Children's Bureau Express04 2003 | Vol. 4, No. 3

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

  • Child Abuse Prevention Initiative and Website Launched
  • Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Home Visiting Programs Help Reduce Child Maltreatment
  • Baltimore's Family Connections Program Proven to Prevent Child Maltreatment

News From the Children's Bureau

  • Resources for Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Applicants
  • FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Family Resource and Support Programs
  • Child Maltreatment 2001 Available

Child Welfare Research

  • Literature Review Explores Non-Custodial Fathers' Involvement in Child Welfare
  • International Study Seeks Participants

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Forensic Interviews and Family-Centered Practice
  • Website Maps Ways to Improve Outcomes for Children

Resources

  • Assistance for Prospective Grant Reviewers and Recipients
  • Website Offers Funding Alternatives for Youth Development

Training and Conferences

  • Training Strengthens Collaboration Between Child Welfare Staff and Community-Based Organizations
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention Initiative and Website Launched

April 2003 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Presidential Proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has announced that one of the major initiatives for the Department is a Prevention Initiative. At the Secretary's level, the focus is on preventing diabetes, obesity, and heart disease in women. At the Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) level, the Initiative is an opportunity to work together with communities across the country to keep children safe, provide the support that families need to stay together, and raise our children and youth to be happy, secure, and stable adults.

Assistant Secretary Wade F. Horn formally launched the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Initiative at a press conference just before opening night at the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. The conference was held in St. Louis, MO, the week of March 31. The conference was a keystone event of the Initiative, as was the debut at the conference of the2003–2004 Child Abuse Prevention Initiative website (www.calib.com/nccanch/prevention). (Note: current Prevention Month information and resources are available at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/topics/prevention/index.cfm.) The site, based on the 2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet and poster, provides additional information and resources to help promote child abuse prevention activities in communities during Child Abuse Prevention Month and throughout the year. New information will be added to the website frequently. Be sure to bookmark the What's New page for updates (note: this link is no longer available).

Other components of the ACYF initiative include two new publications, some discretionary funding to be reserved for prevention projects, and the Child Welfare Option legislation proposal that allows States more flexibility in upfront spending for IV-E dollars.

Developed in partnership with leading national organizations and the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, the website offers funding information, prevention-related publications, a press kit to promote the Prevention Initiative in the media, calendars of prevention activities for organizations and individuals, and other resources. A PDF version of the packet and poster also are available on the website at www.calib.com/nccanch/prevention/order/index.cfm. (Note: current resources can be ordered at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/topics/prevention/prev_packet_2005.cfm.)

To order a free print copy of the 2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet or poster, contact:
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Website: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov
Phone: (800) 394-3366
Email: prevention@caliber.com

Related Item

Read more in "2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet" in the March 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=625


Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

The Children's Bureau will release a new report this month, Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, identifying effective, innovative, and noteworthy aspects of child maltreatment prevention programs. Part of the Children's Bureau's Prevention Initiative, the report's purpose is to inform the professional community about effective practices, detect gaps in knowledge about the effectiveness of existing programs, identify priorities for research, and use research to improve practice and develop new effective programs.

Programs nominated for the project were reviewed by an advisory group of experts in child abuse prevention and evaluation. "Effective" programs were defined as those that demonstrated effectiveness through rigorous evaluation, with a second tier for programs that reported effectiveness but used less rigorous evaluation methods. "Innovative" programs used innovative methods to overcome a particular challenge or showcased a new approach to prevention. Programs with "noteworthy aspects" did not meet the specific requirements for the effective or innovative categories but had unique qualities that the advisory group felt were worthy of highlighting.

Of the 28 programs reviewed, 22 were ultimately selected:

The available research suggests that the intensity and duration of a program's involvement with families is crucial to reducing child maltreatment and improving how families function. However, the results of the nomination process point to the need to improve the capacity of child maltreatment prevention programs to demonstrate their effectiveness.

This report is available on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/topics/prevention/emerging/report/index.cfm.

Related Item

Read about the prevention program recognized as having "demonstrated effectiveness" in "Baltimore's Family Connections Program Proven to Prevent Child Maltreatment" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=626


Home Visiting Programs Help Reduce Child Maltreatment

The effectiveness of home visiting can be difficult to measure, because programs vary greatly in both design and desired outcomes. A number of recent studies, however, show home visiting can be an effective way to prevent child maltreatment in high-risk populations.

In February 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Task Force on Community Preventive Services concluded "there is strong evidence to recommend home visitation to reduce child maltreatment." The group based this recommendation on a review of 25 studies that found an overall 39 percent reduction of child maltreatment in high-risk families.

A fact sheet released by Prevent Child Abuse America provides evidence from more than 20 evaluations that the Healthy Families America model, in particular, is effective in reducing child maltreatment and achieving other positive outcomes for children. The Healthy Families America approach to home visiting involves a wide-ranging umbrella of services, statewide infrastructures, and a framework of 12 research-based "critical elements." Findings include:

The document, Healthy Families America Reduces Child Maltreatment, is one of a series of fact sheets about the program. The series can be found on the Prevent Child Abuse America website at http://www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org/downloads/hfa_fact_a.pdf.

Other sources of information about home visiting models:

Related Item

Read more in "Home Visitation Measured as a Way to Prevent Child Abuse" in the November 2000 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=627


Baltimore's Family Connections Program Proven to Prevent Child Maltreatment

In a recent publication, Family Connections in Baltimore, Maryland, was designated by the Children's Bureau as the only nominated child maltreatment prevention program proven effective by a rigorous evaluation. Family Connections promotes the safety and well-being of children and families by identifying and developing formal and informal supports to address each family's individual needs and build upon their strengths.

Evaluation results showed that children in 90 percent of the at-risk families served in 2000/2001 were safe from the suspicion of abuse or neglect. Other outcomes included:

Family Connections targets families with children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are considered to be at risk for child abuse and neglect but have no current CPS involvement. Staff members work with families on problem-solving, positive discipline methods, coping strategies, developing social supports and community connections, and opportunities for positive family interactions through community activities.

For more information about this program, contact:
University of Maryland School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-3609
Fax: (410) 706-6046
Email: ddepanfi@ssw.umaryland.edu (Diane DePanfilis, Ph.D., MSW)
Website: www.family.umaryland.edu

Related Item

Read more about proven and innovative practices in child maltreatment prevention, in "Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=633


News From the Children's Bureau

Resources for Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Applicants

Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant announcements are expected in late April. A number of resources are available to help potential applicants better understand and prepare for the grants process.

Applicants should consider how they will evaluate their programs. The Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF) has developed The Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation to help funded programs assess performance, measure impacts on families and communities, and document successes. The guide answers common questions, such as:

An HTML version of the guide is available on the Administration for Children and Families website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/other_resrch/pm_guide_eval/reports/pmguide/pmguide_toc.html.

Grant Management Resources, a joint product of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, is another useful publication for current and potential grantees. This bulletin lists resources to support organizations in managing federally funded grants, including:

Grant Management Resources is available by contacting either Clearinghouse:

National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
Phone: (888) 251-0075
Email: naic@caliber.com
Website: http://naic.acf.hhs.gov

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Phone: (800) FYI-3366
Email: nccanch@caliber.com
Website: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=1959


FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Family Resource and Support Programs

Family Resource Information, Education, and Network Development Services (FRIENDS) works under a cooperative agreement with the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect to help States implement Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) programs, with the ultimate goal of strengthening families and reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect.

A member of the Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance Network, the FRIENDS National Resource Center (NRC) provides onsite technical assistance on a variety of topics, including:

FRIENDS also is available to help State child welfare agencies meet the training needs identified in the Program Improvement Plans that result from the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews. The NRC offers a website, publications and resource materials, and a lending library. FRIENDS staff provide one-on-one assistance and mentoring to new CBFRS agency leads, help CBFRS leads around the country connect with each other, and work with the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect to host an annual meeting of States.

FRIENDS is a collaboration of 10 organizations. Family Support America leads the NRC, working in full-time partnership with the Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project and the University of Kentucky Training Resource Center to provide core services.

Seven other national organizations with recognized expertise in their fields also provide resources to the CBFRS lead agencies through FRIENDS: the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Prevent Child Abuse America, the University of New Mexico's Family Development Program, the National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families, the Faith-Based Network of the Skillman Center at Wayne State University, the Midwest Learning Center for Family Support, and Maximus Consulting Services.

Contact the FRIENDS National Resource Center at:
Family Support America
20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 338 0900
Fax: (312) 338 1522
Website: www.friendsnrc.org
Director: Sonia Velazquez

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=632


Child Maltreatment 2001 Available

Child Maltreatment 2001, the 12th annual publication and analysis of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), is currently available. NCANDS is the primary source of national information on abused and neglected children known to State child protective services agencies.

As in previous years, the report presents detailed analyses, historical comparisons, tables, graphs, and charts on referrals and reports of child maltreatment, characteristics of child maltreatment victims, perpetrators of maltreatment, fatalities that occurred as a result of maltreatment, and services to prevent maltreatment and to assist the victims.

Key findings from the report include:

HTML and PDF versions of Child Maltreatment 2001 are available on the Children's Bureau website. Print copies are available from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information at (800) FYI-3366, nccanch@caliber.com, or http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=631


Child Welfare Research

Literature Review Explores Non-Custodial Fathers' Involvement in Child Welfare

Recent shifts in marriage and child-bearing patterns, and increasing incarceration rates, have translated into more children living apart from their biological fathers. Many of these children eventually become involved in the child welfare system and foster care. A recent literature review by the Urban Institute, however, reveals a critical lack of existing research about non-custodial fathers (biological fathers who do not live with their children) and their relationships with their children involved in the child welfare system.

Despite a general lack of available research, the review did highlight a few promising efforts to identify, locate, and involve non-custodial fathers in child welfare cases, including:

No rigorous evaluations have yet been conducted to assess whether these efforts lead to positive outcomes for children.

This literature review sets the stage for a 3-year study being conducted by the Urban Institute, to determine the extent to which child welfare agencies identify, locate, and involve non-custodial fathers in case decision-making and permanency planning.

The literature review is available on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, at http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/cw-dads02/index.htm.

Related Items

For more about the role of fathers, see the following articles in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=617


International Study Seeks Participants

A group of American, Canadian, and British child welfare professionals and academics is conducting a study to test and evaluate the benefits of a standardized parenting capacity assessment for child protective services (CPS) agencies. The group hopes the use of this assessment methodology will:

Child welfare teams are invited to participate. A team might consist of front line child welfare professionals, a team supervisor, legal counsel, and an external parenting capacity assessor. Participation will likely involve a 1-year commitment. Experimental groups will receive training and ongoing support. Control groups will continue to function as usual and will agree not to undertake any new initiatives during the study.

Anyone interested in learning more or participating in the project can contact Alex Polgar, Ph.D., at atp@sandriampublications.com.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=628


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Forensic Interviews and Family-Centered Practice

Forensic interviewing often plays a key role in investigations of abuse or neglect, yet its focus on gathering information for the court makes some professionals question how it fits into family-centered practice. North Carolina's child welfare reform effort incorporates forensic interviewing in an effort to build stronger relationships with children and protect them from further exploitation and harm.

In a forensic interview, a caseworker or trained professional interviews a child to find out whether he or she has been maltreated. The approach is used to produce evidence that will stand up in court if the investigation leads to criminal prosecution. Forensic interviewing is designed to reduce child trauma by minimizing the number of times a child is asked to relate an abusive event.

It is not yet clear whether forensic interviewing results in more convictions of child abuse perpetrators, but North Carolina child welfare professionals are finding that the technique lends itself to a multidisciplinary approach to child welfare in which professionals from child protective services, law enforcement, and the mental health and medical fields coordinate efforts to support child victims and their families.

Children's Service Practice Notes, Vol. 8, Number 1, from the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, offers tips on how to be family-centered while investigating tough cases, a primer on forensic interviewing, and resources for conducting family-centered interviews. The newsletter is available online at http://ssw.unc.edu/fcrp/Cspn/cspn.htm.

Finding Words is a national program that has been recognized for training in forensic interviewing. For more information, contact Grant Bauer of the American Prosecutors Research Institute at (703) 518-4385.

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children also offers training on forensic interviews. Visit their website at www.apsac.org/training/clinics.html.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=629


Website Maps Ways to Improve Outcomes for Children

Community groups seeking to improve the lives of children without "reinventing the wheel" often struggle to find information about what works. Even when a promising program is found, it is sometimes difficult to identify the critical elements that will lead to its success in another community. The Pathways Mapping Initiative (PMI) at Harvard University has established a new website, Pathways to Outcomes, to address these needs.

The site's purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community groups, funders, policy makers, and service providers to achieve important outcomes for children, families, and neighborhoods. The initiative's first outcome, All Children are Ready for School, incorporates three related goals: good health, socially and cognitively supportive environments (including strong bonds with primary caretakers and supportive homes), and safe and strong neighborhoods. Visitors to the site will find information to help them:

PMI believes there is "no silver bullet" to improving outcomes for families. The actions discussed are comprehensive and cross disciplinary, political, and systems boundaries.

PMI was established in January 2000 through a collaboration between the Project on Effective Interventions at Harvard University and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The PMI team is currently researching and developing a second pathway to the outcome, Families are Economically Successful.

Visit the Pathways to Outcomes website at www.pathwaystooutcomes.org.

For more information, contact:
The Pathways Mapping Initiative
Project on Effective Interventions at Harvard University
3113 Woodley Road NW
Washington, DC 20008
Email: pathways@hms.harvard.edu

More promising programs for families and children can be found on the Promising Practices Network website, at www.promisingpractices.net.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=619


Resources

Assistance for Prospective Grant Reviewers and Recipients

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) Grant website now offers information for individuals seeking to become grant reviewers in addition to information about the grants themselves. ACYF funds State, local, and Tribal organizations to provide child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.

The Call for Grant Reviewers site provides job descriptions and program information that will help match qualified reviewers with ACYF Bureau needs. On the site, prospective grant reviewers can find information about qualifications, work expectations, and compensation of reviewers; read the Want Ads; get help preparing resumes and writing samples; and submit applications online.

The Funding Opportunities area of the site offers announcements of open and closed funding opportunities, a directory of funded programs, information about listservs and newsletters, and answers to frequently asked questions.

ACYF Grant Web can be found at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/grantreview.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=1960


Website Offers Funding Alternatives for Youth Development

The National Youth Development Information Center (NYDIC) offers a number of resources for organizations seeking funding for youth development or other child welfare-related programs.

The fund development section (www.nydic.org/nydic/funding.html) of the NYDIC website features a searchable database listing more than 100 national foundations, community and family foundations, awards and scholarships, corporate giving programs, federally funded programs, and sources for staffing assistance. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available, but information can be found under the "funding" section of their website at www.nydic.org/nydic/.) For each listing, grant-seekers will find details such as:

Also on the site are basic tips about funding youth development programs, how to use demographic data to demonstrate the need for a program, and links to other sources of funding information.

NYDIC, a project of the National Assembly through its affinity group the National Collaboration for Youth, provides practice-related information about youth development to national and local youth-serving organizations. Visit their website at www.nydic.org/nydic/index.html.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=1961


Training and Conferences

Training Strengthens Collaboration Between Child Welfare Staff and Community-Based Organizations

Cornell University has developed an interactive, competency-based training curriculum and training plan to strengthen the capacity of county child protection and child welfare workers to collaborate with community-based organizations.

The training involves six components:

Evaluation results have been positive. Between 78 percent and 94 percent of participants in each county felt the training positively impacted their understanding of collaboration. After 1 year, 90 percent of participants were found to be using the knowledge gained from the training. More than 90 percent collaborated more because of the training, and nearly 80 percent felt families were being better served because of enhanced collaboration.

For more information on this training program, contact:
Frank Barry
Cornell University
Family Life Development Center
Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-7456

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=634


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through July 2003 include:

May

June

July

Further details about national and regional child welfare conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/index.cfm.

Further details about national and regional adoption conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/conferences/index.cfm.

Issue Date: 04 2003
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=40&articleid=636



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