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April 2000Vol. 1, No. 2Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention

Issue Spotlight

  • Researchers' Presentation Illustrates Benefits of Prevention

    Researchers' Presentation Illustrates Benefits of Prevention

    To help professionals make the case for prevention to funding sources and policy makers, researchers Craig T. Ramey and Sharon L. Ramey of the University of Alabama have posted a comprehensive slide presentation on the Web at

    The Abecedearian Preschool Project, explain the Rameys, was a "randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a comprehensive early childhood education, healthcare, and family support program . . . . The primary goal of the preschool phase was to enhance school readiness . . . "

    At the core of the presentation is the Rameys' thesis: "Many children with learning disabilities and mild mental retardation are being identified too late for optimal treatment. Prevention is a viable strategy."

    The project focused on high-risk families characterized by poverty, low maternal IQ and education, single parents, teenage mothers, and other factors. Both the treatment and control groups received assistance with nutrition, medical care, and social services. The treatment group also received an intensive preschool program (full-day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for 5 years).

    Among their major findings, the Rameys report that the Abecedarian Project had positive effects on children's IQ performance, learning and cognitive performance, and social responsiveness as well as upon maternal education and employment.

    The 59 color slides include numerous charts and graphs illustrating the Rameys' findings. Among their recommendations, the Rameys urge policy makers to incorporate recent research-based knowledge into the current system of child protection and advocacy, as well as foster care and adoption.

    Contact the Rameys at:
    Civitan International Research Center
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    1719 6th Ave., South, Suite 137
    Birmingham, AL 35294-0021
    Tel.: 205-934-8900
    Fax: 205-975-6330

  • April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

    April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

    April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation since 1983. By participating in Child Abuse Prevention Month activities and learning more about the issues, you are exercising your power to prevent child abuse.

    During April 2000, public and private agencies, community organizations, volunteers, and concerned citizens combine their strength to highlight the problem of child abuse and to educate the public about how they can prevent it. Communities across the country offer special activities to raise public awareness of child abuse prevention. Activities include fundraisers, such as 5K runs/walks to raise money for child abuse prevention programs, poster/essay contests for children, "Family Day" at local zoos, wearing the blue ribbon, and special conferences by child abuse prevention organizations.

    The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, sponsored by the Children's Bureau, is among the many entities that are distributing information to commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Month. At the center of the Clearinghouse's 2000 campaign is the new Child Abuse Prevention website ( (Note: this link is no longer available; however, current child abuse prevention information and resources can be found at The site, built around the Children's Bureau year 2000 theme “You Have the Power to Prevent Child Abuse,” continues to add enhancements through April. The site features:

    • Fact sheets covering the scope of the problem
    • Suggested solutions to the problem
    • Resources, including a poster and prevention tips for parents
    • Contact information for partners in prevention
    • A Web tool kit on using the Internet and sites to visit.

    The Clearinghouse also is distributing a packet of print products containing a four-color poster to support commemoration efforts. Among other organizations prominently supporting Child Abuse Prevention Month are:

    For more information about the Clearinghouse and Children's Bureau Prevention Month activities, contact the Clearinghouse by phone at 800-FYI-3366 or by email at

  • Pediatricians Sharpen Focus on Violence Prevention

    Pediatricians Sharpen Focus on Violence Prevention

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has revised its guidelines for preventive pediatric health care to address violence prevention and published its recommendations in the March 2000 edition of AAP's journal, Pediatrics.

    The new guidelines for violence prevention assessment and counseling are included in the category of "anticipatory guidance." AAP's revised guidelines recommend that violence prevention assessment accompany routine developmental and physical assessments, beginning before birth and continuing through adolescence.

    The recommendations are based on a policy statement on the role of pediatricians in preventing youth violence that was published in the January 1999 issue of Pediatrics. The statement addressed the threats that domestic violence, child abuse, and other forms of violence pose to children's physical, emotional, and cognitive development.

    "Because many pediatricians encounter children and youth who are experiencing or are at risk for violence, pediatricians are well situated to intervene," the statement says.

    The guidelines include advice to give parents during all developmental stages for nurturing and limit setting. They also recommend focusing on the following areas for violence-related assessment and screening:

    • History of mental illness, previous domestic violence, or substance abuse in the parents or other family members
    • Family stresses that could lead to violence (e.g., unemployment, divorce, death)
    • Lack of appropriate supervision and care and support systems
    • Disciplinary attitudes and practices of the parents and caregivers
    • Exposure to violence in the home, school, or community
    • Degree of exposure to media violence
    • Access to firearms in their or a neighbor's home, or the community
    • Gang involvement or gang exposure in family, school, or neighborhood
    • Situations in which a child or adolescent experiences physical assault or sexual victimization from anyone
    • Presence of signs of poor self-esteem, or depression
    • Other factors affecting risk, such as poor school performance and physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities.

    When any of the above risk factors are identified, pediatricians should be prepared to provide referrals to necessary intervention and follow-up services, such as child welfare agencies, mental health services, domestic violence counseling, substance abuse treatment, or high-risk youth services. The policy statement also recommends that pediatricians set clinical practice guidelines, advocate for violence prevention at the local and national level, enhance education for medical students and practicing pediatricians, and contribute to research for prevention and management of youth violence.

    The January 1999 AAP policy statement on "The Role of the Pediatrician in Youth Violence Prevention in Clinical Practice and at the Community Level" is available online at:

    The revised March 2000 AAP Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care, containing violence prevention guidelines, are available online at

  • How Do You Define Prevention?

    How Do You Define Prevention?

    "Prevention is kind of an abstract idea if you don't put a human face on it," says Teresa Rafael, vice president of Parents Anonymous, Inc, a panelist at the National Prevention Conference for Federally Funded Prevention Programs sponsored by the Children's Bureau in March. She offers the following key principles for "operationalizing" prevention.

    • Prevention is universal and holistic. ("Prevention helps families meet their needs and realize their dreams.")
    • Prevention is self-directed. (Prevention "offers families opportunities with community supports.")
    • Prevention is always parent driven. ("That's not just a good idea-that's the law in CAPTA.")
    • Prevention is always strength-based. ("Families don't come defined by their problems.")
    • Prevention is collaborative. ("Child abuse prevention is broader than child welfare. We don't own the issue.")

    Contact Rafael at
    Parents Anonymous, Inc.
    675 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 220
    Claremont, CA 91711
    PHONE: (909) 621-6184
    FAX: (909) 625-6304

  • Panelists Tell How To Strengthen Prevention Efforts

    Panelists Tell How To Strengthen Prevention Efforts

    To prevent child abuse and neglect, professionals should work to expand bipartisan advocacy efforts and strengthen the institutional infrastructure that supports prevention programs.

    So said speakers at a prevention-focused conference sponsored by the Children's Bureau in March.

    The National Prevention Conference for Federally Funded Prevention Programs, held March 8-10 in Alexandria, Virginia, brought together Federal, State, and other professionals responsible for implementing Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Research and Demonstration Projects administered by the Children's Bureau.

    At a March 9 session, leaders of national prevention-focused groups shared their ideas for promoting prevention among elected officials, policy makers, and communities at large. Key points made by the speakers included the following:

    • Individuals and groups concerned with prevention should work cooperatively and in a bipartisan way to secure full funding of the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) when it comes before Congress for reauthorization this year.
    • Securing an increase in CAPTA funding is a realistic goal given a projected Federal budget surplus of $14 billion as well as other potential pools of funding, such as unspent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. "Targeting $98 million to fully fund CAPTA sounds like a lot, but it's .007 percent of this year's surplus-it barely rounds to 1 percent," said Sidney Johnson, president of Prevent Child Abuse America.
    • Along with funding, the reauthorization of CAPTA offers an opportunity to strengthen the Federal, State, and local infrastructure that supports prevention programs. "We must look at the content of CAPTA . . . for program improvements and system improvements," said David Mills, executive director, National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds.
    • Child welfare professionals should pursue partnerships with other professions and institutions to advance prevention. Government, health care, education, business, faith organizations, and the media all are stakeholders, noted Teresa Rafael, vice president of Parents Anonymous, Inc. To secure cooperation, "you might need to use different language," she said. For example, to educators, prevention might translate into readiness to learn while health care professionals might focus on wellness.
    • A presidential election year is a particularly important time to promote prevention among candidates for elected offices. "We need to be compassionate healers with sharp elbows," said Johnson. "We need to influence what goes on, not just monitor. We need to be assertive."

    To learn more about prevention, visit the new "Power of Prevention" website launched by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information at (Note: the "Power of Prevention" link is no longer available; child abuse prevention information and resources can be found at To learn more about Children's Bureau programs, visit To learn more about the groups represented by the panelists at the conference session discussed in this article, see the contact information, below.

    National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds (ACT)
    Department of Psychology
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI 48824-1117
    PHONE: (517) 432-5096
    FAX: (517) 432-2476

    The mission of the National Alliance is to build and maintain a system of services, laws, practices, and attitudes that prevent child abuse and neglect. The Alliance assists Children's Trust and Prevention Funds at the State and national levels.

    Parents Anonymous, Inc.
    675 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 220
    Claremont, CA 91711
    PHONE: (909) 621-6184
    FAX: (909) 625-6304

    Parents Anonymous encourages all parents to ask for help early to effectively break the cycle of abuse. To ensure accessibility to all community members, Parents Anonymous groups meet in local community centers, churches, schools, housing projects, shelters, and prisons. Parents Anonymous also operates local 24-hour hotlines to provide an immediate response to parents seeking help.

    Prevent Child Abuse America
    200 S. Michigan Ave., 17th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60604-2404
    PHONE: (800) CHILDREN or (312)663-3520
    FAX: (312) 939-8962

    Prevent Child Abuse America promotes healthy parenting and community involvement as effective strategies for preventing all forms of child abuse. The organization's nationwide network of chapters and local affiliates work to implement direct service programs in hundreds of communities.

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News From the Children's Bureau

  • HHS Assistant Secretary Discusses New Child Welfare Rule

    HHS Assistant Secretary Discusses New Child Welfare Rule

    You can find additional guidance on the Final Rule on Federal Monitoring of State Child Welfare Programs in testimony given by Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Olivia Golden to a House subcommittee.

    Golden discussed the rule's background and history on February 17 with the House Subcommittee on Human Resources. She also spoke in detail about the rule's four sections:

    • Child and Family Service Reviews
    • Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and Inter-Ethnic Adoption Provisions (IEAP)
    • Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)
    • Title IV-E Reviews and other foster care requirements.

    The rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in January.

    Golden said the rule emphasizes accountability and technical assistance as essential elements in State and Federal efforts to protect the well-being of children. She also discussed the next steps in implementing the rule including:

    • Identifying the first group of States to be reviewed
    • Scheduling reviews
    • Providing technical assistance to States in the implementation of ASFA, MEPA, and Independent Living Program
    • Awarding additional child welfare waiver demonstrations

    Read Assistant Secretary Golden's congressional testimony online at:

    Related Article

    See the March 2000 issue of CB Express for "Final Rule Implementing Child Welfare Laws Aims to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families."

  • States Consider Ways to Curb Infant Abandonment

    States Consider Ways to Curb Infant Abandonment

    A number of States and localities are looking at the ancient problem of infant abandonment in a new legislative light.

    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 23 States have proposed legislation related to infant abandonment. Currently, in these and other States, parents who discard their infants can face criminal charges, including murder charges if the infant dies. The bills try to discourage abandonment by providing some kind of legal protection to parents who leave their babies in a designated safe place, such as a hospital.

    The specifics vary from State to State regarding the age of the children, the places they can be left, and the extent of protection and anonymity offered to parents. Most of the bills target newborns from up to 3 days old to 1 month old. Some bills would establish a "no questions asked" policy for a baby left in a designated place. Other proposals address such issues as obtaining a baby's medical history and terminating parental rights. Some States would forego prosecution altogether; others would not guarantee immunity but would provide parents with an "affirmative defense" if charges were filed. The bills would not protect parents who have abused or neglected their babies.

    Legislative and child welfare professionals can't precisely account for why this particular population of children has entered the legislative limelight, but enactment of legislation in Texas last year along with some highly publicized grassroots initiatives in Mobile, Alabama, and Minneapolis have helped spark interest. The Texas law allows a person who brings a newborn to a designated safe place (hospital, police station, or fire station) to use their action as a defense against prosecution. Texas acted after 13 abandoned babies were found in Houston during a 10-month period in 1999.

    The bills have both strong proponents and strong critics among some child-focused groups. Some professionals who are neither for nor against the proposals point out that the underlying premise of the bills has not been researched or evaluated.

    The legislation "doesn't address the root causes [of infant abandonment], but maybe some babies [will be] saved," says John Krall, policy analyst for the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (AIARC) in Berkeley, California. The Center is part of a training and technical assistance network of Child Welfare Resource Centers supported by the Children's Bureau.

    AIARC was legislatively founded by Congress to focus on infants who are abandoned or at risk of abandonment in hospitals primarily for reasons related to parental substance abuse or HIV. Because of the current legislative and media interest, the Center recently has fielded many inquiries about babies abandoned outside of hospitals and is gathering data on the issue.

    Interviews and analyses suggest the following issues for policy makers and practitioners to consider when addressing this population:

    • The number of babies abandoned in public places each year is relatively small, though this population has never been systematically tracked or counted. Unpublished Federal research based on a survey of press accounts estimates that in 1998, 105 infants were abandoned in public places, and 33 of the infants were dead when found.
    • Legislators and researchers define abandonment differently. For example, literature reviews of abandonment turn up little research related to the babies targeted by the proposed bills. "Mostly the literature describes discarding babies as part of infanticide," observes Krall.
    • The bills are primarily designed to protect "trash bin babies"--those whose parents would leave them in places where they would perish if not discovered quickly. Research indicates that staging successful interventions with these parents is very difficult. Many are teenage girls who have hidden their pregnancy. "It's difficult to know what kind of outreach would be effective," says Krall.

    NCSL has compiled an analysis of State legislation on abandoned infants, including an overview of the pros and cons most often cited by supporters and critics. Visit NCSL online at or call 303-830-2200.

    AIARC has been gathering information on this issue, particularly as it is addressed in the research literature. Visit AIARC online at or call 510-643-8390.

  • Children's Bureau to Fund Statewide Networks for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention

    Children's Bureau to Fund Statewide Networks for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention

    The Children's Bureau has released a Program Instruction (PI) for States applying for Community-Based Family Resource and Support Grants for fiscal year 2000. The grants provide funding to establish statewide networks of family support programs.

    The Program Instruction contains the following:

    • Requirements for recipients of Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) Grant awards for fiscal year 2000
    • Guidance and instructions for the preparation and submission of the application.

    The closing date for receipt of all CBFRS grant program applications is May 1, 2000.

    Funds awarded to States under the CBFRS program must be used for:

    • Statewide networks of community-based, prevention-focused, family resource and support programs.
    • Preventive services for children and families through State and community-based public-private partnerships.
    • Specific family resource and support program services that have been identified as unmet needs.
    • Maximizing funding of statewide networks.
    • Public information activities focusing on healthy and positive development of parents and children and promotion of child abuse and neglect prevention activities.

    States receive 70 percent of the CBFRS funds based on the proportional number of children under age 18 residing in each State. The remaining 30 percent of Federal funds will be matched according to the amount of funds leveraged by each State from private, State, or other non-Federal sources in the preceding fiscal year. Each State must designate a lead agency to administer the funds. The Program Instruction details the lead agency documentation requirements, as well as the documentation of leveraged funds that must be provided to receive Federal matching funds. The PI also contains several attachments, including legislative documents, statement forms, worksheets, population allocation of CBFRS Funds, certification forms, and contact lists.

    States or their designated lead agency may obtain a copy of this Program Instruction or other information related to the CBFRS grant program, by contacting:
    Dr. Eleanor M. Wagoner
    Office of Child Abuse and Neglect
    Switzer Building; Room 2421
    330 C Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20447
    Tel.: 202-205-0749
    Fax: 202-401-5917

    An online version of this Program Instruction is available at:

  • Newest Resource Center Launches Website

    Newest Resource Center Launches Website

    Visit the newly launched website of the National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare. The site describes the Center's services and goals and includes conference details, a searchable list of online resources, insights to promising practices, and useful links.

    The Center helps State, local, and tribal child welfare agencies, and family and juvenile courts, use automated systems to improve outcomes in the child welfare system.

    Requests for on-site training and technical assistance from the National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare must be submitted through the appropriate Administration for Children and Families (ACF) regional office. Contact the Center directly for any other questions, concerns or comments:

    Patrick A. Curtis and Lynda Arnold, Co-Directors
    Tom Hay, Project Manager
    440 First Street, NW, Suite 310
    Washington, DC 20001-2085
    Tel.: 202/662-4285
    Fax: 202/638-4004

  • Children's Bureau Issues Guidance on New Foster Care Independence Program

    Children's Bureau Issues Guidance on New Foster Care Independence Program

    Title 1 of the Foster Care Independence Act, enacted into law last December, makes substantial changes in Federal efforts to serve youth transitioning out of the child welfare system.

    On March 16, 2000, the Children's Bureau issued an Information Memorandum (IM) regarding the newly retitled John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). The IM, which was sent to all States, Territories, and State Independent Living Coordinators, does the following:

    • Explains the original legislation (Title I of P.L. 106-169) enacted December 14, 1999, as well as other changes to child welfare programs
    • Alerts States that Program Instructions are forthcoming containing specific application procedures for FY 2000 and FY 2001 funds and preparing a required five-year plan
    • Explains the formula being used to determine State funding allocations for CFCIP
    • Provides a table of CFCIP State allotments for FY 2000.

    The Information Memorandum outlines specific CFCIP provisions regarding funding and design and delivery of services to youth in foster care and young adults formerly in foster care. The IM also notes that the Children's Bureau will soon issue a Program Instruction to assist States in the following areas related to CFCIP's new and/or revised provisions:

    • Application procedures for Fiscal Year 2000 CFCIP funds
    • Addressing the CFCIP State plan and program certification requirements
    • Allocation of funds
    • Implementing the law's new room and board provision.

    A second Program Instruction will be issued by June 30, 2000, providing application procedures and guidance for FY 2001-FY 2004.

    The Information Memorandum includes the following attachments:

    • Public Law 106-169--Title 1
    • HCFA Letter to State Medicaid Directors on Medicaid Options
    • FY 2000 CFCIP State Allotments

    The Information Memorandum is available online at

    Related items

    A new report on the IV-E Independent Living Programs, released by the Children's Bureau, is available online at (Note: this publication is no longer available.)

    This issue of the CB Express also contains "Answers to Foster Care Independence Questions" about a related publication answering frequently asked questions about the Chafee law.

  • Helping Hand in Implementing Independent Living

    Helping Hand in Implementing Independent Living

    States can find help implementing the newly revamped Independent Living Program from the National Resource Center for Youth Development. This Children's Bureau-supported Resource Center provides technical assistance to States, localities, and Tribes in addressing the child welfare needs of youth. Specific resources for independent living programs include:

    • Strategic planning retreats for key stakeholders responsible for meeting the law's new requirement for a 5-year plan (free through regional office funding)
    • A website with a list of current State Independent Living Coordinators updated every 2 weeks and a chat room on independent living
    • A quarterly newsletter, Daily Living, available by subscription for $20 a year that features articles on foster youth and the national agenda.

    In March, Center Director Jim Walker talked about foster youths' transitional needs at a national child welfare conference sponsored by the Children's Bureau. He outlined three core philosophies or values important for any successful Independent Living or Transitional Living program:

    • Youth Development. Agencies must be willing to let foster youth become involved in programs in a meaningful way. "They need to have the capacity and power to make suggestions and be heard and trained how to do it," said Walker.
    • Collaboration: None of us lives independently of some system of networks. Foster youth need to know how to connect with needed services.
    • Cultural Competence: Child welfare workers need to know enough about the culture of the youth they work with to meet their needs. "Different things make people feel better. People receiving services need to feel that the services they receive are helpful."

    Walker also spotlighted the following innovative approaches to independent living programs around the country:

    • Several States offer free higher education tuition for youth in foster care
    • Residents of a group home in Oklahoma run a local McDonald's restaurant
    • Red Lobster restaurant Regional Managers in Oklahoma and Texas heavily recruit foster youth.
    • For one week out of every legislative session in Oklahoma, all pages are foster youth.

    National Resource Center for Youth Development
    University of Oklahoma
    College of Continuing Education
    4502 E. 41st St.
    Tulsa, OK 74135
    Tel.: 918-660-3700
    Fax: 918-660-3737

    Related Articles

    See "Children's Bureau Issues Guidance on New Foster Care Independence Program" in this issue for an article regarding a recently released Federal Information Memorandum on the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.

    See Susan Kellam's article on ideas for implementing the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program at Connect for Kids, an online newsletter published by the Benton Foundation (

Child Welfare Research

  • Researchers Study Fathers and Child Neglect

    Researchers Study Fathers and Child Neglect

    An article in the February issue (v. 154, no. 2) of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examines the association between father involvement and child neglect. The researchers focused on 244 low-income, urban, African American 5-year-olds, their mothers, and their fathers or father figures. The group was recruited from a population defined to be at high-risk for neglect. The study methodology included interviews with mothers and fathers, videotapes of parent-child interactions, home visits, and written questionnaires. Among their conclusions, the authors found that a father's presence alone does not significantly influence child neglect, but that the nature of paternal involvement did--fathers who felt more effective as parents were less likely to have neglected their children.

    The articles authors are Howard Dubowitz, MD; Maureen M. Black, Ph.D.; Mia A. Kerr, MS; Raymond H. Starr Jr., Ph.D.; Donna Harrington, Ph.D. The research was funded by a grant from the Children's Bureau.

    The complete article is available online to paid subscribers of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and to all American Medical Association members by registering at

    For bulk reprint orders for distribution by commercial organizations, contact Wanda Bartolotta, 500 Fifth Ave, #2210, New York, NY 10110. Phone: (212) 354-0050. Fax: (212) 354-1169. Email: For reprint orders in limited quantities for distribution by education organizations and for author reprints, contact Author Reprints, 515 N State St, Chicago, IL, 60610. Phone: (312) 464-4594. Fax: (312) 464-4849.

  • Safe Start Initiative Grants Awarded by OJJDP

    Safe Start Initiative Grants Awarded by OJJDP

    On Feb. 29, Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced grant awards to address the needs of children exposed to violence. "Children exposed to violence are more likely to become violent themselves, regardless of whether they were victimized directly or indirectly, by witnessing violence," said Holder. "These grants will enable communities to intervene early to protect children exposed to violence from further violence and provide them with the treatment they need for recovery."

    The nine sites selected for the first year of a 66-month program period are:

    • San Francisco
    • Bridgeport, CT
    • Pinellas County, FL
    • Chicago
    • Washington County, ME
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Rochester, NY
    • Chatham County, NC
    • Spokane, WA

    Through the Safe Start grants, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will award approximately $670,000 each year. Grantees will initially use funds to review existing community services and gaps that need to be filled, followed by planning a 5-year comprehensive response. Interventions will include child advocacy centers, home visitation programs, and domestic violence services for battered mothers whose children are at a high risk of exposure to violence.

    Additionally, OJJDP awarded $670,000 to each of three sites--Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; and Newark, NJ--for a 2-year period to focus on specific improvements to services for children exposed to violence. The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence in New Haven, Connecticut, will work with OJJDP to provide training and technical support to the Safe Start sites.

    The Safe Start Initiative, part of a larger Children Exposed to Violence Initiative launched in December 1998, is partly based on the Child Development-Community Policing Program (, funded by OJJDP. This pilot program, developed by Yale University and the New Haven Connecticut Police Department, brings police officers and mental health professionals together to provide constructive intervention for child violent crime victims and witnesses.

    A list of the Safe Start grantees is available online at (Editor's note: this link is no longer available).

    Related article
    See "Insights on Violence and Children" in this issue to read about an interview with the director of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center.

  • Answers to Foster Care Independence Questions

    Answers to Foster Care Independence Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, by the National Foster Care Awareness Project, is the first publication in a series focusing on this new legislation and how to maximize support for young people transitioning from foster care.

    The overview of the Foster Care Independence Act discusses Title 1 of the Act, which addresses provisions for youth leaving foster care. A chart compares provisions of the Former Independent Living Initiative with its replacement, the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. Specific areas that are addressed are:

    • Funding
    • Eligibility
    • Focus on young people
    • Emphasis on permanence
    • Health care
    • Asset limit
    • Training of staff and parents
    • Coordination
    • Accountability

    This publication also summarizes the minimum components required in each State's 5-year plan, as mandated by the new law. Appendices include the National Foster Care Awareness Project members, Title 1 of the Foster Care Independence Act, and a letter to State Medicaid Directors from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).

    The National Foster Care Awareness Project is a coalition of 19 foundations, national organizations, public and private agencies, and corporations. The report is available online through the Benton Foundation website at:

    Related Article

    See "Children's Bureau Issues Guidance on New Foster Care Independence Program" in this issue of the CB Express for an article about a Federal Information Memorandum on this law.

  • Pros and Cons of Online Sex Offender Registries

    Pros and Cons of Online Sex Offender Registries

    States continue to grapple with how best to comply with "Megan's Law." This Federal law enacted in 1996 requires States to implement sex offender registration and notification requirements. States are required to release any relevant information about registered sex offenders necessary to maintain and protect public safety. Megan's Law also allows disclosure of information collected under a State registration program for any purpose permitted under State laws.

    Under such guidelines, States retain significant discretion to determine the circumstances under which the disclosure of registration information to the public is necessary. A variety of approaches among the States has emerged, ranging from total disclosure on the Internet (including names, addresses, photos), to a more limited notification (such as allowing people to come to a police station to view a CD-ROM containing the information).

    Proponents of disseminating information on sex offenders through the Internet give the following reasons:

    • Information on the Internet is much more easily accessible to the public.
    • Several instances occurred in which private citizens spotted sex offenders engaging in potentially dangerous activities, in violation of their paroles.
    • Citizens have a right to know if there is a sex offender living in their neighborhood.
    • The right of innocent children and others to safety outweighs the right of sex offenders to privacy.

    Opponents of disseminating the information through the Internet give the following reasons:

    • Records are often incomplete, inaccurate, or out-of-date.
    • This practice, in effect, extends offenders' sentences
    • This practice makes it difficult for ex-offenders to find employment or housing.
    • The practice raises concerns about vigilantism
    • Availability of this information could lead to "networking" among sexual predators.

    Currently, 74 government agencies in 25 States disseminate sex offender information on the Internet, and proposals are being considered in a number of other States. (, a national, daily news service, maintains a database ( with links to the sex offender sites and a synopsis of the information found at each site. (Editor's note: these links are no longer active.) A link to recent sex offender news coverage, with details about registries in the States, is included with the database.

  • Legislative Updates

    Legislative Updates

    Following are short summaries of current congressional bills of interest to professionals working in child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. To learn more about any of these bills, visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, at

    HHS Appropriations. H.R.4577; S.2553. FY 2001 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. These bills allocate funds for these agencies for fiscal year 2001. Among the HHS services funded through these bills are protection and treatment programs for abused and neglected children, child welfare services, child abuse prevention programs, abandoned infants assistance, programs that support implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and community-based resource centers.

    Status: H.R.4577 was taken up by the full House on 6/8/00. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed S.2553 on 5/12/00. Action by the full Senate is expected this month.

    Social Services Block Grants. S. 2585, H.R.4481. These bills seek to restore proposed cuts made to Social Services Block Grants by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Among other things, States use SSBG funds for child welfare services including child protective services, foster care, and adoption services. States also use these funds for child care and services to at-risk youths.

    Status, Both bills were introduced 5/17/00 and referred to committee.

    Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. S.2435. This bill, the Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug (AOD) Partnership Act of 2000 would promote and support collaboration between public child welfare systems and alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment systems.

    Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, 4/13/00

    Violence Against Women. H.R.1248; S.51. The Violence Against Women Act of 1999 would reauthorize programs enacted under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. is bill would reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act for 5 years. The Act would reauthorize funding for such programs as shelters for battered women, a National Domestic Violence Hotline, training for judges and court personnel, and prevention initiatives. The bill also would reauthorize funding for certain child abuse-related programs, including Court Appointed Special Advocates and child abuse training for judicial personnel and practitioners.

    Status: H.R.1248 was marked up by the House Subcommittee on Crime, 5/11/00. S.51 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee 1/19/99. Work on a compromise Senate bill also has been taking place.

    Hispanic Health Issues. H.Con.Res.325. This concurrent resolution expresses the sense of Congress regarding the need to more appropriately address the health and well being of Hispanic adolescent girls and endorsing the findings and recommendations of the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations (COSSMHO) now known as The National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

    Status: Referred to House Commerce Committee, 5/15/00

    Volunteer Screening. H.R.4244, National Child Protection Volunteer Screening Assistance Act of 2000, would establish a national center on volunteer screening to reduce sexual and other abuse of children.

    Status: Referred to the House Judiciary Committee/Subcommittee, 4/11/00; referred to the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, 5/23/00

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Licensing Guide for Child Welfare Workers

    Licensing Guide for Child Welfare Workers

    For insights into the way in which one State is dealing with the issue of licensing child welfare employees, visit (Editor's note: this link is no longer available). The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has developed a Child Welfare Employee Licensure Guide, available online in PDF format. The guide is a self-study tool to help child welfare professionals in Illinois prepare for the newly required Child Welfare Service Employee (CWSE) License.

    Along with information specific to Illinois, the guide includes broadly applicable information about pertinent Federal laws, history of child welfare, human behavior and development, and child welfare practices.

  • First of Series of Adoption Videos Released

    First of Series of Adoption Videos Released

    The first of a set of four videos addressing permanency for children in the child welfare system has been released by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

    The free video, "Introduction to Mediation, Family Group Conferencing, and Concurrent Planning: Pathways to Permanence" provides an overview of each of these innovations aimed at achieving permanency for children in the child welfare system. Each of the topics will be the subject of separate videos slated for release this summer.

    The video is designed to

    • Introduce the essential aspects of mediation, family group conferencing, and concurrent planning
    • Offer specific court-endorsed strategies for meeting AFSA timelines
    • Inspire communities to try innovative approaches to permanency
    • Place the approaches in the context of a child's emotional development

    The 30-minute video, produced by Courter Films & Associates, is intended for child welfare workers, court personnel, policy makers, and other professionals and groups concerned with the well-being of children. The video features judges, social workers, attorneys, program innovators, court workers, and children who have spent a decade in the children welfare system.

    Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
    P.O. Box 7164
    Dublin, OH 43017
    Tel.: 614-764-3009
    Fax: 614-764-6707


  • Guidance for Treating Substance Abusers Affected by Child Abuse and Neglect Issues

    Guidance for Treating Substance Abusers Affected by Child Abuse and Neglect Issues

    The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) has released best practice guidelines for treating individuals affected by both substance abuse and child abuse and neglect. CSAT is an agency of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Child Abuse and Neglect Issues examines substance abuse treatment for:

    • Adult survivors of child abuse and neglect
    • Adults in treatment for substance abuse who may be abusing or neglecting their own children.

    The publication includes:

    • Screening and assessment tools to determine a client's history of childhood abuse or neglect
    • Guidelines on treating clients with histories of child abuse and neglect, including referral to mental health services
    • Help for counselors who may encounter personal issues
    • Guidelines for identifying clients who are currently, or at risk of, abusing or neglecting their children and recommended interventions
    • Legal issues that counselors should be aware of as mandated reporters.

    The manual also provides background information and statistics on child abuse and neglect; a review of literature documenting links between childhood abuse and subsequent substance abuse; and a discussion of continuing and emerging trends, such as fast-track adoption and welfare reform. Appendices include an extensive bibliography, legal advice on protecting clients' privacy, implications of recent Federal legislation for clients in treatment, sources for screening and assessment tools, organizations related to childhood trauma among adults, resource panelists, and field reviewers.

    This document is #36 in CSAT's Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) series.

    Order a free, print copy of the document from SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI), 800-729-6686 or TDD (for hearing impaired) 800-487-4889.

    Access the entire TIP series online via the National Library of Medicine's website at or NCADI's website at

    Related Item

    A related 1999 Department of Health and Human Services report to Congress entitled Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground addresses substance abuse and its relationship to child maltreatment. The text of the report is available online at Free print copies are available from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (, 800-FYI-3366.

  • Census Data Shows Latino Children Living in Poverty

    Census Data Shows Latino Children Living in Poverty

    According to a report issued in March by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, poverty is especially serious for Latino children. Latino children represent more than one-fourth (28.5%) of all children in the United States living in poverty. Among children younger than 18, one-third of Latino children (34%) are poor, compared with 11 percent of non-Hispanic white children. Among the different subgroups, the poverty rate for Latino children in 1998 ranged from 44 percent for Puerto Ricans to 17 percent for Cubans.

    Besides poverty, the report covers population characteristics for the Hispanic population in the United States with regard to the following areas:

    • Educational attainment
    • Employment characteristics
    • Marital status
    • Family composition

    General population statistics show that Latinos make up 12 percent of the total U.S. population or 32 million. In an ethnic comparison, people of Mexican heritage make up the largest group (65%), followed by Central and South American (14%), Puerto Rican (10%), Cuban (4%), and other Hispanic backgrounds (7%).

    Hispanic Population in the United States: March 1999 is available in English or Spanish, along with other related information, from the website of the U.S. Bureau of the Census (

    A related publication in English and Spanish, entitled Latinos and Child Welfare, published in 1997 by the National Latino Child Welfare Advocacy Group, is available at no charge from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (, 800-394-3366.

  • Insights on Violence and Children

    Insights on Violence and Children

    For an expert's insights into the effects that violence can have on children, read an interview by Caitlin Johnson with Betsy McAlister Groves, director of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center in the Connect for Kids electronic newsletter.

    In the interview, Groves shared the following observations:

    • Children who witness violence are affected in all aspects of their development, including emotional, social, and cognitive development
    • Identifying children affected by witnessing violence is difficult. Possible indicators include sleep disturbances, increased separation anxiety, changes in behavior, and chronic anxiety, but these symptoms can indicate other issues as well
    • Children traumatized by violence can heal, but their recovery is affected by many different factors; each child is unique in his or her response.

    Groves's program provides counseling, advocacy, and outreach services children age 8 or younger who have witnessed violence, particularly family violence. The interview includes links to resources for additional information and assistance. The interview is posted at content_show.htm?amp;attrib_id=311&doc_id=26600. Or, visit the home page and scroll through the annotated list of stories.

  • Honor los Niños on April 30

    Honor los Niños on April 30

    Mark April 30, 2000, as a special day to celebrate and uplift America's children. Based on the traditional observance of children's days in Latin American and other countries, Congress has taken the first steps toward recognizing the day as a national holiday to coincide with similar celebrations in countries of the Western Hemisphere.

    "El Día de los Niños (Children's Day): Celebrating Young Americans" recognizes Latino children in particular, who are the second largest group of children in the nation according to the Census Bureau. Last year, the National Latino Children's Institute worked with 29 communities around the country to organize El Día de los Niños celebrations for children and their families. The range of activities promoting children's well-being included parades, book festivals, health fairs, resolutions passed by local governments, and milagros exhibits--handmade ornaments reflecting children's wishes, hopes, and dreams for the future.

    The U.S. Senate has twice passed a resolution designating April 30 as "Día de los Niños." A resolution must be passed four times for an observation to be recognized as a national holiday.

    See Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, for a copy of the Senate Resolution, S. RES. 90 ( For more information about El Día de los Niños, visit the website of the National Latino Children's Institute ( Contact NLCI staff for assistance in starting an event to celebrate this day at 512-472-9971 or

  • New Glossary Defines Brain Development

    New Glossary Defines Brain Development

    Emerging research in neuroscience points to the first 3 years of life as crucial to a child's healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development. The new "BrainWonders" website, sponsored by Zero to Three, serves as a resource for parents, caregivers, and pediatric/family clinicians on early brain development.

    A glossary, featured on this site, defines the parts of the brain and stages in brain development. It also defines processes to measure the brain, such as brain imaging and the electroencephalogram (EEG). Some interesting definitions are:

    • Brain: A baby's brain triples its weight in the first few years of life and quadruples in size by the time a child becomes an adult. Most of this gain is not due to addition of new brain cells (neurons), but rather, to increased complexity and interconnections among the brain cells that we are born with, as well as to increases in the supporting cells.
    • Pruning: A process in brain development whereby unused brain cells, or unused synapses (connections among brain cells), are shed. At about 2 years, a child's brain compared with an adult brain has about twice as many connections among neurons. By the teenage years, those not in use are shed. Only those that are put to use survive.
    • Windows of Opportunity: Scientists believe that there are "sensitive periods" of time when the brain is capable of learning most efficiently and thoroughly... For example, children develop a "native accent" in a language if they begin to hear and speak it when very young. Someone who learns a new language at 3 years old will sound more "native" than one who begins as a 10-year-old. Around puberty, the "window" for easily acquiring native accents may close, for most people. Studies show little difference in the accent of someone who learns a new language as a teenager in high school, compared to someone who learns in middle age.

    The BrainWonders glossary is available online at

    Zero to Three ( is a national, non-profit organization located in Washington, DC, dedicated solely to advancing the healthy development of babies and young children.

  • New and Noteworthy Publications

    New and Noteworthy Publications

    Foundations for Success: Strengthening Your Agency Attorney Office. Edited by Mimi Laver and Claire Sandt. American Bar Association's Center for Children and the Law. 1999. 90 pages. $14.95

    A new book from the American Bar Association's (ABA's) Center on Children and the Law offers how-to's for child welfare agency lawyers who want to provide more efficient and more effective representation.

    Foundations for Success: Strengthening Your Agency Attorney Office provides practical advice on such topics as:

    • Improving working relationships with caseworkers
    • Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA)
    • Establishing caseload standards
    • Developing practice standards
    • Getting the most from performance evaluations
    • Selecting and retaining high-quality staff.

    Appendices address such issues as how to avoid professional burnout, useful websites, and commonly used forms.

    To order a copy, contact:
    ABA Center for Children and the Law
    740 15th St., NW, 9th Floor
    Washington, DC 20005-1009
    Tel.: 202-662-1746
    Fax: 202-662-1755
    Order number 549-0111

    For more information on the Center for Children and the Law, operated by the American Bar Association, call Mimi Laver, Assistant Director for Child Welfare, 202-662-1736 or visit the Center's website at

    ADVOCASEY. Fall 1999/Winter 2000. Vol. 1, Number 3. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    The Fall 1999/Winter 2000 issue of AdvoCasey, features three articles on child-welfare policy and practice --"More Foster Families, Fewer Children Entering Care: Rebuilding Family Foster Care in Cuyahoga and Anne Arundel Counties," "The Graduates: The Casey Family Services Alumni Study," and "Reforming Child Welfare," a commentary by Casey Foundation President Douglas Nelson. The issue also includes reports on effective approaches to youth violence and juvenile justice. The issue is available online at

    To obtain a free print copy, contact:
    The Annie E. Casey Foundation
    701 St. Paul St.
    Baltimore, MD 21202
    Tel.: 410-547-6600
    Fax: 410-547-6624

    Protecting Children. 1999, Vol 15, Number 3/4. American Humane Association. Quarterly.

    This issue of Protecting Children is devoted to evaluation and assessment strategies to improve outcomes in child welfare services. The American Humane Association's (AHA's) partners prepared the articles. According to Paul DiLorenzo, Director of AHA's Children's Division, AHA's partner agencies "have taken the initiative to explore creative ways to blend best practice and outcome measurement." An article by Charles Usher, a social work professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, reviews how the design and execution of evaluations have progressed from social experiments in the 1960s to reform initiatives today. Kutzler, Kuna, and Nowak from the Philadelphia Department of Human Services recount the history of outcomes development in their city. Alsop and Winterfeld provide a chart of core children's services outcome indicators to measure performance based on the Casey Outcomes and Decision Making Project, a consortium of national organizations. Pamela Day discusses her work with the Child Welfare League of America in developing a practice guide for assessment in child protection and child welfare. An article by Brittain and Klein-Rothschild, examines the lessons learned from a 17-State survey of new child welfare staff trained on statewide, automated child welfare information systems (SACWIS).

    To order a copy ($11, including shipping and handling), contact:
    American Humane Association, Children's Division
    63 Inverness Drive East
    Englewood, CO 80112-5117
    Tel: 800-227-4645
    Fax: 303-792-5333

  • Link to Resources for Children with Disabilities

    Link to Resources for Children with Disabilities

    A new federally sponsored website offers up-to-date information for children with disabilities and their families. The website, (Editor's note: this link is no longer available), is an initiative by the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to promote a national agenda for children and foster positive youth development. The Council's nine participating Federal agencies and offices are:

    • Department of Justice
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Department of Labor
    • Immigration and Naturalization Service
    • Office of National Drug Control Policy
    • Corporation for National Service
    • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

    The Children with Disabilities site includes information on advocacy, education, employment, health, housing, recreation, technical assistance, and transportation covering a broad array of developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities. The site provides links to organizations offering support and technical assistance to families and professionals concerning children with learning disabilities, mental health problems, and physical disabilities.

    The site also provides assistance for children whose healthy development is threatened by social factors, such as poverty and abuse, and resources on the adoption of children with disabilities. The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information ( is listed as a link under "Federal Resources" and featured under "Calendar of Events" for its Conference Calendar.

  • Journal Examines Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

    Journal Examines Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

    The Winter 1999 issue of The Future of Children, published by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, focuses on children who are exposed to domestic violence.

    The editor, Richard E. Behrman, states that the purpose of this issue is "encouraging informed debate about domestic violence and children." The 10 articles in this issue analyze the current research regarding the prevalence and effects of child exposure to domestic violence (defined here as violence between adult intimate partners) and other forms of violence, describe legislative and service system responses to families struggling with domestic violence, and suggest strategies for improving intervention and prevention programs.

    In the article entitled "Analysis and Recommendations," the authors synthesize the literature on child exposure to domestic violence and note the need for new research and improvements in interventions. Their position is that exposure of children to domestic violence can have significant negative effects on their emotional, social, and cognitive development. Their list of recommendations include:

    • New research
    • Stable public funding sources
    • New strategies for identifying and serving children that do not have access to services through traditional avenues
    • Clear protocols for service providers to intervene with families in which both domestic violence and child maltreatment are present
    • Ongoing training for professionals regarding domestic violence and its impact on children
    • Protection by courts and affordable legal counsel for battered women and their children
    • Court consideration of domestic violence in child custody and visitation cases
    • Awareness of unintended negative consequences of new legislation to address effects of childhood exposure to domestic violence
    • Ongoing public support for effective domestic violence prevention programs

    An executive summary and the complete edition of Domestic Violence and Children are available online at

    To order a free print copy, contact the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Circulation Department, 300 Second Street, Suite 102, Los Altos, CA 94022, phone: 650-948-7658, fax: 650-948-6498, Email:

  • Preschool Resource for Hispanic Families

    Preschool Resource for Hispanic Families

    Parent educators and others who work with families have a new resource for Latino families with young children. Project Family, which provides services for low-income, predominantly Latino families with young children, has created a group of songs, rhymes, and fingerplays for parents, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers enrolled in their Developmental Playgroups.

    One of the playgroup educators, Nancy Newman, has translated traditional American songs, rhymes, and fingerplays into Spanish and translated several popular Latin American folk songs for children into English. She also has written the lyrics for a song set to the tune of "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," entitled "Dinosaurios/Dinosaurs." The songs not only are fun, but also expose families and young children to American culture. They are organized into the following sections:

    • playgroup rituals (circle time and transition songs)
    • birds, beasts, bugs (e.g., "Eentsy-Weentsy Spider")
    • Feelings (e.g., "If you're happy and you know it")
    • Buses, boats, and alphabets (e.g., "The Wheels on the Bus")
    • Fingerplays

    A selection of the Developmental Playgroup's favorite songs, rhymes, and fingerplays is available through the website of Zero to Three at

    Project Family is a member of Zero to Three (, a national, non-profit organization located in Washington, DC, dedicated to advancing the healthy development of babies and young children.

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.

  • View Online Training on Child Death Review Teams

    View Online Training on Child Death Review Teams

    For an online training on child death review teams, visit http:/ The March 23 satellite telecast was simultaneously broadcast over the Internet by Yahoo!Broadcast and will remain online through June 21. The event was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) and the National Center on Child Fatality Review (NCFR).

    The 2-hour training featured the Los Angeles Child Death Review team discussing several fictitious cases. The panel fielded calls from participants at sites around the country. The event also included short, videotaped presentations on forensic pathology, collection of evidence, and grief and mourning. The team includes representatives from the county's law enforcement, coroner's, child protective services, health, and district attorney's offices.

    To view the presentation, you will need a computer equipped with speakers and a sound card. The site provides additional information about necessary equipment. Note: The site walks you through the downloading process, but you still might need help from your organization's information technology department.

    Related Item

    The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law's Child Fatality Project has produced an annotated bibliography of more than 230 books, articles, forms and reports related to the work being done throughout the country by State and local child death review teams. A Selective Annotated Bibliography of Resource Materials for Child Fatality Review Teams: Where to Go for What You Need to Know includes sections on causes of death and serious injury; child abuse and neglect; review team establishment and operation; published reports; confidentiality and records access; data; death certificates; and much more. Many of the entries in the 104-page book include contact information. Cost: $12. Order online at or contact the Center at:
    ABA Center for Children and the Law
    740 15th St., NW, 9th Floor
    Washington, DC 20005-1009
    Tel.: 202-662-1746
    Fax: 202-662-1755

  • New Training in Cultural Competence for Child Welfare Workers

    New Training in Cultural Competence for Child Welfare Workers

    Child welfare professionals have a new opportunity to obtain training in cultural competency. The organization Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW) has developed a 4-day seminar for human services staff titled "A Journey Toward Cultural Competence." The training, designed for groups of 15 to 25 employees, focuses on the following areas:

    • Awareness of cultural diversity (racial and cultural barriers, ethnocentric reactions)
    • Knowledge of cultural diversity (development of racial identity, psychosocial history of racial groups
    • Skills in cultural competence (development of trust and rapport, self-assessment of cultural competency)
    • Cross-cultural encounters (role-playing, practical approaches, personal action plans).

    Each day of the seminar can be presented as a separate module. For information, visit BACW's website at or contact either of the following individuals:

    Joyce Johnson
    Tel.: 202-942-0244
    Fax: 202-638-4004

    Julyette Berry
    Tel. and Fax: 202-529-4675

    BACW also will assess agencies for their current level of cultural competence and make recommendations for improvements. The comprehensive assessment includes:

    • Analysis of programs and policies
    • Staff and board mix
    • Administrative procedures
    • Governance structure
    • Service history with targeted consumers and communities

    For more information, call 202-529-4675 or visit the BACW website.