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November/December 2001Vol. 2, No. 6Spotlight on National Adoption Month

Issue Spotlight

  • Jurisdictions Celebrate National Adoption Day

    Jurisdictions Celebrate National Adoption Day

    Many children waiting in foster care across the United States permanently joined their "forever families" on the second annual National Adoption Day, Saturday, November 17.

    The Los Angeles-based Alliance for Children's Rights, which organized the event, reported that over 1,500 adoptions were finalized nationwide—a success rate similar to last year's National Adoption Day. "The first National Adoption Day was extremely successful, with children finding the permanent families they have longed for," said Amy Pellman, the Alliance's supervising staff attorney in an interview with the Children's Bureau Express. The feedback she received from all parties involved was very positive and encouraging. The adopting families and children were excited to be a part of a large celebration, which highlighted the plight of foster children in need of permanent homes. Also, "the kids involved had a chance to see that there were many children like themselves," said Pellman. "But what was most important was that the kids got to go home with people who they could now call Mom and Dad."

    In Los Angeles, Adoption Days sponsored by the Alliance for Children's Rights are held four times a year, averaging about 350 completed adoptions each. "Our mission is to spread the word about children waiting to be adopted," explained Pellman. "The other piece of our mission is to assist courts in streamlining the adoption process." One way the Alliance achieves this goal is by training pro bono attorneys to finalize adoptions. More than 13 large law firms in Los Angeles are involved in the Alliance's Adoption Days. In addition, judges, social workers, and court staff volunteer their time to hold hearings, which are held on Saturdays.

    The Freddie Mac Foundation helped the Alliance underwrite this year's National Adoption Day. The Alliance provided technical assistance to local sponsors, including sending T-shirts for the adults and kids involved and a banner to publicize the event. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges ( supported the Alliance by helping to connect staff with courts around the nation who were interested in sponsoring National Adoption Day.

    The Alliance also worked with Comfort for Court Kids (, a publicly supported charity based in Monterey Park, California that provides teddy bears free of charge to children in dependency court, for Adoption Saturdays in Los Angeles County, and for National Adoption Day. According to Attorney L. Ernestine Fields, founder and president of Comfort for Court Kids, she supplied jurisdictions across the United States with triple the number of teddy bears requested per adoption for National Adoption Day. That way each adopted child, new siblings, and other young relatives present in court could have a memento of the day.

    Local courts, local public agencies, and other organizations spearheaded National Adoption Day 2001 in these jurisdictions:

    • Utah
    • Los Angeles
    • Dallas, TX
    • Fort Worth, TX
    • El Paso, TX
    • Washington, DC
    • New York City
    • Ithaca, NY
    • Chicago
    • Omaha, NE
    • Des Moines, IA
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • San Francisco
    • Sacramento, CA
    • Danville, PA
    • St. Louis, MO

    For more information or to get involved in next year's National Adoption Day, contact:

    Amy Pellman, J.D.
    Supervising Staff Attorney
    Alliance for Children's Rights
    3333 Wilshire Blvd.
    Suite 550
    Los Angeles, CA 90010-4111
    Phone: 213-368-6010 x108
    Fax: 213-368-6016

    Related Item

    See the following related article in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Children's Bureau Unveils Adoption Month Site for 2001"
  • Website Publishes Feedback on Draft Intercountry Adoption Standards

    Website Publishes Feedback on Draft Intercountry Adoption Standards

    Under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (PL 106-279), the State Department was charged with preparing a draft of standards for public comment and preparing a statement of work for implementation of the Hague Convention in the United States, which will assure services of high quality to all involved in the intercountry adoption process.

    Acton Burnell, the firm that won the State Department contract for this project, mailed a survey to approximately 700 agencies known to be involved with intercountry adoptions and posted it online. A separate page on the website solicited input from parents, birthparents, and adoptees. Additionally, a parent survey was emailed to a number of parent support groups. Of the 142 individuals that responded as of June 2001, one-third were adoptive parents, one-third were agency representatives, and the remaining one-third represented multiple groups.

    Besides establishing the accreditation process for agencies and individuals involved in intercountry adoption as required by the new law, suggestions provided by parents and other respondents included:

    • Improving accessibility and helpfulness of agency in guiding adoptive parents before and after adoption process
    • Providing parents with reasonable time expectations
    • Providing an experienced intercountry adoption doctor to evaluate medical information about a referral
    • Educating prospective adoptive parents about accredited agencies, intercountry adoption process, and related issues
    • Improving the ability of the INS to handle increasing intercountry adoption workload effectively and equitably in all parts of the U.S.

    Synopses of two public meetings, held April and June 2001, are provided on Acton Burnell's Hague Adoption Standards website ( Background on team members chosen to work on the project, preliminary draft materials, a summary of public input, survey questions and responses, and comments on specific provisions in the law are also online.

    The State Department is currently reviewing the revised draft standards, which are available on the Acton Burnell website. This fall, the State Department will publish a notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register with the official version of the regulations. Following a period of public comment, a final rule will be published in the Federal Register.

    Related Item

    Access The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( -- note: this link is no longer available).

  • HHS Awards Adoption Bonuses

    HHS Awards Adoption Bonuses

    In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded 35 States and the District of Columbia approximately $11 million in bonuses for increasing adoptions of children from the foster care system.

    The bonuses are awarded as required by the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997. States that exceed the number of children adopted compared to the previous year receive a bonus, consisting of $4,000 for each child adopted and $6,000 for each child with special needs adopted.

    Since ASFA was passed, adoption of foster care children has continued to increase every year, as demonstrated by the following statistics:

    • nearly 50,000 adoptions in fiscal year 2000
    • 46,000 adoptions in fiscal year 1999
    • 36,000 adoptions in fiscal year 1998
    • 28,000 adoptions in fiscal year 1996

    "These awards demonstrate that States have made great progress in reducing the number of children waiting to become part of a permanent family," said Wade Horn, HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. "I challenge public agencies to keep building on this record of success."

    The States that demonstrated the largest increases were Delaware with an increase of 186 percent and Maine with an increase of 100 percent. The largest monetary award (more than $4 million) went to California, which completed 8,221 adoptions, a 31 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

    For a complete list of States and their bonuses, visit:

  • School Adoption Resource Supports Parents and Teachers

    School Adoption Resource Supports Parents and Teachers

    Although educators are trained to be sensitive to a culturally diverse student population, the special needs of adoptive children are often overlooked. A new resource book guides adoptive parents in their interactions with educators and aids teachers in understanding the impact of adoption on preschoolers through high school students.

    Adoption and the Schools: Resources for Teachers and Parents, produced by FAIR (Families Adopting in Response), expands on earlier volumes produced in 1993 about school issues and adoption with funding from the North American Council on Adoptable Children. An introductory chapter provides a review of adoption vocabulary and the history of adoption in the United States. It also explains how the proliferation of "Adopt-a" programs to raise money for zoos, highways, and other causes can confuse children.

    The manual highlights children's development and how it relates to their adoption background. Tips are also provided for discussing adoption in the classroom and at home at various ages. Original drawings and words by adopted children are interspersed throughout the text to illustrate how children develop an understanding about adoption. Classroom presentations, a poster assignment about famous adopted people, developing library collections, and a community "read-in" about adoption are proposed as methods of promoting adoption awareness, especially during November for National Adoption Month.

    Advice is given on handling parent-teacher conferences, problematic school assignments and activities, and transcultural issues. The challenges of special education and educating the older adopted child are also addressed. A series of personal essays and poems by children and adults offer perspectives about birth families, adoption stories, and adoptive families. The guide concludes with a listing of additional resources, such as age-appropriate recommended titles and national resources.

    To obtain a copy of this resource book, contact:

    Families Adopting in Response (FAIR)
    PO Box 51436
    Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Phone: 650-856-3513

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "National Child Care Initiative Advises Educators about Adoption Issues" (September/October 2001)
    • "Adoption Guide Aimed at Educators" (September 2000)

    For descriptions of other new Clearinghouse acquisitions, see the Resources section in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

    Visit the section on Resources for Parents and Teachers on the National Adoption Month website at:

    Visit the website of the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse for the following related items (

    • Adoption and School Issues
    • Answers to Children's Questions About Adoption (Note: this link is no longer active. Please see Explaining Adoption to Your Children, Family, and Friends)
    • Adoption-Related Books for Children from Preschool to Age 8 (this link is no longer available; similar reading lists can be found at Adoptive Families Magazine at
    • Adoption-Related Books for Children Ages 9-12 (this link is no longer available; similar reading lists can be found at Adoptive Families Magazine at
    • Adoption-Related Books for Teenagers (this link is no longer available; similar reading lists can be found at Adoptive Families Magazine at
  • Children's Bureau Unveils Adoption Month Site for 2001

    Children's Bureau Unveils Adoption Month Site for 2001

    Adoption professionals across the United States should plan to make a virtual trip this November to the new National Adoption Month site, sponsored by the Children's Bureau at index.cfm.

    Starting November 1, 2001, visitors can browse the site for information about the national observance, which has been celebrated annually since 1993 to focus attention on the more than 134,000 children in the child welfare system waiting to be adopted. The site features the President's annual proclamation about National Adoption Month and information on National Adoption Day, celebrated this year on November 17.

    A calendar of suggestions for promoting adoption awareness is available on the home page in PDF and HTML formats. Three new buttons direct users to resources for kids, resources for parents and teachers, and information on how to adopt.

    The National Adoption Month site is managed by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( To order Clearinghouse Adoption Month materials featured on the site, call 1-888-251-0075.

    Related Item

    See the following related article in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Jurisdictions Celebrate National Adoption Day"
  • Newly Modified APHSA Database to Assist with ICPC

    Newly Modified APHSA Database to Assist with ICPC

    With a 3-year adoption opportunities grant from the Children's Bureau, the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) was tasked with facilitating, expediting, and improving the implementation of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which governs the interstate movement of children for foster care, adoption, residential treatment, or juvenile justice programs. An automated reporting and tracking database, the most recent product for this initiative, was recently distributed to seven States and a training session was held.

    Using a baseline database system created by the State of Indiana, APHSA contracted with Caliber Associates in Fairfax, Virginia, to modify the system (based on what information already existed and what was needed), document and test the system, and provide initial training. Input from ICPC users was used in modifying the system to make it user-friendly and applicable to professionals dealing with ICPC.

    The database maintains a history of home study requests, the children served, and their placements, in addition to all transmittal letters sent and received for each child. It also alerts users if a particular case has overdue reports. Not only will the database develop reports and transmittal letters, but it can also assist in determining where the delays are within the ICPC system in order to enhance its effectiveness.

    Brad Boucher, Illinois Interstate Compact Coordinator, was part of the pilot group and has used the system for a few months. "The new database will help people generate national numbers quicker, more efficiently and accurately, and save time." He sees further benefits from the database in eliminating dead files, tracking children who have turned 18, and making the ICPC system simpler.

    The database is available to States at no cost. If interested, contact:

    Barbara Glaser
    Federal Grant Project Manager
    810 First Street, NE, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20002-4267
    Phone: 202-682-0100

    Related Items

    See the following related article in the March/April 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Guidebook Encourages Social Workers to Pursue Adoptions Across State Lines"

    Search the National Adoption Directory database of the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse to find the ICPC Administrator in your State (

  • HHS Promotes Adoption through Discretionary and Training Grants

    HHS Promotes Adoption through Discretionary and Training Grants

    More than $11 million in grants have recently been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund programs that promote adoption.

    Announced on September 30, the Adoption Opportunities grants will fund demonstration projects in FY 2001 that facilitate the elimination of barriers to adoption and provide permanent loving homes for children who are awaiting adoption, particularly children with special needs. Approximately $3.1 million in grants were awarded to organizations in the following 4 priority areas:

    • Achieving increased adoptive placements for children in foster care
    • Field-initiated demonstration projects advancing the state of the art in the adoption field
    • Quality improvement centers on adoption
    • Evaluations of existing adoption programs.

    Access a complete list of the Children's Bureau FY2001 Discretionary Grant Awards, which includes Adoption Opportunities, Child Abuse and Neglect, Abandoned Infants, and Child Welfare at:

    Health care workers at federally funded health centers and clinics nationwide will soon receive training to inform pregnant women about adoption, as well as other options, with new funding announced October 15. HHS was mandated by Congress to implement the training program under the Infant Adoption Awareness Act, included in the Children's Health Act of 2000.

    The $8.6 million in grants will be allocated as follows:

    • National Council for Adoption—$6,112,916
    • Spaulding for Children—$1,368,166
    • Harmony Adoptions of Tennessee—$626,430
    • Arizona Children's Association—$515,116

    Grantees will follow best-practice training guidelines developed by HHS in consultation with 29 experts in the field. Training led by the National Council for Adoption, based in Washington, D.C., will be national in scope. Spaulding for Children of Michigan and Arizona Children's Association will develop statewide training programs. Harmony Adoptions will train workers in the Tennessee region. Grants will be jointly administered by two HHS agencies—the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Applications Sought for FY 2001 Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants" (May/June 2001)
    • "President Signs Law Promoting Children's Health" (November 2000)
  • HHS Announces Adoption Excellence Awards

    HHS Announces Adoption Excellence Awards

    Fourteen winners of Adoption Excellence Awards, selected from a field of 54 nominations, were recognized on November 16 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for their dedicated work to find abandoned, neglected, or abused children permanent, loving homes.

    "It's a pleasure to give these awards during National Adoption Month," said Wade F. Horn, HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. "The recipients represent a small portion of the truly hundreds of stories throughout the nation of creative, persistent and life-changing work done on behalf of waiting children."

    The 14 winners selected by the Secretary for Health and Human Services were:

    • Increased Adoptions—Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Family and Community Services; California Department of Social Services, Adoption Initiative Bureau.
    • Increased Permanency for Children with Special Needs—Adopt 2000, Houston, TX; County of Orange Social Services Agency, CA, Orange County Adoption Consortium Caretaker Conversion Project.
    • Support for Adoptive Families—T.I.E.S. for Adoption Project, Los Angeles, CA.
    • Public Awareness—Jordan's Furniture, Avon, MA; New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Protective Services Division, Foster a Future, Foster and Adoptive Parent Recruitment Unit.
    • Individual and/or Family Contributions—Professor Lucy McGough, Louisiana State University; Charles C. Harris, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services; Merri Dee, WGN-TV, Chicago, IL.
    • Applied Scholarship and/or Research—Robert Bernard Hill, Ph.D., Rockville, MD.
    • Philanthropy—Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA.
    • Judicial or Child Welfare System Improvement—Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care; Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio.

    For full description of each winner's accomplishments, download a copy of the HHS press release at:

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "HHS Awards Adoption Bonuses"
    • "HHS Promotes Adoption through Discretionary and Training Grants"

    Recent Issues

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  • March 2024

    Spotlight on Diversity and Racial Equity in Child Welfare

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News From the Children's Bureau

  • States Begin to Receive Final Reports of Child and Family Service Reviews

    States Begin to Receive Final Reports of Child and Family Service Reviews

    As the first fiscal year of the new Child and Family Service Reviews comes to a close, the final reports are beginning to be made available.

    The reviews cover the range of child and family services federally funded through Titles IV-B and IV-E of the 1994 Amendments of the Social Security Act, including child protective services, foster care, adoption, independent living, and family support and preservation services. Ultimately, the goal of the reviews is to help States to improve child welfare services and to achieve the outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being for families and children.

    Following a statewide assessment process and an onsite review, which is completed in one week by a joint Federal and State review team, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Office coordinator for the review prepares and distributes the final report. This is done within 30 calendar days of the onsite review or within 30 calendar days of resolving any discrepancies in information collected during the statewide assessment and onsite review. The report includes the written determination of substantial conformity for each of the seven outcomes and seven systemic factors reviewed. Subsequent reviews are conducted at 5-year intervals for States determined to be in substantial conformity and at 2-year intervals for States determined not to be in substantial conformity.

    If there are areas of nonconformity, the State submits a Program Improvement Plan to the ACF Regional Office for approval within 90 calendar days of receiving the final report. Once approved, the State implements the plan and regularly updates the ACF Regional Office Coordinator. If a State fails to successfully complete a program improvement plan, Federal funds are withheld from the State.

    Sixteen States and the District of Columbia were reviewed in Fiscal Year 2001. If available, links to final reports and press releases are noted below:

    • Arizona—not available
    • Arkansas—not available
    • Delaware—
    • District of Columbia—not available
    • Florida—not available
    • Georgia—
    • Indiana—not available
    • Kansas— (Press Release:
    • Massachusetts—not available
    • Minnesota— News/Cwfullreport.pdf (Press Release:
    • New Mexico
    • New York—not available
    • North Carolina— (Press Release:
    • North Dakota—not available
    • Oregon— (Press Release: -- Editor's note: this link is no longer available)
    • South Dakota—not available
    • Vermont—not available

    For a list of States scheduled to be reviewed in Fiscal Year 2002, visit:

    Related Items

    Visit the Child Welfare Review Project's website, which disseminates information on behalf of the Children's Bureau about the Child and Family Services Reviews, consultant recruitment, and training ( (Editor's note: this link is no longer available. More information can be found on the Child Welfare Reviews section of the Children's Bureau website at

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Children's Bureau Unveils New Outcomes-Oriented State Program Reviews" (March/April 2001)
    • "Child and Family Services Reviews Focus of Teleconference" (March/April 2001)
    • "HHS Assistant Secretary Discusses New Child Welfare Rule" (April 2000)
    • "Final Rule Implementing Child Welfare Laws Aims to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families" (March 2000)
  • FRIENDS Staff Member Facilitates New Jersey Prevention Symposium

    FRIENDS Staff Member Facilitates New Jersey Prevention Symposium

    With support from the Family Resource Information, Education & Network Development Services (FRIENDS) organization, practitioners in New Jersey participated last spring in "The Power of Prevention in Child Abuse and Neglect" symposium.

    Paul Vivian, a consultant with FRIENDS, assisted with planning, implementing, and facilitating the symposium.

    The four-part series, in conjunction with the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, the School of Social Work at Rutgers University, the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children provided speakers, key legislators, State officials, and high-level practitioners. Specifically, the sessions covered:

    • Prevention and policy
    • Evaluation
    • What works
    • Building community partnerships.

    Each session had a key political or State leader, which included the Acting Governor and the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Additionally, a luncheon was held after each session with important stakeholders to maximize the opportunity for further discussions affecting future planning and legislation. Various discussions occurred, including one regarding child welfare agencies and student interns—a win-win situation for schools, and the agencies providing practical experience for students wanting to enter the profession. There is a follow-up retreat at Rutgers University this November with policy makers and other key representatives from the luncheons.

    Speakers and their topics included:

    • Dr. Bruce Perry (child psychiatrist from Baylor University) talked about child abuse/neglect and physical and physiological effects on brain development
    • Dr. Deborah Daro (Chapin Hall Center for Children), and Marney Thomas (Cornell University), talked about challenges regarding the evaluation of child abuse and neglect prevention programs
    • Dr. Joanne Martin (director of Healthy Families Indiana), Dr. Audley Donaldson (L.E.A.D. Associates in Connecticut, and former director of the North Hartford Family Resource Center), and Mildred Winter (founder of Parents as Teachers program in Missouri), talked about involving parents in all aspects of programming
    • Sharon Sneed (project director for theDivision of Family and Children Services for the State of Georgia), and Dr. Maria Guajardo Lucero (executive director for the Assets for Colorado Youth Initiative), talked about the importance of building and nurturing collaborations.

    Vivian said he was impressed with the coordination in New Jersey and how the symposium was used as a stepping stone for further policy development in the State.

    Contact information:

    Paul Vivian
    FRIENDS National Resource Center
    C/O Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project, Inc.
    800 Eastowne Drive Suite 105
    Chapel Hill NC 27514
    Phone: 800-473-1727 x243

Child Welfare Research

  • Congress Works on Appropriations for Child and Family Programs

    Congress Works on Appropriations for Child and Family Programs

    Both the House and Senate have approved bills appropriating funds for legislation related to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. A conference committee comprising members of both Houses now will reconcile the two versions of the bill, H.R. 3061, which includes appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The full House approved H.R. 3061 on October 11. The Senate approved its version, as amended, on November 6. Both versions would increase funding for the Safe and Stable Families program from its current $305 million to $375 million for the 2002 and 2003 fiscal years. This $70 million increase is significantly less than the $200 million that President Bush had requested.

    On the reauthorization side, on November 13, the House passed H.R. 2873, the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendment of 2001. The bill reauthorizes the program for five years at its current funding level of $305 million annually and adds $200 million in discretionary funding for the program. Also, the bill authorizes $60 million to fund education vouchers for youth aging out of foster care and $67 million for two years to establish a program for mentoring the children of prisoners. The latter two authorizations respond to initiatives proposed by President Bush. H.R. 2873 has now been placed on the Senate calendar for a vote.

    The House and the Senate spending bills both deferred making appropriations for the education vouchers and the mentoring program because work on the authorizing legislation had not been completed. For the same reason, the House and Senate deferred making appropriations for the President's proposals to fund efforts to promote responsible fatherhood. The Senate spending bill includes $33 million dollars for maternity group homes as the President's budget had requested; the House version does not. The House version includes $30 million for the Compassion Capital Fund, a new program requested by the Administration to further its Faith-Based Initiative aimed at expanding the pool of faith- and community-based organizations that deliver federally funded social services. The Senate version appropriated $89 million for the fund as the Administration had requested.

    The Safe and Stable Families program provides funding to State and Tribal child welfare agencies for family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification, and adoption promotion and support services. H.R. 2873 also adds two more allowable activities under the program: promoting healthy marriages to further the well-being of children and funding Infant Safe Haven programs, which give parents who otherwise would abandon their infants an option for relinquishment.

    "Promoting safe and stable families is one of the most worthwhile priorities in the Federal budget," said HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson when the bill was introduced. "Strengthening families that are at risk and ensuring the safe and permanent placement of vulnerable children, such as those in foster care, is vitally important to our future as a country."

    For bill summaries and status, visit the website of Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress at:

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in these issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Table Highlighting FY02 Appropriations Process to Date" (November/December 2001)
    • "HHS Assistant Secretary Testifies Before Congress on CAPTA" (July/August 2001)
  • Study Considers Role of Birth Culture in Adjustment of Transracial Adoptees

    Study Considers Role of Birth Culture in Adjustment of Transracial Adoptees

    A new study suggests that while children adopted across cultures can benefit from learning about their birth culture, doing so is not a requisite to healthy psychological development.

    Researcher Amanda L. Baden, Ph.D., of St. John's University, presented her findings at the American Psychological Association's 109th Annual Convention in San Francisco in August. Fifty-one adult adoptees (ages 19 to 36) who were transculturally adopted by Caucasian American families were surveyed to assess their racial and cultural identity and psychological adjustment. Participants included African Americans and Latino Americans adopted by white American families, as well as intercountry adoptees from Asian and South American countries.

    Baden found that identifying with one's birth culture is not necessary for positive adjustment and suggested that other factors, such as family and peer relationships, may be more influential. She also noted that there was some evidence showing a relationship between adequately functioning in the culture of one's adoptive parents and successful psychological adjustment.

    Although transracial adoptees adapted well without being immersed in their birth culture, Baden does not encourage adoptive parents from turning their children away from their roots. "I don't want to give the message that transracial adoptees do not find any strength or solace from learning about their birth culture," said Baden. "Transracial adoptees form a unique identity that is composed of a combination of identifying with the 'minority experience,' knowledge and values from the White culture, and aspects of their birth culture intermingled in some significant ways."

    To obtain a full-text copy of Dr. Baden's presentation (session 2268) "Psychological Adjustment of Transracial Adoptees: Applying the Cultural-Racial Identity Model," contact the APA Public Affairs Office by phone at 800-374-2721 or by email at

    Related Items

    Visit the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( for the following related items:

    • Transracial and Transcultural Adoption fact sheet
    • Transracial Adoption statistics (this publication is no longer available)
  • New Study Looks at Success Rates of Adoptions of Children from Foster Care

    New Study Looks at Success Rates of Adoptions of Children from Foster Care

    A recently published study addresses gaps in knowledge about post-adoption dissolutions and the post-adoption service needs of adoptive parents.

    Funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to the New York City Administration for Children's Services, the study was led by Trudy Festinger, D.S.W., of New York University. Entitled After Adoption: A Study of Placement Stability and Parents' Service Needs, it was based on a survey of more than 400 New York families who adopted children from foster care in 1996.

    One question the study examined was whether a recent increase in the numbers of adoptions from foster care might result in a greater proportion of them failing. The study found adoption dissolution to be an infrequent event.

    Another topic was the effectiveness of post-adoption services that are provided to adoptive families. The study found some room for improvement in this area. Lack of information about where to turn for help and the prohibitive cost of services, such as tutoring and summer camp, were cited most often by parents as barriers.

    Festinger notes that the study was limited by its geographic limit to children adopted in New York City, most of whom were, at the time of the interviews still living in New York City or its immediate environs. She also notes that telephone interviews are inherently limited because they need to be relatively short and the data consisted of self-reports by adoptive parents.

    Among the suggestions proposed to address the needs of adoptive parents are:

    • Help adoptive parents locate and establish connections to community supports, e.g., a resource guide, adoptive parent telephone groups and buddy systems.
    • Develop post-adoption services according to family needs—not agency capabilities—by contracting for services if necessary, e.g., tutoring.
    • Establishing neighborhood-based foster or "resource" parent cluster support groups, in partnership with post-adoption service providers.

    Festinger observes that parents who adopt children from the foster care system not only are giving a child a better chance in life by providing a permanent, loving home but also are providing a fiscal savings by eliminating the administrative costs paid to supervising agencies. She concludes that post-adoption service subsidies for adoptive families are a small price to pay for these benefits. The availability of these services may even encourage more potential adoptive families to adopt children waiting in foster care.

    To obtain a copy of this study, contact:

    Trudy Festinger
    Ehrenkranz School of Social Work
    New York University
    1 Washington Square North
    New York, NY 10003
    Phone: 212-998-5974

  • Global Observance for Prevention of Child Abuse Marked on November 19

    Global Observance for Prevention of Child Abuse Marked on November 19

    On November 19, the second annual "World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse" was observed by 144 organizations representing 59 countries. Originated by the Women's World Summit Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, the event was created "to disseminate worldwide public educational briefings and protective skills to help prevent child abuse and neglect, and give guidelines on Internet filters of protection for the good use of the net." Additionally, the World Day aims "to help provide children, families and communities with skills and resources they need to prevent abuse, cope with effects, and to end such practices."

    The Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) describes itself as "an international, non-profit, non-confessional, non-governmental organization and empowerment agency that works for the implementation of women's and children's rights." November 19 was chosen as the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse to coincide with the World Child's Rights Day on November 20.

    Joining the WWSF in observing this day was a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that marked the day by sponsoring various kinds of programs and lobbying national governments to proclaim World Day as a National Day. In addition, participants presented the United Nations with a petition in September. Among other things, the petition asked governments that have signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child to take steps to implement the convention. The petition also asked the United Nations to place a high priority on fighting child pornography, the sale of children, and child prostitution.

    The names of the organizations that participated in the World Day 2001 are featured on a poster, which can be downloaded from the WWSF website. Participants from the United States, include:

    • Coalition for Children
    • Global Youth Action Network
    • International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)
    • Pathways for Peace—The World Peace Prayer Society
    • Sage Project
    • The Simon Wiesenthal Center
    • Women of Vision.

    As part of the first World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in 2000, the WWSF disseminated 15,000 copies of a public educational briefing in four languages by Dr. Sherryl Kraizer entitled "Protecting Children from Abuse." It focuses on educating children over the age of 3 on prevention strategies, how to respond to a child's report of abuse, and Internet safety guidelines. Many organizations adapted the briefing for distribution in local schools and other locations. The original briefing can be ordered via email at or downloaded from the WWSF website (

    Local and national activities commemorating the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in 2001 will be posted on the website. Some of the examples from last year were:

    • Republic of Seychelles: Two days of special masses in churches across the country to commemorate the World Day; plays and dances in kindergartens; fundraising activities for local NGOs working with abused children, such as selling candles, bookmarks, and ribbons with World Day logos; radio and TV debates on child abuse organized by the Fathers' Association; distribution of an original poster created by an NGO coalition.
    • City of Xian, China: Prevention campaigns on big television screens in the streets to alert the public of child abuse and neglect in China.
    • Argentina: Child abuse prevention instructions created by a group of six NGOs and circulated in health centers, schools, and other locations; television and radio programs which featured the topic; plays by various youth groups related to the theme.

    Contact information:

    World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse
    c/o Women's World Summit Foundation WWSF
    PO Box 2001
    1211 Geneva 1
    Phone: (41 22) 738-66-19
    Fax: (41 22) 738-82-48

  • Federal Court Rules that Children May Sue Under ASFA

    Federal Court Rules that Children May Sue Under ASFA

    A Federal court has ruled that a child in foster care may sue a State for failing to start adoption proceedings for the child within the timeframes specified by the Adoption and Safe Families Act.

    In his June 25, 2001, decision, Hon. Rudolph T. Randa of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin found that children in foster care have enforceable Federal rights under the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA).

    ASFA provides generally that any child who has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months is entitled to State action on behalf of the child, by seeking an adoptive home and filing a petition terminating parental rights or by making an exception if termination of parental rights is not in the child's best interest. Despite Wisconsin's contention that ASFA provisions were too vague to be judicially enforceable, the judge ruled that the rights to initiate the adoption process in accordance with ASFA are within the competency of the Federal courts to enforce.

    The class action lawsuit, Jeanine B. v. Scott McCallum, was brought by Children's Rights, a national non-profit advocacy group for children, and the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation. According to the Children's Rights press release, as many as 75 percent (5,138) of the approximately 6,850 children in the custody of Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare have been in foster care more than the required 15 months, but the State prepares few cases for adoption as required by ASFA.

    Changes are currently underway in the administration of the Milwaukee County child welfare system to address some of the problems raised in this case. In two May press releases, Susan Dreyfus, Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Children and Family Services, announced the transition of responsibility for the child welfare services in Milwaukee County from the Milwaukee County Department of Human Services to four community non-profit agencies. One of the agencies, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, will assume responsibility for completing timely, quality adoptions for children whose parents have had their parental rights terminated. Contracted agencies hired staff over the summer and completed the transition September 30.

    "I am confident that the selected agencies are up to the task," said Dreyfus. "These agencies share hundreds of years of child welfare experience in Milwaukee County and Wisconsin. They are totally dedicated to high performance on behalf of our children and bring a breadth and depth of management experience."

    Access a copy of the Federal case law at a local law library or online through paid subscription to or

    For the text of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L.105-89 visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress (

  • CAPTA Update

    CAPTA Update

    Congress has made progress both in reauthorizing and funding the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

    On October 17, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Select Education held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act entitled the "Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect: Policy Directions for the Future." The hearing had been rescheduled several times due to the shifting legislative agenda in Congress following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    On October 11, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees voted to fund CAPTA programs for Fiscal Year 2002 at the following levels:

    • CAPTA basic State grant program: House—$23 million; Senate—$21.026 million (2001—$21.026 million)
    • Community-based family resource and support prevention grants: House—$34 million; Senate—$32.834 million (2001—$32.834 million)
    • Discretionary research and demonstration grants: House—$19.978 million; Senate—$33.717 million (2001—$33.717 million)

    Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Select Education on Oct. 17 were:

    • Ms. Sandra Alexander, Georgia Council on Child Abuse, Inc., Atlanta, GA
    • Ms. Patti Weaver, A Hand to Hold, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Mr. Christopher J. Klicka, Home School Legal Defense Association, Purcellville, VA
    • Ms. Linda Dunphy, Northern Virginia Family Service, Falls Church, VA
    • Dr. Joann Grayson, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

    The hearing was chaired by Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), the subcommittee's vice chair.

    Several witnesses said that CAPTA's focus on prevention must be maintained and strengthened. They also provided examples of how intervention programs, such as home visitation and Early Head Start programs, are preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting school readiness at a much lower cost than treatment services. Public-private partnerships were also presented as successful prevention efforts. Mr. Klicka testified about the problems of false reporting and the need for better parental due process rights under CAPTA. Weaver discussed safe haven/baby abandonment programs as a way to prevent child abuse and murder, using the example of A Hand to Hold, a program she founded that serves three counties in western Pennsylvania.

    Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA) expressed concern about the plight of overburdened, underpaid, and inadequately trained Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers. He also suggested that the rising unemployment since the terrorist attacks may lead to increased child abuse and neglect as families endure more stress. Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) asked the panel of witnesses whether the religious exemption clause in CAPTA for cases of medical neglect should be removed. All the witnesses, with the exception of Mr. Klicka, agreed that it did not protect children.

    The complete written statements of witnesses, as well as those of the subcommittee Chairman and Vice Chairman, are available online at: ( (This link is no longer available)

    The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Subcommittee on Children and Families ( (Editor's note: this link is no longer available) is scheduled to hold hearings on CAPTA at a later date.

    Visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, to access transcripts of committee hearings at:

    Related Item

    See the following related article in the July/August 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express:

    • "HHS Assistant Secretary Testifies Before Congress on CAPTA"
  • Unlevel Playing Field: Service Barriers for Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations

    Unlevel Playing Field: Service Barriers for Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations

    Faith-based and community organizations face barriers to delivering social services under the auspices of Federal programs—that was the overall finding of a recent White House report, Unlevel Playing Field: Barriers to Participation by Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Federal Social Service Programs.

    The report summarizes the initial findings of analyses conducted by Centers for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives in the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Labor, and Justice. President Bush created the centers by executive order and charged them with conducting departmentwide audits to identify barriers to the participation of faith-based or community organizations in delivering social services through Federal programs.

    The report notes that historically, the use of tax dollars by faith-based groups has been much debated and questioned on constitutional grounds. The report finds that the Federal grants system is inhospitable to faith-based and community organizations, making it difficult for these groups to gain support. Smaller groups, faith-based and secular, receive very little Federal support relative to the size and scope of the social services they provide. The report said that faith- and community-based organizations are at a disadvantage in competing for Federal social service grants for numerous reasons including the following:

    • A pervasive suspicion on the part of Federal officials that funding faith-based organizations is inherently unconstitutional
    • Agency reliance on outdated case law in setting agency policies
    • Burdensome regulations and requirements that small organizations find hard to comply with, unnecessarily restricting religious activities that fall within constitutionally acceptable boundaries
    • An environment that discourages faith-based organizations from applying for funds or encourages them to be "not too" religious
    • Not honoring rights that religious organizations have in Federal law
    • Imposing anti-competitive mandates on some programs, such as requiring applicants to demonstrate support from government agencies or others that might also be competing for the same funds.

    The report says that Federal administrators have not sufficiently implemented the Federal law known as "Charitable Choice," which was intended by Congress to even the playing field for community and faith-based organizations competing for Federal grants. The report also states the need for a broad emphasis on demonstrating efficiency of the government-funded programs.

    A complete copy of the report can be found on the White House website at: 2001/08/20010816-3-report.pdf

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Programs for Parents and Teachers Aim at Better Outcomes for Children

    Programs for Parents and Teachers Aim at Better Outcomes for Children

    A national program that aims to prevent child maltreatment and improve outcomes for children has opened a new National Center for Parenting and Character Education.

    EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), which offers training and education for both parents and teachers, has been implemented in 16 States and the Virgin Islands. Although primarily based in schools, EPIC also has been implemented through churches, hospitals, and community agencies. The new center, located in Buffalo, New York, will serve as EPIC's headquarters and as the hub of EPIC's training activities, including distance learning activities, Web-based learning, online discussions, and other Internet-enabled outreach.

    EPIC offers workshops on developing parenting skills in order to:

    • Reduce risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect
    • Improve parents' relationships with their children
    • Increase parents' knowledge of and ability to implement new parenting techniques
    • Improve parents' ability to communicate with their children's teachers.

    EPIC trains parents to serve as workshop facilitators, and materials and training are available in both English and Spanish. Other workshops for parents focus on learning to advocate for children and assuming leadership roles in the school community.

    Programming for teachers focuses on infusing character education in the classroom and strengthening parent-teacher partnerships. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, EPIC collaborated with Teachers College-Columbia University, and the New York State Education Department to develop the Pathways to Character pilot program, which integrates character education into the K-6 curriculum with age-appropriate activities. (In New York State, where EPIC was founded, public schools must provide civility, citizenship, and character education in grades K-12.)

    EPIC's services also include presentations, referrals, and home visitation.

    Further information about EPIC, its programs, centers, and locations can be obtained from its national headquarters or Website:

    EPIC National Center for Parenting and Character Education
    1000 Main Street
    Buffalo, NY 14202
    Phone: 716-886-6396

  • Former Foster Youth in Arizona and New Jersey Get Extended Medicaid Coverage

    Former Foster Youth in Arizona and New Jersey Get Extended Medicaid Coverage

    Thanks in part to the Federal Chafee Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA), Arizona and New Jersey have extended Medicaid coverage to youths 18 to 21 years of age who have "graduated" from foster care.

    FCIA, enacted in 1999, provides increased resources to help youths who have aged out of foster care attain success in the transition to independence. FCIA offers States matching Federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage and other services and supports, and affords States greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help youth make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency.

    Arizona's Children's Action Alliance (CAA) ( worked with State officials and agencies to enact a law in 2000 that, in addition to extending Medicaid coverage, allows the State to assist more of Arizona's former foster youths with housing, counseling, employment, and education. In 2001, an amendment to the law expanded it to offer every youth in foster care at age 18 access to Medicaid up to age 21.

    In New Jersey, the Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) ( helped secure legislation to extend Medicaid coverage for youths graduating from foster care. Working with the Governor's office, ACNJ was able to get the Medicaid expansion folded into pending legislation, and it was enacted with NJ FamilyCare last year.

    Other States that have enacted similar legislation or have similar legislation pending include Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas according to the National Conference on State Legislatures (NCSL) (

    Related Items

    See related story, "Foster Children and Medicaid," in the May/June 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

    Use the Search feature on this website to search the archives of the Children's Bureau Express for articles related to independent living.

    Visit the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information for a copy of Title IV-E Independent Living Programs: A Decade in Review (Note: this is no longer available).


  • New Report Examines the Link Between Childhood Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency

    New Report Examines the Link Between Childhood Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency

    Statistics show that a large number of incarcerated youth were victims of child abuse and neglect. The July 2001 edition of the Juvenile Justice Bulletin, explores the relationship between childhood maltreatment and the likelihood of juvenile and adult offending.

    Published by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the Bulletin focuses on a number of aspects of this problem, including:

    • Research on the effects of childhood maltreatment, including subsequent offending and other at-risk behaviors
    • OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders, which focuses on delinquency prevention and reform of the juvenile justice system

    The main body of the Bulletin focuses on using Structured Decision Making (SDM) as a way to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies. As explained in the article, SDM comprises research-based assessment tools such as:

    • Response priority assessment to determine how quickly to respond to a referral.
    • Safety assessment to determine if there are any immediate threats to the child's safety.
    • Risk assessment based on outcomes of actual cases.

    A risk assessment scale used in California and the implementation of a SDM system in Michigan are presented as exemplary models. "By reducing the extent of maltreatment experienced by children, the SDM model can make a significant contribution to breaking the link between abuse and delinquency," conclude the authors.

    Access a copy of the OJJDP Bulletin, Preventing Delinquency Through Improved Child Protection Services in HTML or PDF format online at:

    Related Item

    For descriptions of other new Clearinghouse acquisitions, see the Resources section in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

  • Abuse and Neglect: The Educator's Guide to the Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment

    Abuse and Neglect: The Educator's Guide to the Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment

    Lowenthal, B. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD. 2001. 189 pp. $22.95. Paperback.

    Child maltreatment can be a major hindrance to education, depriving children of their self-esteem and motivation to learn. Education professionals need to be able to recognize and address instances of maltreatment. This guide examines categories of maltreatment and their effects on classroom performance and behavior, offers effective teaching strategies for students who have been maltreated, and provides guidelines for identifying at-risk children and reporting maltreatment.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
    PO Box 10624
    Baltimore, MD 21285-0624
    Phone: 800-638-3775
    Fax: 410-337-8539

  • Resource Book Educates Teens about Animal Cruelty, Connection to Child Abuse

    Resource Book Educates Teens about Animal Cruelty, Connection to Child Abuse

    High school students and teachers have a new humane education resource available to them for school projects, reports, and debates. Understanding Animal Cruelty is a 24-page booklet produced by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that offers critical-thinking questions, activities, and suggestions on how teens can stop animal cruelty in their communities.

    Among the issues addressed are:

    • Concepts and causes associated with animal cruelty
    • State and Federal laws that address the mistreatment of animals
    • Connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence, child abuse, and other violent behavior.

    Since animal abuse is often a precursor to other forms of violence, the resource guide advocates that these acts be taken seriously and reported. It profiles cases of animal cruelty committed by serial killers and notorious school shooters, such as Luke Woodham, a Mississippi high school student who killed his mother and two students six months after killing his dog. A neighbor who witnessed the killing of the dog failed to report it.

    The booklet also points out that children who harm animals may be acting out their own experiences with abuse or releasing their fears and frustrations. The HSUS, FBI, and other groups encourage law enforcement officers, humane investigators, and social service agencies to cross-report acts of violence against people and animals to break the cycle of abuse.

    Understanding Animal Cruelty can be downloaded online at:

    To purchase print copies of Understanding Animal Cruelty for $3 each or to learn about other materials for high school students, contact:

    The HSUS Youth Education Division
    PO Box 362
    E. Haddam, CT 06423-0362
    Phone: 860-434-8666
    Fax: 860-434-9579

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in the July/August 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Animal Cruelty, Human Violence Linked in Humane Society Study"
    • "New Online Resource Center Addresses the Link Between Violence to People and Animals"

    For descriptions of other new Clearinghouse acquisitions, see the Resources section in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

  • CWLA Addresses Intersection Between Substance Abuse and Child Abuse

    CWLA Addresses Intersection Between Substance Abuse and Child Abuse

    Parental substance abuse is a major factor contributing to child abuse and neglect. This connection is the subject of a new booklet by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA).

    Entitled "Alcohol, Other Drugs, & Child Welfare," the booklet provides information and statistics on the relationship of substance abuse to child welfare. It briefly describes the current status of this problem in America, followed by sections describing the costs (financial and otherwise) of substance abuse in families, and specific kinds of programs and strategies that have been shown to be effective in combating this problem.

    Among the booklet's findings are the following:

    • More than 8 million children live with parents who are substance abusers.
    • Substance abuse exists in 40 to 80 percent of families in which the children are victims of abuse.
    • Children whose substance-abusing parents do not receive appropriate treatment are more likely to remain in foster care longer and to reenter foster care once they have returned home.
    • Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.

    Parents' abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to a cycle of addiction, which is reflected by high rates of alcoholism and other substance abuse among children of addicts. Substance abuse among youth leads to a domino effect of problems in school, involvement in juvenile justice, teen pregnancy, and mental and emotional turmoil. By focusing on prevention programs for youth, the authors contend that the cycle can be broken. They also recommend that parents receive treatment from comprehensive programs.

    The bulletin concludes with a call to promote prevention and treatment, document successful practices, expand model programs, cooperate among agencies, and fund collaborative programs that address the multiple needs of individuals, agencies, and communities on the local, State, and national levels.

    Access Alcohol, Other Drugs, & Child Welfare online at:

    Related Items

    For descriptions of other new Clearinghouse acquisitions, see the Resources section in the current issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

    Read about a new series of HHS grants to communities and local governments totaling $42.1 million to increase the availability of alcohol and drug abuse treatment services at:

    Search the documents database of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website for information related to substance abuse and child abuse (

  • New Brochure Solicits Community Support in Court Improvement

    New Brochure Solicits Community Support in Court Improvement

    In an effort to engage communities in helping to improve dependency courts, the American Bar Association's (ABA's) Center on Children and the Law has developed a brochure for use in public education and other outreach efforts.

    Forty-seven States and the District of Columbia participate in the federally funded National Child Welfare Court Improvement program. Through the program, the jurisdictions first assessed their court systems' handling of child abuse and neglect cases and then recommended systemic improvements. The courts are now in the process of implementing improvement plans. Some of the major issues addressed by the State court improvement projects include:

    • Timeliness of permanency planning hearings
    • Quality and depth of hearings
    • Quality of legal representation
    • Judicial training and education
    • Treatment of parties and witnesses
    • Multidisciplinary approaches that emphasize collaboration between court, agency, and community

    According to Eva J. Klain of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, the brochure was developed at the request of several court improvement projects who wanted something to hand out to the community. Several directors of court improvement projects reviewed the text.

    The ABA brochure provides background on the court improvement project and describes how courts are trying to become more "family-friendly" by making waiting rooms more inviting for children, providing materials that explain the court process in lay terms, and introducing other innovations. The brochure explains the challenges faced by attorneys working for children and steps that are being taken to remedy problems.

    The brochure lists several ideas for involving the public in court improvement projects. "Community support is crucial for the long-term success of court improvement," states the brochure. "Individuals, local organizations and businesses all have skills and ideas to contribute to improve the courts that serve children and families."

    Made possible through a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation, the brochure is available online. Local courts can print the brochure in PDF format for printer-friendly reproduction or view it in HTML format at:

    Contact information:

    Eva J. Klain
    Director, Court Improvement
    ABA Center on Child and the Law
    740 15th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20005-1019
    Phone: 202-662-1681

  • Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Families and Its Effects on Children

    Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Families and Its Effects on Children

    Straus, M. A. Transaction Publishers, Somerset, NJ. 2001. 353 pp. $24.95. Paperback.

    Corporal punishment and its effects on children continues to be a hotly debated topic. The author contends that this "minor" form of physical violence against children is a destructive act, akin to spousal abuse, which adversely affects the child and society as a whole. This work examines why so many parents resort to spanking, the myths that perpetuate corporal punishment, and the propagation of violence in society. The author argues that corporal punishment is never appropriate and that society needs to adopt a new approach to disciplining children.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Transaction Publishers
    390 Campus Dr.
    Somerset, NJ 08873
    Phone: 732-445-1245
    Fax: 732-748-9801

    Related Items

    See the following related articles about other new publications in this issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "CWLA Addresses Intersection Between Substance Abuse and Child Abuse"
    • "New Report Examines the Link Between Childhood Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency"
    • "Resource Book Educates Teens about Animal Cruelty, Connection to Child Abuse"
    • "School Adoption Resource Supports Parents and Teachers"

    Search the documents databases located on the websites of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information ( and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( for other new acquisitions.

  • Treating Youth Who Sexually Abuse: An Integrated Multi-Component Approach

    Treating Youth Who Sexually Abuse: An Integrated Multi-Component Approach

    Lundrigan, P. S. Haworth Press, Inc., Binghamtom, NY. 2001. 328 pp. $24.95. Paperback.

    Treatment of juvenile sex abusers has seen dramatic growth in the past 25 years, expanding from fewer than five specialized treatment programs in 1978 to over 1,000 identified programs in the year 2000. Presenting a comprehensive treatment program for adolescent sex offenders, the author covers every phase of treatment from assessment to relapse prevention. The book is divided into five parts:

    • An introduction to the treatment of sexually abusive youth
    • Treatment programs
    • The basic components of treatment
    • The issue of pretreatment and aftercare
    • Staff training and development.

    In addition, appendices include sources of additional information, sample day and after-school programs, sex offense-specific group materials, family treatment materials, and aftercare plans.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Haworth Press, Inc.
    10 Alice St.
    Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
    Phone: 800-429-6784
    Fax: 800-895-0582

  • Trauma and Cognitive Science: A Meeting of Minds, Science, and Human Experience

    Trauma and Cognitive Science: A Meeting of Minds, Science, and Human Experience

    Freyd, J. J., DePrince, A. P. (Editors) Haworth Press, Inc., Binghamton, NY. 2001. 356 pp. $29.95. Paperback.

    A collection of articles presented by participants in a conference of the same name, Trauma and Cognitive Science, examines traumatic experiences and their impact on memory. With a goal of fostering collaborative efforts and integrating diverse research groups, a variety of disciplines are represented, including cognitive scientists, developmental scientists, neuroscientists, and clinical researchers.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Haworth Press, Inc.
    10 Alice St.
    Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
    Phone: 800-429-6784
    Fax: 800-895-0582

  • Journal Devotes Issue to Marriage as a Child-Centered Institution

    Journal Devotes Issue to Marriage as a Child-Centered Institution

    In addressing social issues such as child abuse and neglect, Federal policy makers are taking a look at the link between marriage and child well-being. Reflecting this emerging area of interest, the American Experiment Quarterly devoted its Summer 2001 issue to various perspectives on marriage and children in the United States.

    In the introduction, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe, co-directors of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University noted that research indicates that children do best when they grow up with two married biological or adoptive parents; they also noted that married couples who fight can be detrimental to a child's well-being.

    Along with discussing factors that have reshaped marriage, 16 contributing authors considered cultural or public policy changes that might strengthen marriage as an institution for rearing children. Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., the former president of the National Fatherhood Initiative and current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, contributed one of the essays. He wrote that society is reluctant to discuss the virtues of marriage and offered suggestions on promoting marriage more effectively.

    Access a copy of the American Experiment Quarterly, volume 4, number 2, Summer 2001 online at:

    Related Item

    Read about $75 million in bonuses awarded to States by HHS for achieving largest reductions in out-of-wedlock births at:

  • Online Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

    Online Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

    Recently released U.S. Census 2000 figures show that 2.4 million grandparents are singlehandedly raising their grandchildren. Many grandparents rearing grandchildren face challenges related to poverty, custody, child care, access to services, medical care, and more.

    These "second-time-around" parents have a new place to turn for support. By visiting the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) website, they can connect with others facing similar issues. A database recently posted online and maintained by the AARP's national Grandparent Information Center, lists over 800 support groups for kinship care. By entering a zip code in the online search form, a list of groups in the visitor's area will be generated. These groups provide tips, ideas, and support and include the following types of programs:

    • Support groups for grandparents or other relatives raising grandchildren
    • Support groups for children being raised by grandparents or other relatives
    • Grandparents' rights groups
    • Agencies serving grandparents

    Each database entry contains a brief description about the group's services and activities, such as frequency of meetings, newsletter, conferences, education, advocacy, and referral. A database registration form is available for leaders of support groups to register with the national database.

    Access the database online at: search_form.html

    For a table of Census 2000 Supplementary Survey data on grandparents responsible for raising grandchildren, with calculations by the Children's Defense Fund, visit:

    Contact information:

    Amy Goyer
    Program Coordinator
    AARP Grandparent Information Center
    601 E St., NW
    Washington, DC 20049
    Phone: 202-434-6470
    Fax: 202-434-2296

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in the March/April 2001 Children's Bureau Express:

    • "New Law Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren"
    • "The GrandFamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren"

    Visit the fwebsite of the National Adoption Information Center for a list of resources related to grandparents raising grandchildren (

    Search the documents database on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website ( for information related to kinship care.

  • Female Sex Offenders: What Therapists, Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services Need to Know

    Female Sex Offenders: What Therapists, Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services Need to Know

    Hislop, J. Idyll Arbor, Inc., Ravensdale, WA. 2001. 254 pp. $35.00. Paperback.

    Though not well documented, there is growing evidence that female sex offenders are more prevalent than was previously thought. Due to the nurturing and protective role women have in society, the damage done when women commit offenses of a sexual nature against children can be particularly harmful. The author examines the causes and effects of child sex abuse perpetrated by females, rates of offending by female sex offenders and problems defining child sexual child abuse and gathering data in this context, and diagnoses and treatment of female sex offenders.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Idyll Arbor, Inc.
    25119 SE 262nd Street, PO Box 720
    Ravensdale, WA 98051
    Phone: 425-432-3231
    Fax: 425-432-3726

  • The Cost of Child Maltreatment: Who Pays? We All Do

    The Cost of Child Maltreatment: Who Pays? We All Do

    Franey, K., Geffner, R., and Falconer, R. (Editors). Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute, San Diego, CA. 2001. 253 pp. $28.00. Paperback.

    This book is a collection of articles that examine the varying ways child maltreatment impacts society. Beyond the devastating effects on the individual, there are societal tolls in terms of mental health and medical issues, economic impacts, and societal repercussions. The editors hope that by enlarging the focus from the individual impact of child maltreatment to the societal impact, the attention of a wider audience will be gained and the prevention of child abuse will become a higher priority.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute
    6160 Cornerstone Ct. E.
    San Diego, CA 92121
    Phone: 858-623-2777 x405
    Fax: 858-646-0761

  • Cognitive Analytic Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Approaches to Treatment and Case

    Cognitive Analytic Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Approaches to Treatment and Case

    Pollock, P. H. John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York, NY. 2001. 332 pp. $64.95. Paperback.

    Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a collaborative, client-centered approach to psychotherapy. In applying CAT, a patient's problems and difficulties are reconstructed in written and diagrammatic descriptions that provide a new basis for self-reflection and are used by therapists to gain trust and enter into intense therapeutic relationships. The author presents CAT as an approach to treat adults who were abused emotionally, physically, or sexually in childhood. Case study examples, accounts of CAT treatments and related outcomes, and comparison of CAT with other therapeutic approaches to trauma and abuse are included.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
    605 Third Ave.
    New York, NY 10158-0012
    Phone: 212-850-6645
    Fax: 212-850-6021

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.

  • Minnesota Program Offers Certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies

    Minnesota Program Offers Certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies

    Child Abuse Prevention Studies (CAPS) is a unique, two-year, interdisciplinary, post-baccalaureate certificate program housed within the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Beginning with the 1999-2000 academic year, CAPS became part of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA).

    Based on the premise that the economic, as well as emotional, costs of child abuse clearly indicate that prevention is cheaper than treatment, CAPS provides students and professionals with specialized training in child abuse prevention in order to work effectively with children and their families. Students earn an accredited certificate from the University by taking evening courses once per week for one or two years. The curriculum is intended to provide students with skills to develop research-based, practical programs that prevent or reduce harm to children.

    Initiated in 1989, CAPS started off by conducting a roundtable of community leaders and a statewide survey about professional training needs. The initial curriculum was created in 1990, and the first cohort of students began in 1992. Between 1989 and 2000, CAPS provided specialized training for over 350 students via classroom teaching and interactive television, and has awarded over 165 certificates. CAPS students include social service professionals, early childhood educators, public health professionals, law enforcement and legal professionals, advocates, health care providers, teachers and administrators, guardians ad litem, post-baccalaureate and graduate students, and anyone else working with children, their families and the organizations serving them.

    An interdisciplinary group of University of Minnesota faculty advises CAPS through a project called Child Abuse Prevention: Building an Interdisciplinary Perspective. Among experts on the faculty team are Jeffrey L. Edleson, School of Social Work; Marti Farrell Erickson, Children, Youth, and Family Consortium; Barbara Leonard, School of Nursing; and Mary A. McEvoy, College of Education and Human Development. The faculty team serves as advisors in CAPS curriculum development and course delivery, and provides training through a series of campus lectures and seminars.

    To learn more about the CAPS program, browse the CAPS website at or contact the CAPS office at (612) 624-0721.

    For information on university and college BSW and MSW Programs that place a specific emphasis on pre-professional education and training for the child welfare workforce, visit the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network at: (this link is no longer available)