News From the Children's Bureau
- AFCARS Technical Assistance: National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare
The National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare (NRC-ITCW) offers detailed technical assistance to States on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). AFCARS collects data on all children who are in foster care or adopted under the auspices of the State's public child welfare agency. AFCARS data assist policy makers at the Federal, State, and local levels with understanding child welfare populations and practices. The data also are used by the Federal government for a number of specific programs such as compiling the Annual Child Welfare Report to Congress, developing the data profile for the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), and driving funding allocations for the Chafee Independent Living Program and the Adoption Incentive Program.
NRC-ITCW can help States:
- Understand AFCARS elements and reporting requirements.
- Assess the impact of specific policies and practices, as well as information system design, on the quality of AFCARS data.
- Evaluate the translation of data from the State's child welfare information system into an AFCARS report.
A member of the Children's Bureau's Technical Assistance Network, NRC-ITCW provides strategies to help State, local, and Tribal child welfare agencies as well as family and juvenile courts improve the collection, quality, comparability, and use of child welfare data. The Resource Center provides telephone consultation, training, and onsite technical assistance to help its clients use data and information systems to improve services to children, youth, and families; evaluate results; and make informed decisions about policies, programs, and practices. NRC-ITCW also supports States and courts in meeting the requirements of the Adoption and Safe Families Act and other Federal mandates.
In addition to AFCARS, NRC-ITCW can provide assistance with:
- Adoption Incentive Program
- National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System
- Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems
- Change management
- Court and social work practice
Additional information is available on the NRC-ITCW website at www.nrccwdt.org/. Requests for onsite technical assistance must be approved by the appropriate Administration for Children and Families Regional Office. However, consultation with the NRC-ITCW is encouraged. To find out more about technical assistance options, contact the Resource Center at (877) 672-4829 or email@example.com.
- Children's Bureau Announces Availability of FY 2003 Discretionary Grant Funds
Applications are now available for organizations seeking funding in the areas of adoption, child abuse and neglect, and child welfare. The closing date is July 25, 2003.
Applications must address one of the following priority areas:
- Adoption Opportunities Program. These funds support demonstration projects that facilitate the elimination of barriers to adoption and provide permanent loving homes for children who would benefit from adoption, particularly children with special needs.
- Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). CAPTA funds support research and demonstration projects on the causes, prevention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
- Child Welfare Training Program. These funds support grants to public or other nonprofit institutions of higher learning for training personnel for work in the child welfare field.
- Promoting Safe and Stable Families. This program is intended to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families by funding family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification, and adoption promotion and support services, as well as research, evaluation, and technical assistance relating to such services.
The complete program announcement, including all necessary forms, can be downloaded from the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/funding/index.htm. Hard copies of the program announcement may be requested by calling the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse at (888) 251-0075. For further information about the program announcement, contact Patricia Campiglia at the Children's Bureau, (202) 205-8060.
Additional Federal Funding Opportunities:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services, is accepting applications for FY 2003 and FY 2004 cooperative agreements to develop systems of care that will deliver effective comprehensive community mental health services for a target population of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance and their families. Applications are due August 5, 2003 for FY 2003 or October 15, 2003 for FY 2004.
Applications for RFA No. SM-03-009 are available from SAMHSA's clearinghouse at (800) 789-2647 or on the SAMHSA website at www.samhsa.gov/grants/grants.html.
- Nominations Sought for Adoption Excellence Awards
The Administration for Children and Families is requesting nominations for the 2003 Adoption Excellence Awards, a program that recognizes excellence in providing stable, permanent homes for our nation's children in foster care. Nominations must be received by Thursday, July 31.
Recipients must have demonstrated clear and measurable success in one of the following award categories:
- Decrease in the length of time that children in foster care wait for permanency
- Increased adoptions
- Increased permanency for children with special needs
- Support for adoptive families
- Public awareness
- Individual and/or family contributions
- Applied scholarship and/or research
- Judicial or child welfare system improvement
States, agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals are eligible for the awards. Nominations will be reviewed and winners recommended by a panel of recognized experts in the adoption field.
Nomination packets were mailed in mid-June to more than 4,000 State officials, national organizations, and public and private agencies. Anyone may nominate one or more candidates. Nomination materials, and a list of the 2002 awardees, are available on the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/current_initiatives/aeawards.htm.
For more information about the awards, contact LaChundra Thomas at (202) 205-8252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GAO Reports on Child Welfare Staffing Challenges
Difficulties recruiting and retaining qualified child welfare staff in State child welfare systems adversely affect safety and permanency outcomes for children in foster care, according to a report released by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in March. The report, HHS Could Play a Greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff, recommends the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) help State child welfare agencies address these challenges, either through the annual discretionary grant program or by encouraging States to use their program improvement plans to address staffing issues that arise in the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs).
The report cites a number of recruitment and retention hurdles, including:
- Low salaries
- High caseloads and related administrative burdens
- Lack of supervisory support
- Insufficient training
To complete the report, GAO reviewed nearly 600 exit interviews from State, county, and private child welfare agencies across the country and conducted site visits to agencies in four States--California, Illinois, Kentucky, and Texas. In addition, review of CFSRs from 27 States showed high caseloads and caseworker turnover delayed the timeliness of investigations and limited frequency of visits with children. These issues impacted several key safety and permanency outcomes.
Child welfare agencies have implemented a number of strategies to improve recruitment and retention, including forming training partnerships with local universities; seeking agency accreditation; and using hiring competencies, realistic job previews, and recruitment bonuses. Few of these initiatives, however, have been rigorously evaluated.
The full report can be found on the GAO website at www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?gao-03-357.
Read more about child welfare workforce issues in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: CWLA Releases Documents on Workforce Issues" (January 2002)
- "State of the Child Welfare Workforce Examined" (July/August 2001)
- Help for Children of Prisoners
Between 1991 and 1999, the number of children with a parent in a Federal or State correctional facility increased by more than 100 percent, from about 900,000 to about 2 million. The effects on children can be devastating. Research confirms the physical absence of a parent has profound negative effects on a child's development. Add to this the social stigma of parental incarceration and the extent of trauma increases geometrically. In addition, a parent's arrest often is part of a larger picture of pre-existing family difficulty and dysfunction characterized by poverty, violence, instability, substance abuse, or prior separations.
A new article by Wade Horn, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, outlines the Administration's plan to address this problem by awarding $10 million in grants to match children of prisoners with 100,000 mentors who will develop caring, supportive relationships with them.
Find the full text on the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/hotissues/hiddenvictims.htm.
A press release announcing the grants can be found on the Administration for Children and Families website at www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2003/release_052003.html. The program announcement and application forms are available on the Family and Youth Services Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/mcpfund-anncmt.htm.
"Mentoring Matters," a videoconference featuring profiles of successful mentoring programs, was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs on February 7, 2003. The videoconference is now archived on the Web at http://juvenilenet.org/jjtap/mentoring/view.html. Videotapes of the conference are available for $15 from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, (800) 638-8736.
- Value of State "Safe Haven" Laws Debated
In response to a number of highly publicized infant abandonments resulting in severe harm or death, at least 42 States have now passed "safe haven" laws allowing legal anonymous abandonment of newborns at designated sites. However, several new reports raise questions about the outcomes of these laws.
A new report issued by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Unintended Consequences: "Safe Haven" Laws are Causing Problems, Not Solving Them, (A February 2003 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures ( www.ncsl.org/programs/cyf/ailaws.htm) claims safe haven laws have had "a limited effect." The report offers some information about the number of both legal and illegal infant abandonments in States where such laws have been passed and presents several areas of concern for policymakers to consider, including the need for such laws to be part of a more comprehensive strategy to prevent infant abandonment.
Proponents of the laws, meanwhile, continue to cite their intended benefits: protecting the lives and health of newborn infants, protecting birth parents from the legal and emotional consequences of unsafe abandonment, and connecting babies with loving families through adoption. If the life of even one infant is saved, they suggest, the benefits outweigh any potential concerns.
A study published in the March 19, 2003, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) describes the characteristics of 34 abandoned infant cases in North Carolina during a 15-year period. An abstract of the study, "Newborns Killed or Left to Die by a Parent," can be found on the JAMA website at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/289/11/1425.
Read more about the problem of infant abandonment in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- ">National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center Releases Publication on Expediting Permanency for Abandoned Infants" (October 2002)
- "Study Looks at Increase, Changes in Boarder Baby Population" (July/August 2001)
- "States Consider Ways to Curb Infant Abandonment" (April 2000)
- Study Explores Use, Helpfulness of Post-Adoption Services
A study of 873 adoptive parents in California found fewer than 30 percent used most post-adoption services, despite the fact that most who received services found them helpful. A Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 24:4) article summarizing the study findings, "Adoption Services Use, Helpfulness, and Need: A Comparison of Public and Private Agency and Independent Adoptive Families," examines ways adoption service providers could better meet the needs of adoptive families.
Eight years after their adoptions, adoptive parents were asked about their utilization of post-adoption services, the helpfulness of those services, and their recommendations for pre- and post-adoption services. Significant differences were found among parents who adopted through public agencies, private agencies, and independent facilitators. Public agency adopters, for example, were more likely than the other groups to want clinical services such as support groups for adoptive parents and adopted children, child counseling, and family therapy.
According to the researchers, adopters of all types expressed a strong desire for information about their child's background and history, as well as ongoing information to help them understand and parent their children. Other services families considered most important included reading material about adoption, legal advice, and information about the financial costs of adoption.
Services families considered least important included respite care, intensive crisis counseling, marital or individual counseling, family therapy, and classes for extended family members on understanding adoption.
Researchers expressed concern about the lack of post-adoption services provided by private facilitators and cited the need for longitudinal research on the differences between public and private adoption services and their impact on the long-term development of children and families. The authors also discussed a number of practice implications for service providers.
Information about Children and Youth Services Review and an abstract of the post-adoption study can be found at www.childwelfare.com/kids/cysr.htm.
See the related article "Post-Permanency Services" in this issue.
Read more about post-adoption services in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Casey Family Services Releases White Paper on Post-Adoption Services" (April 2002)
- "New Study Looks at Success Rates of Adoptions of Children from Foster Care" (November/December 2001)
- CLIKS Provides Community-Level Data on Child Well-Being
State and local data on child well-being are now available at the "click" of a button. CLIKS (County, City, Community-Level Information on Kids) provides easy access to community-level data on a variety of well-being indicators, offering users the ability to compare the status of children in their own city or county with other children across the State. Such information can be a powerful catalyst for discussions about how to ensure a better future for all children.
The content of each State's page is determined by the data available from local jurisdictions. Consequently, the number and type of indicators differ from State to State. Examples of indicators include:
- Child abuse and neglect rate per 1,000
- Number of children in foster care
- Number of children in poverty
Data are available in four different formats: profiles, rankings, graphs, and maps. Profiles provide detailed information about a single State or region. Regions within a State also can be ranked according to a particular indicator. Graphs and maps provide pictorial representations of indicators.
Available through the Annie E. Casey Foundation (www.aecf.org/cgi-bin/cliks.cgi), CLIKS is part of the KIDS COUNT project, a national and State effort to track child well-being.
For more information about the KIDS COUNT project, see "Two New Reports from the Casey Foundation Consider Children's Well-Being" in the July 2002 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Study Identifies Link Between Childhood Abuse and Drug Abuse in Adulthood
A recent article in the journal Pediatrics shows a strong link between negative childhood experiences and illicit drug use later in life. Findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study indicate the more negative events people experience during their childhood (e.g., abuse, parental incarceration, domestic violence), the more likely they are to initiate drug use at an early age, have drug problems, be addicted to drugs, or use intravenous drugs in adulthood. The results speak directly to the need for, and benefits of, efforts to prevent child maltreatment.
Originally initiated in the late 1980s as a study of the relationship between adult obesity and childhood abuse, the ACE study examines the relationship between a variety of adverse experiences in childhood and health problems later in life. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente San Diego and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified eight categories of adverse childhood experiences: physical abuse; emotional abuse; sexual abuse; alcohol or substance abuse in the household; a household member who was incarcerated; a household member who was chronically depressed, mentally ill, or suicidal; domestic violence; or parents who were separated, divorced, or in some way lost to the patient during childhood.
In previous analyses of the ACE data, these experiences also were shown to be associated with higher rates of:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Occupational health problems
- Poor job performance
An abstract of this article can be obtained at www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/3/564. A description of the ACE study and a selected list of study publications can be found in the Winter 2002 issue of The Permanente Journal, at http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal/winter02/goldtolead.html.
Read more about the ACE study in "Abused Boys and Sons of Battered Mothers More Likely to Be Involved in Teen Pregnancies" in the May/June 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Improving Health Coverage for Children Exiting Foster Care
Many children exiting foster care are not receiving needed medical attention due to a lack of health care coverage, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Although many children who leave foster care through reunification and adoption are eligible for some type of health insurance, the steps necessary to retain existing coverage or obtain new coverage can be complex. The report, Children Discharged from Foster Care: Strategies to Prevent the Loss of Health Coverage at a Critical Transition, indicates families sometimes find the process overwhelming and allow the child's insurance to lapse.
States are likely to end up bearing some of the financial burden of uninsured children using urgent or emergency medical services. Therefore, the Kaiser Commission suggests a number of steps States and child welfare agencies can take to help this vulnerable population maintain health care coverage when they transition out of foster care. These include:
- Providing 12 months of continuous coverage to all children enrolled in Medicaid, regardless of changes in family income, assets, or other circumstances.
- Using information in Medicaid files or from other benefit programs to renew eligibility.
- Providing families with extended "grace periods" to obtain required documents and complete paperwork.
- Monitoring loss of coverage at foster care discharge through an alternative case action review.
- Facilitating information exchange between child welfare agencies and those responsible for enrollment in State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage.
- Developing official Medicaid notices that are easy to read and include information about the child's potential eligibility for SCHIP coverage.
- Integrating health coverage applications into foster care discharge planning sessions.
- Promoting State health coverage programs to foster care organizations.
- Engaging dependency court judges and staff in the courts.
- Expanding Medicaid coverage through age 21 for children who age out of foster care.
A pdf copy of the report can be downloaded from the Kaiser Family Foundation website at www.kff.org/medicaid/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=14317.
Read more about health care for children in foster care in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Promising Approaches to Meeting the Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care" (June 2002)
- "Foster Children and Medicaid" (May/June 2001)
- Resources on Individualized and Targeted Recruitment for Adoption
In a new synthesis of recruitment efforts for adoptive families, Individualized and Targeted Recruitment for Adoption, Casey Family Programs profiles a number of promising approaches across the country. Efforts include child-specific recruitment, which may use the media to describe a specific child or may target individuals who already know the child, and targeted recruitment, which focuses on a specific group of children and attempts to match them with families that meet their needs.
Child-specific recruitment campaigns discussed include photolisting books, Internet listings (e.g., www.adoptuskids.org), print (newspaper) campaigns, and televised appeals. One successful child-specific recruitment campaign, by Children's Services of Roxbury in Massachusetts, uses a process of "permanency mediation" to find homes for children. Of 24 teenagers involved in the year-long project, connections to caring adults were identified for 75 percent of teens; 25 percent of the children were adopted.
Successful targeted recruitment efforts focus on children and youth who are likely to wait longest to find permanent homes, identify families likely to adopt them, and craft and deliver messages to these families. The One Church, One Child campaign, begun in Chicago in 1980, now operates in at least 30 States. The program has found adoptive families for more than 60,000 African-American and biracial children by using churches to reach out to prospective parents.
A pdf version of the synthesis can be downloaded from the Casey Family Programs website at www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/targeted-recruitment.pdf. (PDF 141 KB)
Additional resources on recruitment:
- Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support. Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families. www.casey.org/cnc/recruitment/breakthrough_series_recruitment.htm.(This link is no longer available, but some information can be found at www.casey.org/Resources/Projects/Breakthrough+Series+Collaborative/.)
- Annie E. Casey Foundation. Recruitment, Training and Support: The Essential Tools of Foster Care. www.aecf.org/initiatives/familytofamily/tools.htm.
- Child Welfare League of America. A Community Outreach Handbook for Recruiting Foster Parents and Volunteers. www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/recruiting-foster-parents.pdf.) (PDF 3.89 MB)
Read more about recruitment efforts in "States Employ Innovative Strategies to Recruit Resource Families" in the February 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Using Outcome Information to Improve Services
Many nonprofits are now familiar with the need to collect outcome information for external purposes, such as marketing and demonstrating accountability to funders. Unfortunately, fewer nonprofits are equipped to use outcome data to improve services to clients, by identifying what works and where improvement is needed.
The Urban Institute convened a symposium in 2002 to discuss the uses of outcome information by nonprofit organizations. Findings were published in the recent report, How and Why Nonprofits Use Outcome Information.
Symposium participants identified a number of factors that affect an organization's ability to use outcome information effectively:
- Organizational climate. Does the staff have a sense of ownership in developing and utilizing the outcome measures?
- Funding. Are adequate resources and technical assistance available to support the organization's data collection efforts?
- Staffing. Are staff properly trained in outcome management activities?
- Outcome measurement process. Are data collection tools easy to use?
- Technology. Is the available technology (e.g., software) adequate for outcome management activities?
A copy of the full report can be obtained from the Urban Institute website at www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=310464.
The Urban Institute also offers a guidebook, Key Steps in Outcome Management, with 13 steps nonprofit organizations can take to improve their ability to "manage for results." This guidebook, and future guides examining specific components of outcome management in greater detail, can be found on the Urban Institute website, www.urban.org.
- Post-Permanency Services
A new monograph from the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support (CNC), Post-Permanency Services considers what happens to children after they achieve their permanency plans. Written by Madelyn Freundlich and Lois Wright, the monograph explores the post-permanency services and supports that are most responsive to the ongoing post-permanency needs of children and their birth, kinship, and adoptive families; and the policies, practices, and programs key to ensuring successful post-permanency.
Part of a larger post-permanency initiative being developed by CNC, this volume:
- Examines what is currently known and believed about post-permanency services.
- Draws upon theory to explain why permanency is such a difficult arrangement to sustain.
- Offers a guiding philosophy and conceptual framework that aids in examining current practice and structuring future thinking.
- Provides a practical discussion of how post-permanency services may be used and suggests next steps.
More information about the publication and a downloadable pdf version can be found on the Casey Family Programs website at www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/PostPermanency.htm.
See the related article "Study Explores Use, Helpfulness of Post-Adoption Services" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Advice for Foundation Grant-Seekers
Jane Quinn, assistant executive director for community schools at the Children's Aid Society in New York City, has more than 20 years of fund-raising experience and has worked as a grant-maker for two national foundations. She offers this advice about seeking foundation grants:
- Do your homework. The object of foundation research is to find a fit between its priorities and yours.
- Find out how much money a foundation has. It matters whether a foundation's grants budget is $5 million or $50 million--and whether its assets are moving up or down.
- Take no for an answer. Don't argue about why you think your project fits their guidelines, or why you think their guidelines are off base.
- Don't make end-runs. Ask how the foundation likes to be approached, and follow that advice.
- Stay in touch. Things change. It's possible you will eventually find a fit.
- Ask for feedback. Grant-makers are often in a strong position to help you improve your work.
- Cultivate relationships. Invite program officers to visit and add them to your organization's mailing list.
- Do what you promised. It's better to exceed modest goals than to underachieve on ambitious ones.
- Provide regular reports. Grantees who are thinking long-term take care to submit timely narrative and financial reports.
- Ask permission if you need to change the plan. Most funders have established processes for authorizing changes.
- Don't forget to say thank you.
- Give credit where credit is due. Make sure you understand how each foundation wants its grant acknowledged publicly.
From Youth Today: The Newspaper on Youth Work (July/August 2002). Adapted with permission of the publisher. For more information about Youth Today, visit their website at www.youthtoday.org/youthtoday.
- Helping Children Heal From Trauma
For many children, violence is a daily reality. Whether they experience violence as victims, as witnesses, or simply by being aware of violence around them, children need caring adults to help them understand what has happened and begin to heal.
A new guide published by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice, Silent Realities: Supporting Young Children and Their Families Who Experience Violence, discusses the ways children of all ages may respond to violent events. It offers concrete suggestions for teachers, parents, family members, foster parents, and professionals to connect with traumatized children and cope with their sometimes difficult behaviors. Finally, the guide offers tips for supporting the adults in children's lives, including parents and front-line staff.
The guide will be available in English and Spanish. Free copies are available from:
The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice
1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 638-7922
Fax: (202) 828-1028
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Phone: (800) 394-3366
- Recent Report Details Well-Being Indicators for Native American Children
A new report from the National Indian Child Welfare Association and Casey Family Programs documents well-being indicators among Native American children and youth. This report, published in two volumes, extends research done in two previous studies.
Volume 1, Native American Kids 2002: Indian Children's Well-Being Indicators Data Book for 13 States, addresses gaps in the national literature on American Indian/Alaska Native children's well-being. Volume 2, Native American Children and Youth Well-Being Indicators: A Strengths Perspective, presents a practical model of a Native American strengths perspective with regard to children's well-being indicators.
For more information about this report, contact:
National Indian Child Welfare Association
5100 SW Macadam
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: (503) 222-4044
Fax: (503) 222-4007
Casey Family Programs
1300 Dexter Avenue, North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206) 282-7300
Fax: (206) 282-3555
- Target Stores Offer Local Grant Opportunities
Target stores in communities across the United States are accepting applications for the company's community grant program, in the area of family violence prevention. Eligible activities may include parenting education, crisis nurseries, family counseling, after-school programs, support groups, and abuse shelters.
Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, schools, and units of government are eligible for the grants, which average between $1,000 and $5,000. Applications will be accepted through July 31. More information, including complete guidelines and application forms, can be found on the Target website at http://target.com/common/page.jhtml?content=target_cg_local_giving.
- Foster Parent Support Group Mini-Grants
The Professional Association of Treatment Homes (PATH) and the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) are offering mini-grants of up to $5,000 each to support the development or enhancement of foster parent support groups. Grantees must hold nonprofit 501(c)(3) status and be current members of NFPA. Applications are due by July 31.
Application information is available on the FosterParentNet website at www.fosterparentnet.org/minigrant2003.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.) For more information, contact NFPA at (800) 557-5238.
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.
- Strengthening Services for Refugee Families
Refugee families face tremendous challenges. The stresses of war and trauma, and major changes in roles as families adapt to a new culture, can disrupt even the most harmonious family life. As refugee families come to the attention of the child welfare system, service providers need access to in-depth information about refugee cultures, trauma, and resulting family dynamics to effectively address the special needs of these youth.
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS), supported by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has developed a new training curriculum to address this need. "Cross-service trainings" provide an opportunity for public child welfare agencies, refugee service providers, and refugee community representatives to share information and promote collaboration.
The full-day training includes:
- Presentations by local agencies about their services and organizational structures.
- An interactive problem-solving session that maps agency resources and service gaps.
- Definition of next steps to increase resource sharing and collaboration.
The training was piloted in Atlanta and St. Louis with positive results. A curriculum developed by BRYCS to help local communities implement their own cross-service trainings will be available in July.
Other notable BRYCS resources include a comprehensive manual to guide agencies in strengthening services for refugee families, a clearinghouse of resources on refugee youth and child well-being, and various technical assistance services. For more information about any of these resources, visit the BRYCS website at www.brycs.org.
- Child Welfare-Substance Abuse Curricula and Resources
In order to address the frequent overlap between child welfare and substance abuse issues, child welfare workers need to understand the nature of substance abuse and addiction, how to identify these problems, and how best to intervene. A new publication from the Administration for Children and Families and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The Child Welfare-Substance Abuse Connection: A Compendium of Training Curricula and Resources, can help caseworkers develop the knowledge and skills they need.
The publication provides information about training curricula and materials, most of which specifically target child welfare workers. The resources address nine subject areas:
- Overview of substance abuse and addiction
- Overview of child welfare
- Collaboration and service integration
- Service provision
- Working with children and adolescents
- Treatment and recovery
- Foster care/adoption and substance abuse
- The courts and legal representation
Along with a description of each resource, the compendium provides contact information and notes the availability of training and technical assistance. Most curricula have a fee associated with their use, and some are copyrighted.
Free print copies of the compendium can be ordered by contacting the following organizations. (It also will soon be available on the websites listed below.)
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Phone: (800) 394-3366
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
Phone: (800) 729-6686
The website of the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/cbconference/fourteenth/index.cfm), held March 31 - April 5, 2003, now contains post-conference information about presentations, speakers, awards, and program highlights. Plenary and presentation materials will continue to be added throughout the next few months, so check back frequently!
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through October 2003 include:
- Eighth International Family Violence Research Conference (Family Research Laboratory & Crimes Against Children Research Center; July 13 through 16, Portsmouth, NH; www.unh.edu/frl/conference2003/index.html).
- 2003 Conference on Treatment Foster Care (Foster Family-Based Treatment Association; July 20 through 23, Universal City, CA; www.ffta.org/conference.html - Editor's note: this link is no longer available).
- American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 11th Annual National Colloquium (July 23 through 26, Orlando, FL; www.apsac.org).
- 4th National Kinship Care Conference "Kinship Care: Preserving and Strengthening a Family Resource" (Child Welfare League of America; July 30 through August 1, Philadelphia, PA; www.cwla.org/conferences).
- Summer Seminars by the Sea (Chadwick Center, Children's Hospital-San Diego; August 4 through 22, San Diego, CA; www.charityadvantage.com/chadwickcenter/summerseminars.asp). (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- North American Council on Adoptable Children's 29th Annual Conference "Nurturing Connections for Children, Families, and Communities" (August 7 through 9, Vancouver, British Columbia; www.nacac.org/conference.html).
- 16th Annual National Independent Living Conference "Growing Pains 2003" (Daniel Memorial Institute; August 13 through 16, Orlando, FL; http://conferences.danielkids.org/growing_pains.htm (Editor's note: this link is no longer available)).
- 26th National Children's Law Conference (National Association of Counsel for Children; August 16 through 19, New Orleans, LA; www.naccchildlaw.org/training/conference.html).
- 2003 Crimes Against Children Conference (Dallas Children's Advocacy Center; August 18 through 21, Dallas, TX; www.dcac.org).
- 4th International Respite Conference 2003 "A Universal Break: Respite for Caregivers" (ARCH National Respite Network; September 16 through 19, Orlando, FL; www.archrespite.org/ARCHconf.htm).
- 8th International Conference on Family Violence Advocacy, Assessment, Intervention, Research, Prevention and Policy (Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute; September 16 through 20, San Diego, CA; http://www.fvsai.org/FVSAI_conference.htm (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)).
- First National Symposium for Community Building and Child Welfare "Building Communities for 21st-Century Child Welfare" (Child Welfare League of America; September 22 through 24, Albany, NY; www.cwla.org/conferences/2003cbsymposiumrfp.htm).
- 15th Annual ATTACh Conference on Attachment and Bonding (Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children; September 24 through 27, Pittsburgh, PA; www.attach.org/conference_update.htm (Editor's note: this link is no longer available)).
- Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse: Equal Justice for Children (National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse; October 6 through 10, Baltimore, MD; www.ndaa.org/education/ndaa/child_abuse_training_schedule.html).
- Linking Together: Reaching the Summit (American Association of Children's Residential Centers; October 7 through 10, Denver, CO; www.aacrc-dc.org/templ/display.cfm?id=269).
- 12th Generations United International Conference "Uniting Generations to Build a Better World" (October 15 through 18, Alexandria, VA; www.gu.org/conference03.htm).
Further details about national and regional child welfare conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/index.cfm.
Further details about national and regional adoption conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/conferences/index.cfm.