May/June 2001Vol. 2, No. 3Spotlight on National Foster Care Month
- Publication Addresses New Questions and Answers About the Foster Care Independence Act
Publication Addresses New Questions and Answers About the Foster Care Independence Act
The National Foster Care Awareness Project has just released Frequently Asked Questions II About the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (FCIA) and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. This publication picks up where FAQ I left off as more questions about implementing FCIA have arisen.
In particular, many States have questions about providing services to youth age 18 to 21 who have left foster care. States also have questions about policy changes needed in order to implement FCIA. FAQ II also addresses concerns about funding and allowable uses of FCIA funds.
Questions focus on the following areas:
- Eligibility requirements
- Key stakeholders
- Compliance with FCIA and ASFA
- Special Needs
- Youth involvement
- Tribal involvement
The National Foster Care Awareness Project is a coalition of 19 foundations, national organizations, public and private agencies, and corporations. (Two of the Children's Bureau's National Resource Centers participate in the Project.) The report is available online through the Casey Family Programs website at: http://www.casey.org/advocacy/FAQ2_FINAL.pdf as well as on the websites of many NFCAP partners.
See "Answers to Foster Care Independence Questions" in the April 2000 Children's Bureau Express, which discusses the first volume in this series, Frequently Asked Questions About the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.
- Study Examines a Successful Independent Living Program for High Risk Youth
Study Examines a Successful Independent Living Program for High Risk Youth
Adolescents leaving the foster care system face many challenges as they work toward self-sufficiency. A privately funded program developed in 1984 by The Children's Village was created to boost the chances that this high-risk group will attain successful independence. WAY (Work Appreciation for Youth) was developed to serve adolescent boys at The Children's Village Residential Treatment Facility in Dobbs Ferry, New York. WAY was designed for children whose emotional or behavioral problems made them unlikely to succeed in a foster home. The WAY program aims to help them transition back to living with their families, to less restrictive settings, or to independent living.
The aftercare component, called the WAY Scholarship program, was the subject of a 15-year study, conducted by researchers at The Children's Village. The longitudinal study examined what happens when adolescents who leave residential treatment are provided with long-term follow-up services focused on school, work, and personal development.
The WAY scholarship program is a 5-year program with the following five core elements:
- Educational advocacy and tutoring
- Work experiences and work ethics training
- Group activities and workshops
- Financial incentives
- Counseling and mentoring.
The WAY program assigns a paid, professional mentor to each student to guide him through the program and ensure delivery of services. "Counselors are to be coaches, cheerleaders, surrogate parents, advocates, teachers, and friends," states the report. Three-fourths of students had positive feelings about their counselors, who were mostly of the same gender and ethnicity.
The findings of the 15-year study, which tracked 93 high-risk foster care youth in New York City along with a comparison group of adolescents, were as follows:
- Low attrition rates: only 24 percent of WAY scholars left within the first half of the 5-year program
- Strong employment experience: About 80 percent of program graduates were working in their 20s and earning average full-time salaries of $23,000
- School success: 81 percent were still in school or had already graduated by the end of the program. High school graduation rates for WAY youth were 50 percent higher than children living below the poverty level nationally and almost 20 percent higher than the general population of African-American and Latino students in New York City
- Self-sufficiency: 95 percent of WAY scholars were on track to self-sufficiency at the end of the program; they were either in school, working, or had obtained high school degrees
- Low criminality: Youths who participated in at least 2.5 years of the program had lower adult criminality rates (5 percent) than program dropouts (35 percent) or the comparison group (15 percent).
Based on the findings, the authors of the study recommend the following:
- Long-term aftercare services (years not months) be provided for adolescents discharged from residential treatment centers
- Aftercare staff be given flexibility in funding and in access to youth to provide continuity in care
- Aftercare services be provided to former foster care youth on a long-term basis, well into their young adulthood
- Mentors in programs like WAY be paid professionals who have the time and skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of young people.
The Children's Village has created a WAY Replication Unit to respond to the growing interest within and beyond the child welfare community to replicate the program elsewhere. It has been adapted in several community-based settings and a housing project complex for former homeless families in New York City. "The WAY Program has created a positive youth subculture in a neighborhood of high gang activity . . . Our young people are now imagining and planning a very different, more positive future for themselves," said Jeannette Ruffins, Director of Genesis Homes.
A copy of the executive summary of The WAY to Work: An Independent Living/Aftercare Program for High-Risk Youth is available upon request or purchase a copy of the full report for $16.95 (stock number 8048) from the Child Welfare League of America at 800-407-6273. Order a copy online at: http://www.cwla.org/pubs.
Visit the website of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information to view an online copy of the report Title IV-E Independent Living Programs: A Decade in Review. (Note: this publication is no longer available.)
- Supporting the Transition to Adulthood of Youth in Foster Care
Supporting the Transition to Adulthood of Youth in Foster Care
Based on a two-year study funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a new report aims to identify criteria that characterize high-quality practices for helping youth move from foster care to independent living. The report also provides information on programs that meet these suggested criteria.
Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System was prepared by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement at the University of Southern Maine and the National Resource Center for Youth Services at the University of Oklahoma. This is the first document in a working draft series prepared by the National Foster Care Awareness Project, a consortium of agencies organized by Casey Family Programs.
The research team surveyed 311 independent living programs, conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 20 programs, and visited programs at 7 sites. The team also conducted a literature review and interviewed experts in the field, including youth in foster care.
The report suggests that programs should rest on the following core principles:
- A Youth Development Philosophy—programs should seek to create an environment and opportunities where young people feel supported and safe
- Collaboration—programs should seek community involvement to create linkages that will benefit youth both while they are in the program and after they leave it
- Cultural Competency—programs need to provide services that are compatible with the cultural needs of the youth and families served
- Relationship Permanency—programs need to help youth forge a permanent connection with relatives or others with whom they have a relationship.
The report suggests that to be successful, programs should provide:
- A clearly defined life skills instruction component
- Educational supports aimed at helping youth achieve educational goals
- An employment component
- A component that helps youth establish community linkages
- A supervised independent living component
- Youth development activities that increase cultural awareness and personal confidence and provide youth opportunities to contribute to the community
- Health services that prepare youth to manage their own medical/dental/mental health needs
- Preparation for youth for adulthood counseling activities
- Comprehensive aftercare services
- An ongoing training component for program staff
- An ongoing program evaluation component.
In addition to identifying criteria for successful programs, five key issues were identified as critical for youth transitioning out of foster care: early discharge, housing, health and mental health care, education, and employment.
Since the field of foster care independent living is still young, the authors note the need for testing and evaluation of the suggested practices before they can be recommended as "promising practices" for administrators and policy makers who are assisting foster youth in their transition.
A copy of the report is available online at: http://www.nrcys.ou.edu/yd/resources/publications/pdfs/promising_practices-1.pdf
To obtain a print copy, contact:
National Resource Center for Youth Services
4502 E. 41st St., Bldg. 4 West
Tulsa, OK 74135-2553
See "Tuition Waiver Availability for Foster Care Youth" in the June 2000 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.
- Efforts to Improve State Reporting on Foster Care and Adoption Are Paying Off
Efforts to Improve State Reporting on Foster Care and Adoption Are Paying Off
How many U.S. children are in foster care? For many years, no one could answer that question with confidence. But this summer, the Department of Health and Human Services will release reliable foster care and adoption statistics from an unprecedented 49 States and the District of Columbia. (Computer problems snarled Alaska's efforts to report.)
The data were collected and analyzed through the Federal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).
"This is the best data we have ever, ever had. And it's going to get better,"said HHS Children's Bureau researcher John Hargrove.
Hargrove was one of several HHS officials who were interviewed about AFCARS for an article by Cheryl Wetzstein published in the April 30 Washington Times.
The officials attributed the success of AFCARS to new Federal laws that require States to report, new financial incentives for States, and expanded technical assistance. Better computer technology also has made a big difference. States often had the data in their in-house systems, "but they just couldn't get it out," said Terry Lewis, deputy associate commissioner of the Children's Bureau.
Penelope Maza, a senior HHS researcher, said that awarding bonuses to States for increasing adoptions from foster care strongly motivates States to collect and report data accurately. "This is an example of where, because of a Federal program, there was finally some really good reason to clean up that data. And it got cleaned up," said Maza, dubbed the HHS adoption data maven by the Times article.
Better data is an essential element in achieving better outcomes for children who enter foster care, the officials noted. Said Sally Flanzer, director of HHS' Division of Data Research and Innovation, "We're in the middle of an evidence-based, data-based revolution."
Visit the AFCARS website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/dis/afcars/.
- Foster Children and Medicaid
Foster Children and Medicaid
A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, examines the health care needs of foster children, and how those needs are being met through Medicaid.
The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., was based on data from California, Florida, and Pennsylvania, from the years 1993, 1994, and 1995. Among the findings are the following:
- Children in foster care accounted for a greater Medicaid expenditure than non-foster children.
- A large proportion of foster children lost their Medicaid coverage when they left foster care.
- Children in foster care children were more likely than other groups of Medicaid children to have mental health or substance abuse problems
- How much and what type of health care received by Medicaid-covered foster care children varied considerably across the three States.
The study revealed four main implications for policy and practice in serving foster children:
- Continuity of coverage is important.
- Medicaid may be underutilized as a funding source.
- A broad-based concept of care coordination is needed.
- The structure of managed care systems could better recognize foster care children's needs.
The Policy Brief, Children in Foster Care: Challenges in Meeting Their Health Care Needs, is available online at: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/fostercarebrief.pdf.
The full report is available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/fostercare-health00.
To order a print copy of the full report for $13 (plus $3.50 s/h), contact:
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
PO Box 2393
Princeton, NJ 08543-2393
See "Pediatricians Advised About Enhancing Brain Development in Young Foster Children" in the January 2001 Children's Bureau Express for an article about the new recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for treating young children in foster care.
- FosterClub: Online Resources for Foster Kids and their Parents
FosterClub: Online Resources for Foster Kids and their Parents
Foster children can gain valuable support, motivation, and insight from each other. Through an online community known as the FosterClub, these networks are forming not only among foster children but also among foster parents.
FosterClub, funded by the Wheeler Foundation, works with caseworkers and foster parents to support and empower foster kids. Until the FosterClub, there was no national "club" organization serving the more than 560,000 children in the foster care system and the nearly 20,000 youth that "age out" of foster care each year. FosterClub aims to:
- Provide foster kids with encouragement and access to information
- Promote services to youth who have "aged out" of the foster care system
- Enable foster kids to communicate with each other and keep informed on the unique issues they face
- Make an effort to "even the playing field" by providing foster kids with material benefits (discounts, freebies, funding, etc.) on a local and national level
- Raise public awareness.
FosterClub's website, http://www.fosterclub.com, contains material for foster kids. Its "Fun Stuff" section includes information on famous foster kids, contests, and message boards. There also are columns with questions and answers, personal accounts, advice, job hunting tips, and articles about living on your own. Foster children also can connect with each other through a link to a special chat room.
A companion website for "grown-ups" offers information about policy issues, how to help foster kids, becoming a foster parent, resources for support, message board, and famous foster parents. Foster parents can keep up to date on current events through a section containing articles in the popular press, research, and statistics. A section for child welfare workers—still under construction—provides news, tools, and a directory of DHHS offices. Additional resources include a reading room of suggested titles and articles on independent living.
- Attracting and Supporting Foster Families
Attracting and Supporting Foster Families
Research confirms what practitioners already know—the number of children entering foster care keeps climbing, and the number of foster families is not keeping pace. A new release from the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support (CNC) aims to help by providing a foundation for recruitment and retention efforts.
Lighting the Way: Attracting and Supporting Foster Families details 10 broad principles for promoting stable foster placements. CNC based the work on a review of published research and interviews with more than 30 practitioners and child welfare experts.
The document proposes that the following principles should guide agencies and practitioners who work with foster families:
- Develop clear agency values, assumptions, and goals
- Create organizational structures that facilitate good practice
- Seek and rebuild collaborations
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Emphasize responsiveness and inclusivity in recruitment
- Help families to be competent
- Find the right family for the right child
- Support teamwork and partnerships between social workers, foster families and birth families
- Provide sufficient concrete and emotional support to allow foster families to do their jobs well
- Give families a voice in the system.
The report explains the research and thought behind each principle and gives examples of the principles in action.
Both the full report and executive summary can be downloaded from the CNC website at http://www.casey.org/cnc/recruitment/lighting_the_way.htm. (This link is no longer available.) Request printed copies by calling Mindy Rechel at 206-352-4292, or by contacting:
Casey National Center for Resource Family Support
1808 Eye Street, NW 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
Toll Free: 888-295-6727
Access A Community Outreach Handbook for Recruiting Foster Parents and Volunteers online at: www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/recruiting-foster-parents.pdf or order a print copy from the Child Welfare League of America at 800-407-6273.
See "Recruiting Families for Special Needs Children" in the May 2000 issue of the Children's Bureau Express about recruiting families for special needs children.
- Faith-based Campaigns: Answering the Call to Find Homes for Waiting Children
Faith-based Campaigns: Answering the Call to Find Homes for Waiting Children
Religious groups can be an important ally in recruiting families, providing support, and adopting children from the foster care system. The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) profiles successful programs from Judeo-Christian communities in its March 2001 Recruiting News newsletter.
Two common themes found in these programs were:
- Recruiters must learn and respect the rules of the religious groups they approach.
- Recruiters must establish a lasting relationship with members of the faith community.
In North Carolina, the Division of Social Services works in cooperation with the General Baptist State Convention (GBSC) to recruit African American singles and couples to be adoptive and foster parents. Since 1998, the GBSC Adoption and Foster Care Ministry's staff has attended conferences, workshops, and Sunday services at churches that express interest. The Ministry's staff works with volunteer project coordinators in each of the more than 100 congregations currently participating. Outreach to other faith communities and partnerships with the State NAACP and the North Carolina Association of Black Social Workers help promote the initiative.
The Jewish Children's Adoption Network (JCAN) was founded in 1990 to place Jewish children in families where their religion and heritage would not be lost. Many of the more than 1,000 Jewish children placed have special needs. Recruitment of Jewish families is mostly by word-of-mouth through the staff's connections with Jewish family service agencies, Jewish communal organizations, rabbis, and past adoptive parents. JCAN's exchange services are free and available to the adoption community. Its database lists waiting families and the characteristics of children they are willing to adopt. JCAN's directors have found that placing children in their religious community increases the chances of finding other receptive adoptive families, who are willing to cope with special needs.
The Bandele Project in Detroit, Michigan, partnered with faith communities not only to find homes for waiting African American children, but also to provide an outlet for social and artistic activities for these children. Started in 1992 by Spaulding for Children, Bandele (an African boy's name meaning "follow me home" or "born away from home") involved 15 churches and 15 agencies in its 7-year history. A Bandele play helped the children develop self-esteem and showcased their talents and personalities to prospective adoptive families. Bandele staff learned that membership in the religious community and/or developing cultural competence in the faith community's rules and goals resulted in a successful collaboration.
Philadelphia's Faith-Based Partnership for Adoption—a coalition of faith-based social service organizations—took advantage of National Adoption Month last November to kick-off its first ever Adoption Sabbath. The weekend of presentations at churches, synagogues, and Sunday school classes, preceded by a media event, resulted in nearly 100 families coming forward to learn about adoption. It also served as a catalyst to unite faith communities with the adoption community and to strengthen joint recruitment efforts among Partnership members.
Families in the Bennett Chapel Missionary Church, located in a remote Texas town, have welcomed more than 100 children into adoptive and foster homes. The pastor and his wife spearheaded the effort to involve the congregation by adopting 2 children and fostering 2 others. The Reverend W.C. Martin arranged for the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS) to teach a training class for prospective adoptive and foster parents at his church, saving members a trip of more than 70 miles to the nearest city. From the first series of classes, 18 Bennett Chapel families finalized adoptions, followed by many more. The Chapel and close-knit community have served as a support group and recruitment mechanism for other families. They are working with DPRS to build a Family Outreach Center.
One Church, One Child is a national adoption education and recruitment project founded in 1980 by Father George Clements, a black Chicago priest who became the first priest in the U.S. to adopt a child. There are now 31 chapters operating in 31 States. Each chapter consists of a network of local churches that seek and refer prospective adoptive parents from their congregations and the community to local government social services, which has children available for adoption. The executive director of Virginia's One Church, One Child program provides tips to groups trying to work with faith communities in the "Ask the Expert" section of the newsletter.
For more information about these faith-based recruitment programs for waiting children, access NACAC's newsletter online at: http://www.nacac.org/recruitingfamilies.html
Visit the White House website for news and speeches about Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/faith-based.
Visit the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov) for the following related item:
- Actions for Faith Communities for Child Abuse Prevention (Note: this is no longer available.)
- May Is National Foster Care Month
May Is National Foster Care Month
Take a foster family to lunch in May, or send a thank you note to people you know who are involved with foster care. Those are just a couple of the ideas suggested in the National Foster Care Month kits prepared by the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support.
National Foster Care Month activities are a joint effort among the National Foster Care Awareness Project (in which two of the Children's Bureau's National Resource Centers participate), the National Foster Parent Association, the Child Welfare League of America, and Casey Family Programs.
The kits contain fact sheets, sample letters to local businesses and elected officials, a sample newsletter, and materials for reaching out to reporters. This year's theme, "Recognizing People Who Make a Difference," is prominently displayed in packet items. Logos showing two children making a bridge and the slogan "helping children and youth cross life's bridges" are included in an easily reproducible format.
Download packet materials from the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support (CNC) at www.casey.org/cnc (this link is no longer available) or contact:
Director, Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support
1808 Eye St., NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 888-295-6727, ext. 226
A bill supporting a National Foster Parents Day was introduced in Congress on February 8, 2001. For details on H.Con.Res. 24, visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress (http://thomas.loc.gov).
Spotlight on Incorporating Youth Engagement and Lived Experience Into Child Welfare Practice
Spotlight on the Title IV-E Prevention Program and the Family First Prevention Services Act
News From the Children's Bureau
- Children's Bureau Publishes New Guide to Child Welfare Practice After ASFA
Children's Bureau Publishes New Guide to Child Welfare Practice After ASFA
Since its enactment in 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act continues to influence and shape the nation's efforts to ensure the safety, permanent placement, and well-being of children. A new guide from the Children's Bureau can help practitioners navigate the still-unfolding landscape of the child welfare field after ASFA.
Rethinking Child Welfare Practice Under the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 covers:
- An overview of ASFA
- Implications of ASFA for service delivery
- Principles and key elements of "good" child welfare practice
- Rethinking casework functions under ASFA.
The Guide is based on the findings of an advisory group comprised of child welfare practitioners, social work educators, representatives of child welfare organizations and advocacy groups, and Federal staff. The group was asked to:
- Discuss the challenges to, and opportunities for, improving child welfare practice
- Develop practice guidelines incorporating ASFA as the framework.
The Guide is designed for use by professionals working in all components of the child welfare system as well as other agencies and community-based organizations who work with families in the child welfare system. In particular, the Guide will be useful to trainers, administrators, program managers, and supervisors.
To order a print copy, contact: National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice
1150 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
- HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics
HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics
National statistics continue to indicate a decline in child abuse and neglect, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in April.
States had reported that just over 900,000 children were victims of child maltreatment in 1998. That number dropped to 826,000 in 1999.
The incidence rate of children victimized by maltreatment also declined to 11.8 per 1,000 children, a decrease from the 1998 rate of 12.6 per 1,000. In a trend that began six years ago, the number of victimized children has decreased approximately 19.2 percent from a record of 1,018,692 in 1993. Parents continue to be the main perpetrators of child maltreatment.
"We are encouraged by the continuing decline in the number of children who are maltreated, but it is nevertheless unacceptable that so many children are suffering," said HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. "We will continue to encourage States to do everything they can to prevent child abuse and neglect. We must remain committed to ensuring that all children live in safe, permanent and loving homes."
The complete findings of States' reports to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) are published in Child Maltreatment 1999. The report is available on the Children's Bureau website (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications) in html or PDF format. For a print copy, contact the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information by phone at 800-FYI-3366 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Highlights from the 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Highlights from the 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
The theme of the 13th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Faces of Change: Embracing Diverse Cultures and Alternative Approaches, was reflected in the plenary sessions, skills seminars, roundtable sessions, think tanks, and more than 200 knowledge-building workshops. An exhibit hall, poster sessions, film forum, and field trips rounded out the conference agenda. Held April 23-28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the conference attracted approximately 2,200 child welfare professionals from around the world.
Maria Hinojosa was the inspirational keynote speaker at the opening plenary session of the conference. Hinojosa, a New York-based correspondent for Cable News Network (CNN), also hosts NPR's "Latino USA," a weekly national program reporting on news and culture in the Latino community. She has received numerous awards and honors, and authored the books Crews—Gang Members Talk with Maria Hinojosa (1995) and Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son (1999).
Using stories from her childhood, and vignettes from Raising Raul, Hinojosa shared with the audience vivid images of her experiences growing up and raising children in a multicultural society. Lamenting that we don't talk to each other enough or listen to each other's stories, she pointed out that raising children comes with no manual, and that cultural differences in raising children are wide and vast. She encouraged parents to give their children experiences so they will see the difference and live it.
Hinojosa urged the audience to learn to engage in conversation with others as equals. She described strategies for opening dialogue among parents and children, so that we can all move forward in an increasingly diverse America, and stressed that we have to be willing to admit our prejudices in the process. Since the recent U.S. Census shows that this country is changing, she challenged the audience to think about what we must do in response. She emphasized the importance of finding humanness in each one of us that allows us a common ground. She left the audience with a passionate appeal to live a life of difference, always opening our ears to differences, while asking and listening without judgement.
Saving Our Sons
Dr. James Gabarino, co-director of the Cornell University's Family Life Development Center, Professor of Human Development, and author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them, spoke about the problem of youth violence in the United States. He emphasized that the subtle ecological context in which troubled children develop can have a dramatic role in later violent juvenile delinquency and murder. Gabarino also noted that some cultural differences in child rearing practices produce no intrinsic difference in child development and should be embraced as pure diversity. Some cultures have different goals for human development; e.g., Hawaiian cultures maintain a sense of collective identity by having children sleep with parents. When culture can harm is when it reflects an incorrect understanding of child development, e.g., genital mutilation of girls. "All cultures are imperfect," said Gabarino. "Every culture has something to teach and to learn."
Gabarino outlined the universal needs of children as:
- Physical (calories, vitamins, nutrients, etc.)
- Psychological (acceptance vs. rejection; kids rejected develop badly)
- Spiritual (knowing they live in a meaningful universe with a larger meaning to their lives).
He found that kids that kill have a "spiritual emptiness" in common. They seek out some sort of meaning from satanic or demonic sources. Spiritually empty kids also show no limits in their behavior. However, there is no single cause of adolescent violence. It is only a build-up of risk factors. For example, child maltreatment is a predictor of later violence only in the context of other accumulated risk factors, such as racism, poverty, and rejection. An important goal to helping the "lost boys" who fill our prisons is to expand their "circle of caring" through offering compassion. Children who don't have anyone who care about them don't have any context in which to apply right vs. wrong. Gabarino suggests that to transcend trauma implies "transformational grace," which children can achieve through receiving love, recognition of self-worth and talent, and reliance on deep cultural resources.
Mr. Shane Salter, who currently serves as the Director of Foundation Giving at the Freddie Mac Foundation in Virginia, revealed the story of his personal experiences in a foster care system that was never able to provide the stable and loving home that he craved. The theme of his keynote address, "Trouble Don't Last Always: Survival in the Child Welfare System," was a story about resilience. Often children from abusive and/or neglectful families become helpless victims or perpetrators themselves, trapped in the generational cycle of abuse. However, sometimes, for whatever reason, some children are strengthened and become more determined than ever to overcome the barriers along their pathway. Shane Salter's story exemplified the capacity of the human spirit to be resilient.
Breaking a Cycle of Despair
Keynote speaker Larry Echohawk, J.D., a professor of law at the J. Reuben Clark School of Law, Brigham Young University in Utah, also discussed public policies in terms of his personal story. Echohawk, the first American Indian in U.S. history to be elected State's Attorney General (in Idaho), described the losses—cultural, historical, spiritual—suffered by his ancestors, the Pawnee, when they were driven from their home in what is now Nebraska to a reservation in Oklahoma. He said the despair from the Pawnee's relocation reverberated through generations, and referenced his own family's trials with alcoholism, domestic violence, and child abuse. Eventually, from his family's pain, promise emerged—his father stopped drinking, and Echohawk and his six siblings all had the opportunity to attend college. Three of them became lawyers.
But, Echohawk said, many families in Indian Country remain caught in an intergenerational cycle of alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, school dropouts, teen pregnancies, and criminal behavior. To break the cycle, he said, is a community responsibility—together we must build upon the strengths of our cultures and diverse backgrounds. He shared a belief held by the Iroquois Confederacy that we must think seven generations ahead. "We must hold the hands of the seventh generation" to ensure that they grasp promise and not violence, he said.
Doing No More Harm
Dr. Erylene Piper Mandy, a noted psycho-cultural anthropologist and Executive Director of the Center for Cross Cultural Experience, shared messages drawn from her studies and her own life-changing experiences in a powerful address that provided a thought-provoking challenge to child welfare professionals. She quickly gained the attention of the audience by asserting that professionals must relearn what they have been taught, and reframe their assumptions, before they can become better helpers. Mandy stressed her mantra, the first rule of helping, "Do no more harm!" She emphasized that we are all "diverse," coming from different places, with different ethnic combinations in our backgrounds. Our helping strategies must take this into account, and seek to balance the strengths and weaknesses of ourselves, as well as those we serve. Mandy acknowledged that conference attendees would not return home able to create ideal helping systems. But she sent participants away from the conference with the mission to be passionate about their jobs and know that truly helping even one child can make a difference.
Visiting a Pueblo
The Isleta Pueblo, a conference experiential learning opportunity, is one of many sovereign Native American Pueblos surrounding Albuquerque. It comprises 4,800 tribal members (one-fourth children, one-eighth elders). Following a tour of the Pueblo, which included a visit to a church dating back to the early 17th century, conference participants were treated to Native American food and a presentation by a Pueblo social worker on child welfare issues.
Caroline Dailey, LISW, mentioned that the primary issues affecting the Pueblo inhabitants were alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and a high unemployment rate. The combination of these issues often leaves parents unable to function normally, resulting in widespread child neglect. Most out-of-home placements are with relatives, or if none are available, the child is placed with another member of the community. Placements are higher around the holidays when alcohol abuse increases. Other problems include a high rate of single mothers who cannot get child support from their common law husbands, underreported sexual abuse, and a high suicide rate among young men.
Dailey explained that a new casino on the Pueblo grounds does not offer much hope for financial relief since the non-native owner hires about one-fourth of his staff from outside the Pueblo. Participation in a nearby domestic violence education and advocacy program has resulted in a positive trend of more reporting. There is also a new adult day care program on the Pueblo grounds. Pueblo social workers collaborate and coordinate service delivery for the Indian Health Service and the Women's, Infants, and Children nutrition (WIC) program. For Child Abuse Prevention Month, several awareness and educational activities, such as poster contests, are conducted in the schools, to provide a safety net for Pueblo children at home.
To order professionally recorded audiotapes of any of the conference sessions, contact:
Conference Recording Service, Inc.
1308 Gilman St.
Berkeley, CA 94706
- Pediatricians Urge Closer Scrutiny of SIDS Cases
Pediatricians Urge Closer Scrutiny of SIDS Cases
New guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in February acknowledge that some infants whose deaths are attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) might actually have been murdered.
While the AAP has long recommended death-scene investigations and autopsies for all SIDS cases, the new guidelines urge that the autopsy be performed by a child abuse specialist, or that a pre-autopsy examination be performed by a specialist.
These new guidelines respond to several recent, highly publicized cases in which infants whose deaths were attributed to SIDS were later found to have been suffocated by their parents. Researchers estimate that up to 5 percent of deaths attributed to SIDS may be infanticide. While it is nearly impossible to distinguish at autopsy between SIDS and accidental or deliberate asphyxiation with a soft object, AAP urges physicians to be alert to incidents in which:
- An infant was 6 months or older
- The infant had one or more siblings who died unexpectedly or under unexplained circumstances
- Twin infants died simultaneously
- Blood is found on the infant's nose or mouth.
"What we really want physicians to understand is that SIDS represents an admission by medical professionals that a thorough and exhaustive search for any other cause of death has occurred," said Dr. Kent Hymel, a member of the Academy's child abuse committee. "What's frightening is that in some cases, that's not happening."
SIDS, also called crib or cot death, is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant under 1 year of age. SIDS cases have steadily declined since the AAP began recommending in 1994 that babies be put to sleep on their backs.
The Academy also recommends creation of locally based infant death review teams that would report their findings to the medical examiner or coroner for final review. The guidelines also stress that while an investigation is taking place, parents should be treated in a non-accusatory and supportive manner and promptly notified once the cause of death is determined.
A copy of the AAP policy statement on "Distinguishing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome From Child Abuse Fatalities," is available online at: http://www.aap.org/policy/re0036.html.
The National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Resource Center (NSRC) provides information services and technical assistance on SIDS and related topics. To contact NSRC call, write, or email:
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Resource Center
2070 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 450
Vienna, VA 22182
- List of Priority Areas for Children's Bureau Grants
List of Priority Areas for Children's Bureau Grants
Each application must be written in response to only one of the following Priority Areas:
- 2001A.1 Achieving Increased Adoptive Placements For Children in Foster Care
- 2001A.2 Field-Initiated Demonstration Projects Advancing the State of the Art in the Adoption Field
- 2001A.3 Quality Improvement Centers on Adoption
- 2001A.4 Evaluations of Existing Adoption Programs
2001B: Child Abuse and Neglect
- 2001B.1 National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment
- 2001B.2 Investigator Initiated Research Advancing the State of the Art in the Child Abuse and Neglect Field
- 2001B.3 Field-Initiated Demonstration Projects Advancing the State of the Art in the Child Abuse and Neglect Field
- 2001B.4 Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services
- 2001B.5 Evaluations of Existing Child Abuse and Neglect Programs
2001C: Abandoned Infants
- 2001C.1 Support for Previous Comprehensive Service Demonstration Projects
- 2001C.2 Support for New Comprehensive Service Demonstration Projects
- 2001C.3 Family Support Services for Grandparents and Other Relatives Providing Caregiving for Children of Substance Abusing and HIV-Positive Women
- 2001C.4 Recreational Services for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
2001D: Child Welfare
- 2001D.1 Demonstration Sites: Building Analytical Capacity For Child Welfare Programs in State Systems
- 2001D.2 Mentor Sites: Building Analytical Capacity for Child Welfare Programs in State Systems
- Federal Agencies Seek to Further Research on Child Neglect
Federal Agencies Seek to Further Research on Child Neglect
New research opportunities in the field of child neglect were announced recently by the Federal Child Neglect Research Consortium, a group comprising components of the National Institute of Health, the Children's Bureau, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention with the Department of Justice, and the Education Department's Office of Special Education Programs.
According to the Program Announcement (PA-01-060), published in February, the Consortium invites applications "that will enhance our understanding of the etiology, extent, services, treatment, management, and prevention of child neglect."
The PA follows on a Request for Applications (RFA) issued in 1999 for 5-year grants focusing on Research in Child Neglect. The Consortium awarded 15 grants under that RFA.
For a complete copy of the PA, including application instructions, visit http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-01-060.html.
- Applications Sought for FY 2001 Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants
Applications Sought for FY 2001 Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants
Wanted: Applications for discretionary grants in the areas of adoption, child abuse and neglect, and child welfare.
The Children's Bureau (CB) within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will award competitive grants for Fiscal Year 2001 in the following areas:
- Adoption Opportunities Program. Funds from the Adoption Opportunities Program are designed to provide support for 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 and Neglect Discretionary Activities. Funds from the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act support knowledge-building research and service demonstration projects designed to assist and enhance national, State and community efforts to prevent, assess, identify and treat child abuse and neglect.
- Abandoned Infants Assistance. Funds from section 101 of the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act, as amended [42 USC 670 note] are to establish a program of comprehensive service demonstration projects to prevent the abandonment in hospitals of infants and young children, particularly those exposed to a dangerous drug and those with the human immunodeficiency virus or who have been perinatally exposed to the virus.
- Projects to build the analytical capacity of State child welfare programs
Applications must respond to one of the priority areas described in the announcement package. The announcement package is available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb under Funding Announcements, on the Children's Bureau website. The required Federal forms are available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/grants/form.htm. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.) The deadline for receipt of applications is 4:30 p.m (EST)., June 15, 2001.
For more information, contact the ACYF Operations Center by phone at 800-351-2293 or by email at email@example.com.
- Six Communities Funded to Focus on Battered Women and Their Children
Six Communities Funded to Focus on Battered Women and Their Children
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice have funded demonstration projects in six communities focused on collaborative interventions for battered women and their children.
The projects will implement guidelines published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) in Effective Interventions in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment: Guidelines for Policy and Practice, also known as the Greenbook. Along with funding, Greenbook demonstration sites will receive technical assistance and participate in a national evaluation. The Federal agencies plan to fund the project for at least 3 years and up to 5 years.
Communities must collaborate with local domestic violence service and advocacy providers, public child welfare agencies, and the juvenile, dependency, or family courts.
The Greenbook demonstration site grants were awarded to El Paso County, Colorado; Grafton County, New Hampshire; Lane County, Oregon; San Francisco; Santa Clara County, California; and St. Louis County, Missouri.
For copies of the NCJFCJ guidelines, Effective Interventions in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment: Guidelines for Policy and Practice, call NCJFCJ at 775-784-6012.
Child Welfare Research
- Researchers Ponder Causes for Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Researchers Ponder Causes for Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Both reported and substantiated child sexual abuse cases declined in the 1990s; now researchers are trying to understand why.
A new report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) proposes some answers and calls for further investigation. The report also explores policy implications that have emerged from this decline.
The report analyzes data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the annual 50-State survey conducted by Prevent Child Abuse America. The report finds:
- Child sexual abuse reports also decreased by 26 percent from 1991 to 1998.
- Substantiated cases of child sexual abuse declined 31 percent from 1992 to 1998.
- A decline in substantiated cases occurred in the majority of States, with an average decline for all States of 37 percent.
- For most States, the decline was gradual and occurred over several years.
- Other types of child maltreatment also have declined in recent years but not as dramatically as child sexual abuse cases.
Possible explanations for the trend suggested in the report include one or both of the following factors:
- A decline in the true incidence of child sexual abuse
- Changes in attitudes, policies, and standards that have reduced the amount of child sexual abuse being reported and substantiated.
Identifying the exact causes of the decline could lead to policy interventions. For example, laws governing the liability of reporters could be revised if intimidation is a factor in the decline. In publicizing the dramatic decline of child sexual abuse cases, OJJDP hopes to gain "increased public attention that will result in better assessment of the progress made to date in protecting children."
The Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases is available online at: http://www.ncjrs.org/html/ojjdp/jjbul2001_1_1/contents.html or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 1-800-851-3420.
See the following related publication from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov):
- Child Sexual Abuse resource listing
- Study Sheds Light on Family Preservation Programs
Study Sheds Light on Family Preservation Programs
Initial findings from a three-State study suggest that policy makers and practitioners might want to rethink—but not abandon—efforts at family preservation programs.
An interim report on the study, published in January, focused on implementation of Homebuilders, a short-term, service-intensive strategy for intervening in families facing the possible removal of a child because of maltreatment. The study focused on Homebuilder programs in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
The program was evaluated for performance on three key goals: reducing foster care placement, maintaining the safety of children, and improving family functioning. The design for the evaluation was an experiment in which families were randomly assigned to either a Homebuilders program (the experimental group) or to other, "regular" services of the child welfare system (the control group).
Little statistical difference was found between the control and experimental groups in terms of reducing foster care placement and maintaining child safety. Experimental groups displayed better outcomes on a few items measuring family functioning in at least one State, but the differences were not consistent across States and were not maintained over time.
The authors note that the findings are consistent with previous evaluations of family preservation programs, which also have not found evidence that family preservation efforts prevent foster care placement or significantly improve family or child functioning.
But, they caution, the findings should not be considered evidence that such programs lack value. Instead, the findings underscore the complexity of finding effective ways to work with families in the child welfare system.
"The accumulation of findings suggests that the functions, target group, and characteristics of services in programs such as this need to be rethought," the report states. Families troubled by chronic problems "need a range of service lengths and service intensities to meet the needs of child welfare clients. It is essential that policy makers, planners, and program providers maintain realistic expectations of the effects of short-term family preservation programs."
The interim report, Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs, was prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the Administration for Children and Families.
A final report on the family preservation aspects of this project is forthcoming and will include further analysis and additional data on a fourth site, Philadelphia.
A copy of the January 2001 Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs Interim Report, as well as additional reports on family preservation services, is available online at: http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/hspyoung.htm
To order the executive summary or full report, contact:
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Division of Children and Youth Policy
200 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20201
- "Oscar Awards" for Outstanding New Child Maltreatment Research
"Oscar Awards" for Outstanding New Child Maltreatment Research
The Center for Child Protection at Children's Hospital, San Diego, hosted the 15th Annual Conference on "Responding to Child Maltreatment," January 22-26, 2001. The Center focuses on five broad-based programs: forensic and medical services, trauma counseling, professional education, and administration. As part of its mission, the Center strives to gain and share expertise in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of trauma to children and families, as well as conduct research.
In a repeat "performance" from the 1999 Conference, Drs. Carole Jenny and Robert Reece presented their literature review of outstanding new research during 1999-2000 in a presentation entitled, "2000 Oscar Awards." Most of the research focused on forensic medical diagnosis in child maltreatment cases.
And, the Oscars go to:
- Berenson, A. B.; Chacko, M. R.; Weimann, C. M.; Mishaw, C.O.; Friedrich, W. N.; Grady, J. J. "A case-control study of anatomic changes resulting from sexual abuse." American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 182(4):820-31, 2000
- DiScala, C.; Sege, R.; Li, G.; Reece, R. M. "Child abuse and unintentional injuries: A 10-year retrospective." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 154(1): 16-22, Jan. 2000
- Dubowitz, H.; Giardino, A.; Gustavson, E. "Child neglect: Guidance for pediatricians." Pediatrics in Review 21(4):111-6; quiz 116, April 2000
- Geddes, J. F.; Wjotwell, H. L.; Graham, D. I. "Traumatic axonal injury: Practical issues for diagnosis in medicolegal cases." Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology 26(2):105-16, 2000
- Hall, D. E.; Eubanks, L.; Meyyazhagan, L. S.; Kenney, R. D.; Johnson, S. C. "Evaluation of covert video surveillance in the diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy: Lessons from 41 cases." Pediatrics 105(6):1305-12, 2000
- Lentsch, K. A.; Johnson, C. F. "Do physicians have adequate knowledge of child sexual abuse? The results of two surveys of practicing physicians, 1986 and 1996." Child Maltreatment 5(1):72-78, 2000
- Moon, R. Y.; Patel, K. M.; Shaefer, S. J. "Sudden infant death syndrome in child care settings." Pediatrics 106( 2 P. 1):295-300, 2000
- Reece, R. M.; Sege, R. "Childhood head injuries: Accidental or inflicted?" Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 154(1):11-5, Jan. 2000
- Sawyer, J. R.; Flynn, J. M.; Dormans, J. P.; Catalano, J.; Drummond, D. S. "Fracture patterns in children and young adults who fall from significant height." Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 20(2):197-202, 2000
- Somani, J.; Bhullar, V. B.; Workowski, K. A.; Farshy, C.E.; Black, C. M. "Multiple drug-resistant Chlamydia trachomatis associated with clinical treatment failure." The Journal of Infectious Diseases 181(4):1421-7, 2000
- Anonymous. "Child abuse and the eye. The opthalmology child abuse working party." Eye (Pt 1):3-10, 1999 United Kingdom
- Ashley, R. L.; Wald, A. "Genital herpes: Review of the epidemic and potential use of type-specific serology." Clinical Microbiology Reviews 12(1):1-8, January 1999
- Cokkinides, V. E.; Coker, A. L.; Sanderson, M.; Addy, C.; Bethea, L. "Physical violence during pregnancy: Maternal complications and birth outcomes." Obstetrics & Gynecology 93(5 Pt 1):661-6, May 1999
- DeBellis, M. D.; Keshavan, M. S.; Clark, D. B.; Casey, B. J.; Giedd, J. N.; Boring, A. M.; Frustaci, K.; Ryan, N. D. "A. E. Bennett Research Award: Developmental traumatology. Part II: Brain development." Biological Psychiatry 45(10):1271-84, May 15,1999
- DeBillis, M. D.; Baum, A. S.; Birmaher, B.; Keshavan, M. S.; Eccard, C. H.; Boring, A. M.; Jenkins, F. J.; Ryan, N. D. "A. E. Bennett Research Award. Developmental traumatology. Part I: Biological stress systems." Biological Psychiatry 45(10):1259-70, May 15, 1999
- Frank, M. W.; Bauer, H. M.; Arican, N.; Fincanci, S. K.; Iacopino, V. "Virginity examinations in Turkey: Role of forensic physicians in controlling female sexuality." JAMA 282(5):485-90, 1999
- Gleckman, A. M.; Bell, M. D.; Evans, R. J.; Smith, T. W. "Diffuse anonal injury in infants with nonaccidental craniocerebral trauma: Enhanced detection by beta-amyloid precursor protein immunohistochemical staining." Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 123(2):146-51, February 1999
- Herman-Giddens, M.E.; Brown, G.; Verbiest, S.; Carlson, P.J.; Hooten, E. G.; Howell, E.; Butts, J. D. "Underascertainment of child abuse mortality in the United States." JAMA 282(5):463-7, 1999
- Levin, A. L. "Retinal haemorrhages and child abuse." Advances in Pediatrics 18: 151-220, 1999 United Kingdom
- Shannon, P.; Smith, C. R.; Deck, J.; Ang, L. C.; Ho, M.; Becker, L. "Axonal injury and the neuropathology of shaken baby syndrome." Acta Neuropathologica 95(6):625-31, January 1998
- Watts, D. H.; Koutsky, L. A.; Holmes, K. K.; Goldman, D.; Kuypers, J.; Kiviat, N. B.; Galloway, D. A. "Low risk of perinatal transmission of human papillomavirus: Results from a prospective cohort study." American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 178:365-73, 1998
- Santucci, K. A.; Nelson, D. G.; McQuillen, K. K.; Duffy, S. J.; Llinakis, J. G. "Wood's lamp utility in the identification of semen." Pediatrics 104(6):1342-4, December 1999
Carole Jenny, MD, MBA
Director, Fellowship Program in Forensic Pediatrics
Brown University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
and Hasbro Children's Hospital
Cooperative Care Building 140
593 Eddy St.
Providence, Rhode Island 02906
Robert Reece, MD
Director, Institute for Professional Education
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC)
399 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
Read an article about Dr. Jenny's research in the field of child abuse and ChildSafe, a child-protection program that she established at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence (http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Brown_Alumni_Magazine/ 99/3-99/elms/detective.html).
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's (MSPCC's) Institute for Professional Education publishes The Quarterly Child Abuse Medical Update, which reviews the most recent medical research related to the diagnosis and understanding of child abuse and neglect from nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed medical journals. For more information and to subscribe, visit: http://www.mspcc.org.
- Abused Boys and Sons of Battered Mothers More Likely to Be Involved in Teen Pregnancies
Abused Boys and Sons of Battered Mothers More Likely to Be Involved in Teen Pregnancies
Men who were physically or sexually abused as boys or who witnessed their mothers being abused are more likely to contribute to a teen pregnancy, report researchers in the February issue of Pediatrics.
The article suggests that by routinely screening boys and men for these experiences, pediatricians and other health care providers could identify boys and men at risk and counsel them about sexual practices and contraception.
In the study, 4,127 adult male members of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego were asked about childhood exposure to abuse and their sexual histories. The respondents also were asked the age of the youngest woman that they had ever gotten pregnant. (The study considered women age 19 or younger to be teenagers.)
The results showed that respondents who had been abused or who had witnessed maternal abuse were more likely than respondents who did not have those experiences to have had a sexual relationship (either as an adolescent or an adult) that resulted in a female teen becoming pregnant. Researchers reported the following findings:
- 32 percent of respondents reported physical abuse; 15 percent reported sexual abuse; 11 percent reported having a battered mother.
- Compared with men reporting no abuse, the risk of involvement in teen pregnancy increased by 70 percent for men with a background of frequent childhood physical abuse and by 140 percent for men who witnessed domestic violence while growing up.
- Men who were sexually abused at age 10 or younger were 80 percent more likely to later impregnate a teenage girl
- Men who reported all three types of exposures were more than twice as likely to have been involved in teen pregnancy than those with no exposures.
In discussing their findings, the authors advocate for "continued vigilance" by pediatricians in identifying both boys and girls exposed to abuse or domestic violence as a means of preventing teen pregnancy and interrupting intergenerational cycles of abuse. The authors call for increased training of physicians in child abuse and domestic violence and better communication among pediatricians and adult practitioners. The authors of the article were Robert F. Anda, Vincent J. Felitti, Daniel P. Chapman, Janet B. Croft, David F. Williamson, John Santelli, Patricia M. Dietz, and James S. Marks.
Read the article "Abused Boys, Battered Mothers, and Male Involvement in Teen Pregnancy" in the February 2001 issue of Pediatrics (Vol. 107, No. 2), online at: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/107/2/e19.
See these related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:
- "Abuse Can Permanently 'Rewire' Children's Brains" (March 2001)
- "Abused Children Susceptible to Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Problems as Adults" (January 2001)
- "Researchers Find Link Between Childhood Abuse and Adult Anxiety" (September 2000)
- "Pediatricians Urged: Stay Alert to Link Between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse" (June 2000)
- "Pediatricians Sharpen Focus on Violence Prevention" (April 2000)
- Online Bibliography Focused on Investigation and Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse
Online Bibliography Focused on Investigation and Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse
Professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect can keep up to date on the literature pertaining to the investigation and prosecution of child maltreatment with a new, comprehensive online bibliography.
Published by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, the bibliography references journal articles and other publications. Currently it focuses on forensic investigation, but the Center plans to add more material on child protective services and medical investigations. Most of the citations are annotated. The bibliography is organized in two ways: alphabetically by author and by the following topic areas:
- Children's Testimony
- Criminal Justice Intervention
- Effects on Children
- Investigation and Investigative Agencies
- Medical Evaluation
- Multidisciplinary Teams.
Access the bibliography online at: http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/cacbib.htm
To contribute references or abstracts or provide feedback on the bibliography, please contact:
Crimes Against Children Research Center
126 Horton Social Science Center
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
- New Findings on Youth Violence
New Findings on Youth Violence
Two recent government reports examine the ways in which exposure to violence can place children at risk for physical and mental problems. Both reports also recommend approaches to prevention and treatment.
Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General, published in January, finds that youth violence has declined significantly in the last seven years, but warns against complacency and urges a public health approach to combating youth violence that emphasizes prevention. Another report, published in November 2000 by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), sounds many of the same themes and presents eight principles for addressing the problem.
The Surgeon General's report identifies risks that childhood exposure to violence pose over the course of a lifetime. This developmental perspective is intended to help researchers target interventions to the life stages in which they will be most effective.
"Clearly, the major factors in youth violence in children, especially prior to puberty, are in the family. After adolescence, that shifts and the major risk factors become peer interactions, including gangs," explains Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher. "But, without question, the role of family, the role of parents and the role of parent-child interactions are major risk factors in the development of patterns of youth violence."
The report reviews the research literature on factors that place youth at risk for, or protect them from, a violent lifestyle. Despite myths to the contrary, the report notes that
- Child abuse and neglect do not inevitably lead to violent behavior later in life
- African American and Hispanic youths are not more likely to become involved in violence than other racial or ethnic groups
- There are effective ways to treat or prevent violent behavior.
The OJJDP document reports on a June 1999 National Summit on Children Exposed to Violence, which brought together 150 professionals from diverse disciplines to develop an action plan. The participants defined the following eight principles to address the problem:
- Work together.
- Begin earlier.
- Think developmentally.
- Make mothers safe from domestic violence to keep children safe.
- Enforce the law.
- Make adequate resources available.
- Work from a sound knowledge base.
- Create a culture of nonviolence.
The OJJDP report suggests practical steps that professionals serving youth and families can take to put these principles into action and also provides resources and examples of successful programs.
The executive summary and full report of Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General, as well as a press release, Web Cast of a news conference, transcripts of a CNN online live chat with Dr. Satcher, fact sheets, and related free resources are available online at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/youthviolence/youvioreport.htm. The report can also be ordered from the Knowledge Exchange Network at 1-800-789-2647.
Safe From the Start: Taking Action on Children Exposed to Violence is available online at: http://www.ncjrs.org/html/ojjdp/summary_safefromstart/index.html or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 1-800-851-3420.
"National Center Aims to Break Cycle of Violence" in this issue of the Children's Bureau Express,
"Pediatricians Sharpen Focus on Violence Prevention" April 2000 issue of the Children's Bureau Express
See the following publications from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov):
- Family Violence resource listing
- In Harm's Way: Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment (Note: this publication is no longer available.)
Visit the website of the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center at http://www.safeyouth.org, established by the White House Council on Youth Violence as a central source of information on prevention and intervention programs, publications, research, and statistics on violence committed by and against children and teens. The Resource Center call center can be reached at 1-866-SAFEYOUTH (723-3968).
Best Practices of Youth Violence Prevention: A Sourcebook for Community Action, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, November 2000 (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/bestpractices.htm).
Helping Your Children Navigate Their Teenage Years: A Guide for Parents, White House Council on Youth Violence, December 2000 (http://download.ncadi.samhsa.gov/ken/pdf/SVP-0013/SVP-0013.pdf).
- High Court Upholds Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators in Washington State
High Court Upholds Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators in Washington State
Sexual predators in Washington State may be kept in jail even after completing their sentences, according to a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued January 17, 2001.
Seling v. Young, filed in 1994, concerned a challenge to Washington State's Community Protection Act of 1990. The Act allows the civil commitment of sexually violent predators who suffer mental illness or personality disorders that make them likely to be sexually violent again. The petitioner in the case, Andre Brigham Young, a six-time convicted rapist, contended that by keeping him in jail under the Community Protection Act after he had finished his prison term, the State was unconstitutionally punishing him twice for the same crime, a circumstance also known as "double jeopardy." Young also contended that he was denied treatment required under State law.
The Supreme Court based its review of the case on the premise that Young's continued confinement was civil. By 8-1, the Court ruled that the conditions of Young's confinement did not render it punitive, and therefore that the post-sentence lock-up did not violate constitutional protections against double jeopardy.
A similar law in Kansas, known as the Sexually Violent Predator Act, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling in 1997.
In her majority opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor noted that "An Act, found to be civil, cannot be deemed punitive 'as applied' to a single individual in violation of the Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses and provide cause for release." O'Connor also noted that sexual predators can take other actions, such as filing a civil-rights lawsuit, to try to force a State to provide proper treatment or improve conditions.
Justice John Paul Stevens, the lone dissenter, concluded that if Young's allegations about treatment deficiencies and the punitive character of his confinement were correct, "the statute in question should be characterized as a criminal law for Federal constitutional purposes."
A copy of this case is available online at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/00pdf/99-1185.pdf. (Editor's note: this link is no longer active. More information can be found at: http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-1185.ZO.html.
To obtain a print copy of the slip opinion, contact the Public Information Office of the U.S. Supreme Court at 202-479-3211.
- Department of Justice Reports Decline in Infanticide
Department of Justice Reports Decline in Infanticide
Infanticide, on the rise for the past two decades, recently declined according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
DOJ recently released a series of charts describing homicide patterns and trends in the United States from 1976 to 1999, including rates of infanticide, or the murder of a child younger than 5.
BJS reports that over the past 20 years
- Rates of infanticide for black children have fluctuated but currently are lower than in earlier years
- Rates for white children have remained stable
- Rates for children of other racial groups have declined.
Most victims of infanticide are killed by their parents. Of children killed by someone other than a parent, 82 percent were killed by males.
The statistics indicate that the younger the child, the greater the risk of infanticide. The rates for children age 1 and younger increased in the early 1990s while the rate for older children has remained constant. Infanticide of children younger than 1 has declined only recently.
Complete figures are available on the BJS website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs.
Strategies and Tools for Practice
- Using Technology to Protect At-Risk Children
Using Technology to Protect At-Risk Children
With Child Protective Services workers being stretched ever thinner, an innovative use of technology has improved abused children's access to emergency help.
The Watchful Shepherd program was created in 1993 in Washington County, Pennsylvania, by Joseph Femiani, founder of the non-profit organization The Watchful USA. Its aim is to protect children from physical abuse by means of an electronic monitoring device. "These children go to bed at night with us holding their hand," said Femiani. "They can sleep at night because they know they are safe, that someone who cares is always close by."
The device, similar to those that are used by elderly or disabled persons to summon help in emergencies, is designed to be activated by a child who is under immediate threat or fear of abuse. The initial contact is to hospital emergency personnel, who then immediately contact police if appropriate. The critical factor in this process is the ability to secure the cooperation of the at-risk families, allowing the placing of the devices in their homes. The Watchful Shepherd also provides ongoing weekly telephone contact with the child by a volunteer.
The Watchful Shepherd website notes that no reoccurrence of child abuse or neglect has been found in families that placed calls in Washington County. An unexpected outcome has been use of the device by parents who feared they were losing control and might hurt their child unless someone intervened.
The Watchful Shepherd model of child abuse prevention has been successfully implemented in 6 States and has protected over 373 families and more than 1,978 children between the ages of 3 and 17.
For more information about the Watchful Shepherd Program, visit http://www.watchful.org.
Workshops, presentations on the program, and demonstration of the equipment are scheduled by contacting:
The Watchful Shepherd USA
6000 Waterdam Plaza Dr.
McMurray, PA 15317
- Improving Court Practice in Achieving Permanency for Children
Improving Court Practice in Achieving Permanency for Children
A comprehensive new tool for juvenile and family courts that handle child abuse and neglect cases is now available from the Permanency Planning for Children Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
The publication, Adoption and Permanency Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, sets forth "the essential elements of best practice for the court processes that lead to a permanent home for children who cannot be reunified with their families." The guidelines are based largely on the experiences of judges and other professionals who manage cases involving abused and neglected children.
The Guidelines cover the process from the point at which the court determines reunification is not an option, to the point at which the juvenile and family court is no longer involved in the case because the child has a permanent new home.
Seven chapters cover each stage of the legal process:
- Permanency Planning
- The Permanency Hearing
- Termination of Parental Rights Hearings
- The Appeals Process
- Adoption Issues Judges Must Understand Prior to Conducting Review Hearings that Follow Termination of Parental Rights
- Review Hearings that Follow Permanency Hearings or Termination of Parental Rights Hearings
- Hearings to Formalize Case Closure and Finalize Adoptions
Master checklists, a glossary, and several appendices with other legal resources are included. Pocket checklists to pull out for easy reference complete the manual.
To obtain a copy, contact:
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Permanency Planning for Children Department
Univ. of Nevada
PO Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
- Online Resource Highlights Promising Practices
Online Resource Highlights Promising Practices
Several organizations have formed the Promising Practices Network to promote practices that have produced positive results for children and families. A work in progress, the new website presents detailed information on practices and programs that credible research or recognized experts indicate are effective in helping children, families, and communities.
The Network is a coalition of RAND, Georgia Academy, California Foundation Consortium, Colorado Foundation for Families, and the Missouri Family Investment Trust. The site currently lists approximately 100 programs organized by outcomes or "results area." Each results area lists a "benchmark" or milestone that can help measure progress toward the desired result.
For example, the benchmark for "Children Safe at Home" is "increase the percentage of children who do not experience physical, psychological, or emotional abuse." The benchmark for "Strong Families" is "increase the percentage of children living in a permanent home."
One program listed under both of these results areas is Project Redirect, started in 1994 in Colorado by the El Paso County Department of Human Services. The Project works primarily with adolescents who have not been successful in traditional programs, offering intensive home-based case management services. Case managers coordinate all program services offered to the family, including tutoring, counseling, job training, and experiential learning. A 3-year evaluation found the following outcomes among families participating in the program:
- The number of substantiated child abuse cases decreased
- Youth run-ins with police dropped by 60 percent
- Incidents of youth running away fell by 95 percent.
Other related promising programs include:
- Sexual, emotional, and physical abuse prevention education for children
- A teacher training workshop on child sexual abuse prevention
- A prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation program
- Parents Anonymous national support group to strengthen families and prevent child abuse
- Hawaii Healthy Start home visitation program for at-risk families of newborns.
The website also contains a bibliography and in the future it will have discussion forums and databanks of policies, procedures, and resources for technical assistance. Many other promising programs will be added in the future.
Visit the Promising Practices Network at: http://www.promisingpractices.net
To suggest a promising program, contact the Network at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Intercountry Adoption: Developments, Trends, and Perspectives
Intercountry Adoption: Developments, Trends, and Perspectives
Selman, P. (Editor). British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, London, United Kingdom. 2000. 555 pp. $20.00. Paperback.
More than 30 experts contributed to this anthology on the history, development, and changing patterns of intercountry adoption. Although written and published in the United Kingdom, the authors take a global view, providing a diverse range of information, opinions, and perspectives and contemplating lessons learned and to be learned. Current research covered includes:
- A demographic history of intercountry adoption
- Changes in attitudes in three generations of adoptive parents
- Profound early deprivation
- Adopted child development
- Intercountry adoption in the United States, Australia, Sweden, England, and elsewhere
Appendices contain information on the Hague Convention and organizations involved with intercountry adoption.
To purchase a copy, contact:
British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering
200 Union St.
London, SE1 0LX United Kingdom
- Video Reaches Out to New Parents
Video Reaches Out to New Parents
Babies don't come with instruction manuals, but a new video can help new parents cope and babies thrive.
Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, Begin with Love is a home video for all first-time parents and caregivers and features Dr. Kyle Pruett. A Spanish version of the video, Empieza con amor, is hosted by Christina Saralegui and features Dr. Alicia Lieberman. Both versions spotlight the world debut of Raffi's song "Blessed Be" and feature several new parents.
The video focuses on the importance of the parent/infant relationship during the first three months of life. Based on the latest research in early childhood development, the video highlights five guidelines that will help all new parents create a responsive and enriching environment for their babies:
- Take care of yourself so you can care for your baby.
- Provide a warm and loving environment.
- Talk, sing, and read to your baby.
- Create a predictable world for your baby.
- Understand and respond to your baby's needs.
The video was produced by the Civitas Initiative, a national, non-profit communication group whose mission is to provide educational tools to the community of adults who care for children. Harpo Entertainment Group, chaired by Oprah Winfrey, is providing ongoing production expertise and facilities for Civitas communications products, including Begin with Love.
Over 3.6 million new parents will receive the video through the Parenting Group. Other partners and sponsors of the video include Ronald McDonald House Charities, drugstore.com, Zero to Three, and The Harris Foundation.
Civitas is now developing a video and materials for grandparents about child development, their changing role as grandparents, and their importance in today's society. Civitas also will produce Fathers Matter, a series that will target dads of children ages 0-6 and will co-produce a book and website on the first three years of life.
Visit the Begin with Love website at: http://www.beginwithlove.com
A Spanish version of the website is located at: http://www.empiezaconamor.com.
The Begin with Love video can be ordered in English or Spanish for $14.95 through www.bluespin.com/vid-direct/orderform.shtml or by calling 1-800-937-6268, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm PST. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- Grandparents as Carers of Children with Disabilities: Facing the Challenges
Grandparents as Carers of Children with Disabilities: Facing the ChallengesMcCallion, P.; Janicki, M. (Editors.) Haworth Press Inc., Binghamton, NY. 2000. 146 pp. $29.95. Paperback.
According to estimates, one in ten grandparents will be primary caregivers to one or more grandchildren at some point in their lives. Grandparents caring for a child with special needs share the same concerns as other grandparent carers, yet experience different and additional stresses and strains. Since these grandparents may not be legal guardians, they may not qualify for social services or the services of disability agencies, leaving themselves and their grandchild with unmet needs. Authors in this volume address:
- Special needs of children in kinship care
- Depressive symptomatology in Latino grandparent carers
- Service needs and service provision issues
- Empowerment through mentoring
This volume was also published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Volume 33, Number 3, 2000.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Haworth Press Inc.
10 Alice St.
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
- The Promotion of Wellness in Children and Adolescents
The Promotion of Wellness in Children and Adolescents
Cicchetti, D.; Rappaport, J.; Sandler, I.; Weissberg, R. P. (Editors). Child Welfare League of America, Inc., Washington, DC. 2000. 541 pp. $28.95. Paperback.
The concept of psychological wellness has achieved increased visibility in recent years, slowly replacing the old ideas of diagnosing and repairing established disorders. The search for pathways to wellness is being conducted in the fields of community psychology and developmental psychopathology, and through an ecological perspective on development. The authors—theoreticians, researchers, and clinicians—explore possibilities for fostering positive development in children and youth. Chapters cover:
- Resilience and stress protection
- Psychological wellness in the neighborhood context
- Primary prevention strategies
- Development of psychological wellness in maltreated children
The volume ends with recommendations for future research and applications in primary prevention and psychological wellness.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
PO Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
Phone: 800-407-6273 or 301-617-7825
- The Impact of Adoption on Members of the Triad
The Impact of Adoption on Members of the Triad
Adoption and Ethics Series, Volume 3. Freundlich, M.; Lieberthal, J. K. Child Welfare League of America, Inc., Washington, DC. 2001. 115 pp. $18.95. Paperback.
Adoption affects each member of the triad—adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive parents—in many different ways. The adoptee may experience problems with adjustment and well-being, and have difficulties in the development of personal identity. Adoption practice and law affects the integrity and well-being of birth parents. The adoptive parents also face special challenges. The authors assess the extent to which current policy and practice meet the needs of those whom adoption is designed to serve, and raise questions about the ethical obligations of adoption professionals. They explore the psychological, social, and cultural aspects, as well as the positive and negative effects of adoption on all members of the triad. Topics include:
- The historical context of adoption in the United States
- Access to information and search and reunion
- International adoption
- The social study and legal processes involved in being approved as an adoptive parent
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute designed the adoption and ethics series to provide an overview of the current knowledge base on key adoption policy and practice issues.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
PO Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
Phone: 800-407-6273 or 301-617-7825
- Child Trauma Academy Offers Publications, Online Courses
Child Trauma Academy Offers Publications, Online Courses
Visit the Child Trauma Academy's website for online training for professionals and other resources in the field of child abuse and neglect. The Child Trauma Academy was created through a partnership between Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.
One of the Academy's publications, entitled Understanding Juvenile and Family Court, is directed at professionals or caregivers who become involved in the court system. The publication summarizes the steps in the judicial process, defines many legal terms, answers frequently asked questions, and includes a list of references.
The Child Trauma Academy also offers free online courses covering creative and practical approaches to understanding and working with maltreated children. A recent course taught by the Child Trauma Academy's founder, Dr. Bruce D. Perry, provided an overview of the issue of childhood trauma, including physiological and psychological aspects of trauma-related problems, and how to develop strategies for finding community resources for traumatized children. Upcoming courses will focus on brain development and promoting optimal development in children.
A recent featured article on the site, "The Neuroarcheology of Childhood Maltreatment: The Neurodevelopmental Costs of Adverse Childhood Events," describes the permanent brain damage that can result from child abuse and is based on Perry's 15 years of experience working with maltreated children.
Visit the Child Trauma Academy online at: http://www.childtraumaacademy.com
- Resource Guides for Adoptive and Special Needs Families
Resource Guides for Adoptive and Special Needs Families
Three recently updated annual resource guides offer information for current and prospective adoptive families and families of children with special needs.
The National Adoption Directory, compiled by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC), is available online as a searchable database at NAIC's website (http://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/index.cfm). Search by State or by the following subject areas:
- State officials (Adoption Specialist, Foster Care Manager, Licensing Specialist, Interstate Compact for the Protection of Children (ICPC) administrator)
- State Adoption Exchange/Photolisting Service
- State Reunion Registry
- State Confidential Intermediary Service
- Attorney Referral Service
- Regional/District Public Agencies
- Local Public Agencies
- Licensed Private Adoption Agencies
- Adoptive Family Support Groups
- Search Support Groups
NAIC also can provide a hard copy of the Directory for a fee of $25; call toll-free 888-251-0075 or email email@example.com.
Look for practical information in Adoptive Families' 2001 Adoption Guide. Prospective adoptive families can find an overview of adoption options and essays by experts on agency adoption, independent adoption, open adoption, international adoption, and adoption from foster care. Other articles feature new adoption-friendly laws and rulings, as well as personal accounts from adoptive parents on a variety of topics.
Reference sections define terms, recommend books, and list resources for all kinds of adoptive families. Specific directories include the following State-by-State listings:
- Members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
- State Adoption Units
- National Adoption Organizations
- Adoptive Parent Support Groups
- Licensed Adoption Agencies
Order a print version of Adoptive Families' 2001 Adoption Guide for $9.95 online at: www.AdoptiveFamiliesMagazine.com or call 1-800-372-3300. (Editor's note: the original link is no longer available. More information can be found at www.adoptivefamilies.com.)
Exceptional Parent's 30th Anniversary Resource Guide helps parents deal with the challenge of a disability. It includes directories with hundreds of organizations dedicated to specific disabilities, Parent to Parent support programs, and federally funded programs. New resources this year are a State-by-State listing of Vocational Rehabilitation Programs and a specialized Canadian Resource list of organizations. The guide also indexes all the following items that appeared throughout 2000 in Exceptional Parent magazine:
- New Products column
- Search & Respond column (questions and replies to various topics)
- Titles of all articles
The winners of Exceptional Parent's Exceptional People Awards, who were nominated by readers and President's Committee on Mental Retardation are also profiled.
The directories listed in the Exceptional Parent's 2001 Resource Guide are available online at: http://www.eparent.com. A comprehensive print version can be ordered for $19.95 through the website or purchased at Barnes and Noble bookstores.
- The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion, and Beyond
The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion, and Beyond
Bailey, J. J., Giddens, L. N. New Harbinger Publications, Inc., Oakland, CA. 2001. 166 pp. $13.95. Paperback.
Adoptees and birth parents are searching for—and finding—each other more and more easily, as society's attitudes and state laws recognize that everyone has a right to their original birth records and genealogy. However, making the search easier does not make the reunion easier. The authors, both adoption professionals with years of experience, provide guidance to members of the triad who are preparing to meet for the first time.
- Preparing for the reunion
- Avoiding common pitfalls
- Essentials for a successful reunion
- First contact
- Legal rights and legal issues
Resources include state-by-state status of adoption records, adoption-related organizations and websites, a suggested reading list, and two foreign search and registry services.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Publishers Group West
1700 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone: 800-788-3123 or 510-528-1444
- Sexual Offender Treatment: Biopsychosocial Perspectives
Sexual Offender Treatment: Biopsychosocial PerspectivesColeman, E.; Miner, M. (Editors.) Haworth Press Inc., Binghamton, NY. 2000. 126 pp. $29.95. Paperback.
As public outcry and government laws lead to longer prison sentences for sexual offenders, researchers worldwide are gaining a better understanding of what causes sexual offenses and developing better treatment techniques for offenders. Selected papers from the 5th International Conference on the Treatment of Sexual Offenders present findings from research studies indicating that biology, psychology, and life-stressors all influence the sex offender's development, and treatment programs must address these issues. Chapters cover:
- Standards of care for the treatment of adult sex offenders
- The psychoneuroendocrinology of sexual aggression
- Brain abnormalities in incarcerated sexual offenders
- Treatment through group family intervention
- Treatment for pedophiles who are mentally retarded or have mental illness
This volume was also published as Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, Volume 11, Number 3, 2000.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Haworth Press Inc.
10 Alice St.
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
- Preparing Youth for Long-Term Success: Proceedings From the Casey Family Program National Independe
Preparing Youth for Long-Term Success: Proceedings From the Casey Family Program National Independe
Nollan, K. A.; Downs, A. C. (Editors). Child Welfare League of America, Inc., Washington, DC. 2000. 160 pp. $14.95. Paperback.
Research shows that adolescents in foster care achieve lower levels of education in math and reading and, after aging out of care, have more difficulty staying regularly employed and experience a higher rate of homelessness. Participants in this forum shared information on the latest trends and gaps in policy, research, and practice. Sessions covered:
- Challenges for independent living programs
- Special problems of youth in racial, ethnic, and sexual minority groups
- Preparing youth for employment
- Fostering self-sufficiency
- Housing options for independent living preparation
Recommendations for future work in the field include increased communication among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers; collaboration on a research agenda; and more developmentally sensitive legislation that better accommodates individual and family needs.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
PO Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
Phone: 800-407-6273 or 301-617-7825
- Adoption is a Family Affair! What Relatives and Friends Must Know
Adoption is a Family Affair! What Relatives and Friends Must Know
Johnston, P. I. Perspectives Press, Inc., Indianapolis, IN. 2001. 152 pp. $14.00. Paperback.
Even though nearly 20 percent of this country's population has had direct experience with adoption as a birth parent, adoptee, adoptive parent, or grandparent, the general public mostly knows about adoption from big news stories, poorly written bestsellers, and bad television. In an effort to educate the friends and family of pre-adoptive parents, and put to rest some of the urban myths surrounding the process of adoption, the author brainstormed with members of the online group Adoption Waiting Room, which she moderates for the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination. Group members shared their experiences coping with inappropriate, impolite, and even hurtful questions or comments from people who found out that they intended to adopt. The book address such issues as:
- Adoptive parents' private fears
- Adoption facts vs. adoption myths
- Preparation for the new child
- What to expect during early childhood
- Expanding family culture
- Where to go to learn more
Resource lists are sprinkled throughout the book, in the sections to which they refer. Additional support groups, Internet sites, and print materials also are provided.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Perspectives Press, Inc.
PO Box 90318
Indianapolis, IN 46290-0318
Phone or Fax: 317-872-3055
- National Center Aims to Break Cycle of Violence
National Center Aims to Break Cycle of Violence
A national program focusing on the effects of violence on children celebrated its one-year anniversary this May.
Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV) was established at the Yale Child Study Center as part of its Children Exposed to Violence Initiative. The NCCEV is based on the work of the Child Development Community Policing Program, a unique police-mental health partnership created under the direction of Steven Marans of the Yale Child Study Center.
The NCCEV has three main objectives:
- To promote public and professional awareness of the effects of violence on children.
- To provide training and technical assistance to communities around the country who are developing collaborative efforts to respond to children and families exposed to violence.
- To establish a national clearinghouse and website for information about violent traumatization and successful approaches to intervention.
The NCCEV's website offers a number of resources, including:
- Free access to NCCEV publications
- Interactive training and technical assistance
- A bibliographic database compiled by the NCCEV Resource Center and including citations of Internet resources, articles, books, reports, curricula, and other publications.
- Information about training and technical assistance provided by NCCEV to OJJDP's Safe Start Demonstration Initiative.
The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence
Child Study Center
School of Medicine
230 South Frontage Road
New Haven, CT 06520-7900
See these related articles in the current and past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:
- "New Findings on Youth Violence" (May 2001)
- "Researchers Examine Effects of Violence on Young Children" (July 2000)
- "Safe Start Initiative Grants Awarded by OJJDP" (April 2000)
- "Insights on Violence and Children" (April 2000)
Search the archives of the Children's Bureau Express for other related articles, including the effects of domestic violence on children using the Search feature on this website.
- Early Head Start Children and Parents Thriving
Early Head Start Children and Parents Thriving
Infants and toddlers from low-income families enrolled in the Early Head Start Program have passed a preliminary evaluation with flying colors. Their parents also are thriving.
The national evaluation, which began the same year the Early Head Start Program was launched in 1995, measured child and family outcomes through the first two years of the children's lives. Recently released preliminary results from a study of 3,000 children and families show that after a year or more enrolled in the program, 2-year-old Early Head Start children outperformed a control group in cognitive, language, and social-emotional development tests. Parents in the program exhibited positive parenting behavior, reported less physical punishment, provided learning opportunities for their children at home, and experienced less stress.
Compared to control children, Early Head Start 2-year-olds showed the following:
- Higher scores on standardized assessment of cognitive development
- Larger vocabularies and the ability to speak in more complex sentences
- Less risk of slower developmental learning.
Compared to control mothers, Early Head Start mothers were:
- More supportive of promoting learning, language, and literacy at home by reading and engaging in structured play activity
- More supportive, more sensitive, less detached
- Less likely to report spanking their child in the past week and more likely to resolve problems by using milder discipline techniques, such as distraction and discussion.
Early Head Start offers a full-range of services in three different formats: home-based, center-based, and mixed settings. Although the performance of children and parents in each program differed, the evaluation found the services provided were of generally high quality and produced significant impacts regardless of the format. Programs that fully implemented the Head Start Program Performance Standards scored the best results.
The evaluation will continue for another year, following the children through their third birthdays. The final evaluation, due next year, will provide more detailed information, including impact assessments for different subgroups of low-income families and effects of additional exposure to the program.
For more information about Head Start programs, visit the website of the Head Start Information and Publication Center (HSIPC), a service of the Head Start Bureau, which supports the Head Start community and other organizations working in the interest of children and families by providing information products and services; conference and meeting support; publication distribution; and marketing and outreach efforts (http://www.headstartinfo.org).
- Child Welfare Outcome Research in the United States, The United Kingdom, and Australia
Child Welfare Outcome Research in the United States, The United Kingdom, and AustraliaMaluccio, A. N.; Ainsworth, F.; Thoburn, J. Child Welfare League of America, Inc., Washington, DC. 2000. 151 pp. $14.95. Paperback.
Comparing outcomes of child welfare interventions is complex because different studies use differing outcome measures and various ways of describing processes, and include data on diverse groups of children with differing needs in assorted types of placement. Nevertheless, the authors review bodies of outcome research on child welfare programs in three countries so child welfare professionals can learn about many kinds of programs and strategies being used at home and abroad. Research topics include:
- Kinship care
- Family preservation
- Shared family care
- Wraparound services
Selected texts are annotated in the appendix.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
PO Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
Phone: 800-407-6273 or 301-617-7825
- Promoting Children's Emotional Well-Being: Messages From Research
Promoting Children's Emotional Well-Being: Messages From Research
Buchanan, A.; Hudson, B. (Editors). Oxford University Press, United Kingdom. 2000. 272 pp. $45.00. Paperback.
Emotional and behavioral disorders prevent many children from reaching their full potential and continue to cause problems throughout their adult lives. Taking a "what works?" approach, leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of education, public health, socio-legal studies, and psychology share their ideas and latest research findings here. They offer strategies to improve children's lives by fostering well-being and confidence, empathy, pro-social behavior, creativity, and a sense of achievement as preventive measures for emotional and behavioral problems. Chapters cover:
- Parenting, parent-child interaction, and children's well-being
- A study of teenagers in Britain
- Research and practice in parenting programs
- Intervention programs that target parents
- The role of schools and educators
- Prevention of anti-social behavior
This book is from the Center for Research into Parenting and Children at Oxford University, England. The Center's mission is to develop a better understanding of the well-being of parents and children; what causes health, educational, psychological and social problems in children; and how these problems can be ameliorated.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Oxford University Press, Inc.
2001 Evans Rd.
Cary, NC 27513
Phone: 800-451-7556, 919-677-5202 within North Carolina
- Ending Domestic Violence Among Latinos
Ending Domestic Violence Among Latinos
Understanding culture-specific factors associated with domestic violence is a key to enhancing the effectiveness of prevention, intervention, and treatment programs in the Latino population.
One organization devoted to disseminating this type of information is the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (the Alianza). The Alianza website describes the group as "nationally recognized Latina and Latino advocates, community activists, practitioners, researchers, and survivors of domestic violence working together to promote understanding, sustain dialog, and generate solutions to move toward the elimination of domestic violence affecting Latino communities, with an understanding of the sacredness of all relations and communities."
Formed in 1999, the Alianza has been involved in a number of projects, including:
- Publication of reports and other materials on the general topic of domestic violence in Latino communities
- Establishment of a website and a toll-free line
- Collaboration with Georgia State University in the creation of a Research Center on Domestic Violence within its Center for Latin American and Latino Studies
- Development of a training and technical assistance division in collaboration with the National Compadres Network in Los Angeles
- Sponsorship of the First National Policy Summit on Domestic Violence in June 2000 held in Washington, DC
- Sponsorship of a forum on April 28, 2001, in Pasadena, California, entitled "Forum on Latinos Who Batter: Hope for Those Who Hurt Others"
An annotated bibliography of domestic violence literature concerning Latino communities in the United States and Latin America, prepared for the First National Policy Summit, is available on the Alianza's website. Several citations are related to the effects of domestic violence on battered women and their children.
In September 2000, the Alianza was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Child and Families to further develop its organizational capacity through the Violence Intervention Program in New York City, where the Alianza's main offices are now located. The Alianza also has offices in Dunn Loring, Virginia, near Washington, DC.
National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence
PO Box 322086
Fort Washington Station
New York, NY 10032
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.
- Tribal Training Sources Now Online
Tribal Training Sources Now Online
Tribal Sources of Training is a newly launched area of the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/workforce/index.cfm). (Note from the Editor: This link is no longer working.) The Online Network is part of the CWTR Project operated by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. The new area of the website lists Tribal organizations that provide training on Indian Child Welfare and related issues. This listing is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Clearinghouse or Children's Bureau.
- New Tribal Training Manuals
New Tribal Training Manuals
Several training manuals and materials addressing basic and advanced Indian Child Welfare topics have been developed by the South Canadian Resource Center. The following description provides information on one of the Center's recently published manuals.
Indian Child Welfare Policy and Procedures Manual, 2000 Edition. 163 pp. Indian Child Welfare Sample Forms Manual. South Canadian ICW Resource Center, Norman, OK. 2000. 120 pp. Comb bound. $129.00 set with disk.
Numerous agencies provide social services to Indian children and their families under the guidance of the Indian Child Welfare Act Program. The South Canadian Indian Child Welfare Resource Center created this manual in 1992 to provide step-by-step procedures, consistent with federal law, for the Indian child welfare worker. The 2000 update contains new sections addressing the storage of computer records, worker safety issues, cases transferred from state courts, reversing transfers, and case management. Chapters also cover:
- Policy, objectives, and eligibility for services
- Seven critical case management activities
- Record keeping
- Interagency cooperation
- Investigating reports of child abuse
The forms manual provides master copies of 50 office forms, which also are presented in Microsoft Word 7 format on a 3.5 inch disk.
To purchase a copy, contact:
South Canadian ICW Resource Center
4105 Quail Dr.
Norman, OK 73072
Website: coming soon
The South Canadian Resource Center has also published the following training materials:
- Court for Caseworkers: An Introduction to Procedures and Policies of Native American Courts, 2000.
- Child Protection Services Policy and Procedures Manual, and Child Protection Services Sample Forms Manual, 2000.
- Understanding the Indian Child Welfare Act, 1999.
For more information on locating Tribal sources of child welfare training, or other sources of child welfare training, visit the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/workforce. (Note from the Editor: This link is no longer working.)
- Highlighted Tribal Resource
Highlighted Tribal Resource
One of the Tribal organizations listed on the CWTR Online Network is The South Canadian Resource Center, a small Indian child welfare training organization staffed by an attorney and a social worker. The Center's training programs reflect the organization's focus on Federal and State law as the basis for the child welfare system. The Center provides Basic and Advanced Indian Child Welfare Training for a mixed audience of attorneys, judges, State administrators, State case workers, Tribal officers, and Tribal social workers. The trainings address the difficult tasks specific to tribal workers. The Center can adapt the trainings on request to address specific issues that the participants desire to resolve.