Children's Bureau Express06 2004 | Vol. 5, No. 5

Table of Contents
 

News From the Children's Bureau

  • National Campaign Urges Americans to Adopt
  • Mental Health Issues Documented in Child and Family Services Reviews
  • Project MECCA (Men Embracing Children Collectively through Adoption)
  • Report Assesses Child Welfare Performance Outcomes
  • SAMHSA Hosts Webcast on Grant Application Process
  • Youth Development Perspective on Child and Family Services Reviews
  • Reunification Promising Practices
  • Assessment Training for Medical Providers

Child Welfare Research

  • Reliability of U.S. Military's Family Violence Assessment Tool
  • More Flexible Child Welfare Funding May Improve Child Outcomes
  • Prevention Leaders Strategize to "Reframe" Child Abuse Messages
  • Child Well-Being Shows Slight Improvement

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Addressing the Staffing Crisis in Child and Family Services
  • Faith-Based Mentoring for Children of Prisoners

Resources

  • Disseminating Best Practices in Child Abuse Treatment
  • Investing in the Futures of Foster Youth
  • New Publications on Proposal Writing

Training and Conferences

  • Interviewing Children and Preparing for Court
  • Conferences

News From the Children's Bureau

National Campaign Urges Americans to Adopt

More than 500,000 U.S. children are in foster care; approximately 129,000 are waiting for someone to adopt them. The United States Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has partnered with the Collaboration to AdoptUSKids to develop a public education campaign, Answering the Call: A National Campaign to Encourage Adoption of Children from Foster Care, to increase public awareness and encourage adoption of children from the public foster care system.

Beginning this month, multi-media public service announcements (PSAs), developed in collaboration with The Advertising Council, will encourage prospective parents to realize that they "don't have to be a hero to be a hero," and "don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." The campaign addresses prospective adoptive parents’ fears and encourages individuals to realize that they have the ability to be adoptive parents. ACF also will use the campaign to issue a national call to action for prospective parents to adopt children from foster care by offering important, accurate information about the foster care system and the adoption process.

The PSAs, which are being placed on television, in print outlets, and on the radio by The Advertising Council, will encourage adults to learn more about adoption of children from foster care by calling AdoptUSKids (888-200-4005) or by visiting the website at www.AdoptUSKids.org. Officially launched by the President and First Lady in 2002, the website provides information about how to become an adoptive parent and features children across the United States who are waiting for permanent, loving homes.

Related Items

This summer, the Children's Bureau and the Collaboration to AdoptUSKids will sponsor the National Adoption and Foster Care Recruitment Summit, Answering the Call: Partnering with Communities of Faith. The Summit, taking place in Washington, DC, on July 15 - 16, will provide an opportunity for Communities of Faith, States, and Tribes to enhance partnerships that recruit and support foster and adoptive families. Attendees will learn about programs and innovative solutions developed to enhance partnerships between faith communities and States and Tribes and will have opportunities to share practice information. Registration is free. For more information visit www.cwla.org/conferences/2004adoptuskids.htm (Editor's note: Link no longer active).

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2004 Adoption Excellence Awards. The deadline for nominations is August 2. To learn more, visit the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/adoption-excellence-awards.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=819


Mental Health Issues Documented in Child and Family Services Reviews

States report an ongoing lack of mental health services for children in the child welfare system, but strategies to address this deficit are being developed, according to a recent analysis of Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) and Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). This analysis was a cooperative effort by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development and the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health at the American Institutes of Research (authored by Jan McCarthy, Anita Marshall, Marisa Irvine, and Bianca Jay).

Results from the CFSRs showed a great deal of variability across States. For instance, 10 of the 38 States reviewed required mental health screenings for all children entering foster care; however, only 1 State's final report indicated that all children actually received an initial formal mental health screening. None of the final reports indicated whether all children in need of mental health services actually received them. Twelve States listed available services but did not report that these were provided to all children who needed them. Twenty-seven States mentioned deficits in specific services, including:

In addition, CFSRs cited a shortage of mental health providers with appropriate expertise, lack of services in rural areas, and funding issues (such as budget deficits or restrictions imposed by managed care).

All 28 States with PIPs mentioned addressing mental health issues as part of these plans. In many cases, the PIPs included specific strategies for meeting mental health needs, including:

The full report on mental health issues addressed by the CFSRs and PIPs, "An Analysis of Mental Health Issues in States' Child and Family Service Reviews and Program Improvement Plans," can be downloaded at http://gucchd.georgetown.edu/products/CFSR_MHAnalysis.pdf (PDF - 260 KB).

Related Item

Funding for mental health services was addressed by Children's Bureau Express in "Strategies for Funding Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Children" (December 2003/January 2004).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=823


Project MECCA (Men Embracing Children Collectively through Adoption)

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Project MECCA (Men Embracing Children Collectively through Adoption) is taking a fresh approach to finding families for children in the foster care system. The project focuses on recruiting married and single African-American men to become adoptive parents.

Project MECCA is led by an adoption agency, Another Choice for Black Children, Inc. (ACBC). ACBC recruits, mentors, trains, supports, and provides resources to foster parents, adoptive parents, and their children. Project MECCA is an integral part of this effort, reaching out to potential fathers through traditional and nontraditional methods. Project staff frequent barber and beauty shops, communities of faith, and nonprofit organizations, disseminating brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and other information to inform the public of the need for adoptive or foster families. They also have held recruitment camps, an Adoption Love Train, and a Black Male Summit/Banquet. Other activities include teen night out events, mentoring (of teens and adoptive families), and community service.

During the first year, the project focused on conducting extensive outreach. By the end of the year more than 200 men had already responded to the call for adoptive parents, and four minority children were placed. Many more families were approved or on their way to becoming approved for placements.

Staff members believe the following principles are key to the project's success:

For more information about Project MECCA or ACBC, contact:

Cary Graham, Project Director or Ruth Amerson, CEO
Another Choice for Black Children, Inc.
2340 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 394-1124

Note: This program was funded by the Children's Bureau, Grant #90-CO-0968. This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from official Children's Bureau site visits.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=827


Report Assesses Child Welfare Performance Outcomes

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children's Bureau has released Child Welfare Outcomes 2001: Annual Report to Congress. Now in its fourth year, this report provides data on the performance of States in meeting the needs of children and families who come into contact with the child welfare system.

The report provides information pertaining to each State’s performance on a national set of child welfare outcomes and measures for a 4-year period from 1998 to 2001. Two Federal data reporting systems, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) are used to gather data on seven outcomes:

Although it is too early in the assessment process to identify trends, the report does identify some key findings, including:

Additional information from the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) provides context for the results observed in each State. For example, the CFSRs indicate that re-entry into foster care may be due to a lack of post-reunification services to support children's reintegration into the family and to monitor their safety on an ongoing basis.

The report can be downloaded from the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/cwo. Additional copies may be ordered by contacting the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information at (800) 394-3366 or nccanch@caliber.com.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2080


SAMHSA Hosts Webcast on Grant Application Process

Through its various Centers, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sometimes provides funding for projects that focus on the overlap of child maltreatment and substance abuse or mental health. On April 6, SAMHSA hosted a webcast to provide interested organizations with information on its grant application process. The webcast described the two types of documents necessary to apply for SAMHSA funds:

View the complete webcast, or download a transcript, on the SAMHSA website at http://grantstraining.samhsa.gov (Editor's note: Link no longer active).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2083


Youth Development Perspective on Child and Family Services Reviews

The National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) recently analyzed States' Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) and Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) to identify issues specifically related to adolescents. Their report includes a brief analysis of the issues in terms of overall strengths and weaknesses in States' youth services, as well as a matrix to show each State's results. The report indicates that youth continue to need transition services and skills for independent living, because many are unprepared for adulthood when they age out of care. It also suggests that the CFSRs should include an item specifically to address the preparation of youth aging out of care when permanence cannot be found.

The full text of An Analysis of State's Child and Family Services Reviews and Program Improvement Plans From a Youth Development Perspective can be downloaded on the NRCYD website at www.nrcys.ou.edu/PDFs/Publications/Summaryv2.2.pdf (Editor's note: Link no longer active).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2085


Reunification Promising Practices

The Spring 2004 issue of Permanency Planning Today, a publication of the National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning, focuses on some important components of successful reunification programs. "Promising Practices in Reunification" describes how the following practices contribute to reunification success:

The issue also includes articles on a Utah program of foster parent ambassadors, a website for youth in foster care (www.FosterClub.com), and articles and resources on bullying and children in the child welfare system. The full issue can be downloaded at http://www.nrcpfc.org/newsletter/ppt-spring-2004.pdf (PDF - 10,885 KB).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2086


Assessment Training for Medical Providers

The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement has developed a video and supportive materials to help train medical students and primary health care providers in screening and assessing patients at risk of domestic violence and child abuse. The training materials, which were developed by medical professionals and professionals who work with victims of domestic violence, provide a realistic look at situations that often confront health care providers. It Never Hurts to Ask. You May Save A Life. Screening, Assessment, and Management of Domestic Violence In the Primary Health Care Setting can be ordered at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/pubs.htm#dvpubs (Editor's note: Link no longer active).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2087


Child Welfare Research

Reliability of U.S. Military's Family Violence Assessment Tool

Results of two studies indicate that the U.S. Air Force Family Advocacy Program's Family Violence Severity Index (USAF-FAP Severity Index) has fair-to-good levels of reliability. These findings suggest that, with some refinements, the Index could be more widely used to assess the severity of all forms of partner and child maltreatment.

The U.S. Military's Family Advocacy Program (FAP), America's largest child and family maltreatment agency, has long used the FAP Severity Index to assess the severity of child maltreatment (physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect) and partner maltreatment (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse). Despite its wide use in the military, no studies had previously been conducted to test its reliability. Researchers recently conducted two studies to determine the consistency of severity ratings between at least two clinicians for any given case.

Researchers concluded that the USAF-FAP Severity Index is a clinician-friendly measure that comprehensively assesses the severity of all forms of partner and child maltreatment. Although reliability was not excellent, the researchers indicated that with refinements such as more explicit guidelines and training materials for caseworkers, the index could be used universally to measure the severity of maltreatment.

The full text of the article, "Severity of Partner and Child Maltreatment: Reliability of Scales Used in America's Largest Child and Family Protection Agency," is available from Kluwer Online in the April 2004 issue of the Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 19(2) (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FB%3AJOFV.0000019840.36496.a1).

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=824


More Flexible Child Welfare Funding May Improve Child Outcomes

Current Federal child welfare financing rules, which are targeted to supporting children in foster care rather than on services to keep children safe in their own homes or in alternative permanent placements, may limit States' ability to engage in service innovations and improve their performance on the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), according to a recent report by Fostering Results. The report shows that when States are given greater flexibility--such as through the Title IV-E waiver program--some have succeeded in improving outcomes for children in foster care.

The report, The Foster Care Straitjacket: Innovation, Federal Financing & Accountability in State Foster Care Reform, begins with an overview of State performance on the CFSRs. According to results from 39 States whose reviews had been completed when the report was written, States are struggling in a number of areas, including securing timely permanence for children who enter foster care and minimizing the number of times a child is moved from placement to placement. Although States are seeking ways to address these challenges, many of the services needed to improve outcomes for children (such as substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and support for legal guardianship) are difficult to fund under current Federal financing rules.

Expansion of Title IV-E child welfare waivers, which allow States to waive certain funding requirements to facilitate the demonstration of new approaches to service delivery, could help alleviate this difficulty. This expansion is part of the TANF reauthorization that has been put forth by the Bush Administration. The report cites examples from several States that have successfully implemented demonstration projects to improve the child welfare system's performance. Among the examples discussed:

In addition to improving outcomes for children and families, the report claims, such waivers also offer the potential to reduce total IV-E costs over time.

Fostering Results is a public education and outreach campaign working to address Federal child welfare financing mechanisms and improve court oversight of child welfare cases. The full report can be downloaded from the Fostering Results website at http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=17842.

Related Items

President Bush's child welfare proposal addresses the issues raised in this report by allowing States the option to receive their foster care funding as a flexible grant. This flexibility would help States enhance the array of services for families and improve outcomes for children. Read more about the proposal in "HHS Assistant Secretary Testifies Before Congress on the President's Child Welfare Proposal" in the August 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Demonstration projects are already exhibiting some of the promise of the President's proposal on a smaller scale. Read about waiver projects in four States--Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon--in "Flexible Funding Demonstration Projects Show Promise" in the September 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

More information about the Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Projects is available on the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs/child-welfare-waivers.

In May, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care released recommendations addressing the current Federal financing structure as well as challenges within the court system. Among the recommendations is a call to expand and simplify the Federal waiver process. An executive summary and the complete report can be accessed on the Pew Commission website at http://pewfostercare.org/docs/index.php?DocID=47.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=821


Prevention Leaders Strategize to "Reframe" Child Abuse Messages

Existing messages regarding the need to prevent child abuse and neglect may reinforce the public's mistaken beliefs about the issue and may even alienate the very audiences prevention advocates hope to reach, according to research commissioned by Prevent Child Abuse America with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The findings were presented at Building Public Will for Prevention: A Summit on Reframing Child Abuse and Neglect, held in Washington, D.C., on April 23 - 24.

The summit kickoff included opening remarks by Joan Ohl, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ohl spoke of the Administration's long-standing support for research and programs to support vulnerable families and prevent child abuse and neglect, including President Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal to double funding for two critical programs: the Basic State Grant Program (from $21 million to $42 million) and the Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (from $32 million to $66 million).

Most of the summit centered on the research, presented by the FrameWorks Institute and its partners at Public Knowledge and Cultural Logic, which was intended to help advocates engage the public more effectively in prevention. Key components included a review of existing surveys and focus group reports, original one-on-one interviews and focus groups, and an analysis of messages currently in use by Prevent Child Abuse America and the news media.

Findings from the research identify a number of barriers for prevention advocates to overcome, including:

Researchers also identified a number of opportunities and needs for communications efforts:

Based upon their findings, researchers made recommendations to help child abuse prevention experts and advocates avoid losing momentum and reinforcing negative aspects of the current public frames. They suggested that effective communications messages need to include:

Reports from this project are available on the Prevent Child Abuse America website at www.preventchildabuse.org. For more information, contact:

Kevin Kirkpatrick, Vice President
Marketing & Communications and Advancement
Prevent Child Abuse America
(312) 663-3520 x110
kkirkpatrick@preventchildabuse.org

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=820


Child Well-Being Shows Slight Improvement

The overall quality of life for America's children has improved slightly since 1975, according to a report released by Duke University and the Brookings Institution. Children have experienced significant improvements during the past three decades in material well-being, safety and behavioral concerns, and participation in school or work. This is balanced by little change in educational attainment, and a decline from the 1975 baseline levels in other areas such as health.

Each year, the Foundation for Child Development Index of Child Well-Being (CWI) Project at Duke University examines trends in American children's quality of life in seven domains:

These domains are measured by 28 key indicators. The composite index, an average of the seven domains, gives a sense of the overall direction of change in children's well-being relative to the base year of 1975. Some key trends noted in the report include:

A copy of the report, The Foundation for Child Development Index of Child Well-Being 1975 - 2002, with Projections for 2003, is available from the Brookings Institution's website at www.brookings.edu/comm/events/20040324index.pdf.

Additional information on the CWI is available from the Duke University website at www.soc.duke.edu/~cwi/.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=822


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Addressing the Staffing Crisis in Child and Family Services

Staffing shortages and workforce issues continue to impact the quality and availability of child and family services around the country. Advocasey, a publication of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, tackles the topics of burnout and staffing shortages among frontline human services workers in its Spring 2004 issue.

The issue first cites statistics on the numbers of workers leaving and entering the field (40+ percent annual turnover), as well as on-the-job dangers (more than half of child welfare workers are victims of violence or threats on the job) and low levels of pay. To address these concerns, the publication then presents a series of articles highlighting promising practices in agencies around the country:

The full text of this issue of Advocasey can be downloaded at http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={F62AD12A-5FEF-4B11-88C6-706357DE3366}.

Related Items

The Winter 2003 issue of Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education focuses on training and supervision in five articles that address themes of worker training, the supervisory role, evaluation, and competence across cultures and with mental health evaluations. Subscription information can be found at www.survey.utexas.edu/journal/.

Children's Bureau Express explored the issues of staff retention and burnout in the following articles:

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=825


Faith-Based Mentoring for Children of Prisoners

A unique mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents has shown success in improving children's self-esteem and academic performance. Originally developed by Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia, the Amachi program is a partnership between faith-based organizations that provide volunteer mentors and nonprofit agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) that provide program infrastructure and expertise. Amachi has shown such success in its initial location that 23 more metropolitan areas have begun to set up similar programs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now provides funding for some of these programs through its grants for mentoring children of prisoners.

For the Philadelphia Amachi program, BBBS identified the children of incarcerated parents and completed all of the screening, training, and matching of mentors. Pastors from 42 local churches each agreed to provide at least 10 volunteers who would serve as mentors. The result has been 726 matches of mentors with children of incarcerated parents since 2001. Each mentor meets with his or her child several times a month to participate in fun activities, review schoolwork, or just spend time together.

The Amachi partnership between churches and BBBS has a number of notable features:

Data from the first 556 matches show that the majority of mentors and caregivers reported their children had increased in self-confidence and had improved in academic performance and school behavior since the program began. Mentor relationships that had been established for 12 months or more were especially successful.

The Amachi program is featured in Public/Private Ventures' February 2004 In Brief, which can be read at http://ppv.issuelab.org/resource/amachi_in_brief. A complete report on the program can be downloaded at www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/21_publication.pdf (Editor's note: Link no longer active).

Related Item

Read more about support for children of incarcerated parents in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=826


Resources

Disseminating Best Practices in Child Abuse Treatment

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation initiated the Best Practices Project to identify and disseminate information on best practices to help children heal from the impact of child abuse. A collaborative of national organizations concerned with child abuse, known as the National Call to Action (NCTA), brought together leading professionals, researchers, educators, and other stakeholders to identify best practices to serve victims of abuse and their families, as well as methods to spread the knowledge and use of these best practices in the field. The findings from the project are presented in a recent report, Closing the Quality Chasm in Child Abuse Treatment: Identifying and Disseminating Best Practices.

A variety of protocols were reviewed by an advisory committee. Three treatments were identified by the committee as having theoretical, clinical, and empirical support:

A description of each is provided, as well as cases in which the treatments are appropriate and inappropriate. The report then goes on to describe a four-phased strategy for accelerating the move to implementing these and other innovative practices. Finally, the report offers 23 specific recommendations to support diffusion of the three identified "best practices" at the environment/community level, covering topics such as the need to introduce a social movement to drive diffusion, funding strategies, and the need for comprehensive education, training, and marketing activities.

The full report will be available from the National Call to Action website at http://www.chadwickcenter.org/Documents/Kaufman%20Report/ChildHosp-NCTAbrochure.pdf.

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express last wrote about outcomes in "Outcomes Being Documented for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy" in the October 2002 issue.

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2081


Investing in the Futures of Foster Youth

Preparing youth in foster care to achieve economic success and make the transition to independent living are the aims of a new investment strategy developed by foundation executives who make up the Foster Care Work Group. Titled "Connected by 25," the plan is designed to ensure that former foster youth are connected by age 25 to institutions and support systems that will enable them to succeed as adults.

The plan calls for public- and private-sector investments in five main strategies:

  1. Advocating for and supporting educational attainment, including secondary education
  2. Facilitating access to employment
  3. Providing financial literacy education
  4. Encouraging savings and asset development, including matched savings accounts
  5. Creating entrepreneurship opportunities

In order to implement these strategies, the Work Group outlines ways in which national, regional, and local foundations can support community demonstrations, research, technical assistance, and outreach and advocacy. The Work Group also proposes an evaluation plan that offers indicators and performance measures that can be used to assess the impact of these strategies on youth leaving foster care.

The full text of "Connected by 25: A Plan for Investing in Successful Futures for Foster Youth" can be downloaded at http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={061111FD-7991-4BFE-A794-48E1A4354BCF}.

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express has examined the topic of foster care youth transitioning to independence in a number of recent articles, including:

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2082


New Publications on Proposal Writing

Two new publications are available to help organizations develop winning proposals.

Based on a new set of interviews with grantmakers, The Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing (4th edition) provides insight into the grant decision-making process. Thirteen chapters cover such topics as setting funding priorities, researching potential funders, and developing various sections of the master proposal. A sample proposal and selected resources also are provided. The book can be ordered for $34.95 from the Foundation Center website at www.fdncenter.org/marketplace/catalog/product_monograph.jhtml?id= prod10047&navCount=1&navAction=jump. (Editor's note: This link is no longer available, but the 6th edition of the book can be ordered at http://marketplace.foundationcenter.org/Publications/Fundraising/The-Foundation-Centers-Guide-to-Proposal-Writing-6th-Edition.)

Another new publication, Successful Grant Writing (2nd Edition), targets health and human service professionals. The book provides the perspective of both the funding agency and the grant seeker, and includes topics such as models for proposal development, writing a proposal, and managing a grant award. The book is available from Springer Publishing Company for $39.95: www.springerpub.com/books/social_work/pub_9261_0.html. (Editor's note: This link is no longer active, but the 4th edition of the publication is available at http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Grant-Writing-Edition-Professionals/dp/0826100902.)

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=2084


Training and Conferences

Interviewing Children and Preparing for Court

States now have an opportunity to receive assistance in establishing their own high quality forensic interviewing courses. Under the project Half a Nation by 2010, the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) is offering States training in its Finding Words curriculum.

Finding Words was designed by and for frontline child abuse professionals. The course is offered to multidisciplinary teams consisting of prosecutors, law enforcement officers, child protection workers, and forensic interviewers. The goal is to train these professionals to work together throughout an investigation, from the initial report, to the interview, to prosecution when appropriate.

The intense week-long curriculum begins with basic information about interviewing and child development. Additional topics include:

The course concludes with two peer-critiqued interviews--one with a real child about a non-abuse event, and one with an adult actor portraying an alleged child sexual abuse victim.

By early 2003, five States had completed training and were certified to offer local Finding Words courses: Minnesota, South Carolina, Indiana, New Jersey, and Mississippi. Five more States had been admitted into the program, including Georgia, Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia, and Illinois. Under a grant from the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, APRI's Office of Research and Evaluation is evaluating the implementation of Finding Words within each State and measuring the impact of this training on case outcomes in the child protection and criminal justice systems.

A report on the project, Finding Words: Half a Nation by 2010, including a program application, can be found on the APRI website at www.ndaa.org/pdf/finding_words_2003.pdf (Editor's note: Link no longer active). For more information about the project, contact the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse at ncpca@ndaa-apri.org or (703) 549-4253.

Related Items

A recent article in the APRI Update discusses the implications of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that undermines the ability of prosecutors to admit child hearsay statements when the child is unavailable for testimony. Read the article at http://www.ndaa.org/ncpca_update_v16_no12.html.

Read more about forensic interviews in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=830


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through September 2004 include:

July

August

September

Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found in the Conference Calendar on Child Welfare Information Gateway: www.childwelfare.gov/calendar

Issue Date: 06 2004
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=54&articleid=831



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

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


Contact us at cb_express@childwelfare.gov.

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