April 2021Vol. 22, No. 4Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
This edition of CBX highlights National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM). Read about the latest updates to the NCAPM website, Resource Guide, and more. We also spotlight resources and articles centered on scaling up title IV-E prevention programs, how educators can continue to prevent child maltreatment during virtual learning by supporting and engaging families, and the benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration in prevention efforts.
- Scaling Evidence-Based Prevention Programs Under the Title IV-E Prevention Services Program
Scaling Evidence-Based Prevention Programs Under the Title IV-E Prevention Services Program
A brief by Child Trends identifies four key factors that influence the scaling of evidence-based models (EBMs) in child welfare and what to consider when implementing services to prevent unnecessary entry into foster care. The Title IV-E Prevention Services Program, as amended by the Family First Prevention Services Act, includes provisions to keep children with their families, when it is safe to do so, with evidence-based services and provides federal funding to do so. The brief uses two EBMs as case studies and interviews the purveyors and community-based provider agencies that focus on purveyor capacity.
Researchers selected child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) and brief strategic family therapy (BSFT) as the two program models. Both are mental health intervention programs but serve caregivers with children in different age ranges. CPP focuses on attachment and behavioral challenges in children who have experienced trauma, while BSFT focuses on children and youth who engage in or are at risk of developing behavior problems such as substance use. The case studies highlight the following four factors:
- Purveyor capacity
- Skilled workforce
- Data monitoring and evaluation capacity
- Leadership and support
There are three findings that researchers found for states to consider when preparing for and implementing EBMs:
- Strong infrastructure and capacity are needed to meet the expanded demands for these programs.
- Successfully implementing EBMs into child welfare systems requires strong and sustained relationships across organizations and agencies.
- Solid and continuous data collection is required to monitor program implementation and outcomes, especially as EBMs are adapted to cultural and agency contexts.
Read Considerations for Scaling Evidence-Based Prevention Programs Under the Family First Prevention Services Act for a complete overview of the factors, examples of their implementation and limitations, and lessons learned and recommendations.
- April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Every April, the Children's Bureau observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM) to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families, and promote community involvement through activities that support the cause. The theme of this year's NCAPM initiative aligns with the theme of the 23rd National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), "Thriving Children and Families: Prevention With Purpose," and highlights what it can look like when prevention efforts are guided by the need to build protective factors and provide support to children and families.
This year's campaign features several enhancements to the NCAPM website, including a new design to help showcase its informative and engaging content. Those visiting the website can learn more about NCAPM and the role the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act plays in providing funding to states to support the prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child maltreatment. The website also provides current child maltreatment data, outlines the role protective factors and adverse childhood experiences have in prevention efforts, provides information about the 23rd NCCAN, and offers ways to help spread the word about NCAPM.
One of the key highlights for this year's NCAPM website is the new 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide, which continues to be rooted in the protective factors but now brings to the forefront how families, neighborhoods, communities, and states are successfully using them to protect children, strengthen families, and promote well-being.
New additions and updates to the Resource Guide include the following:
- Social-ecological model. This year's Resource Guide expands upon the tradition of addressing prevention from the perspective of a social-ecological model. This approach acknowledges that there are many factors beyond the individual child and family that affect caregivers' ability to nurture and protect their children.
- New program examples. Throughout the guide, you will find an array of examples from numerous federal partners, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention state lead agencies, communities, and others achieving real change for children and families.
- Conversation guides. New interactive guides replace the tip sheets found in previous editions of the Resource Guide and help users engage parents and caregivers in more personalized conversations about how they care for their children and themselves to create a stronger, more resilient family. Each guide is available in English and Spanish and targets one of the six protective factors. The tip sheets from previous guides will continue to be available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
The Resource Guide was developed through a partnership between the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect within the Children's Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The information and resources available in the Resource Guide can be used all year to help professionals and families prevent maltreatment and work toward child and family well-being. For more information on NCAPM, or to view or order a copy of the Resource Guide, visit the NCAPM website.
- Ending Child Maltreatment Through Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Ending Child Maltreatment Through Multidisciplinary Collaboration
An article from the International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice introduces reframing the traditional maltreatment prevention approach from one that focuses on individual professional roles to a comprehensive multidisciplinary collaboration that shares a collective responsibility.
The authors suggest that this change be spearheaded through the formation of the EndCAN Academy, a multitiered educational approach that would create the foundation needed for this collaboration by restructuring the currently siloed educational system and redefining child maltreatment as a public health concern that requires a unified approach.
Although progress has been made in utilizing multidisciplinary teams to address maltreatment and the surrounding factors, there is still room for growth in dismantling the silos around the individual professional fields. EndCAN would be positioned to provide students across disciplines with resources to help them form a comprehensive, interdisciplinary public health response to child maltreatment that would begin during their undergraduate studies and continue through their graduate and postgraduate education. To accomplish this, EndCAN would require sustained and substantial funding to ensure a broad reach across professionals as well as removing financial barriers to participation.
The article references three training programs that embody the interdisciplinary training vision of EndCAN: Child Advocacy Studies (CAST), an undergraduate minor program originating at Winona State University; the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Child Abuse and Neglect (ITP), a graduate-level training offered at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; and and online course developed by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the New York Foundling.
Read the article, "Building Strong Children Together: Ending Child Maltreatment in Our Lifetime Through Disruption of Educational Systems and Approaches," to learn more about the EndCAN Academy proposal, educational programs, and more.
- What Educators Can Do to Spot Child Maltreatment During the Pandemic
What Educators Can Do to Spot Child Maltreatment During the Pandemic
A podcast from Prevent Child Abuse America features a conversation with Dr. Bart Klika that explores how the role educators play in identifying maltreatment has changed during the past year and what opportunities have arisen from it.
As educators have switched to a virtual platform, it is more difficult for them to see the subtle clues that may indicate child abuse or neglect or connect with a child in the same way they did in a classroom. However, virtual learning does allow an opportunity for a new window into a child's life and potentially greater interaction with the family. Teachers have an opportunity to directly interact differently with parents.
Dr. Klika posited that educators can use this as an opportunity to shift from looking for indicators of maltreatment to playing a more supportive role, being open to seeing where families may need support, and hopefully connecting them with concrete resources. By taking a more proactive approach and not waiting until a report needs to be filed, educators can work with parents to create conditions where child abuse and neglect may not occur in the first place.
Dr. Klika discussed the need to interact with and support families early on instead of waiting until child welfare is involved. All families need support, and Dr. Kilka suggests a need for a system of universal access and a shift in norms as we rethink support. By creating a shift in culture where accessing family supports is a norm without stigma—and where concrete supports such as food assistance or high-quality, affordable child care are readily available—an environment can be fostered where child maltreatment may never happen.
The podcast also recognizes the stress and challenges that educators are facing, including secondary trauma and burnout. As trauma-informed systems are built, it is important to recognize that they should also serve those employed within it.
Listen to "Child Abuse Is Harder to Spot During the Pandemic. What Can Educators Do?" to hear more.
Spotlight on National Foster Care Month
Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention Month
News From the Children's Bureau
Read about the Children's Bureau's newly appointed Associate Commissioner, Aysha E. Schomburg; a project intended to help the Children's Bureau in its work to assist states, communities, and tribes in building, implementing, and evaluating proactive, strengths-based prevention strategies; information about new federal pandemic relief funding for youth and young adults involved with the foster care system; and a brief listing of the latest updates to the Children's Bureau website.
- The Building Capacity to Evaluate Child Welfare Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve
The Building Capacity to Evaluate Child Welfare Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve
The Building Capacity to Evaluate Child Welfare Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families (CWCC) project, which supports the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was designed to help the Children's Bureau assist states, communities, and tribes in building, implementing, and evaluating proactive, strengths-based prevention strategies. These maltreatment prevention strategies seek to reduce new referrals, unnecessary removals of children from their homes, and foster care entries. CWCC also seeks to find out how data are being used within and across agencies to improve their services and outcomes, common factors associated with success or difficulties, and how efforts can be sustained beyond the project.
CWCC primarily supports Children's Bureau efforts in two ways: providing evaluation-related technical assistance to increase grantees' evaluation capacity and evaluating each cohort to see how their maltreatment prevention approaches were developed and implemented. This cross-site evaluation documented leadership approaches, integration strategies, and recruitment and assessment methods.
CWCC guides grantees through designing a high-quality process and outcome evaluation, including crafting a theory of change and formulating targeted research questions, methodologies, and outcome measurements. CWCC then provides support to the grantee-designed evaluations and analyzes and distributes the results so that other communities can benefit from the findings.
This project will collect data between spring 2020 and summer 2024. To learn more, refer to the Building Capacity to Evaluate Child Welfare Community Collaborations (CWCC) to Strengthen and Preserve Families 2018-2024 webpage.
- Children's Bureau Welcomes New Associate Commissioner
Children's Bureau Welcomes New Associate Commissioner
The Children's Bureau is pleased to announce that the Biden Administration has appointed Aysha E. Schomburg, Esq., to be the new Associate Commissioner.
Aysha E. Schomburg is a graduate of New York Law School and most recently served as the senior administrator for program oversight for the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS). As the senior administrator for ACS, Dr. Schomburg worked closely with agency leaders to develop and implement plans for ACS's operational infrastructure as well as develop and coordinate organizational capacity-building strategies across programs. In addition, during the COVID-19 public health crisis, Dr. Schomburg worked with the Department of Education and the Department of Homeless Services to create guidance for frontline staff. She also worked with the New York City mayor's office to coordinate a platform for engaging and listening to nonprofits and social services agencies about the challenges related to COVID-19 and how to mitigate them.
Dr. Schomburg provided counsel to New York City's Office of Equity Strategies on the implementation of the ACS race equity plan and has provided recommendations on how to tackle inequities and racism in child welfare. In 2019, she was awarded the ACS Distinguished Service Award for her work in helping children who were separated from their families at the border.
Prior to working with ACS, Dr. Schomburg served as the assistant deputy director for the New York City Council. In this position, she managed the legislative activities of 13 committees within the Human Services Division and provided legal counsel to the council's speaker and other council members.
Children's Bureau staff look forward to working with Dr. Schomburg as the Bureau remains committed to its mission of improving the lives of children and families.
Visit the Children's Bureau website for more information.
- New Webpage on Funds Available Through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic
New Webpage on Funds Available Through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic
The COVID-19 public health emergency has been especially stressful for families involved with child welfare and particularly for youth and young adults transitioning out of the foster care system.
To help mitigate the challenges these youth face, the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act (P.L. 116-260) was signed into law on December 27, 2020, to provide state, tribal, and county child welfare agencies with time-limited resources to respond to the needs of youth and young adults under the age of 27 who spent time in foster care after the age of 14. These pandemic relief funds are aimed at helping these young people with mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, car loans, groceries, and other basic needs.
To spread the word about this new funding opportunity, Child Welfare Information Gateway created a webpage that provides additional information for youth and professionals. The webpage features information on eligibility as well as pertinent information on the law itself, including a link to the Children's Bureau's Information Memorandum (IM-21-05) that outlines the changes to the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood and education and training voucher supplemental funding, minimum age limitations in eligibility for assistance, programmatic flexibilities, and more. In addition, the webpage also links to a recording of the Children's Bureau's webinar on the new law that was held on January 7, 2021. The recording for the webinar can be found here (passcode: 9ES4H0K#).
- CB Website Updates
CB Website Updates
The Children's Bureau website hosts information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, federal reporting, and much more.
Recent additions to the site include the following:
- Letter From the Children's Bureau Regarding the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative
- Letter to Child Welfare Leaders About Virtual Adaptations for the Title IV-E Prevention Program
- Technical Bulletin 21: XML File Structure & Encryption
- Tribal Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Look-Up Table for Fiscal Year 2022
- Availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Children's Justice Act Grants to States Under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): PI-21-01
- Changes to Court Improvement Program (CIP) and Updated Instructions for State Courts on Submitting New Five-Year Strategic Plan for FY 2022 - 2026 and Applying for CIP Funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022: PI-21-02
- Family Connection Grants: Building the Evidence for Kinship Navigator Programs: HHS-2021-ACF-ACYF-CF-1903
Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new
Training and Technical Assistance Update
We feature a guide from the Capacity Building Center for Tribes on obtaining title IV-E funding and lessons learned from tribes who have undergone the process, an article from AdoptUSKids on the barriers prospective foster and adoptive families face during the licensing process and how to overcome them, and a brief listing of the latest updates from the Children's Bureau's technical assistance partners.
- Using Data to Improve the Licensing Experience for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Families
Using Data to Improve the Licensing Experience for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Families
A recent article from AdoptUSKids discusses the barriers prospective foster and adoptive families face during the licensing process and how agencies can help mitigate these obstacles by combining and analyzing data on agency strategies for engaging and retaining families and breaking down the barriers that keep families from moving forward to licensure and approval. Using survey data obtained through its Family Intake Tracking Tool, which supports communication with and services to prospective foster and adoptive families, and additional feedback from families, AdoptUSKids created a summary of the most common barriers to licensure and ways to address and overcome these barriers to strengthen engagement, retention, and response efforts.
Based on the responses from 3,785 survey respondents, the most commonly reported barriers were agencies not returning families' calls or emails and taking too long to become matched with a child. Respondents also reported additional barriers, including a change in personal circumstances on the part of the prospective family, finding the process too difficult, receiving inaccurate information from child welfare agencies, not receiving emotional support from child welfare agencies, having limited access to training, agencies prioritizing specific categories of families (e.g., adoption vs. foster care), and others.
To help mitigate these obstacles, AdoptUSKids suggests agencies should do the following:
- Return families' calls and emails promptly.
- Provide clear, consistent information about the licensure or approval process and requirements.
- Use customer service approaches to provide a more engaging and supportive experience for families.
- Use concurrent steps to streamline the process. For example, start background checks early in the process to avoid potential delays.
- Use process mapping to streamline the process and eliminate or reduce barriers for families.
- Support families through barriers or challenges that can't be eliminated.
- Consider conducting a survey within the agency.
Read the article, Using Data to Improve the Inquiry-to-Licensing Experience for Families, to learn more about how to ease the licensing process and retain more families for children in need.
- Capacity Building Center for Tribes Releases Title IV-E Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders
Capacity Building Center for Tribes Releases Title IV-E Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders
The Capacity Building Center for Tribes released a new guide intended for tribal governments and leaders interested in obtaining title IV-E funding that shares considerations and lessons learned from tribes already experienced with title IV-E. The guide, Title IV-E Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders: Considerations and Lessons Learned, explores various funding pathways to accessing title IV-E funds, such as through tribal-state title IV-E agreements or contracts, and discusses several considerations and lessons learned that tribal leaders should know as they seek out direct title IV-E funding.
Tribal governments and leaders should consider the following when exploring direct title IV-E funding pathways:
- Infrastructure. It requires a significant amount of infrastructure to meet title IV-E program requirements and may require a substantial allocation of resources to accomplish.
- Planning. To apply for direct funding, tribes are required to submit a comprehensive title IV-E plan to the Children's Bureau for approval. The plan should include how the program will operate and meet requirements.
- Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grant. Tribes seeking funding should apply for this grant, which provides a one-time award of up to $300,000 to assist in the development of the title IV-E plan.
- Partnerships. Tribes entering into a tribal-state title IV-E partnerships should explore their current relationships to see how they can cultivate and grow effective partnerships.
- Funding. To receive title IV-E funding, tribes must be operating a title IV-B, subpart 1, program.
The guide also provides avenues for additional support, such as information about grant writing, contact information for tribal regional program managers, and a listing of additional resources.
- Updates From the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Partners
Updates From the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Partners
CB funds several technical assistance centers to provide professionals with tools to better serve children, youth, and families.
The following are some of the latest resources from CB's technical assistance partners:
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
Visit the Information Gateway website for more.
- FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention
Visit the FRIENDS National Resource Center website for more.
- Child Welfare Capacity Building Center (CBC) for States
Visit the CBC for States website for more.
Visit the AdoptUSKids website for more.
- National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN)
Visit the NDACAN website for more.
- The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
Visit the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute website for more.
- Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)
Visit the QIC-WD website for more.
- Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardian Support and Preservation (QIC-AG)
Visit the QIC-AG website for more.
- National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification (QIC-R)
Visit the QIC-R website for more.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Welfare Research
We highlight a study that compares child maltreatment statistics between urban and rural areas and an article that discusses the effectiveness of the Safe Environment for Every Kid prevention model.
- The Effectiveness of the Safe Environment for Every Kid Prevention Model
The Effectiveness of the Safe Environment for Every Kid Prevention Model
Since funding for child maltreatment prevention is often limited, cost assessments can help agencies and organizations determine how to allocate funds. A recent article in Child Abuse & Neglect assessed the cost effectiveness of the Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK) child maltreatment prevention model.
SEEK is a primary care-based intervention that involves training primary care providers, screening parents, assessing identified problems, and referring families to community agencies.
To analyze cost-effectiveness, researchers studied 102 pediatric providers at 18 pediatric primary care practices. The practices and their providers were randomly asked to either implement the SEEK method or continue their usual care. To evaluate results, researchers recruited 924 families with children who have been receiving care from these providers for fewer than 6 years.
Researchers collected data over a period of 2.5 years on the cost of implementing SEEK, including salaries for team members, provider time for training, and materials as well as the rate and cost of maltreatment incidents.
The results showed that the SEEK method is cost-effective. It cost $265,852 to implement SEEK for 2.5 years in intervention practices, and an estimated 870 cases were averted. For every 34 children exposed to SEEK, one episode of maltreatment was prevented, meaning the cost of preventing one incident by implementing SEEK was $305.58.
Each maltreatment incident cost an estimated $2,779 per child for medical and mental health treatment. Therefore, implementation of SEEK would save an estimated $2,151,878 for a population of 29,610 over 2.5 years. The researchers concluded that the cost savings are a strong argument for integrating SEEK into well-child care.
To learn more, read "Cost Effectiveness of SEEK: A Primary Care-Based Child Maltreatment Prevention Model."
- Child Maltreatment Reporting in Rural vs. Urban Areas
Child Maltreatment Reporting in Rural vs. Urban Areas
Most of the research on child maltreatment focuses on children in urban areas since they outnumber those in rural areas. A recent article in Children and Youth Services Review emphasizes child maltreatment statistics in rural areas, comparing maltreatment reports, report sources, and service outcomes with those in urban areas.
The study examines three research questions:
- Do maltreatment reports differ between urban and rural areas during the study period (2003-2017)?
- Do report sources differ between urban and rural areas?
- Does the probability of substantiation and postresponse outcomes differ by report source and urban or rural area?
Measuring report rates between 2003 and 2017, researchers found that rural populations had higher rates. Between 2013 and 2017, rates were about 60 per 1,000 children in rural areas and 40 per 1,000 children in large urban areas.
Although both rural and urban areas had more reports by professionals than nonprofessionals, rural areas had a greater percentage of nonprofessional report sources than urban areas. The percentages of substantiated reports and of those who received in-home services were relatively similar in rural and urban areas.
This is the first major study in recent years to examine and compare national data for child maltreatment reports, report sources, and services outcomes for rural and urban areas. It is important to note that there are several limitations to the study, such as that it relied on official child maltreatment data and screened-in reports, which may undercount the actual occurrence of maltreatment.
To learn more, read "Rural Differences in Child Maltreatment Reports, Reporters, and Service Responses."
Strategies and Tools for Practice
This section of CBX offers publications, articles, reports, toolkits, and other resources that provide either evidence-based strategies or other concrete help to child welfare and related professionals.
- Seeking Equity Calls Us to Cultural Humility
Seeking Equity Calls Us to Cultural Humility
Written by the Capacity Building Center for States
"Not only are Black children the most likely to enter the child welfare system but they also fare the worst under the state's supervision. Black children have the greatest odds of being removed from their homes and the smallest chance of being either reunited with their parents or adopted. They spend the most time in foster care and receive the least helpful services."—Dorothy Roberts, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2015, p. 13-14)
The movement toward prevention and racial equity requires a deep examination of the harm that children—particularly Black and Native American/Alaska Native children—have experienced in the child welfare system and an intentional adoption of culturally responsive services driven by the needs and expertise of children, youth, and families. Over time, the field has shifted from promoting the concept of cultural competence to exploring more comprehensive and responsive approaches. The term cultural competence can imply that full proficiency in another culture is an achievable goal and runs the risk of suggesting those who share culture have identical experiences. On the other hand, cultural humility assumes that others are experts in their own culture, culture is multifaceted, there are structural factors that influence people differently, and people hold multiple cultural and social identities.
Cultural Humility in Practice
Cultural humility shifts the focus from knowledge acquisition ("How are other cultures different from my own?") to a deeper exploration of power, norms, and values ("How can I ask the right questions to better understand how cultural and social identities are affecting the families I'm helping?") (Fisher-Borne et al., 2015).
When woven into practice, cultural humility includes an examination of one's own biases, open dialogue with families, and proactive efforts to level the playing field and address systemic inequities. While race and culture are not synonymous, cultural humility with a racial equity lens can help address the stark racial disparities in the system and promote attention to the intersections of race and other cultural identities.
The following cultural humility practice principles (adapted from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute  and Ortega & Faller ) can help engage youth, families, and colleagues:
- Commit to lifelong learning. Educating yourself about the history of the child welfare system and its harmful impact on families of color is a necessary step toward reducing disproportionality and becoming a prevention-oriented, family-centered system.
- Use a wide lens. People can hold multiple identities (racial, ethnic, social, religious, and more), which intersect in individual ways. Viewing others through a narrow lens of assumptions about their cultural identity limits our ability to see them as whole and complex.
- Be open. The intersection of multiple identities leads to a variety of experiences and impacts opportunities. Step back and consider how these experiences and opportunities (or perhaps lack thereof) might differ from your own.
- Reserve judgment. Majority (or dominant) cultures may be perceived as better than others. Think about—and avoid—placing more value on some cultures over others.
- Communicate. Allow people to describe their experience in their own words. Engage in active and reflective listening.
- Stay curious. Commit to cultural humility as a critical and ongoing part of your standard practice, in which you consistently seek to understand other perspectives.
- Challenge yourself. Use self-reflection to understand and challenge your own biases and internal barriers to learning from others.
- Partner. Work to level the playing field by authentically partnering with youth and families. Acknowledge and try to mitigate the power differential between youth, families, and systems that represent authority and expertise.
- Build on assets. Focus on youth and family assets and strengths. Acknowledge and work against systemic barriers to opportunity.
The Role of Leaders
Agency leaders can consider the following ways to embed cultural humility into practice through training, coaching, and organizational change:
- Prioritize cultural humility by consulting with youth and families, addressing structural barriers, embedding practice into policy, and reallocating funds to make practice possible at the direct service level.
- Engage youth, families, community partners, and staff in assessing the organizational environment, policies, procedures, knowledge, and skills in order to identify areas for growth.
- Model and normalize cultural humility as an ongoing process as opposed to an outcome. Cultural humility assumes that you don't have—and never will have—all the answers.
- Build relationships with staff, community partners, youth, and families that are respectful, authentic, and reciprocal and that strive to proactively address power differentials. Expect and empower staff to do the same.
- Provide professional development, coaching opportunities, and incentives for staff to develop an understanding of institutional racism, intersectional identities, implicit and systemic bias, and how dominant cultural values shape social norms.
- Work in teams and one-on-one to build and strengthen cultural humility in practice through role plays, open-ended questions, and activities designed to prompt self-reflection and critical thinking.
As a field, we are called toward better outcomes for the children, youth, and families we serve. Understanding and reckoning with the child welfare system's roots and its role in historical trauma is a necessary first step. Moving closer to an equitable system that strengthens families instead of separating them requires a new kind of partnership, built on the assumption that youth and families are experts in themselves. Organizations committed to changing outcomes are considering different ways of doing business and dedicating concrete resources and time to embed cultural humility into agency norms, values, and practice.
Fisher-Borne, M., Cain, J. M., & Martin, S. L. (2015). From mastery to accountability: Cultural humility as an alternative to cultural competence. Social Work Education, 34(2), 165-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2014.977244
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. (2019). Cultural humility practice principles. https://ncwwi.org/index.php/resourcemenu/resource-library/inclusivity-racial-equity/cultural-responsiveness/1415-cultural-humility-practice-principles/file
Ortega, R. M., & Faller, K. C. (2011). Training child welfare workers from an intersectional cultural humility perspective: A paradigm shift. Child Welfare 90(5), 27-49.
Roberts, D. (2002). Shattered bonds: The color of child welfare. New York: Civitas Books.
- Trust-Based Relational Intervention Offers Trauma-Informed Approach to Meet Children's Needs
Trust-Based Relational Intervention Offers Trauma-Informed Approach to Meet Children's Needs
Trust-based relational intervention (TBRI) is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma, toxic stress, or other hardships.
These children have had experiences that make it difficult for them to trust the adults in their lives. TBRI provides parents, caregivers, and others who work with children tools to build that trust and help them thrive and that can be used to address a wide range of childhood behavioral problems, especially in cases where other interventions have failed.
TBRI is based on years of neurodevelopmental research and uses three main principles:
- Empowering principles for physical needs
- Connecting principles for attachment needs
- Correcting principles for addressing fear-based behaviors
The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development offers TBRI practitioner training for child welfare professionals, including four training sessions in 2021. This training is divided into two phases:
- Phase 1: Conducted through an online platform, this phase is designed to introduce participants to TBRI and includes nine units of coursework and an interpersonal interview in the 10 weeks prior to the live portion of TBRI training (phase 2).
- Phase 2: This phase includes 5 days of live, intensive training that focuses on the application and implementation of TBRI.
Participants who successfully complete both phases are recognized as TBRI practitioners. Continuing education credits are also awarded upon completion of the training.
More information is available on the institute's website.
This section of CBX provides a quick list of interesting resources, such as websites, videos, journals, funding or scholarship opportunities, or other materials that can be used in the field or with families.
- CDC Resource Addresses Pandemic-Related Youth Mental Health Challenges
CDC Resource Addresses Pandemic-Related Youth Mental Health Challenges
Few in the world have been untouched in some way by the coronavirus; it is undiscriminating, affecting people of all ages, races, nationalities, and strata. While its impact has been quite visible through the news media and the restructuring of family, work, and school life across the globe, less visible are the mental health effects the pandemic has had on individuals, particularly children, youth, and young adults. Recognizing the social, emotional, and mental health challenges facing this young population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a resource kit for parents, caregivers, and other adults to support their efforts to identify and respond to these challenges and ensure the well-being of the young people in their lives. This toolkit is also beneficial for those caring for and working with families involved with child welfare, as these families are already experiencing increased stress and trauma made worse by the loss of face-to-face supports, meaningful family visits, and school and work adjustments.
Resources are organized by age—early childhood (0-5 years), childhood (6-12 years), adolescence (13-17 years), and young adulthood (18-24 years)—and include information on the challenges associated with changes in routine, breaks in continuity of learning and health care, missed significant life events, and loss of security and safety as well as steps and guidance adults can take to help. The kit also provides a tabbed list of related resources, including an activity book and board game for children, conversation starters, social media graphics, and a Get Immediate Help section with links and phone numbers to a variety of support services.
To learn more, access the COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People's Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-Being, available in a variety of languages, on the CDC website.
- Talking to Youth About Human Trafficking
Talking to Youth About Human Trafficking
A new guide seeks to educate caregivers and youth-serving adults on the exploitation and human trafficking of youth with the goal of enabling them to effectively reach and protect a vulnerable young population. The guide, released by the Blue Campaign, a national public awareness campaign that works closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to detect and combat human trafficking, contains information intended for use with middle school- and high school-aged youth.
Content is thorough, yet concise, and is organized in a digestible topical format. Sections discuss what human trafficking is; how to recognize it, including the physical, behavioral, and social indicators; the associated risk and protective factors; tips for talking to youth about exploitation; and how to report suspected human trafficking. Youth may particularly connect with the section that presents fictional, relatable examples of human trafficking that include scenarios such as youth desiring to fit in and those with too much freedom. The information is adaptable and can be easily used by adults in virtually any youth setting or program, such as classrooms, camps and clubs, community- or faith-based programs, and sports leagues.
The Blue Campaign was created to educate the public, law enforcement, and other community partners to recognize and respond to possible cases of human trafficking. Children and youth involved with child welfare are especially vulnerable to this type of maltreatment, so this guide is also beneficial for child welfare professionals. How to Talk to Youth About Human Trafficking: A Guide for Youth Caretakers and Individuals Working With Youth and additional campaign publications and awareness materials are available on the Blue Campaign website.
Training and Conferences
Find trainings, workshops, webinars, and other opportunities for professionals and families to learn about how to improve the lives of children and youth as well as a listing of upcoming events and conferences.
Upcoming conferences and events on child welfare and adoption include the following:
- Children Need Mandated Supporters [Webinar]
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
April 1, online, 12 p.m. ET
- Strengthening Families Using Community-Oriented Strategies (Part 2 of 2) [Webinar]
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
April 1, online, 4 p.m. ET
- Implementing a Family-Centered Approach for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders and Involved With Child Welfare Services, Session 1 [Webinar]
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Webinar
April 6, online, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET
- Implementing a Family-Centered Approach for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders
and Involved With Child Welfare Services, Session 2 [Webinar]
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Webinar
April 8, online, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET
- Connect Now [Webinar]
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
April 8, online, 12 p.m. ET
- 39th Annual Virtual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference [Virtual]
National Indian Child Welfare Association
April 11-14, online
- Racism, It's Baked In [Webinar]
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
April 15, online, 12 p.m. ET
- Opioids and the Courts: Difficult Conversations Around Recovery [Webinar]
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
April 21, online, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET
- Assessing Systems to Better Support Adoption and Guardianship Families:Using the QIC-AG Continuum Assessment [Webinar]
National Quality Improvement Center for Support and Preservation (QIC-AG)
April 21, online, 3 p.m. ET
- Civic Lunch [Webinar]
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
April 22, online, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET
- NDACAN Office Hours [Webinar]
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
April 23, online, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET
- National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence [Virtual]
Futures Without Violence
April 27-30, online
- 2021 Virtual Conference
Child Welfare League of America
May 4-6, online
- Strengthening Services for Youth by Using Evidence and Partnership [Webinar]
Institute for Innovation and Implementation, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work
May 11, online, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
- 7th Annual Conference on Adolescent Health [Virtual]
Adolescent Health Initiative
May 13-14, online
- Touchstones of Hope: Self-Determination (Part 2) [Webinar]
National Indian Child Welfare Association
May 18, online, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- NDACAN Office Hours [Webinar]
May 28, online, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET
- Leveraging Funding to Support Your EBP Priorities [Webinar]
University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work, Institute for Innovation & Implementation
June 10, online, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
- 2021 Virtual Global Intergenerational Conference [Virtual]
June 15-17, online
- Children Need Mandated Supporters [Webinar]
- Training Institute Focuses on Improving Outcomes for Children
Training Institute Focuses on Improving Outcomes for Children
The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work is hosting a free monthly webinar series focused on integrating services and improving outcomes for children, youth, and families.
The series, Training Institutes LIVE!, features four virtual, 90-minute workshops each month. Each workshop provides practical strategies for child welfare practitioners as well as information on the latest policies, resources, and research in the field.
Participants are invited to register for two of the four available workshops, all of which take place the first Thursday of every month. Topics include using data for equity, implementing bold policies to enhance the lives of young adults, implementing effective mental health services, and lessons learned from programs under the Family First Prevention Services Act.
To register, visit the Institute for Innovation and Implementation's website.