News From the Children's Bureau
- Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
On January 7, 2003, the opening day of the 108th Congress, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (H.R. 14), to reauthorize the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the Adoption Opportunities program, the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act, and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.
Legislation reauthorizing CAPTA failed to pass during the 107th Congress when the House and Senate were unable to reach agreement on several issues. H.R. 14 builds upon the work of the previous Congress, using much of the same language as in the bills that were under consideration in 2002. Some key provisions include:
- Basic State Grant funding to improve the child protective services (CPS) system through attention to case management; training, supervision, recruitment, and retention of caseworkers; and improved reporting of suspected child maltreatment.
- Grants for demonstration projects to support linkages between CPS agencies and public health, mental health, and developmental disabilities agencies.
- Focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect through support for community-based services to families.
- Programs that increase the number of older foster children placed in adoptive families, including a grants program to eliminate barriers to placing children for adoption across jurisdictional boundaries.
- Notification of parental rights at the initial contact by CPS.
H.R. 14 has been approved by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and is currently pending in the House of Representatives. The bill authorizes funding for fiscal years (FY) 2004 through 2008. Appropriations for FY 2003 are included in the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution of 2003 (H.J. Res. 2) recently passed by both the House and Senate.
The Senate is considering its own version of the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act (S. 342). S. 342 was recently approved by the Senate Help, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and is now pending before the full Senate. To track the progress of these bills or any Federal legislation, you can visit THOMAS, the legislative tracking service of the Library of Congress, at http://thomas.loc.gov/.
For more information about the current CAPTA legislation, last amended in 1996, see the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information fact sheet About the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/about.cfm.
- National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice
The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice seeks to enhance the capacity of State and Tribal child welfare agencies to provide family-centered services for children and families, encourage community ownership of the safety and well-being of children, and support the delivery of coordinated services by child welfare agencies and community-based organizations.
States are offered training and technical assistance throughout all stages of the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs). The Resource Center provides technical assistance in the areas of:
- Analyzing family-centered practice opportunities
- Developing community stakeholder workgroups
- Improving the case planning/case management process
- Integrating the CFSR with regulations and standards
- Expanding States' array of services
- Evaluating family strengthening policies and practices of private provider agencies
- Building collaborations with other service providers
- Developing family group conferencing
- Moving toward differential response
In January, the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice sponsored its Third Annual Meeting of State and Tribal Child Welfare Officials. This meeting, which focuses on the States' experiences of the CFSRs, highlighted the lessons learned from the first 32 reviews. Officials from approximately 45 States and 30 Tribes participated, and workshop sessions offered participants the opportunity for peer-to-peer, State-to-State technical assistance on such issues as: involving the Tribes in the CFSR, staff recruitment and retention, involving fathers in child welfare services, and improving the service array in rural areas. For meeting highlights, visit the Resource Center's website.
The Children's Bureau has asked the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice to take the lead in involving all of the Bureau's technical assistance resource centers in developing a guide for States to improve comprehensive family assessments, which are required in public child welfare services. The CFSRs have revealed that most States are experiencing challenges in providing comprehensive assessments, which are a key to developing a truly individualized service plan with families that addresses the underlying factors for child maltreatment and for improving children's safety, permanence, and well-being.
Contact the Resource Center at:
1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 638-7922
Fax: (202) 742-5394
Director: Elena Cohen
Read these articles from previous issues of the Children's Bureau Express for more information on the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and CFSRs:
- "National Resource Center Helps Families Cope with Violence in Their Communities" (July 2002)
- "Results of 2001 Child and Family Services Reviews Released" (October 2002)
- 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
It is not too late to register for the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, taking place March 31 through April 5 in St. Louis, Missouri. This year's theme, Gateways to Prevention, focuses on developing new ways to prevent child maltreatment and considering a range of strategies to protect children and support families and communities. Prevent Child Abuse Missouri is this year's local host agency.
The Children's Bureau and its national co-sponsors are committed to featuring the best speakers the field has to offer, from new voices to speakers long recognized for their contributions. More than 200 sessions will be offered throughout the conference, addressing current issues and promising practices. Sessions fall into six learning clusters:
- Serving Diverse Populations with an Integrated Prevention and Response System
- Child Protection Systems and Service Changes that Shape and Promote Best Practice
- Faith-Based and Community Initiatives that Nurture Children and Families
- Putting the Results of Data Collection, Research, and Outcome Evaluation into Practice
- Strengthening Families through Healthy Marriages and Responsible Fatherhood
- Working Together through Interagency Collaborative Efforts
Six Experiential Learning Opportunities and a number of local cultural activities round out the conference offerings.
For more information or to register, visit the 14th National Conference website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/cbconference/fourteenth/index.cfm.
14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
1901 North Moore Street, Suite 204
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (703) 528-0435
Fax: (703) 528-7957
The "2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet is now available! Read more in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- 2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet
The 2003 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet, What Everyone can do to Prevent Child Abuse, is now available. This packet, developed to promote child abuse prevention activities in April and throughout the year, includes materials and resources to support local efforts.
- Child Abuse Prevention: An Overview. Definitions and statistics on child abuse and neglect; why prevention is key to addressing the problem.
- What Organizations Can Do. Suggested child abuse prevention activities and supporting materials, including resources for working with the media.
- What Individuals Can Do. Information about what individuals can do to prevent child abuse and neglect, how to recognize and report suspected maltreatment, and tips to help foster positive parenting.
- Resource Directory. Information about national organizations working to prevent child abuse, and their State or local chapters.
- Prevention Poster. Lists five strategies for preventing child abuse.
Look for the downloadable packet on the new Prevention website, www.calib.com/nccanch/prevention, scheduled to launch in March. (Note: current Prevention Month information and resources can be found at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/topics/prevention/index.cfm.)
Limited print copies are available.
For more information or to order, contact:
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Phone: (800) 394-3366
- Kinship Care Policies Differ by State, Continue to Evolve
Almost all States give preference in out-of-home placement to kin over non-kin foster parents. However, how States provide kin deferential treatment in, or alternatives to, the traditional foster care licensing process, and how they assess and support kinship care families, varies from State to State and continues to evolve.
A recent discussion paper published by the Urban Institute, The Continuing Evolution of State Kinship Care Policies, provides a State-by-State analysis of kinship care policies and procedures, how those policies and procedures relate to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and the challenges and benefits inherent in each State's program.
One of the primary differences among States is how they define "kin." Many States have made changes in the past few years: 24 States now include only individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption in their definition of "kin" (which mirrors the TANF definition), while 22 States include those who are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption but have a strong emotional bond to the child. While the broader definition might be in the best interests of the child, kin outside of blood, marriage, or adoption will not be eligible for TANF, Medicaid, or other programs that traditionally serve only "blood" kin.
The paper also discusses:
- Waived or modified standards and requirements for kin (including custody issues, supervision, support services, approval process).
- Which payments, grants, benefits, and financial assistance programs kinship caregivers qualify for on a State-by-State basis.
- An analysis of the numbers of kin offered full licensure, waived, or separate standards in each State.
The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges and lingering questions regarding kinship care. A PDF version of the report is available on the Urban Institute website at www.urban.org/ UploadedPDF/310597_state_kinship_care.pdf. An HTML version can also be viewed at www.urban.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&NavMenuID= 73&Template=/TaggedContent/NewReports.cfm& PublicationID=8080.
- Experts Disagree About Benefits of Child Welfare Privatization
Growing numbers of public child welfare agencies are entering into arrangements with private entities to provide services for children and families. However, experts do not always agree on the value of these efforts, in terms of cost savings, efficiency, and improved outcomes.
A 2003 study by the policy department of Children's Rights, Privatization of Child Welfare Services: Challenges and Successes, reveals mixed results. The study examines the strengths and weaknesses of privatization initiatives in Kansas, Florida (Sarasota County), Missouri, Ohio (Hamilton County), Michigan (Wayne County), and Maine. From these case studies, the authors cite a number of lessons learned:
- Public agencies should not expect cost savings from privatization.
- Greater efficiency will not be achieved simply because a private agency assumes responsibility for service provision.
- A "phased-in" approach to privatization (including broad-based community planning, pilot projects, and/or transitional contracts) is most successful.
A 2000 policy study by Reason Public Policy Institute (RPPI), Child-Welfare Reform and the Role of Privatization, on the other hand, cites the positive outcomes for children and families of privatization efforts in Kansas, Florida, Arizona, and other States.
Lisa Snell, Director of Education and Child Welfare at RPPI, agrees that cost savings and efficiency, while sometimes achieved, are not the strongest arguments for child-welfare privatization. She argues that it is more important to focus on improvements in service.
"In my experience," Snell says, "The quality of services provided to families often improves [in privatized systems] because contractors know their contracts can be pulled. In the public system, that incentive does not exist."
Some findings of the RPPI study include:
- Foster-care contractors in Kansas were meeting or exceeding outcome measures relating to protecting children's safety, limiting the number of moves, maintaining children within regional boundaries, and maintaining family and community ties for children.
- Participants in privatized, voluntary services for low-risk families in Arizona experienced very low levels of further substantiated incidents of abuse, compared to similar families investigated by child protective services.
- A pilot program of privatized foster care and related services in Sarasota County, Florida, cut the length of stay in foster care from 20 months to 13 months, doubled the number of adoptions in a year from 20 to 40, and decreased the caseload per social worker from about 41 to 19.
A final copy of the Children's Rights study can be obtained by calling the Child Welfare League of America, at (202) 638-2952. More information about Children's Rights can be found on their website, www.childrensrights.org.
RPPI's Policy Study can be found on their website at www.rppi.org/ps271.html. Two articles in the November 2002 edition of Privatization Watch (www.rppi.org/privwatch.html), "Keys to Success in the Florida Child Welfare Privatization Effort" and "Kansas Shows How the Use of Data Can Improve Practice", focus on improving the effectiveness of privatization efforts through the use of outcomes-focused data, contract marketing and performance incentives, and strategies to reduce the foster care population.
For more about privatization of children's services, read "How Does Privatizing Human Services Affect Children?" in the January/February 2001 Children's Bureau Express.
- Study Shows Preschool Can Help Prevent Child Abuse
New findings from a University of Wisconsin-Madison longitudinal study provide evidence that preschool programs positively impact not only school readiness and performance, but also long-term family outcomes. The study, published in the January/February 2003 issue of Child Development, found evidence that the Chicago School District's Child-Parent Centers (CPCs)--the nation's second oldest Federally funded preschool program, after Head Start--help reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect among participating families.
Researchers compared 913 children who participated in a CPC preschool program with 495 low-income children who did not attend the program but did receive full-day kindergarten. They observed the children between the ages of 4 and 17. Among their findings:
- Children who attended a CPC had a 52 percent lower rate of maltreatment by age 17 (5 percent vs. 10.5 percent) than those who didn't.
- Among children who attended a CPC program, those enrolled for more than 4 years experienced a 48 percent lower rate of maltreatment than those enrolled between 1 and 4 years (3.6 percent vs. 6.9 percent).
- The greatest difference in maltreatment rates between children who attended a CPC and those who didn't occurred when the children were between 10 and 17 years old--at least 6 years after enrollment.
Parent involvement in the program, a strong emphasis of the CPCs, was cited as one of the main sources of these beneficial effects. Resource coordinators at the centers help parents receive the support and services they need to care for their children at home.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. More information about the study can be found on the University of Wisconsin-Madison website at www.waisman.wisc.edu/cls/.
Read more in "Early Head Start Grants Announced" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Project Confirm Helps Arrested Foster Care Teens Avoid Unnecessary Detention
When teens in foster care are arrested, they frequently face a bias regarding detention decisions. Officials sometimes do not know the teens are in foster care or whom to call. Sometimes foster parents and caseworkers are reluctant to go to court on the children's behalf, because they are confused about their responsibilities or hope another system will take care of the problem. For the last 3 years, the Vera Institute of Justice's Project Confirm has helped the New York City child welfare and juvenile justice systems work together to nearly eliminate this detention bias against foster children.
Before the program began, police, juvenile probation officers, and detention staff had struggled to identify children in foster care, contact the adults responsible for them, and convince those adults to come to the station or courthouse. Many foster children spent time unnecessarily in locked facilities--losing their placements in foster homes and facing a lengthy replacement process. Now when kids are arrested, Project Confirm staff check child welfare records to determine whether they are in foster care. Staff then notify the appropriate agencies, inform the agencies of their obligation to provide information and stand up for the kids in court, and guide them through that process.
The benefits of Project Confirm are many, including quicker services for arrested children and the less frequent need to find a new home for a foster child who has been arrested. Vera is now helping officials from Georgia, South Carolina, Washington, and Illinois adapt components of the project for their States.
Project Confirm is reviewed in the May/June 2002 issue of Child Welfare Journal. A summary of that article can be found on the website of the Research & Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health, at www.rtc.pdx.edu/DataTrends/pgDT66.shtml.
For more information about Project Confirm, contact:
Phone: (212) 376-3032
Read more about the connections between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in previous editions of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Disproportionality in Juvenile Justice System May Have Roots in Child Welfare" (Dec 2002/Jan 2003)
- "New Report Examines the Link Between Childhood Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency" (November/December 2001)
- Treatment Guidelines for Child Abuse Published
The Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, released new guidelines for mental health assessment and treatment of victims of child abuse and their families. By helping practitioners more easily identify which commonly used treatments have strong empirical support and which do not, Child Physical and Sexual Abuse: Guidelines for Treatment will increase the likelihood that abused children receive the best treatment available.
An advisory committee composed of nationally known clinicians, researchers, educators, and administrators developed the criteria for evaluating treatment protocols. The manual describes and classifies 24 common treatments based on the following:
- Theoretical basis
- Clinical-anecdotal literature
- Acceptance among practitioners in the child abuse field
- Potential for causing harm
- Empirical support for utility with victims of abuse
Of the 24 treatments reviewed, 16 had at least some empirical support for their efficacy with cases of child abuse. One was rated as having a substantial and unacceptable level of risk. The others were classified as "promising and acceptable," due to a lack of empirical support.
In the manual's general treatment guidelines, readers are advised that treatment protocols with the highest levels of empirical and clinical support should be considered "first choice" interventions. The importance of assessment is also emphasized.
The publication, edited by Benjamin E. Saunders, Lucy Berliner, and Rochelle Hanson, is the result of a 3-year collaboration between the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress at Harborview Medical Center. It may be downloaded from the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center website at www.musc.edu/cvc/guide1.htm.
Read more about specific treatment approaches in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Outcomes Being Documented for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy" (October 2002)
- "HHS-Funded Research on Children with Sexual Behavior Problems" (March 2000)
- Mini-Grants for Parent Support Groups
The Collaboration to AdoptUSKids is offering grants of up to $4,000 for groups supporting parents of children with special needs. Applicants are encouraged to include plans to involve birth parents, adopted persons, and siblings in their programs.
Grants are intended to fund new or existing support groups in the development of new programs or the expansion of existing programs. Funds can be used for:
- Incorporation costs
- Publicity regarding the group's formation
- Ongoing costs of maintaining regular meetings
- Scholarships to attend a national conference for adoptive parents
- Online support groups
- Development or enhancements of websites
- Development of support group training or adoption-related curricula
The application deadline is April 1. Recipients will be announced in May, and grants will be distributed by June 1.
Eligibility requirements, grant applications, and instructions can be found on the AdoptUSKids website at www.adoptuskids.org/servlet/page?_pageid=55&_ dad=portal30&_schema= PORTAL30&_type=site&_fsiteid= 33&_fid=18900&_fnavbarid=2668 &_fnavbarsiteid= 33&_fedit=0&_fmode=2&_fdisplaymode=1&_ fcalledfrom= 1&_fdisplayurl=.
Sylvia R. Franzmeier, Parent Group Manager
Phone: (281) 413-7377
Fax: (281) 353-7459
For more about parent groups, read "Starting and Nurturing Adoptive Parent Groups: A Guide for Leaders" in the publications section of this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Starting and Nurturing Adoptive Parent Groups: A Guide for Leaders
Parent groups can serve many functions, from supporting individual families and children, recruiting prospective foster and adoptive families, to advocating for critical changes to policy and practice. In October 2002, the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) published Starting and Nurturing Adoptive Parent Groups: A Guide for Leaders to support new and experienced parent group leaders in this important work.
The guide covers every step necessary to get a new parent group started. It also contains helpful tips for existing groups, such as:
- Developing a group identity
- Managing meetings
- Becoming a nonprofit organization
- Financial planning and fundraising
- Rejuvenating a struggling group
The guide was made possible through an Adoption Opportunities grant from the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. A PDF version of the guide can be obtained through the NACAC website at www.nacac.org/pdfs/starting.pdf.
NACAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting adoptive parents, promoting adoption awareness, informing adoption professionals, and helping children find loving, permanent families. For more information regarding NACAC visit their website at www.nacac.org.
Read more in "Mini-Grants for Parent Support Groups" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Military Families and Adoption
Military personnel are a largely untapped resource for children awaiting families. Now, an updated pair of products from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse helps bring military families and waiting children together by providing information and resources unique to adoption by military families.
A fact sheet (for families) and a bulletin (for professionals) discuss both the benefits and challenges of working with military families. They also suggest creative ways to overcome some of the barriers to adoption many military families face.
- How the home study process may differ for military families
- How deployment impacts the adoption process
- Where military families can get help with the costs of adoption
- What services are available to military families after adoption
- How to get medical coverage for an adopted child
- Organizations that can assist military families pursuing adoption
The fact sheet and bulletin are available on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/f_milita.cfm and http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/militarybulletin.cfm, or by calling or emailing the Clearinghouse at (888) 251-0075 or email@example.com.
- Early Head Start Grants Announced
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson announced in January the distribution of $72 million in grants to administer the Early Head Start Program. The funds, awarded to 160 local agencies, will be used to increase Early Head Start enrollment by approximately 7,000 infants and toddlers, bringing total enrollment to 62,400.
The Early Head Start program, established in 1995, provides comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income pregnant women and families with children under 3 years old. An evaluation of the program, released in June 2002, found parents in Early Head Start showed more positive parenting behavior, reported less physical punishment of their children, and did more to help their children learn at home.
The executive summary of the evaluation can be found on the HHS website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/ehs/ehs_resrch/reports/impacts_exesum/impacts_exesum_title.html.
The list of grants is available on the HHS website at www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030109.html.
More information about Early Head Start can be found at the Head Start Information and Publication Center, on the Web at www.headstartinfo.org.
Read more about the impact of preschool programs in "Study Shows Preschool Can Help Prevent Child Abuse" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
Read about preliminary results of the Early Head Start evaluation in "Early Head Start Children and Parents Thriving" in the May/June 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Grants Support Collaborations Between Child Protective Services and Legal Services
The American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law is offering mini-grants of $1,000 to promote stronger working relationships between civil legal services providers and government child protective services (CPS). Grant recipients will be expected to develop relationships and plan collaborations to benefit at-risk children and families. The deadline for proposals is March 31.
Civil legal services can help families with the kinds of problems that might trigger CPS interventions if not addressed in time. Keeping these families out of the CPS system, in turn, frees caseworkers up to address more serious cases of abuse and neglect.
All projects must include a civil legal services provider (including private legal aid organizations, Legal Services Corporation-funded agencies, law school clinics, and pro bono projects) and a State or local CPS agency. Either partner may apply for the funding. Favorable consideration will be given to projects that also include community partners--youth, families, or community-based organizations--in the planning process.
Find more information about the grants and how to apply on the ABA Center on Children and the Law website at www.abanet.org/child/minigrant_application.html
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.
The 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, March 31 through April 5, 2003. For more information about the conference, see "14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through June 2003 include:
- American Adoption Congress 25th Annual Conference (April 3 through 5, Atlanta, GA; www.americanadoptioncongress.org/index.htm).
- 6th National Child Welfare Data Conference (National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare; April 9 through 11, Arlington, VA; www.cwla.org/conferences/).
- National Indian Child Welfare Association 21st Annual Protecting Our Children Conference "Community Resolve to Reclaim Native Youth" (April 13 through 16, Portland, OR; www.nicwa.org/services/ conferences/protecting/index.asp).
- National Pathways to Adulthood Conference (Family and Youth Services Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; April 23 through 25, Chicago, IL; www.nrcys.ou.edu/PDFs/Pathwaysavedate.pdf - Editor's note: this link is no longer available).
- Catholic Human Services (formerly Catholic Charities) 9th National Conference on Open Adoption "Among Friends: The Open Adoption Community Reflects on a Generation of Practice and Experience" (April 24 through 26, Travers City, MI).
- National Foster Parent Association 33rd Annual Education Conference "Invest in Children….Our Future" (May 12 through 17, Des Moines, IA; www.nfpainc.org/conference.html). (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- Permanency Partnership Forum VII (Children's Bureau; Administration on Children, Youth and Families; May 19 through 21, Washington, DC).
- 2003 American Humane Family Group Decision Making Conference and Skills-building Institutes: Pathways to Partnership (June 4 through 7, Minneapolis, MN; www.americanhumane.org/site/ PageServer?pagename=pc_fgdm_conference).
- National Fatherhood Initiative "Carrying the Flag for Fatherhood" (American Humane Association; June 11 to 13, Philadelphia, PA; www.fatherhood.org).
- Curriculum Helps Prepare Teens in Care for Family Connections
Family support helps teens develop into productive, functioning adults. Yet teens in foster care often miss out on this important connection. A new curriculum, The Family Bound Program, helps prepare these teens for permanent family relationships.
Family Bound, developed by Robert G. Lewis and Communities for People, Inc., teaches teens about family life through nine workshop sessions. The program also provides opportunities to practice concrete skills during five weekend visits with birth, foster, adoptive, kin, or "bridge" families. Bridge families have never met their teens but commit to working with them through the 5-week program. In the pilot programs, all but one of the bridge families continued to visit with their teens after the program concluded, supporting the program's goal of helping to develop permanent connections for participants.
More information about the program and other resources on permanence for adolescents can be found on the Robert G. Lewis website at www.highpopples.com/new_page_2.htm.
Robert G. Lewis
4 Mayflower Lane
Gloucester, MA 01930-4321
Phone: (978) 281-8919