News From the Children's Bureau
- A Guide to Public-Private Contracting
Dollars and Sense: A Guide to Achieving Adoptions Through Public-Private Contracting, a National Adoption Month resource guide from AdoptUsKids, is designed to help State authorities and public child welfare agency personnel seeking information on purchase-of-service contracts. The guide includes sections on purchase-of-service arrangements, guidelines for purchasers, funding and paying for adoption services, purchase-of-service contract development and monitoring, and other related topics. Appendices cover such specifics as private agency information forms and tracking contract outcomes.
- Wyoming Conducts Mini-CFSRs
Wyoming conducts an annual assessment of the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families who are receiving child protective services through a unique partnership between the Wyoming Citizen Review Panel, Inc. (CRP) and the State Department of Family Services (DFS). The evaluation process is referred to as a "mini-CFSR" because both its approach and the items measured are similar to the Federal Child and Family Services Review (CRSR).
The State reviews nearly 100 cases per year with families who consent to be reviewed and who are randomly selected from all parts of the State. At least one case is reviewed from each DFS office annually. Each family is reviewed during a 2-day period by a team that includes at least one DFS employee and one citizen. Wyoming is the only State to pair a citizen with DFS staff to review case files.
The process seeks to measure outcomes and determine whether practice model principles are being followed, utilizing indepth interviews with everyone involved in the case, including the child and family as well as the caseworker and other service providers. Teaming with citizens as reviewers means community members have a chance to learn more about the work done with and for children and families.
The goals of the mini-CFSRs are to:
- Improve accountability within the child protection system
- Measure progress toward the State's Program Improvement Plan (PIP)
- Give voice to children, their families, and community members
- Help the State prepare for the second round of the Federal CFSRs
- Aid in system improvement
Results are summarized at the end of each review and shared with local DFS staff, State management, reviewers, and interested community members. The CRP then submits an annual report of statewide review results and recommendations to the DFS, the Governor, and the legislature.
According to the most recent results of these reviews, Wyoming has shown improvement from 2002 to 2006 in all 23 items measured. The State also met its PIP goal in all 23 areas and successfully completed its PIP. The process identified areas where further improvement is now being addressed—particularly in providing permanency and preserving connections for children in out-of-home placements.
For more information about the mini-CFSR process, contact the State CRP or DFS representative:
Wyoming Citizen Review Panel
Wyoming Department of Family Services
In addition, the CRP website provides application forms for Wyoming citizens who are interested in being considered as reviewers, as well as reviewer training and information on outcomes from the 2006 and 2007 mini-CFSRs:
- National Adoption Month Website
In anticipation of a successful and activity-filled National Adoption Month, the 2007 National Adoption Month website, funded by the Children's Bureau, is now available online. The website was developed and launched by the Adoption Exchange Association, the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids, and Child Welfare Information Gateway. Adoption agencies, parent groups, and States looking forward to November can get a head start planning their activities for the month.
This year's National Adoption Month theme builds on last year's campaign and incorporates the public service announcement campaign developed by the Ad Council. This year's tag line reads, "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. There are thousands of teens in foster care who would love to put up with you." In keeping with AdoptUsKids' recruitment materials, the website also encourages prospective adoptive parents to "answer the call" to give all children and youth the opportunity to live in safe, caring, and permanent homes.
Highlights of the 2007 National Adoption Month website include:
- Spanish resources for prospective adoptive parents, including the new and improved National Foster Care & Adoption Directory, searchable in Spanish
- A calendar that suggests activities for every day of the month
- Links to resources to assist professionals with achieving permanency for children and youth in foster care
- Resources for teachers
- Strategies, tools, and "answering the call" materials to help professionals recruit, prepare, and retain foster and adoptive families for children waiting for adoptive families
- Information on adopting older children, sibling groups, children from minority groups, and children with disabilities
Visit the website to begin planning your National Adoption Month activities:
- Information Gateway Enhances Spanish Section
Child welfare professionals seeking resources in Spanish on child abuse and neglect, prevention, foster care, adoption, permanency, and more can benefit from the new and improved En EspaÃ±ol section of Child Welfare Information Gateway's website. The section features an updated English-Spanish glossary of child welfare terms and links to other Information Gateway Spanish publications and library materials. English-only users can navigate the site by selecting the links that provide an English translation of each section. The En EspaÃ±ol section will be regularly updated, and new and useful resources will be added periodically.
- Increasing Minority Leadership in Child Welfare
The presence of minority leaders in child welfare adoption services may help to bridge the gap between minority communities and the child welfare system. Preparing these emerging leaders is one of the goals of the Minority Adoption Leadership Development Institute (MALDI), a program of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption (NCWRCA).
The program aims to enhance the leadership and technical skills of 20 promising minority individuals from across the country during a 4-year period. MALDI participants are selected from States with high disproportionality rates and the highest numbers of minority children and youth in the child welfare system awaiting adoption.
After being selected for the program, participants are assigned mentors from the National Association of State Adoption Programs (NASAP) for a 12-month period and given the opportunity to participate in work projects dealing with child welfare issues. All mentors are provided training in effective mentoring and coaching techniques. Participants are also invited to attend two paid, 2-day training institutes in Washington, DC, that cover a broad range of topical areas. Topics may include:
- Cultural Competence, Responsiveness, and Class
- Preparing for Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities in Child Welfare
- Executive Leadership
- Data-Based Decision-Making and Evidence-Based Adoption Practice
- Kinship Adoption
- Leadership in Adoption: Change From the Middle
- Working With Your State Legislature
- Permanency and the Court System
- Overcoming Barriers in Minority Adoption and Disproportionality
- Youth in Adoption
Finishing their year of mentorship and on-the-job experience, the first nine MALDI participants presented their practice interventions at an Onsite Institute in Alexandria, VA. MALDI anticipates selecting another 11 talented individuals for its 2007-2008 cycle. These future child welfare leaders will report on their findings in 2008.
To see the practice interventions in PowerPoint format or to read more about MALDI, visit:
- New! On the Children's Bureau Site
The Children's Bureau website features information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more. The "New on Site" section includes grant announcements, policy announcements, agency information, and recently released publications.
Recent additions to the site include:
- CFSR Final Report for Delaware and North Carolina for Round 2
- Children's Bureau-sponsored Event page
- SACWIS Glossary of Terms
Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new!
- Addressing Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment: The RMQIC
First in a series of articles on the Children's Bureau's Quality Improvement Centers
How can child welfare agencies and substance abuse treatment programs coordinate their services to achieve better outcomes for children and families? This was the issue that American Humane Association's Rocky Mountain Quality Improvement Center (RMQIC) began to tackle in 2001 when the Children's Bureau awarded a 5-year grant to the regional research and demonstration project. As part of the process, the RMQIC awarded subgrants and provided technical assistance to four projects in the western region of the United States.
Program-level evaluations show a number of positive outcomes for each project, including a decrease in the recurrence of child maltreatment, an increase in children returning to or remaining in their homes, and an increase in child and family well-being. Cross-site evaluation data demonstrate that the following program and process characteristics are associated with positive outcomes:
- Integrated systems for service delivery
- Use of a central case coordinator/manager/substance abuse liaison
- Immediate availability of the case coordinator
- Skilled, knowledgeable, relationship-focused staff
- User-friendly referral and engagement process
- Service planning and delivery process that is mindful of the cognitive impairments caused by substance abuse
- Respectful but open flow of client information across systems
- Environment that supports open dialog across systems
- Streamlined access to a variety of affordable services
- Integrated funding
According to Carol Harper, who served as RMQIC's Project Director:
"We found that with the right combinations of supports and services, substance-abusing parents can have their children safely remain at home or returned to their care.”
- The Recovering Together Program in Cortez, CO, served substance-abusing mothers and their children in rural Colorado. The support and services included gender-specific substance abuse treatment, support groups for mothers, child and youth educational groups, family skills classes, family advocacy services, and vocational assistance.
- The Pretreatment Education and Support Program provided services in three regions of Idaho to parents referred to child protective services and on a waiting list for substance abuse treatment. The focus was on family engagement, which was maintained through group meetings, individual visits, and calls with substance abuse liaisons who were co-located in the Department of Health and Welfare.
- The Family Violence Court Project in Ada County, ID, was a collaborative effort between the Ada County Family Violence Court and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Children and Family Services. Families who were already involved in the court system due to domestic violence issues and had co-existing child maltreatment and substance abuse received streamlined case planning and services via an intensive case coordination approach.
- The Denver Indian Family Resource Center provided culturally appropriate services to American Indian families in the greater Denver metro area. Services provided to parents included family advocacy, substance abuse pretreatment, parenting classes, and cultural strengthening activities.
The RMQIC is in the process of posting a number of program replication guides and manuals, curricula, and evaluation reports on its website, including:
- How to Effectively Serve Urban American Indians
- Case Coordinator Manual for the Family Violence Court
- Curricula for Motivational Interviewing, a 16-week Mother’s Treatment Program, and a separate 16-week Children’s Educational Program
- Program Replication Manuals and Program Evaluation and Research Reports for each of the RMQIC projects
Please visit American Humane’s website to read more about the RMQIC and the individual projects.
In addition, American Humane's Protecting Children journal features findings from the RMQIC projects in Protecting Children, Vol. 21(3): Crossing Systems and Sharing Responsibilities on Behalf of Families Struggling With Substance Abuse.
For more information on the RMQIC, visit the website, or contact Joanna Reynolds at email@example.com.
- NRCFCPPP Initiates Podcasts
Committed to staying ahead of the technological curve, the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (NRCFCPPP) has made available its webcast and teleconference series through podcast technology. Users can now access an archive of past NRCFCPPP webcasts and teleconferences on a variety of topics, from disaster recovery to family group conferencing, racial disproportionality, and much more. Audio files can be accessed via RSS feed or iTunes or through Windows Media Audio.
- Assessing Methamphetamine Use in Tribal Communities
An increase of methamphetamine use in Tribal communities has raised concerns about the safety and well-being of children in Tribal families. In response to these growing concerns, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute sponsored a survey of professionals in three western Tribal communities to assess their perceptions of methamphetamine use and the implications for child abuse in the communities in which they work. The specific purpose of the survey was to assess community perceptions and awareness of methamphetamine use and the impact on child maltreatment, permanency outcomes, and agency workloads.
The survey methodology, questions, and results are the subject of a new report, Perceptions of Methamphetamine Use in Three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country. Quantitative and qualitative results indicate:
- Greater awareness of methamphetamine use, production, and distribution
- Increases in the incidence of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and sexual assault
- Increases in the workload of law enforcement, social services, child protection, and other agencies in Tribal communities as a result of methamphetamine use
- Concern for the long-term impact on communities and their children
The authors also offer recommendations to promote agency collaboration and family reunification, and they suggest strategies for funding, programs, and research that could help combat the impact of methamphetamine on Tribal communities.
The full report, by Roe Bubar, Marc Winokur, and Winona Bartlemay, is available online:
- How State Legislatures Can Support the Court System
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a blueprint for legislatures' efforts to support and strengthen the State courts that handle child welfare cases. The report, Delivering on the Promise: Promoting Court Capacity to Improve Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children, provides an overview of the court system and the types of hearings that must be held for a child welfare case. It describes the impact of Federal legislation that led to increased caseloads and shorter timelines for processing cases. Court reforms that have been mandated by the Court Improvement Program and the Child and Family Services Reviews are also discussed.
The report outlines the specific roles that State legislatures can assume in supporting the development of effective State court systems, including eliminating barriers to court/agency information sharing, developing ongoing strategies for measuring performance, and promoting collaboration among courts, child welfare agencies, Tribes, and other partners to improve outcomes.
Delivering on the Promise: Promoting Court Capacity to Improve Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children can be found online:
www.ncsl.org/print/cyf/deliveringpromise.pdf (PDF- 639 KB)
- Helping Fathers Support Their Children
Being inclusive and offering practical help to fathers may increase their participation in programs designed to help low-income noncustodial fathers become strong emotional and financial resources for their children. A report on projects funded through the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration program looked at the effectiveness of these programs and lessons learned. Demonstration projects were sponsored from 2000 to 2003 at 13 sites in nine States by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One focus of the project was to support partnerships between public agencies and community- and faith-based organizations.
The report, The Implementation of the Partners for Fragile Families Demonstration Projects, the first of several from the national evaluation of PFF, describes the design and implementation of the 13 projects. PFF targeted young fathers (age 16 to 25) who had not yet established paternity and did not yet have extensive involvement with the child support enforcement system.
All PFF projects featured a series of workshops on a range of subjects, including parenting, job readiness, child support, anger management, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and life skills. Other services provided to participants include case management, peer support, employment services, and parenting and relationship services. The report examines the challenges that many of the projects faced, including recruiting and retaining participants and defining the roles and responsibilities of the participating agencies.
Some recommendations from the report include the following:
- Give careful consideration to eligibility criteria when recruiting participants, because criteria that are too narrow may result in a small pool of participants.
- Identify organizations with experience in serving this population and provide appropriate staff training.
- Help fathers with visitation and legal representation issues in order to attract and retain participants.
- Partner with local health departments to help with recruitment and access to health services.
- Tailor services such as employment counseling to individual fathers.
The full report, prepared by the Urban Institute and written by Karin Martinson, John Trutko, Demetra Smith Nightingale, Pamela A. Holcomb, and Burt S. Barnow, is available online:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/PFF/imp/report.pdf (PDF - 517 KB)
- Keeping Siblings Together
Siblings who experience separation from their parents and from each other are at risk of losing their sense of kinship and continuity. Placing children with siblings when they enter foster care may help them maintain family connections and reduce the trauma caused by leaving their home. But keeping siblings connected can present challenges to the child welfare system. Both the benefits and the challenges of sibling connection are the topic of a recent white paper published by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
Keeping Siblings Connected: A White Paper on Siblings in Foster Care and Adoptive Placements in New York State describes some of the challenges facing child welfare practitioners looking for permanent homes for siblings. These include limited physical space in adoptive homes, limited resources, siblings entering care at differing times, and lack of available foster and adoptive homes willing or able to accept siblings. These challenges are further exacerbated by the difficulty of placing siblings who are far apart in age.
To address some of these challenges, the white paper sets out a list of practice recommendations for successful sibling placement. These include:
- Recognize the right of siblings to be placed together.
- Increase training for caseworkers and supervisors on sibling placements.
- Recruit foster homes for sibling groups.
- Train foster/adoptive families on sibling issues.
- Enhance assessment procedures.
- Include youth in the decision to place siblings together.
- Consider older siblings as placement options.
- Monitor placement decisions for opportunities to place siblings together.
In cases where siblings are placed separately, the white paper includes a list of useful recommendations for successful sibling visits. These include:
- Recognize and reinforce throughout the agency the requirements for sibling visits.
- Increase training for caseworkers and supervisors on sibling contact.
- Include youth in planning and decisions about visits with siblings.
- Broaden the definition of visits beyond the minimum contact requirements.
- Never use visits as a method of discipline.
- Enhance the ability to visit older siblings.
- Coordinate the provision of services to the family.
- Facilitate visits with half-siblings, step-siblings, and adopted siblings.
- Facilitate visits with siblings who are not in placement.
- Enhance training of foster and adoptive parents about the importance of sibling contact.
The paper also addresses the issues of sibling placement and visitation as part of adoption policy.
- Strategies for Community Engagement
Programs that focus on engaging community residents may achieve better and more sustainable outcomes for children and families. That was one of the conclusions in a recent issue of the Casey Connects quarterly newsletter, which highlighted community engagement strategies used by Annie E. Casey Foundation's initiatives in neighborhoods across the country. Several promising strategies were described, including:
- Study and family circles
- Network organizing
- Community organizing and mobilization
- Resident leadership institutes
- Trusted advocates
The articles give real-life examples of these strategies in action and their impact on the communities they serve. By engaging trusted advocates in the neighborhood, programs can develop resident leaders who encourage other residents to address local challenges and strengthen social networks in the community. This "give-get model" of social networking means residents get a lot out of their community involvement but also give back, thereby creating a more durable positive change in the neighborhood. The programs found that residents who are engaged feel more invested in the outcomes and are even more willing to coordinate data collection for evaluation efforts.
Read more in the newsletter, available for download on the Annie E. Casey Foundation website:
- Online Community for Child Advocates
Child Advocacy 360 News Network is a nonprofit service offering an online community for child advocates to share news, insights, and innovations in the field, with a particular focus on reducing child abuse and neglect. Some of the goals of the website are to increase citizens' participation in fighting child abuse and neglect in their own communities and to involve Generations X and Y in child advocacy by using web journalism. One section of the website—Who’s Doing What That Works—allows individuals to share information on successful community-based interventions that have resulted in qualitative and quantitative improvements in outcomes for children. Recent entries covered such stories as:
- A self-advocacy workshop that helped youth in foster care reach for their goals
- The importance of postadoption support and services for parents who adopt children with special needs
- Use of crisis nurseries in St. Louis to combat child neglect
Child Advocacy 360 also offers a free weekly e-newsletter that highlights child welfare news from hundreds of top industry sources and shares stories of the efforts of child advocates across the country.
- How-To for Home Visiting
Results from the first round of Federal Child and Family Services Reviews have noted the importance of home visiting in achieving good outcomes for children and families involved with child welfare. A new book titled Home-Visiting Strategies: A Case-Management Guide for Caregivers provides focused, hands-on information for home visitors and their supervisors and administrators on case management processes carried out by the home visitor. The practices described in the book can be applied to a range of home-visiting cases, such as family support, child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and more. The book guides the reader through the key steps in providing home-visiting services, including:
- Plan development
- Plan implementation
A case example is used to illustrate the practical application of each of these case management activities, and suggestions are given for handling common issues that arise at each step of the process. Chapters of interest to administrators and supervisors also address theory, research, conceptual frameworks, and advice for setting up documentation systems and managing quality and data collection.Home-Visiting Strategies: A Case-Management Guide for Caregivers
was written by Terry Eisenberg Carrilio.
- Financing for Systems of Care
A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide: Developing a Comprehensive Financing Plan is the first in a series of technical assistance tools to result from a 5-year study on financing systems of care. Conducted by the Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health (RTC) at the University of South Florida and its partners, including the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at Georgetown University, the study examines cross-agency financing strategies that communities can use to build integrated systems of care for children with serious emotional disturbances and their families. The study uses a participatory research approach, gathering data from 10 case study sites.
During the first year of the study, researchers surveyed financing experts, State and county administrators, Tribal representatives, and others to develop a list of critical financing strategies. The results became the basis of A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide. The guide addresses seven areas to help sites develop strategic financing plans:
- Identification of current spending and utilization patterns
- Realignment of funding streams and structures
- Financing of appropriate services and supports
- Financing to support family and youth partnerships
- Financing to improve cultural competence and reduce racial disproportionality in care
- Financing to improve the workforce for behavioral health services
- Financing for accountability
The complete guide, by Mary I. Armstrong et al., is available on the RTC website:
- Guidelines for Sex Offender Policies
The Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) Office within the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs was created as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The SMART website features proposed guidelines that reflect minimum national standards for States, territories, and Indian Tribes as they implement their sex offender registration and notification policies. The Attorney General also announced $25 million in assistance for communities to implement these proposed guidelines and take other steps to guard against sex offenders.
Visit the website to see the proposed guidelines and to find out more about SMART, including links to registration for sex offenders, relevant legislation, resources, and more.
- The ABA Youth at Risk Initiative
The American Bar Association (ABA) Youth at Risk Initiative is the theme of the July 2007 issue of Family Court Review. The initiative focuses on how attorneys and the legal system can better help teenagers whose family or behavioral problems place them at a significantly higher risk of involvement with the courts. These teenagers may come to the court's attention through the child welfare or juvenile justice system.
The articles in this special issue address the following topics:
- Juvenile status offenders
- Youth aging out of the foster care system
- Girls, particularly girls of color, involved with the juvenile justice system
- Abused and neglected adolescents
- Youth placed in unregulated treatment facilities
Several articles discuss the findings and policy recommendations of the ABA in such areas as licensing, regulation, and monitoring of residential facilities serving at-risk youth; enhanced support for foster and homeless youth and juvenile status offenders; and improving laws and policies related to youth exiting the foster care system.
This special issue was edited by Howard Davidson, director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and the co-director, with Mabel McKinney-Browning, of the ABA Youth at Risk Initiative. It can be accessed online:
- DNA Tests for Adoptions From Guatemala
As part of its ongoing response to concerns about irregular adoption practices in Guatemala, the U.S. Embassy there has expanded its DNA testing requirements. The Embassy already requires one DNA match between a prospective adoptive child and the birth parent at the time of relinquishment. Under the new requirement, a child adopted by U.S. citizens will now undergo a second DNA test to verify that the adopted child for whom an immigrant visa is being requested is the same child matched at the beginning of the adoption process with the birth parent.
For more information on adoption requirements from Guatemala, visit the State Department website:
- First NSCAW Book
The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) is an ongoing long-term study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that conducts research on representative samples of children involved with the child welfare system. The focus is on child well-being, development, and outcomes.
Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice is the first book published on the NSCAW study. Recently released, the book details how the study is conducted and includes chapters by national child welfare experts on the implications and insights that NSCAW provides on the problems of children and their families, services and interventions for families, and child outcomes. Chapters cover such topics as:
- Identifying maltreated children with developmental delays
- Improvement of parent training
- Systems integration and access to mental health care
- Predictors of reunification
- Predictors of rereports
These chapters provide some lessons learned for child welfare workers and policymakers, and they also suggest new alternatives for future programs that will protect at-risk children and provide them with security and support.
To purchase Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice, by Ron Haskins, Fred Wulczyn, and Mary Bruce Webb (editors), visit the Brookings Institution Press website:
Find trainings, workshops, webinars, and other opportunities for professionals and families to learn about how to improve the lives of children and youth as well as a listing of upcoming events and conferences.
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through December 2007 include:
- 2007 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
October 10–12, Kansas City, MO
http://www.nationaldec.org/Conference/conference07.htm#2007Conf (link no longer available)
- 19th Annual ATTACh Conference
Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children
October 10–13, Providence, RI
http://www.attach.org/2007conference.htm (link no longer available)
- 2007 Alliance for Children & Families National Conference
October 17–19, Anaheim, CA
http://www.alliance1.org/Conferences/National2007/natl-conf.html(link no longer available)
- 2007 Conference on Differential Response
American Humane Association
November 14–16, Long Beach, CA
http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pc_initiatives_differential(link no longer available)
- National Training Institute
ZERO TO THREE
November 30–December 2, Orlando, FL
http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=prof_nti(link no longer available)
- Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health 19th Annual Conference
December 7–9, Washington, DC
http://www.ffcmh.org/conference.htm(link no longer available)
- 2007 National Adoption and Foster Care Training Conference
Shared Beliefs, Shared Values: Achieving Excellence in Adoption and Foster Care
Child Welfare League of America
December 10–12, New Orleans, LA
http://www.cwla.org/conferences/conferences.htm(link no longer available)
Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found through the "Conference Calendar Search" feature on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
- 2007 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
- Meeting Hague Training Requirements
The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, scheduled to be implemented in early 2008, carries training requirements for both prospective adoptive parents and adoption agency workers. A number of organizations are preparing training classes and materials to meet these requirements. At least two currently offer online training:
The National Council for Adoption has developed an interactive online training program, "The Intercountry Adoption Journey." Topics covered include an overview of the Hague Convention and its requirements, the intercountry adoption and referral process, general characteristics and needs of internationally adopted children, multiculturalism within the adoptive family, and the importance of postadoption and postplacement services and reports. This program provides prospective adoptive parents with 8 of the 10 required hours of Hague-mandated training, while agency staff receive continuing education credits.
Adoption Learning Partners offers several online courses that meet Hague training requirements for parents. These include "Adopting the Older Child," "With Eyes Wide Open: A Preparation Guide to International Adoption," and "The Journey of Attachment." A new course, "Medical Issues in International Adoption," is scheduled to launch in September.
- Service Delivery for Specific Populations
In the summer of 2006, the Georgetown University National Training Institutes presented a series of forums that focused on systems of care service delivery approaches for specific populations. All of the approaches were family driven, youth guided, and individualized, and they all represented evidence-based or promising practices for achieving positive outcomes with children and their families. Summaries of those forums are now available. Populations addressed include:
- Urban communities
- Native American communities
- African-American children and their families
- Hispanic children and their families
- Asian and Pacific Islander children and their families
- Youth in kinship care
- Youth from military families
Each summary is 6-12 pages and includes information on issues and challenges for each topic, as well as effective strategies for local systems of care. Access the summaries through the website of the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health: