special initiative, an article that delves into the disparities and reunification outcomes for children of color and White children who were removed due to parental opioid use, an article that discusses interventions that could help prevent reentry into care, and an interview that centers on the advantages of using an interdisciplinary team as a holistic approach to achieving reunification. The issue also features recent resources and publications for child welfare professionals and families.

  • National Reunification Month: Remembrance, Recognition, and Respect
  • All in for Reunification 2021
  • Reunification for Young Children of Color Who Were Removed Due to Parental Substance Use
  • Review of Interventions to Reduce Child Welfare Recidivism
  • Interview Discusses How Holistic Legal Representation Can Support Reunification

News From the Children's Bureau
We feature a webinar series that focuses on the rights of parents in medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders who are also involved with child welfare, information about funds available to youth who are or were formerly in foster care, and a brief listing of the latest additions to the Children's Bureau website.

  • Opioid Use Disorder and Civil Rights Video and Webinar Series
  • Funds Still Available Through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act
  • CB Website Updates

Training and Technical Assistance Updates
Read about how to build the capacity to visualize, use, and share data effectively to inform services supporting children and families and a listing of some of the latest resources from the Children's Bureau's training and technical assistance partners.

  • Building Capacity to Effectively Share and Use Data
  • Updates From the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Partners

Child Welfare Research
We highlight a study on the advantages of placing children with family if out-of-home care should become necessary and a study that examines experiences that help youth in care develop relational permanency.

  • The Relationship Between Permanency Outcomes and Placement With Family
  • Study Examines Factors That Allow Youth to Achieve Relational Permanency

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.

  • Building an "UnSystem" to Promote Primary Prevention
  • What Factors Support Family Reunification?

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.

  • Toolkit Supports African-American Grandfamilies
  • Tips for Foster Parents Preparing for Reunification

Training and Conferences

  • Curriculum Helps to Prevent Bullying and Other Forms of Conflict
  • Conferences

Spotlight on Reunification

National Reunification Month: Remembrance, Recognition, and Respect

Written by Associate Commissioner Aysha E.Schomburg

June is National Reunification Month. We celebrate families coming together, and we should also contemplate how families become separated. 

There's a tough history of separation in this country that we have to acknowledge. The first family separation that comes to mind is the separation of children from their mothers and fathers during slavery. Separating families was a standard practice. It was for punishment, for economic reasons, and it was for convenience. I imagine it happened every day, on every plantation. No family was ever safe from that possibility. Now imagine living in that trauma. As slavery ended, the formerly enslaved would place ads in local papers looking for lost children, parents, and siblings.

The second era of family separation that comes to mind is that of Indian children from their families. Indian children were placed in "Indian residential schools." They were forbidden to speak in their native languages, forbidden to wear their own clothes, and often, their hair was cut off. The purpose? To "civilize" them and indoctrinate them into Euro-American culture. Abuse was prevalent in these schools. I've listened to many adults who went to these schools as children refer to themselves as "survivors." And then I think about the recent past—because in my previous job, I was suddenly called upon to support children who had been separated from their parents at the border. I've recently started hearing about stories of reunification from that era.

Somehow though, we think of child protection as different—but we have to face the truth about that, too. We have separated children from their families in the name of protecting them. We have done it when it needed to be done—and we have done it when it did not need to be done. In recent years, we have spent time and resources trying to right that wrong. We've made it clear that separation is an absolute last resort and that, if it has to be done, we should allow children to be with their extended family and remain in their community. We have worked hard to support families while keeping them intact and in their homes. Still, there are children and youth reeling from when that difficult decision to separate was made. Many have been reunified, some have not.

Reunification has so much meaning, especially this year. During this past pandemic year, we have all been separated from our families and friends. Most of us couldn't fathom how we would survive without having that nurturing contact with the people we loved. We struggled through it. What did we want to do?  We wanted to be with our family. It was that simple. Now, we're all talking about making up for a year of lost hugs. Even as adults, we need those hugs—and so do our children. Reunification must be the number one goal. Preserving family and community bonds must be the priority. Let's celebrate National Reunification Month with remembrance of how far we've come, recognition of the work we have done and the remaining work to do, and respect for the special place that family holds in each of our lives.  
 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Spotlight on Reunification
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5837


All in for Reunification 2021

A webinar on National Reunification Month 2021 from the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law is now available. This webinar is for foster care managers and other professionals in the field. It features personal stories from youth formerly in foster care, covers the history of National Reunification Month, and provides suggestions for how to talk about National Reunification Month and ways to get involved. This year's theme is "All in for Reunification 2021," and organizers invite foster care professionals to recognize National Reunification Month however they can, celebrate and acknowledge workers and families, and share ways to support reunification with their community.

Watch the webinar, "All in for Reunification 2021," for more information.

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Spotlight on Reunification
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5820


Reunification for Young Children of Color Who Were Removed Due to Parental Substance Use

The opioid epidemic continues to affect the child welfare system. Data from the federal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) shows that removals due to parental drug use increased 60 percent between 2007 and 2017, and the Child Maltreatment reports show that the percentage of children reported to child protective services with parental "drug abuse" increased from 18 percent to 31 percent between 2010 and 2019. An article in Child Abuse & Neglect, "Reunification for Young Children of Color With Substance Removals: An Intersectional Analysis of Longitudinal National Data," discusses a study that used data from AFCARS to determine whether disparities in removals and other outcomes existed between children of color and White children.

African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native children are overrepresented in the foster care system. This disproportionality has been linked to risk factors such as poverty, parental substance use, mental illness, and others. Coupled with the biases in reporting, investigation, placement, and discharge, children of color have poorer outcomes than White children. However, opioid use disorders are more common among White people than people of color.

This study looked at differences in the number and proportion of foster care entries and the likelihood of reunification based on the intersections of three risk factors:

The findings showed that increases in the numbers and rates of children entering foster care because of parental substance use is primarily driven by increases among White children (a 47- to 57-percent increase among White children compared with an 11- to 29-percent increase among children of color, depending on age). Although there are more White children coming into foster care because of substance use, findings from the study show that they have better reunification outcomes compared with children of color. It suggests that African-American parents may be accessing fewer substance use services—or benefiting less from them—than White parents. The authors note we can work to reduce racial disparity by using research to understand the mechanisms behind this issue and by hiring and training culturally competent and diverse child welfare professionals.

Read the full study, "Reunification for Young Children of Color With Substance Removals: An Intersectional Analysis of Longitudinal National Data," to learn more.


 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Spotlight on Reunification
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5821


Review of Interventions to Reduce Child Welfare Recidivism

An article in Research on Social Work Practice, "Reunifying Successfully: A Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Child Welfare Recidivism," discusses a study that sought to address the gaps in the literature on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the reentry and rereferral rates of children who have reunified with their families. Many children continue to experience maltreatment after reunification with their family, and approximately 20 percent reenter foster care. Children are at the highest risk of reentry during the first 18 months after reunification, and multiple removals coupled with exposure to maltreatment can increase the risk of negative mental health outcomes. To prevent this, it is important to have better and more coordinated interventions. This study presents findings from examining interventions that target successful reunification.

The study found that there were very few reviews that studied interventions to help prevent reentry and improve outcomes, or promote an understanding of what helps families stay together after reunification. It reviewed and selected studies based on eligibility criteria and measured three reunification child welfare outcomes: reentry, recidivism, and stability after reunification. The study also codified the characteristics of the interventions for comparison. 

Studies that included coordination or partnerships with other systems had higher rates of successful reunification than other groups. There were also positive findings for programs that included working with recovery coaches and other interdisciplinary partnerships. However, none of the selected studies evaluated the same type of intervention or implementation. This, coupled with the small number of studies and the requirement from the Families First Prevention Services Act that child welfare systems should prioritize evidence-based services, shows the need for more research in this area.

To learn more about the study, read the full article, "Reunifying Successfully: A Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Child Welfare Recidivism."
 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Spotlight on Reunification
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5822


Interview Discusses How Holistic Legal Representation Can Support Reunification

An article in Rise Magazine features a Q&A with Martin Guggenheim, professor of clinical law at New York University Law School, about a study that compared outcomes between two types of legal representation: a panel lawyer and an interdisciplinary team that would offer a holistic approach to representation. The interdisciplinary team includes a lawyer, a social worker, and a parent advocate who would work closely with the family throughout their case.

The study found that families with parents who had been assigned a team were able to safely reunify with their children 43 percent more often in the first year and 25 percent more often in the second year than families with parents assigned a panel lawyer. The study also found it did not take long for the effect of holistic representation to show. Seventeen percent more children whose families had interdisciplinary teams were reunified within a month compared with children with panel lawyers, and 27 percent more reunified within 6 months. There was no difference in the risk of harm or reentry for these children compared to those who had a panel lawyer. Guggenheim stated that this proves there are many cases where children had no need to be in care for that long or even be put in out-of-home care in the first place. The study also found that New York City, where the study was based, could save $40 million a year in foster care costs by implementing interdisciplinary legal representation for parents.

Read the article, "How Holistic Legal Representation Supports Reunification," for the full Q&A.

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Spotlight on Reunification
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5823


News From the Children's Bureau

Opioid Use Disorder and Civil Rights Video and Webinar Series

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare collaborated with the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a webinar series geared toward child welfare and court professionals that provides information about federal disability rights protections for parents with opioid or other substance use disorders who are also involved with child welfare.

The webinars in the series discuss the importance of breaking down barriers that keep these parents from accessing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). These barriers may be illegal and delay parents' access to health and human services programs.

The first set of webinars in the series explore civil rights protections for individuals in recovery from an opioid use disorder:

The webinar series also offers shorter informational videos such as the following:

Visit the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare website to watch the webinars and videos and learn more about parents' rights while undergoing MAT.
 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5824


Funds Still Available Through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act

The COVID-19 public health emergency has been especially stressful for families involved with child welfare and particularly for youth and young adults transitioning out of the foster care system.

To help mitigate the challenges these youth face, the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act (P.L. 116-260) was signed into law on December 27, 2020, to provide state, tribal, and county child welfare agencies with time-limited resources to respond to the needs of youth and young adults under the age of 27 who spent time in foster care after the age of 14. These pandemic relief funds are intended to help these young people with mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, car loans, groceries, and other basic needs.

To spread the word about this funding opportunity, Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, created a webpage that provides information for youth and professionals on eligibility as well as pertinent information on the law itself, including a link to the Children's Bureau's Information Memorandum (IM-21-05) that outlines the changes to the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood as well as education and training voucher supplemental funding, minimum age limitations in eligibility for assistance, programmatic flexibilities, and more. In addition, the webpage also links to a recording (passcode: 9ES4H0K#) of the Children's Bureau's webinar on the new law that was held on January 7, 2021.

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5825


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: June 2021
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5826


Training and Technical Assistance Updates

Building Capacity to Effectively Share and Use Data

The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) shared a recent blog post about how data visualization can mitigate the challenges that arise when trying to effectively share and use child welfare data to inform services supporting children and families. There is such an abundance of child welfare data from both internal and external sources that it can be difficult for child welfare leaders and practitioners to make use of and share new information in a timely and meaningful way with those who can use it to make important and sound decisions. Data visualization can accomplish this by allowing data to be shared in a human-centered way, shifting the data from being reported as it is captured to how it is used; communicating information in a clear, concise, and engaging way that draws the attention of decision-makers; and driving evidence-based decision-making.

To build the capacity to visualize, use, and share data, the QIC-WD suggests that agencies consider their informational needs by thinking about what is motivating them to use data, the capacity of individuals and teams to work with the data they have access to, and what they intend to use the data for. The blog post includes the following strategies for building capacity:

Data visualization skills, strategies, and effectiveness should be regularly evaluated and improved.

To learn more, read the QIC-WD blog post, "Building Capacity to Effectively Share and Use Data."




 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5827


Updates From the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Partners

The Children's Bureau (CB) funds several technical assistance centers to provide professionals with tools to better serve children, youth, and families.

The following are some of the latest resources from CB's technical assistance partners:

Visit the Information Gateway website for more.

Visit the FRIENDS National Resource Center website for more.

Visit the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative website for more.

Visit the AdoptUSKids website for more.

Visit the NDACAN website for more.

Visit the NCWWI website for more.

Visit the QIC-WD website for more.

Visit the QIC-R website for more.
 

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Training and Technical Assistance Updates
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5828


Child Welfare Research

The Relationship Between Permanency Outcomes and Placement With Family

A recent Casey Family Programs report—the third volume of the From Data to Practice series—presents findings on a study that evaluated whether placement with family impacts legal and relational permanency outcomes for youth. The findings indicated that placement with family is associated with increased permanency and shortened lengths of time in care.

The study population comprised 513 youth who entered Casey out-of-home care (OOHC) between July 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017. At the time the youth came into Casey OOHC, they were not living with family, which is defined as biological family, kin, or fictive kin in this study.

Researchers used the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment tool to measure the needs and well-being over time of youth who entered Casey OOHC. Relational permanency, or the presence of stable relationships that help a child feel loved and connected, was assessed by evaluating the relational permanency measurement in CANS at the time of entry and exit. Researchers also tracked legal permanency—reunification, adoption, or guardianship—and examined whether level of need at exit and relationship permanency contributed to legal permanency.

Findings show that youth who came into care not placed with family but who were moved to a family placement while in Casey OOHC were more likely to obtain both relational and legal permanency than those who were not placed with family. These findings further point to the importance of family-finding efforts. Child welfare agencies have a better chance of expediting the process of moving youth to family and eventual permanency, which is more beneficial for their well-being, by taking the following steps:

For more information, read From Data to Practice: Moving Youth to Family – Level of Need and the Impact on Legal and Relational Permanency.

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5829


Study Examines Factors That Allow Youth to Achieve Relational Permanency

Achieving legal permanency is one of the major goals of child welfare systems. However, not every child who has achieved legal permanency—reunification, adoption, or guardianship—has also achieved relational permanency, which is defined as a network of loving, lasting, and supportive relationships. An article in Child and Youth Services Review discusses a study that examines experiences that help youth achieve relational permanency.

The following research questions guided the study:

To answer these questions, researchers conducted interviews with 30 young adults ranging in age from 18 to 33 years who had experienced foster care. The participants' accounts of their relationships were measured by three qualities:

The findings indicate that the foundation of relational permanency is built while youth are in care. A sense of agency, support, and emotional connection were all found to be factors that promote relational permanency, regardless of whether youth attained legal permanency.

For more information, including first-person accounts from the 30 interviewees, read "Agency, Genuine Support, and Emotional Connection: Experiences That Promote Relational Permanency in Foster Care."

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5830


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Building an "UnSystem" to Promote Primary Prevention

Alia, a national nonprofit that works with public and private child welfare systems to create and support innovative approaches to keep families together, published a guide that provides help for child welfare agencies that want to change their system to an "UnSystem" with the goal of keeping families together through the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. An UnSystem is locally based and driven, is antiracist, and requires a paradigm shift of how child welfare is viewed. Alia suggests that there are five phases to designing and implementing a primary prevention UnSystem:

The guide is based on over a decade's worth of evidence that suggests separating children from their families creates lifelong harm. It provides an indepth walkthrough of what each phase entails and reviews the challenges agencies may face, the services Alia provides, and what to expect.

Read the guide, Building Your UnSystem: The Phases of Change to Primary Prevention, for more information about becoming an UnSystem.

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5831


What Factors Support Family Reunification?

Written by the Capacity Building Center for States

"My children were taken into foster care in 2015—it was very hard and scary. A lot of court visits and programs to complete. I didn't have a very good attitude at the beginning. I was really angry that my kids were in care. During this time, I thought I would never have my kids home again. My social worker really had a level head. He helped me get things in focus. The programs helped me to be a better parent to handle problems and work through them."—Kile, father of five children

"I felt hopeless and helpless when my son was removed from my home. I was angry at the worker at the time and myself because I could not help my son. Even though I knew he was with my sister, I was angry at her because I felt she was taking my son away from me. I was very confused and sad. Ms. Soraya became my worker. She helped me see my situation another way. She was kind and compassionate to me and showed me respect. She actually taught me how to control my anger."—Joselyn, mother of one child

These are the words of parents who, after hard and difficult work, were eventually reunited with their children (Capacity Building Center for States, 2019). How did they persevere to build the necessary protective capacities so their children could return to their homes? Foster care became an opportunity to provide the support they needed for reunification. They had family who stepped up to become kinship caregivers to their children and who supported frequent visits. Both had a team of child welfare professionals who believed in them, encouraged them, and worked patiently to build trusting relationships. Families who are supported by collaborative teams are more likely to be successful in reunification (Geiger et al., 2017). The trusting relationships between caseworkers, service providers, and families helped both families participate in developing a plan for reunification and engage in a variety of services meeting their individual needs.

Services to Support Successful Reunification

Many factors affect whether children in foster care are reunified with their families and do not need to reenter foster care. The following are examples of interventions and practices that support successful reunification (National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification, 2021):

One example of these strategies in practice is Washington State's Parents for Parents Program (P4P), which is coordinated through the Children's Home Society of Washington. P4P connects parents new to the child welfare system with parent mentors who have successfully navigated the system. The parent mentors provide support and encouragement and help parents understand what they must do to reunite with their children. The parents can participate in a 2-hour educational class as well as ongoing support classes. Compared with nonparticipants, parents who participated in classes and mentoring were significantly more engaged in services, more successful reunifying with their children, and less likely to have their parental rights terminated (Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Courts, 2020). For more information on designing and implementing similar programs, see the Parent Partner Program Navigator.

A Comprehensive Child and Family Well-Being System

Child welfare agencies are shifting focus as they recognize that, for families where maltreatment has occurred, tertiary services must be part of a larger, comprehensive child and family well-being system that supports and strengthens families across a three-tiered prevention continuum:

Agencies are more likely to achieve positive outcomes for children and families when they partner with other agencies, private foundations, community organizations, courts, families, and youth to strengthen families, prevent maltreatment, and reduce the unnecessary removal of children from their families. Partners can rely on each other's expertise to identify and fill service gaps, maximize funding streams, and provide seamless service delivery for families. Working together, leaders and staff within these organizations can implement solutions across the continuum and move from a traditionally siloed system focused on crisis intervention to a more integrated and equitable system that empowers and strengthens all families (Capacity Building Center for States, 2021).

Additional Resources

The following Capacity Building Center for States resources provide additional reunification and prevention information and family stories:


References

Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Courts. (2020). Outcome evaluation report for Washington state's Parents for Parents program. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56b0d6d4e707eb68892b71c1/t/5e1d001e44a61407bc11f187/1578958880190/P4POutcomesReport.pdf

Capacity Building Center for States. (2019). Family mosaic discussion guide and video series. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/focus-areas/foster-care-permanency/family-mosaics/

Capacity Building Center for States. (2021). Working across the prevention continuum to strengthen families. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/resources/prevention-continuum-to-strengthen-families/

Geiger, J., Piel, M., & Julien-Chinn, F. (2017). Improving relationships in child welfare practice: Perspectives of foster care providers. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34, 23–33. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-016-0471-3

National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification. (2021). Family-centered reunification in child welfare: A review of best practices. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://qicfamilyreunification.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/QICRcatalog.pdf

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5836


Resources

Toolkit Supports African-American Grandfamilies

One in five African-American children will live with extended family at some point during their childhoods—a rate more than double that of the general population. A new toolkit, developed by Generations United in 2020 following the spread of COVID-19, provides child welfare and related professionals and organizations with the guidance and resources they need to better support these African-American grandfamilies. The COVID-19 pandemic is the most recent event that has likely precipitated the increase of African-American youth living with relatives, and it has presented challenges to existing kinship families and grandfamilies and the systems that serve them.  

The toolkit is organized into nine chapters that provide information and resources on topics such as the following:

The toolkit includes an infographic, call-out boxes highlighting resources, and a real-life grandfamily profile and story.

Access the toolkit, African American Grandfamilies: Helping Children Thrive Through Connection to Family and Culture, to learn more.
 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5832


Tips for Foster Parents Preparing for Reunification

The usual primary goal and most common outcome of foster care is family reunification in a safe and stable environment. Although foster parents know that foster care is a temporary situation that can last anywhere from only a few days or weeks to a couple of years, saying goodbye to a child, even to reunification, is not easy. An AdoptUSKids blog post seeks to ease this transition with six tips for foster parents:  

The post, "6 Tips for Foster Parents Preparing for Reunification," is available on the AdoptUSKids blog.

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5833


Training and Conferences

Curriculum Helps to Prevent Bullying and Other Forms of Conflict

El Camino: The Road to Healthy Relationships is an in-person curriculum intended for middle-school students (grades 6 through 8) to help prevent bullying and other forms of interpersonal conflict both at school and online. The course encourages students to identify their own personal values and teaches them how to develop healthy relationships. The course is implemented through youth-serving agencies, such as schools and out-of-school-time programs.

The curriculum was developed by Child Trends, in partnership with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights and the District of Columbia Department of Health, with direct input from students and educators. The following are the three components of the course:

The course consists of two units, each containing five lessons. Unit 1 focuses on values, identity, and decision-making. In this unit, students identify their personal values and consider how these values shape their personal identity and influence how they interact with others. Unit 2 focuses on practicing healthy relationship skills and how to apply these skills to navigating interpersonal conflicts and relationship challenges.

Teachers and staff are not required to have mental health training to deliver the lessons, which can be presented in person or virtually. This training can be applied to children involved with child welfare, as developing communication skills and relationship building are important for ensuring well-being and better outcomes for these children.

For more information, read the article in Child Trends, "Building Healthy Relationships Among DC Youth: A Universal Bullying Prevention Program."



 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5834


Conferences

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

June

July

August

 

Issue Date: June 2021
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=227&articleid=5835



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