Children's Bureau ExpressApril 2007 | Vol. 8, No. 3

Table of Contents
 

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

  • April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • HHS Releases National Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect for 2005
  • Understanding the Decline in Child Maltreatment
  • Evaluating Home Visitation Programs
  • Logic Model Builder for Prevention Programs
  • World Health Organization Works to Prevent Child Maltreatment

News From the Children's Bureau

  • HHS Proposes $2.8 Billion to Promote Child Well-Being in FY 2008
  • "Change a Lifetime" During National Foster Care Month
  • Advancing Knowledge on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services
  • Design Teams Facilitate Workforce Recruitment and Retention
  • Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Announcement
  • Updated Bibliography on Cross-System Issues
  • State Policies Documents Updated
  • Healthy Marriage Resource Center
  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

Child Welfare Research

  • Adoptive Parents Invest More in Their Children
  • Analyzing the Economic Costs and Benefits of Transracial Adoption
  • Impact of Child Maltreatment on Adult Survivors
  • Navajo Nation and Arizona Agree on Foster Care Reimbursements

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Respite Care for Grandfamilies
  • Evaluating Program Impact on the Community

Resources

  • New FAQs on Adopting From Guatemala
  • Handbook of Adoption
  • Foster Teens' Stories in Represent
  • American Legion Child Welfare Foundation

Training and Conferences

  • Recruitment and Retention Strategies Manual
  • Training Available From the National Family Preservation Network
  • Course Content on Working With Kinship Caregivers
  • Conferences

Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The theme of this year's National Child Abuse Prevention Month, "Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community," encourages service providers and concerned citizens to support parents and caregivers as they work to strengthen their families and provide safe, loving homes and communities for their children.

A new free resource, Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community: 2007 Resource Packet, was created to support service providers who work with parents, other caregivers, and their children, with the common goal of promoting healthy families. Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and numerous national organizations and parents, the Resource Packet highlights strategies that can strengthen families by promoting key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. The packet includes resources in English and Spanish for workers to share with parents as well as strategies to boost community awareness of the key protective factors.

To view or order the packet or corresponding poster, go to the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/res_packet_2007 (no longer available)

In conjunction with the release of the Resource Packet, the Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway website has been redesigned to provide more information to support service providers and the community in their efforts to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. The website includes new and updated information on a variety of topics, including:

Find more information on these topics on the website:

www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1306


HHS Releases National Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect for 2005

According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 899,000 children were abused or neglected in fiscal year (FY) 2005. This represents a victimization rate of 12.1 per 1,000 children. A slight increase in these numbers compared to FY 2004 is attributed to the inclusion of data from Alaska and Puerto Rico. During the prior 5 years, there had been a general decline in the rate of victimization and the numbers of victims.

The national statistics are part of Child Maltreatment 2005, a compendium of data collected through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Child Maltreatment provides national and State statistics on reporting, victims, perpetrators, fatalities, and services provided to children and families in 2005.

An estimated 3.3 million child maltreatment allegations regarding 6 million children were made in 2005; an estimated 3.6 million children were actually investigated by child protective services agencies. Approximately 25 percent of these reports involved substantiated claims of abuse. The rate of investigation increased from 47.8 per 1,000 children in 2004 to 48.3 in 2005.

Of the children who were abused and neglected in 2005:

As in previous years, the vast majority of perpetrators (79.4 percent) were parents of the victim. Another 6.8 percent were relatives of the victim.

To read the full report on national and State statistics, see Child Maltreatment 2005 on the Children’s Bureau website:

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm05/index.htm

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1307


Understanding the Decline in Child Maltreatment

Overall rates of child maltreatment and child victimization, with the exception of neglect, have declined since the early 1990s. A recent study examined this decline to determine whether the trends reflect a true decline in child maltreatment rather than statistical anomalies, explore why the rates of neglect are not consistent with other indicators, and suggest further areas of research for the development of public policy.

This study found evidence that declining child maltreatment rates do reflect an actual trend. Data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System were analyzed and found to be consistent across all categories. In addition, these data parallel research findings on other child welfare indicators, which show decreases in the numbers of teen parents, teen suicide, runaways, and children living in poverty. The numbers are corroborated by similar findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey. Research suggests that rates of neglect may also be declining, but expansion of the definitions of neglect has resulted in more cases constituting neglect than in the past.

The study examined a variety of possible explanations for the decline in maltreatment; three stood out as likely factors that warranted further research and exploration:

Of interest to child protective services workers is the evidence that their presence and efforts have likely contributed to the declining rates of child maltreatment. Further research is needed to identify effective practices to maintain or expand their role within the child welfare system.

"Why Have Child Maltreatment and Child Victimization Declined?" by David Finkelhor and Lisa Jones, was published in the Journal of Social Issues, Volume 62(4), and is available for free download from the Crimes Against Children Research Center website:

www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV137J.pdf (236 - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1308


Evaluating Home Visitation Programs

Home visitation programs have been used in many States and communities to provide support and services to families with infants and young children as a means to prevent child abuse and neglect. A new study, produced by Chapin Hall Center for Children and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, reviews the evolution of home visitation programs and research evaluating their efficacy. The report examines improvements in home visitation programs and outlines reasonable expectations for these programs in the future.

Longitudinal studies of home visitation programs have documented many positive impacts and contributed to a greater understanding of how to make these programs work better. For example, some factors associated with better outcomes include enrolling mothers during pregnancy, using nurses for the visitation, and partnering with other interventions.

As these programs grow in popularity, there are several steps professionals can take to optimize outcomes:

The report, Home Visitation: Assessing Progress, Managing Expectations, by Deborah Daro, is available online:

www.chapinhall.org/article_abstract.aspx?ar=1438&L2=61&L3=129

Related Item

To learn about a home visiting program designed specifically for immigrant parents, read "A Home-Based Intervention for Immigrant and Refugee Trauma Survivors: Paraprofessionals Working With High-Risk Mothers and Infants," by Ruth Paris and Marybeth Bronson, published in the November 2006 issue of ZERO TO THREE:

www.zerotothree.org/site/DocServer/vol27-2b.pdf?docID=2901&AddInterest=1161

{home visits|home visit}

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1309


Logic Model Builder for Prevention Programs

With the field's increased emphasis on demonstrated outcomes and evidence-based practices, child abuse prevention initiatives have sought new ways to evaluate and improve programs and services. To aid in this type of evaluation, an automated Logic Model Builder was developed as part of a larger Evaluation Toolkit by the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention in collaboration with Child Welfare Information Gateway.

The Logic Model Builder is a free, online tool that helps prevention and family support programs evaluate their outcomes by guiding them through a logical, step-by-step evaluation process. Users are prompted to enter their program information, select their outcomes, identify indicators for those outcomes, choose instruments to help them measure their indicators, and plot their progress—all of which results in an individualized logic model for their program.

The Logic Model Builder includes an extensive database of outcomes and indicators associated with five domains:

Users are provided with a variety of options and supported at each decision point with clear guidance and instruction. The resulting logic model can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document for the user to edit and share as a planning and evaluation tool.

Since its introduction in spring 2006, more than 1,100 users have set up accounts to develop their own logic models. Based on feedback from users, new outcomes, indicators, and tools are being added that are responsive to the changing needs of the field. Outcomes on teen parenting, community awareness, and parent leadership are expected to be added to the database by late April.

Visit the Logic Model Builder on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://toolkit.childwelfare.gov/toolkit/home.do

The Logic Model Builder is part of the Evaluation Toolkit developed by FRIENDS; see more on the FRIENDS website:

www.friendsnrc.org/outcome/toolkit/index.htm

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1310


World Health Organization Works to Prevent Child Maltreatment

The World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, has issued a practical new guide to help countries prevent violence against children. The publication, Preventing Child Maltreatment: A Guide to Taking Action and Generating Evidence, is intended to assist countries in designing and delivering programs for the prevention of child maltreatment by parents and caregivers. The intended audience is policymakers and program managers at high levels of government.

Chapters include:

The publication is available on the WHO website:

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241594365_eng.pdf (867 - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1311


News From the Children's Bureau

HHS Proposes $2.8 Billion to Promote Child Well-Being in FY 2008

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the President's fiscal year (FY) 2008 budget request for the Department. The nearly $700 billion proposal includes $45.3 billion for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which administers more than 60 programs that serve America's children and families.

Part of the proposed ACF budget is $2.8 billion for child welfare and well-being programs, including those that protect children from abuse and neglect, promote adoption from foster care, support State child welfare systems, and help low-income families pay for childcare. Two new programs would receive $10 million each:

Other ACF child welfare monies from the budget proposal would help State agencies provide services that keep families together, raise community awareness, address the needs of maltreated children, and help older children in foster care and those aging out of the child welfare system.

To read the President's proposed HHS budget for FY 2008, visit the HHS website:

www.hhs.gov/budget/08budget/2008BudgetInBrief.pdf (797 - KB)

To read the HHS press release on the budget proposal, visit:

www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/20070205.html

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1303


"Change a Lifetime" During National Foster Care Month

Foster parent organizations, child welfare advocates, community groups, and national organizations will mark National Foster Care Month in May by holding events that educate the public about foster care and celebrate those who devote their lives to helping vulnerable children. The slogan, "Change a Lifetime," encourages nurturing adults and families to make special connections with children in foster care whose own families are in crisis.

The National Foster Care Month partnership offers materials to help groups and individuals participate in the campaign. Factsheets, toolkits, and a media kit are available on their website. Organizations can use the materials to plan their own events in May to recognize the contributions of foster parents and others in their communities.

National Foster Care Month is a partnership of Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation/Casey Family Services, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, the Children's Bureau, the Child Welfare League of America, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, APHSA/National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of State Foster Care Managers, National CASA, the National Foster Care Coalition, the National Foster Parent Association, and the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning.

The May issue of Children's Bureau Express will include a special section on National Foster Care Month.

Visit the National Foster Care Month website for information and materials:

www.fostercaremonth.org

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1305


Advancing Knowledge on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services

The National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services (QIC PCW) has moved into Phase II of its 5-year initiative. The QIC PCW is funded by the Children's Bureau to implement research and demonstration projects to develop knowledge about improving outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system through privatization.

In Phase I, the QIC conducted a national needs assessment and knowledge gap analysis to determine the most timely and responsive topics related to privatization. In Phase II, three projects focusing on these topics will be funded from 2007 through 2010 to test models of performance-based contracting and quality assurance systems.

The QIC PCW website offers background material on the privatization of child welfare services, including survey results and an extensive bibliography of literature and resources on privatization.

Learn more about the project and child welfare privatization on the QIC PCW website:

www.uky.edu/SocialWork/qicpcw/

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1315


Design Teams Facilitate Workforce Recruitment and Retention

A university-based project in New York State aims to improve recruitment and retention of the child welfare workforce through the use of agency design teams. The design teams, which include staff from every level, work to solve the problems that are causing undesirable turnover in their particular agencies. This innovative model was developed by the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany at the State University of New York and has already been implemented in both rural and urban counties.

The model includes input from outside facilitators who conduct a job satisfaction survey within a county agency and share the results with the agency’s design team. Based on that information, the team uses a logic model process to identify the problem and its cause and to come up with a workable solution. For instance, in Schoharie County, the design team has addressed such worker issues as consistency in case record documentation (by developing agency procedures), on-call responsibilities (by developing and implementing a manual), and after-hours parking (by persuading the county to change the restrictions).

As part of the model, project staff developed a number of tools to help design teams function smoothly and effectively, including:

The need for innovative approaches to workforce recruitment and retention has been documented in New York State by the Social Work Education Consortium (SWEC), a formal partnership among the deans of the graduate social work programs in New York and officials from the State, the counties, and New York City. Two large-scale surveys sponsored by SWEC looked specifically at counties that had the lowest and highest turnover rates and identified factors that were key to hiring and keeping good workers. New York’s Child and Family Services Review provided another source of information about problems in the child welfare workforce. As a result of the review, participants saw the need for workforce development and professionalization, and strategies for meeting this need became part of the New York State Program Improvement Plan.

While a formal evaluation is still being developed for the design team model, initial survey results indicate that design team members experience increased job satisfaction and commitment and decreased burnout. Anecdotal evidence supports this finding, as design team members have noted both decreased turnover and increased cooperation among workers.

For more information, contact:
Mary L. McCarthy, Ph.D., LMSW
University at Albany
School of Social Welfare
316 Richardson Hall
135 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
518.442.5338
mccarthy@albany.edu

The University at Albany Innovative Model to Improve Recruitment and Retention project is funded by the Children's Bureau, Grant #90-CT-0116, under the Children’s Bureau Priority Area: Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention Training. This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from official Children's Bureau site visits.

Related Item

Child Welfare Information Gateway sponsors Child Welfare Workforce Connection, an online forum for discussion, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and resources related to pressing workforce and training issues. To find more information, visit the website:

www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/workforce/connection.cfm

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1317


Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Announcement

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau has made its first discretionary grant announcement for fiscal year 2007. The funding opportunity is for a multifaceted national AdoptUsKids program designed to assist States and Tribes in the recruitment and support of foster and adoptive families for children in public foster care.

AdoptUsKids is responsible for the following activities:

Grant applications are due on May 15, 2007. For more information, visit:

[Editor's note: This link no longer exists.]

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1790


Updated Bibliography on Cross-System Issues

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare recently updated the Annotated Bibliography on Cross-System Issues that identifies the major publications dealing with cross-system issues involving child welfare, dependency courts, and substance abuse disorders. Works are classified under the following topical areas:

To search the bibliography, visit:

www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov/AnnotatedBiblio.asp#4#4

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1795


State Policies Documents Updated

Four updated State policies documents are now available on the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning website:

The resources provide State-specific information on the topics as found in State statutes, regulations, and policies (where available).

www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/state-policies.html

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1796


Healthy Marriage Resource Center

The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) is an information source and clearinghouse that makes resources available to individuals, couples, educators, policymakers, researchers, and organizational leaders with an interest in marriage. NHMRC offers marriage and family trends and statistics, marriage education and programming, training and technical assistance for Healthy Marriage Initiative grantees, and scholarly research.

NHMRC is administered under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Family Assistance within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Its principal mission is to support ACF in furthering its commitment to promoting and supporting healthy marriages and child well-being by providing key audiences with research and program information and generating new knowledge about promising and effective strategies.

http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org

ACF has expanded its Healthy Marriage Initiative efforts with special resources that provide culturally relevant information for selected ethnic groups.

Native American Healthy Marriage Initiative website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/aa_hmi/AAHMI.html

Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/about/hispanic_hm_initiative.html

African American Healthy Marriage Initiative website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/aa_hmi/AAHMI.html

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1788


New! On the Children's Bureau Site

The Children's Bureau website carries information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more. The "New on Site" section includes grant announcements, policy announcements, agency information, and recently released publications.

Recent additions to the site include:

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

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/new_site.htm

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: News From the Children's Bureau
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1787


Child Welfare Research

Adoptive Parents Invest More in Their Children

A recent study analyzing levels of parental investment in families with two biological parents and other family types found that families with two adoptive parents invested more in their children than did other family types, including families with two biological parents. When factors such as adoptive parents' higher income, older maternal age, and greater education were controlled for, the advantage diminished some but remained statistically significant.

Data were drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of approximately 13,000 first graders and their families. Parental investment was measured across four resource categories:

Results are discussed in terms of various sociological theories, including family structure theory and kin selection theory.

"Adoptive Parents, Adaptive Parents: Evaluating the Importance of Biological Ties for Parental Investment," by Laura Hamilton, Brian Powell, and Simon Cheng, was published in the American Sociological Review, Volume 72, and is available for free download:

www.law.harvard.edu/programs/about/cap/assignments/art-07/packet5supplement.pdf (1,802  - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1312


Analyzing the Economic Costs and Benefits of Transracial Adoption

A new study on transracial adoption from foster care found that a child adopted transracially spends less time as a legal orphan than the average, adopted African-American child. The study also found that transracial adoptions occur at a younger age and sooner after the termination of parental rights than same-race adoptions.

Using data from the Children's Bureau's Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) for 1996–2003, the study's authors show that adoptions of African-American and other children of color have increased since the 1990s, as have transracial adoptions. However, Black children continue to spend more time as legal orphans, relative to other children. This occurs despite the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and the Interethnic Adoption Provisions, which were enacted to prevent discrimination in the placement of children on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

Using the AFCARS data, the authors conducted an economic analysis to investigate the costs of restricting placements by race. Results show that transracial adoptions have a greater net social and economic benefit due to reduced waiting time to adoption and fewer funds being spent on same-race adoptive parent recruitment.

The authors conclude that greater emphasis on transracial placements and more vigorous enforcement of MEPA would result in gains for African-American children.

The full article, "Transracial Adoption of Black Children: An Economic Analysis," by Mary Hansen and Daniel Pollack, can be found on the website of the Berkeley Electronic Press:

http://law.bepress.com/expresso/eps/1942/

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1313


Impact of Child Maltreatment on Adult Survivors

Two recently published research studies report on the long-term impact of childhood maltreatment.

A longitudinal study that followed 676 abused and neglected children into young adulthood found that these individuals had an increased risk of major depression as adults, compared to nonmaltreated controls. When interviewed as young adults, those who experienced physical abuse or multiple forms of abuse as children were at increased risk of lifetime depression, while those who experienced childhood neglect were at increased risk of current depression. Maltreated children who became depressed adults also showed high rates of comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders.

The study, "A Prospective Investigation of Major Depressive Disorder and Comorbidity in Abused and Neglected Children Grown Up," by Cathy Spatz Widom, Kimberly DuMont, and Sally J. Czaja, was published in the January 2007 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The article can be purchased online:

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/64/1/49?rss=1

In another study, researchers found that childhood abuse or neglect could impair women's ability to develop necessary social support structures as adults and also make them more vulnerable to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The retrospective study of 100 low-income women found that social support partially mediated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adult stress symptoms, and current stress was a strong mediator of the impact of childhood maltreatment on adult depression.

This study, "Child Multi-Type Maltreatment and Associated Depression and PTSD Symptoms: The Role of Social Support and Stress," by Ana-Maria Vranceanu, Stevan E. Hobfoll, and Robert J. Johnson, was published in the January 2007 issue of Child Abuse and Neglect. It can be purchased online:

http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.04.010

Related Item

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) is an ongoing long-term study of the effects of childhood trauma on long-term health. For information about the study and links to publications about ACE, visit the ACE website:

www.acestudy.org

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1314


Navajo Nation and Arizona Agree on Foster Care Reimbursements

The Navajo Nation recently became the first Arizona Tribe to sign a title IV-E intergovernmental agreement with the State that will allow the Tribe to be reimbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars for the foster care of Navajo children. The agreement provides for the training and licensing of relatives of the foster children so the children can continue to live with a family member. The custom of caring for grandchildren or other related children has a long history among Navajos.

The Navajo Nation has had a similar agreement with New Mexico since 2002 that has resulted in 99 percent of Tribal foster children being placed with relatives.

A press release about the agreement can be found on the Navajo Nation website:

www.navajo.org/images/pdf%20releases/George%20Hardeen/dec06/Navajo%20Nation%20signs%20IV-E%20Intergovernmental%20agreement%20with%20Arizona%20to%20receive%20foster%20care%20reimbursements.pdf (136 - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Child Welfare Research
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1304


Strategies and Tools for Practice

Respite Care for Grandfamilies

Respite care can provide grandparents and other relative caregivers with the time they need to take care of themselves so they can provide a nurturing family and home for the children they are raising. Caregivers in these "grandfamilies" often need regular or emergency care for their children while they attend to medical, business, or other family matters.

A recent policy brief from the Family Strengthening Policy Center examines the benefits of respite care programs for grandfamilies. The brief sheds light on the economic and emotional issues affecting these households and recommends various types of respite care to accommodate family circumstances. It also describes the ways effective respite care systems strengthen grandfamilies by:

The brief includes a list of policy recommendations to improve the availability and accessibility of respite care systems and identifies family-driven practices based on measurable outcomes. Successful respite care programs are also profiled. For a closer look at Strengthening Grandfamilies Through Respite Care, visit the National Human Services Assembly website:

www.nassembly.org/fspc/documents/Brief20.pdf (367 - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1316


Evaluating Program Impact on the Community

A new collection of tools and resources can help community-based programs evaluate their organization’s ability to impact the communities they serve. Using input from key constituencies in community development and related evaluation fields, NeighborWorks® America created the Community Development Evaluation Storymap, a visual guide to the abundance of information and tools available about evaluation. The Storymap helps organizations, funders, and intermediaries better understand what type of evaluation would best serve their needs, categorized in three areas:

Among the tools the Storymap highlights, one of the most promising is Success Measures, an outcome-based evaluation method that includes a subscription-based online data system. The data system offers 44 indicators of community development outcomes and over 100 quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, including secure data management and storage and the ability to share evaluation results with partners, funders, or other stakeholders.

Learn more about the Success Measures program on the website:

www.successmeasures.org/

Access the Community Development Evaluation Storymap:

www.nw.org/network/training/KCsymposium.asp

Read more about promising evaluation resources in the article "New Evaluative Methods: Measuring Your Impact on the Community," by Catherine A. Smith, found on the NeighborWorks website at:

www.nw.org/network/pubs/brightIdeas/documents/bi_winter2006_coverStory.pdf (866 - KB)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Strategies and Tools for Practice
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1318


Resources

New FAQs on Adopting From Guatemala

The U.S. Department of State has posted a number of news bulletins about adoptions from Guatemala on its Intercountry Adoption webpages. On March 14, the Department released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for prospective adoptive parents. In answering the questions, the State Department noted that it could not recommend adoption from Guatemala at this time. While the Department will continue to process adoptions from Guatemala on a case-by-case basis, each case will be subjected to a detailed review.

The U.S. Government cites serious problems with the adoption process in Guatemala. These include conflict of interest, lack of government oversight, unregulated foster care, and a lack of progress in meeting the requirements of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

Guatemala acceded to the Convention in 2003 and is recognized as a party to the Convention under international law. However, Guatemala has not yet created the infrastructure and systems necessary to implement the Convention, and its current adoption procedures do not provide the protections for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents required under the Convention.

When the United States completes its ratification of the Convention in 2007, it will not be able to approve adoptions from Guatemala until that country takes the necessary steps to comply with the Convention.

The State Department information on Guatemala, as well as updates on many other countries, are available on the website:

http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1784


Handbook of Adoption

The newly released Handbook of Adoption is an aptly named book covering every aspect of adoption-related issues that can affect adoption triad members. Designed for practitioners, counselors, researchers, students, and families, the handbook includes contributions from nationally known adoption experts on major theoretical, research, and relationship issues surrounding adoption. The 33 chapters are divided among 9 sections, including:

Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families, by Rafael Javier, Amanda Baden, Frank Biafora, and Alina Camacho-Gingerich (editors), is available through Sage Publications:

www.sagepub.com/booksProdTOC.nav?prodId=Book228891&currTree=Courses&level1=Course3

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1786


Foster Teens' Stories in Represent

Adolescents and teens in foster care who visit the website for Represent magazine will find stories that have a familiar ring. The stories are by and for teens in foster care, and many talk about their experiences of living in a foster home or group setting. Other stories describe the challenges associated with aging out of the foster care system and transitioning to independent living. Each issue of Represent has a theme; recent themes have included life after foster care, the long-term impact of sexual abuse, and the difficulties of teenage parenthood.

Represent is produced by Youth Communication:

www.youthcomm.org/Publications/FCYU.htm

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1789


American Legion Child Welfare Foundation

Providing other nonprofit organizations with a means to educate the public about the needs of the nation's children is the primary goal of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc. Last year, the foundation awarded grants totaling more than $600,000 to 21 organizations.

Foundation grants are awarded for 1 year. All grant activities must be completed between January 1 and December 31 of the award year. Grants must have the potential of helping American children in a large geographic area (more than one State).

Applications may be requested by mail from April 1 through July 1. The deadline for the receipt of all applications is July 15.

A webpage that provides funding policies, grant limitations, application procedures, and related information can be found on the foundation website:

www.cwf-inc.org/grantseekers

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Resources
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1791


Training and Conferences

Recruitment and Retention Strategies Manual

The SMARRT Manual (Strategies Matrix Approach to Recruitment and Retention Techniques) is designed to help child welfare agencies develop effective strategies for recruitment, selection, training, and retention of personnel. It includes research-based findings as well as a wide range of experiential information, providing child welfare professionals with practical, hands-on tools and information to begin implementing these strategies in their own agencies.

The SMARRT Manual was produced as part of the Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project by the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau. The manual is available online:

www.thebutlerinstitute.org/images/WRRRPFiles/SMARRT%20Manual%20Final%20Nov%2006.pdf (1.55 - MB)

Related Item

An article in the November 2006 issue of Children's Bureau Express, "Workforce Recruitment and Retention in Three Western States," described the Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project.

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1792


Training Available From the National Family Preservation Network

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) offers an array of resources for family preservation and reunification programs and services. Several training packages have been developed to assist agencies in meeting Federal standards for family preservation and reunification services, including a Fatherhood Training Curriculum, the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) Training Package (Family Preservation), and the NCFAS-R Training Package (Family Reunification).

The newest training package available from NFPN is the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale-General Services (FCFAS-G). This assessment tool was developed for use with a wide variety of programs and for families with less severe needs and problems. The NCFAS-G was tested with a differential response program that diverts families from the child welfare system.

A complete list of training packages available from NFPN can be found on the website:

www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools.html

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1793


Course Content on Working With Kinship Caregivers

A method for infusing content on grandparents and other kinship caregivers into existing undergraduate social work courses has been developed to increase the competencies of students and improve the quality of services to older adults and their families. The author selected four social work foundation courses, reviewed the course descriptions and learning outcomes, and offered recommendations for themes and assignments that could be incorporated into the coursework to improve the students' knowledge of aging issues and experience working with grandparents raising grandchildren.

The full article, "Preparing Social Work Students to Work With Grandparents in Kinship Care: An Approach to Infusion of Content Materials into Selected Core Social Work Courses," by Patricia Johnson-Dalzine, was published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Volume 48(3/4) and can be purchased online:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17210540

The method was developed for a grantee of the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) GeroRich Project, which awarded grants to B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs to fill the void in gerontological social work content. Learn more about the project on the CSWE Gero-Ed Center website:

http://www.cswe.org/CentersInitiatives/GeroEdCenter.aspx

This website also carries teaching modules on the topic of grandparents caring for grandchildren:

http://www.cswe.org/CentersInitiatives/GeroEdCenter/Programs/MAC/GIG/Arlington/37752.aspx

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1794


Conferences

Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through July 2007 include:

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found through the "Conference Calendar Search" feature on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/calendar/index.cfm (link no longer available)

Issue Date: April 2007
Section: Training and Conferences
URL: https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=82&articleid=1323



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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