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News From the Children's Bureau

  • HHS Honored by Harvard University for Child Welfare Outcomes Initiative

    HHS Honored by Harvard University for Child Welfare Outcomes Initiative

    In August, Harvard University recognized the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by selecting its new initiative to measure child welfare outcomes in the States as one of 15 finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award. The finalists were selected from more than 1,000 nominations.

    The HHS Child Welfare Outcomes Initiative, which is implemented by the Children's Bureau, was one of three Federal agencies distinguished as finalists in the competition. The other Federal finalists were, a Web portal administered by the General Services Administration that provides access to 47 million Federal and State Web pages; and the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for Patient Safety, which helps prevent health care errors.

    Although HHS was not chosen as one of the 5 winners announced December 13, it will receive a prize of $20,000, which is awarded to all finalists.

    Celebrating its 15th year, the Innovations Awards Program honors creative problem-solving in the public sector with funding from the Ford Foundation. Harvard's Institute for Government Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government administers all stages of the competition, including the finalist presentations to the National Selection Committee. The 13-member Committee for the 2001 award was chaired by David R. Gergen, a commentator, author, and professor who has served in the administrations of four U.S. Presidents.

    As a partner to the Institute for Government Innovation, the Council for Excellence in Government--a national, non-profit, and nonpartisan organization--administers the Ford Foundation awards. The Council, whose 750 members have served as senior public sector officials, also serves as a resource to all winners and finalists by helping to replicate and publicize their innovation.

    The five winners and their programs each receive a $100,000 award. For the complete list of winners and finalists, visit the Innovations in American Government website at: under 2001 Winners.

    Contact information:

    Innovations in American Government
    John F. Kennedy School of Government
    Harvard University
    79 John F. Kennedy St.
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    Phone: 617-495-0557
    Fax: 617-496-4602

    Related Items

    Visit the Child Welfare Review Project's website, which disseminates information on behalf of the Children's Bureau about the Child and Family Services Reviews, consultant recruitment, and training ( (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

    See the article "States Begin to Receive Final Reports of Child and Family Services Reviews" from the November/December 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

  • Safe Horizon Expands its Role in New York City

    Safe Horizon Expands its Role in New York City

    Safe Horizon (, one of New York City's leading providers of victims' assistance, child and family counseling programs, and shelter and housing services, expanded its services immediately following the September 11th attacks.

    With nine community offices in the five NYC boroughs, Safe Horizon now offers crisis support services and trauma counseling to those affected by the September 11th tragedy. In addition, crisis response teams are working in over 40 schools in NYC, helping children understand the tragedy, cope with their fears, and offering related crisis support training for teachers and parents.

    Safe Horizon also offers 24-hour telephone hotlines for crisis support counseling to help in coping with trauma, and referrals to resources ranging from housing assistance to mental health care. The Safe Horizon Counseling Center, a licensed mental health facility specializing in trauma counseling, is offering group crisis support sessions and group bereavement sessions.

    Immediate financial assistance is also being offered to victims of the attacks. In partnership with the New York State Crime Victims Board and the United Way/New York Community Trust September 11th Fund, Safe Horizon is providing direct cash assistance to assist victims and family members of victims. To date, over 25,000 checks have been distributed.

  • New HHS Initiative Focuses on Child Trauma

    New HHS Initiative Focuses on Child Trauma

    The terrorist attacks on September 11 left thousands of children traumatized both physically and emotionally. And both before and after September 11, thousands of children annually are traumatized by being abused or neglected or by witnessing violence in their homes.

    To help all traumatized children heal, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October awarded $10 million in grants to the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. The initiative will encompass the wide spectrum of traumatic stress on children. "Traumatic stress can result from many incidents--experiencing natural and human-caused disasters, child abuse, rape or other dangerous crimes as well as witnessing such trauma happening to a loved one," explained then-Acting Administrator of SAMSHA Joseph H. Autry III, M.D.

    Administered by HHS's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), three types of grants were awarded:

    • A grant to the University of California Los Angeles of $3 million to establish a National Center for Traumatic Stress, which will coordinate the initiative and create a network of centers involved in the study, treatment, and support of children and families impacted by traumatic stress.
    • Grants totaling nearly $3 million divided among 5 institutions to establish centers to identify, support, improve, or develop effective treatment and service approaches for different types of child traumatic events, different ages of development, and children involved in different child service sectors, such as the child welfare and protective service systems.
    • Grants totaling nearly $4 million divided among 12 agencies to establish community practice centers for child trauma treatment that will collect clinical data on traumatized children and will provide trauma-focused professional training.

    The information gained from grantees will be used to replicate the programs in other communities. "The development and implementation of this initiative will help us to maximize trauma recovery, and understand which children and which types of trauma exposure are effectively treated by different types of intervention approaches as well as how intervention approaches should best address developmental issues," said Bernard S. Arons, M.D., director of SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services.

    For a complete list of the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative grantees, visit:

    Related Items

    See related story "HHS Responds to September 11 Tragedy" in the September/October 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

    Read "Safe Horizon Expands its Role in New York City" in the January 2002 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

  • Getting in SYNC: Agency Responsiveness to the Community

    Getting in SYNC: Agency Responsiveness to the Community

    What are the keys to a successful public/private partnership? A teleconference sponsored by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement in October shed some light on the subject by discussing a public/private partnership between a State division of Social Services and a local mental health agency.

    The teleconference focused on a public-private partnership in Vermont between the Barre Social and Rehabilitation Services (Barre SRS) and Washington County Mental Health Services (WCMHS).

    During the teleconference, Don Mandelkorn of Barre SRS and Phil Wells of WCMHS talked about how the partnership has evolved.

    Barre SRS and WCMHS began partnering in the late 1980s on Higher Ground, a program to provide wraparound services to juvenile offenders in order to keep youth within their own community. In 1993, the collaboration expanded to include juveniles with sexual offending behaviors and the agencies jointly created Systems in Collaboration (SYNC), an approach to collaboration that relies on shared principles, beliefs, and mission statements; flexible funding strategies; and a clearly articulated, collaborative management structure.

    Delivery of services is accomplished through an interdisciplinary treatment team that includes the child and parent whenever possible. Formal grants, contracts, and letters of agreement are used to document and back-up agreements among the partners.

    The management structure of the collaboration recognizes the need for communication, respect, and patience among the partners. Roles, norms, and processes for the collaborative are established with the input and agreement of involved parties. Members of the collaborative share equally the credit for the collaborative's success and the responsibility and accountability when the collaborative is not successful.

    Wells and Mandelkorn say there are numerous challenges to the collaborative approach. Agreement on treatments and services is sometimes difficult, staff turnover creates a training challenge, and the potential for "paralysis by analysis" due to too many decision makers can hamper collaborative efforts. The advantages, however, afford the collaborative a higher level of coordinated behavior, funding flexibility, and greater continuity of services for children and their families.

    Contact information:

    Phil Wells, Director
    Individualized Services Program
    Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc.
    260 Beckley Hill Road
    Barre, VT 05641
    Phone: 802-476-1480

    Don Mandelkorn, Director
    Division of Social Services
    255 North Main Street, 4th Floor
    Barre, VT 05641
    Phone: 802-479-4260

  • Federal Government Plan Aims to Streamline Federal Grant Process

    Federal Government Plan Aims to Streamline Federal Grant Process

    A governmentwide effort to streamline the Federal grants process for States, universities, businesses, and other grant recipients will stress the need for a simpler, cost-effective process that takes advantage of current technology.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), led by Secretary Tommy Thompson, is leading the Federal Grants Streamlining Program. HHS awards approximately one-half of the $325 billion in grants available annually from more than 600 Federal programs administered by 26 Federal agencies.

    The Federal Grant Streamlining Program is composed of the Grants Management Committee (GMC) and five interagency work groups:

    • Pre-Award
    • Post-Award
    • Audit Oversight
    • Electronic Processing Group
    • General Policy and Oversight Team.

    Reflecting a partnership between the Federal government and the public, the initiative seeks to enhance grants programs performance, reduce administrative costs, and conserve resources.

    Aims of the initiative include:

    • Greatly reducing the required data and information necessary for grant applications and reports
    • Presenting information in easy-to-understand language
    • Reducing reliance on paperwork by incorporating technology and electronic processes, while still accommodating groups that lack access to technology
    • Conducting business consistently among similar-serving programs by obtaining input from affected stakeholders.

    The initiative also will incorporate successful components from previous initiatives of agencies and interagency groups.

    Secretary Thompson last May released a preliminary plan on implementing the initative. To read or download the initial plan in PDF format visit

    Related Item

    Read the Children's Bureau Express article "Grantwriting for Children's Advocacy Centers in the September/October 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

Child Welfare Research

  • Justice Department Establishes Resource Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents

    Justice Department Establishes Resource Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents

    Sending parents to jail has serious implications for the health and well-being of large numbers of children. In the United States, more than 2 million children have an incarcerated parent--double the number since 1991. Children of incarcerated parents often experience stressful shifts in caregivers, separation from their siblings, loss of contact with parents, and emotional and behavioral difficulties.

    To aid these children, the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Corrections (NIC) awarded the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) a grant in September for $1.1 million over a period of 3 years to operate a new Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners. The mission of the Washington, D.C.-based Center will be to:

    • Conduct research and evaluation
    • Collect and disseminate information
    • Provide training and technical assistance
    • Increase awareness among the many disciplines and service systems that come in contact with families separated by incarceration.

    "We welcome the opportunity to participate with NIC and our partners in the important work of developing better resources and supports for children and families separated by incarceration," commented Shay Bilchik, Executive Director of the Child Welfare League. "Our goal is to share this information with professionals in key disciplines and the general public so together we can create better outcomes for children whose parents are involved with the criminal justice system."

    CWLA launched its Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative in March 1996 when it hosted a national conference that brought together child welfare and criminal justice professionals. Since then, CWLA has produced and distributed informational materials on this issue for the child welfare community and general public.

    Contact information:

    Joyce Johnson
    CWLA's Children with Incarcerated Parents
    440 First St. NW, Third Floor
    Washington, DC 20001-2085
    Phone: 202-942-0244
    Website: http:///

  • Family Violence and the Role of Health Professionals

    Family Violence and the Role of Health Professionals

    A new report provides an in-depth look at family violence in the United States and the role of health professionals in dealing with this problem.

    The report, entitled Confronting Chronic Neglect, The Education and Training of Health Professionals on Family Violence, was prepared at the request of Congress and published by the Institute of Medicine. The report asserts that little is being done to adequately train health professionals to deal with problems of family violence, despite the fact that health professionals are often the first to encounter victims of family violence.

    The researchers examined the current forces influencing health professional education, such as accreditation, licensure, and certification requirements; professional and personal factors; and mandated reporting and education laws. They also reviewed current evaluations of training efforts. In addition, educational activities related to family violence for the following six groups of professionals were outlined:

    • Physicians
    • Physician assistants
    • Nurses
    • Psychologists
    • Social workers
    • Dentists.

    The report calls for a thorough evaluation of current programs and encourages innovative approaches to better prepare health professionals to treat victims of abuse and neglect, as well as perpetrators. The researchers make specific recommendations to governmental and private sector entities about evaluating and improving current education and training programs, specifically:

    • Establishment of new, multidisciplinary education and research centers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would conduct studies on the total impact of family violence, assess training needs in the health care industry, and investigate gaps in current research.
    • Development of health professional curricula on family violence, effective teaching strategies, approaches to overcoming barriers to training, and approaches to integrate learning into practice by educators and professional organizations.
    • Greater responsibility by health care delivery systems and training settings for developing, testing, and evaluating innovative training models or programs.
    • Evaluation of curricula on family violence for health professionals by Federal agencies and funders of education programs.

    While the report focuses on the involvement of health professionals in combating family violence, it also emphasizes that help from others is essential. "Responding to victims of family violence and ultimately preventing its occurrence is a societal responsibility. As such it must be shared," write John D. Stobo, Chair, and Marla E. Salmon, Vice Chair, of the National Academies' Committee that authored the report.

    Confronting Chronic Neglect: The Education and Training of Health Professionals on Family Violence is available online at:

    To purchase a copy for $39.95, contact:

    National Academy Press
    2101 Constitution Ave., NW
    Box 285
    Washington, DC 20055
    Phone: 202-334-3313
    Toll-free: 800-624-6242
    Fax: 202-334-2451

  • Hazards of Child Maltreatment on Developing Brains

    Hazards of Child Maltreatment on Developing Brains

    Two new resources published by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information explain how child maltreatment negatively impacts early brain development during infancy and early childhood.

    In Focus: Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Early Brain Development, explores recent developments in the scientific understanding of early brain development. In discussing the biology of brain growth, the report notes that the brain's "plasticity," or the influence of environment, plays a larger role than previously thought in the development of a child's brain.

    In examining the effects of maltreatment on brain development, the document illustrates how children learn to cope. "When babies' cries bring food or comfort, they are strengthening the neural pathways that help them learn how to get their needs met, both physically and emotionally," states the document. "But babies who do not get responses to their cries, and babies whose cries are met with abuse, learn different lessons." This chronic stress caused by abuse or neglect will derail the brain's resources for learning and focus them instead on survival. The report highlights a number of biological reactions to stress, such as:

    • Hyper-arousal or automatic fear response
    • Dissociation or withdrawal
    • Disrupted attachment or impaired emotional relationships.

    Additionally, the document addresses other influences on brain formation, including malnutrition and prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs. It also details the various mental health problems that can result from abuse and neglect during a child's first few years.

    The document concludes with implications of these new findings for practice and policy, and recommendations for further research. For example, professionals and caregivers who work with abused and neglected children need to be educated on the effects of maltreatment on early brain development and effective interventions. Furthermore, comprehensive assessments of all children in the child welfare system would lead to better-tailored treatment.

    An accompanying resource listing features State programs and organizations that provide training and other information related to early brain development.

    Access a copy of In Focus: Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Early Brain Development in HTML or PDF formats at:

    For a copy of Resources Related to Early Brain Development, visit: http://

    For print copies, contact:

    National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
    330 C St., SW
    Washington, DC 20447
    Phone: 703-385-7565
    Toll-free: 800-FYI-3366

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Abuse Can Permanently 'Rewire' Children's Brains" (March/April 2001)
    • "Study Calls for Reexamining How We Treat Young Children" (January/February 2001)

    Visit the website of the Child Trauma Academy for free online courses, such as "The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development" offered in November 2001, and a narrated slide presentation on brain organization and function (

  • Study Finds Child Sexual Exploitation "Epidemic" in U.S.

    Study Finds Child Sexual Exploitation "Epidemic" in U.S.

    Child sexual exploitation is "the nation's least-recognized epidemic," according to a new report recounting the findings of a 3-year project funded by the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice and several private foundations.

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that child sexual exploitation is vastly underreported, though it affects the lives of 300,000 to 400,000 American children each year.

    Co-authors Richard J. Estes and Neil Weiner led a research team that examined public records and interviewed children, law enforcement officials, and human services groups in 28 cities in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The largest group of exploited children were runaway, "throwaway," and homeless youth who traded or sold sex in order to meet their basic needs and survive on the streets. Some U.S. children sold themselves for sex to their own junior and senior high school peers while living at home, the researchers found.

    Children of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups were effected by sexual exploitation, although children from poorer families appeared to be at higher risk. A disproportionate number of street youth have histories of recurrent physical or sexual abuse at home and fled to the streets to escape their situation. "It is ironic that running away from home increases their risk of physical violence and sexual abuse," commented Estes.

    Girls and boys were equally exploited but boys received less attention from both law enforcement and social services, possibly because boys are perceived as being able to fend for themselves. The study also found that 95 percent of the commercial sex engaged in by boys was with men--many of whom were married with children. At least 25 percent of girls in gangs had sex with other members as part of the initiation rites. U.S. nationals comprised 90 percent of the victims with the remainder made up of children smuggled into the country.

    Perpetrators of sex crimes against children represented a cross-section of society and included relatives and other adults known and trusted by the children. Strangers committed fewer than 4 percent of all sexual assaults against children.

    Estes and Weiner identified an 11-point action agenda focused on eliminating the further commercial sexual exploitation of America's youth. They urge policy makers to pay more attention to this issue. "There is an urgent need for systematic public and professional education on the causes, nature, and extent of child sexual exploitation in the United States," said Estes.

    Access The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico online at:

    Contact information:

    Dr. Richard Estes
    University of Pennsylvania
    School of Social Work
    3701 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
    Phone: 215-898-5531
    Fax: 215-593-2099

  • Government and Private Sector Partner to Reduce and Prevent Youth Victimization

    Government and Private Sector Partner to Reduce and Prevent Youth Victimization

    In an effort to break the "cycle of violence," Federal, State, and local governmental programs are joining forces with private sector organizations to provide services to children who are victims of violent crime, child abuse and neglect, and exposure to violence.

    These efforts are highlighted in a new issue of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Action Plan Update "Addressing Youth Victimization." The Coordinating Council, composed of nine statutory members representing Federal agencies and nine practitioner members representing disciplines that focus on youth, was chartered by Congress to coordinate Federal programs related to juvenile justice delinquency prevention, the care and detention of unaccompanied juveniles, and missing and exploited children. The Council is co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through an interagency agreement, the Children's Bureau contributes funding to support the development of the Bulletin series.

    In the Coordinating Council's 1996 National Juvenile Justice Action Plan, eight objectives were outlined.

    The October 2001 Action Plan Update Bulletin, the first in a series on the Action Plan's implementation, focuses on objective 5: "Break the cycle of violence by addressing youth victimization, abuse, and neglect." It contains recent data on juvenile victimization, victimization trends, effective and promising strategies and programs, and updated information on Federal programs since 1996.

    The Bulletin describes activities being conducted by Council member agencies--the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Corporation for National Service, and the National Endowment for the Arts--that relate to the following six Action Steps:

    • Improve juvenile and family court handling of child abuse and neglect cases
    • Enhance local efforts to investigate and prosecute child abuse and neglect cases and strengthen child protective services
    • Strengthen at-risk families and support Healthy Start programs for children
    • Support community-based services that reduce family violence and victimization
    • Provide training and technical assistance to strengthen agencies serving children and their families
    • Improve services to children who are victims of abuse and other crimes.

    Programs that relate to multiple action steps are also included. The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (, one of the sponsoring organizations of the Children's Bureau Express, is noted as an activity under Action Step 5. It provides an extensive document collection, information and referrals, technical assistance, and other products and services. A Clearinghouse project, the Child Welfare Training Online Network (, also is recognized for providing the most current training and resource materials for the child welfare workforce, as well as networking opportunities.

    The Bulletin concludes by affirming that the Federal government has been working hard on these issues and that it is now clear that programs aimed at reducing violence should be directed toward parents, teachers, school officials, law enforcement and juvenile justice professionals so that they might recognize the "red flags" that suggest the presence of victimization in a child's life. Also, the Bulletin urges more proactive approaches in law enforcement efforts. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to help break the cycle of violence by minimizing youth victimization and exposure to violence.

    Access a copy of the Action Plan Update Bulletin, "Addressing Youth Victimization," online at:

    For a print copy, contact:

    Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse
    PO Box 6000
    Rockville, MD 20849-6000
    Phone: 1-800-638-8736
    Fax: 301-519-5212

    Related Item

    Visit the website of Partnerships Against Violence Network (, a "virtual library" of information about violence and at-risk youth, representing data from seven different Federal agencies. Violence prevention professionals can communicate and share resources through the Pavnet mailgroup.

  • Respite Network Staff Represent the U.S. at the Third International Respite Care Conference

    Respite Network Staff Represent the U.S. at the Third International Respite Care Conference

    The Third International Respite Care Conference, “Global Issues, Local Solutions,” was held September 11–14, 2001 in Sydney, Australia. More than 450 caregivers, practitioners, educators, and policy makers from around the world attended.

    Respite is temporary relief for caregivers and families in which care is provided to individuals with disabilities and other special needs, to individuals with chronic or terminal illnesses, or to individuals at risk of abuse and neglect. Respite can occur in out-of-home and in-home settings for any length of time depending on the needs of the family and available resources. The United States is seen as a leader in respite care and four members of the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center were invited to present at the conference. Highlights of ARCH Resource Center presentations include:

    • “Lifespan Respite Efforts in the USA--Statewide and Community Networks” (Linda Baker, ARCH Director, and Maggie Edgar, ARCH Program Manager) informed participants of the movement in the U.S. to provide lifespan respite services, and described how States are organizing respite coalitions or associations to address ways to streamline their respite systems and provide easy access to services for families.
    • “Crisis Respite Care in the United States: Multiple Models for Meeting Diverse Community Needs” (Maggie Edgar and Casandra Wade, ARCH Coordinator) described multiple models of crisis respite programs operating in the U.S. and discussed the underlying community needs addressed by each program.
    • “Developing a Model for Measuring the Outcomes of Respite Care: Leaping Into the Sea of Inquiry” (Casandra Wade and Jack Denniston) described the history and interim findings of the ARCH Outcome Evaluation Project.
    • “International Trends: Community-Based Family Support vs. Institution-Based Long Term Care” (Jack Denniston and a panel of international experts) examined and identified best practices and lessons learned from the manner in which several countries support individuals with special needs and their families.
    • “Basic Behavior Management” (Jack Denniston) identified existing methods of behavior management and investigated additional methods for managing persistent, inappropriate behaviors.

    The conference also provided many workshops, keynote speakers, and opportunities for international networking. Many of the conference participants were "carers" from Australia, sponsored by their respective respite programs.

    One result of the conference was the formation of new international collaborative relationships. Several countries expressed interest in the ARCH Outcome Evaluation Initiative and will be in ongoing communication with ARCH as the initiative continues. Five countries expressed interest in utilizing the manual and evaluation instruments developed by ARCH.

    Australia and the United Kingdom are developing voluntary standards for respite programs, and were eager to learn of ARCH activities in this area. These countries will collaborate with ARCH by sharing materials as they are developed. The development of Australia's standards began in 1999, with Interchange Victoria, as a continuous process to develop standards across its diverse and autonomously managed member programs. The United Kingdom appears to be at a similar “developmental stage” as the U.S. in developing voluntary national standards for respite.

    The next International Respite Conference will be held in the U.S. in 2003.

    For more information about the conference or the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center, contact:
    Linda Baker, Director
    ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
    Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project
    800 Eastowne Drive, Suite 105
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514
    888-671-2594 or 919-490-5577
    Website: (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

  • Using Legal Strategies to Help Keep Families Together

    Using Legal Strategies to Help Keep Families Together

    A recently published book by the American Bar Association's Center for Children and the Law advocates that child protective services (CPS) programs team with civil legal services lawyers to help troubled families.

    Keeping Kids Out of the System: Creative Legal Practice as a Community Child Protection Strategy focuses on the range of appropriate legal services available to families. "While some cases do require the State to safeguard children [by taking custody], other families only need shortstop help to keep their problems from snowballing," writes author Leigh Goodmark.

    The book contains sections devoted to various kinds of family problems, describing specific legal programs that can address the particular problems and avoid CPS intervention. These cases involve:

    • Families affected by HIV/AIDS
    • Domestic violence
    • Kinship care
    • Mental health/substance abuse
    • Special education
    • Incarcerated mothers
    • Income maintenance, public benefits, child care, housing
    • Children and youth seeking legal services.

    Each section provides a description of a program and its services, how the programs "shortstop" child protection actions, and how the program is funded and staffed. Additionally, profiles of "average" clients, information about the program's partnerships, and challenges are included.

    In the final chapters, Goodmark explains how legal services lawyers work to ensure appropriate CPS intervention and to bring about systemic change. She also describes how lawyers are creating new approaches to service delivery by entering into nontraditional partnerships and settings, such as schools, community centers, and hospitals.

    Goodmark concludes with a "Checklist for Change" containing ideas to start collaborating across systems, for example, hosting a brown bag lunch for CPS workers and local legal services providers.

    Copies of Keeping Kids Out of the System: Creative Legal Practice as a Community Child Protection Strategy are available for $25.00 by calling the ABA Service Center at 1-800-285-2221 (order number 5490310).

    Contact information:

    Leigh Goodmark, Esq.
    American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
    740 15th St., NW
    Washington, DC 20005
    Phone: 202-662-1758

    Related Item

    Visit the Publications page of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website ( for the following related item:

    • Community Responsibility for Child Protection

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • New Jersey Taking Integrated Approach to Mental Health Needs of Children and Families

    New Jersey Taking Integrated Approach to Mental Health Needs of Children and Families

    New Jersey is implementing the Children's System of Care Initiative (CSOCI), a program designed to coordinate and integrate services for children with emotional and behavioral disorders and their families. The program focuses on early intervention and aims to provide 24-hour, 7-days-a-week services. In addition, a statewide database will be established to monitor services.

    CSOCI is an attempt to reform and realign New Jersey's child-serving systems. The program's goals include building service plans that are family centered, increasing funding for services, broadening the scope of services, and creating an overall system to coordinate care and better manage across agencies.

    The New Jersey initiative is part of a larger, national systems reform effort funded in part through grants from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both the New Jersey initiative and the national effort led by CMHS recognize that all of the major child-serving systems--child welfare, education, juvenile justice, mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, public health, and substance abuse--are necessary partners and that greater collaboration among these systems is needed to better serve the target population and their families.

    Other key partners include the provider community--administrators, frontline practitioners, and traditional and non-traditional providers--as well as families, who must acquire new attitudes, knowledge, and skills in order to be effective partners.

    The major components of the Children's Initiative include:

    • Care Managed Organizations (CMOs) that will coordinate local resources through face-to-face care management for children and families with multi-service needs and multi-system involvement
    • Contracted Systems Administrator (CSA), the overarching administrative entity that coordinates care
    • Family Support Organizations (FSOs) that will link families with parent representatives who will support those families as part of the Individual Service Plan (ISP)
    • Unified Screening, which establishes uniform screening and assessment for children.

    In 2001, support for CSOCI came from $39 million in new State and Federal funding, combined with $167 million identified in the State Fiscal Year budget for services to children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders. The 2001 funding pool of $206 million reflected a partnership among the Divisions of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Youth and Family Services, and Mental Health Services. The full budget of $254 million for fiscal year 2002 has been approved, allowing for the continued phase in of CMOs and new services. The New Jersey Department of Human Services anticipates funding to reach $280 million by the end of the 5-year implementation period.

    Three counties--Burlington, Monmouth, and Union--were chosen to begin the phase-in of Care Managed Organizations. Contracts for the CMOs in these counties have been awarded, and in each county the selected CMO is already providing services. Other counties will be phased-in in subsequent years.

    For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of Human Services' Children's System of Care Initiative ( -- Editor's note: this link is no longer available) or visit the New Jersey Parents' Caucus (

  • Toolbox No. 1: Using Visitation to Support Permanency. Toolboxes for Permanency

    Toolbox No. 1: Using Visitation to Support Permanency. Toolboxes for Permanency

    Wright, L. Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC. 202 pp. $18.95. Paperback.

    The Child Welfare League of America presents the best current professional child welfare practices in planning and implementing visitation between children in out-of-home care and their parents, within the context of current Federal legislation emphasizing permanency planning. This toolbox contains helpful aides, or "tools," that practitioners can use quickly and easily, along with the necessary information to use the tools meaningfully. Chapters cover:

    • Visitation and case planning
    • Federal and State laws, and child welfare standards
    • Special issues in visitation
    • Strategies for improving visitation
    • Promising programs and practices
    • The impact of separation on children and youth
    • The visitation experience from each party's perspective.

    With this vision of best practice, child welfare professionals can continue to improve practice standards, thus improving children's chances for safety, permanency, and well being.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    CWLA c/o PMDS
    PO Box 2019
    Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
    Phone: 800-407-6273
    Fax: 301-206-9789


  • CDC Announces Funding Awards for Surveillance of Child Maltreatment

    CDC Announces Funding Awards for Surveillance of Child Maltreatment

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the health departments in five States a total of $1.3 million in funding for the surveillance of child maltreatment. The recipients of the funding awards include the California Department of Health Services, the Michigan Public Health Institute, and the Departments of Health in Minnesota, Missouri, and Rhode Island. The funding encompasses studies of mortality and morbidity rates during the calendar years 2000 and/or 2001 among children ages 0 through 9 years.

    The mortality surveillance will compare alternative approaches to surveillance for fatal and non-fatal child maltreatment on the State level. The intent is to address the need for a practical surveillance system for child maltreatment, which can be implemented on the State level.

    The morbidity surveillance will test methods that may be used for the surveillance of violence at all ages, which could serve as a starting point for a national violent death surveillance system. Overall, the program will help determine the utility of various data sources for surveillance systems, and will address the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 agenda ( in the focus area of Injury and Violence Prevention.

    Program requirements for mortality and morbidity surveillance include data collection, calculation of incidence rates by age group, sex, and race and description of the epidemiology of cases. States had to demonstrate access to records with unique identifiers from specified sources in order to be eligible for funding.

    The awards were made at the end of September 2001 for a 12-month budget period within a three year project period. Continuation awards within an approved project period will be made on the basis of satisfactory progress and the availability of funds.

    The Michigan Public Health Institute was awarded $100,000 for the Mortality Surveillance project, the Minnesota and Missouri Departments of Health were awarded about $300,000 each for the Morbidity Surveillance project, and the Rhode Island Department of Health and California Department of Health Services were awarded $300,000 and $340,000 respectively for both projects.

    Related Item

    See related article "HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics" in the May/June 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

  • Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Child Welfare

    Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Child Welfare

    Banks, H. (Editor). Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC. 21 pp. $4.95. Booklet.

    The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) reviews the role of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) in child abuse and neglect. Substance abuse is a major element in many child protective services' investigations, often leading to out of home placements. This brief overview provides:

    • Statistics for recent research supporting the value of substance abuse prevention programs
    • Promising collaborative model programs, partnerships, joint strategies, and methods
    • Organizations and websites
    • Suggestions for further research.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    CWLA c/o PMDS
    PO Box 2019
    Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
    Phone: 800-407-6273
    Fax: 301-206-9789

  • Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical and Practical Dimensions

    Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical and Practical Dimensions

    Peters, J. K. Matthew Bender and Co., Inc. LexisNexis Group, Albany, NY. 1090 pp. $65.00. Paperback.

    For children in the child protection system, it may be easy to view lawyers as just another professional who is making their life decisions for them. The author examines the relationship between lawyers and the children they represent, noting the particular paradoxes that arise between the practice of law and the needs of children. The central premise is that children often may become lost in the powerful systems surrounding them and providing their care, and the lawyer's job is to prevent both social systems, and himself, from missing the child in the middle of the adult dynamics that shape his life. Both the child's and the legal counsel's perspectives are described on several aspects of representation, including the lawyer's role, the attorney-child relationship, ethical and practical considerations, decision making, cross-cultural considerations, and interdisciplinary guidelines. Appendices include historical research, interdisciplinary materials, and resources.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Matthew Bender and Co., Inc.
    LexisNexis Group
    1275 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12204
    Phone: 800-223-1940, 800-833-9844
    Fax: 800-544-6572, 518-487-3584

  • Creative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Dilemmas

    Creative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Dilemmas

    Richardson, S. (Editor); Bacon, H. (Editor). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, England. 240 pp. $26.95. Paperback.

    Despite heightened media attention and improved professional knowledge about child sexual abuse, some children's needs are still being left unmet. Using attachment theory as a foundation, various authors provide in-depth examinations of the acute practice dilemmas concerning children who, despite the climate of increased awareness, multi-disciplinary cooperation and legislative and procedural change, cannot easily be protected. Professionals, mothers, and survivors give guidelines for working with these children, particularly those who are unable to disclose their experience themselves and are the most difficult to support. Illustrated throughout with case material and informed by the experiences of the survivors themselves, the contributors to this volume present a framework for integrated intervention with children, their families, and the community.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Jessica Kingsley Publishers
    116 Pentonville Rd. London,
    N1 9JB England
    Phone: 0-207-833-2307
    Fax: 0-207-837-2917

  • Generations United Announces 10 KinNET Grants for 2002-2003

    Generations United Announces 10 KinNET Grants for 2002-2003

    Last year the Children's Bureau awarded a cooperative agreement to Generations United to establish KinNET, a national network of support groups for relatives caring for kin in foster care. KinNET focuses on the unique needs of kinship caregivers, including the legal, psychological, and socioeconomic issues involved in becoming a guardian or adoptive parent. Joining Generations United to broaden its resources and services is the Brookdale Foundation Group, an organization that funds support groups for relatives raising children outside the foster care system.

    Together they will select programs for initial funding in 2002-2003. Details of the awards to the selected organizations include:

    • Creation of one or more support groups for relatives caring for kin in foster care over a 2-year period ($6,000 the first year and $4,000 the second)
    • Contingent funding for the second year based on the first year's progress
    • Grantee organizations matching at least 10 percent of the grant.

    Proposals must be submitted by February 15, 2002, and funding applicants must be local agencies with a 501(c) 3 or equivalent tax-exempt status. Guidelines and the application form are available at the Generations United website ( Click on "KinNET" and then "General Public."

    KinNET also will pursue its overall goal of creating a national network by:

    • Inviting support groups, including those in the existing Brookdale Relatives as Parents Program, to participate in the network
    • Providing assistance such as training and technical assistance, Internet-based bulletin boards and chats with experts to the support groups
    • Evaluating national support groups to identify exemplary practices that can be replicated. Evaluation teams from Syracuse University will use permanency, safety, and child and family well-being outcome measures from the Adoption and Safe Families Act.

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "New Findings on the Status of Children Cared For by Relatives" (July/August 2001)
    • "Online Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren" (November/December 2001)
  • Forensic Emergency Medicine

    Forensic Emergency Medicine

    Olshaker, J. S. (Editor); Jackson, M. C. (Editor); Smock, W. S. (Editor). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Hagerstown, MD. 312 pp. $99.00. Hardcover.

    Hospital emergency department physicians often have opportunities to play a significant role in the identification, evaluation, and treatment of child abuse patients, whose care involves significant forensic issues. While health care professionals have become increasingly aware of the incidence of child abuse and its manifestations, physicians may fail to make the diagnosis if they do not consider maltreatment as an option in all cases, even when the case involves a chief complaint that is not trauma related. Hence, serious issues may go unnoticed because physicians are unaware of less obvious clues and may not ask the right questions. Even when the diagnosis is clear, the authors caution care providers to ensure proper documentation and evidence to maximize law enforcement's chances of successful prosecution. Because health care providers are often the first encounter a child has with the child protection system, the authors maintain that evaluation must be carried out in a compassionate, supportive, and non-threatening manner that helps the victims get through the trauma as psychologically whole as possible. This is a reference that will give emergency care providers the necessary information to perform the essential tasks of recognition, evaluation, treatment, documentation, and understanding of victims of violence, abuse or neglect.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
    PO Box 1600
    Hagerstown, MD 27141
    Phone: 800-796-0646 x2326
    Fax: 973-644-2339

  • Child Abuse: Medical Diagnosis and Management

    Child Abuse: Medical Diagnosis and Management

    Reece, R. M. (Editor); Ludwig, S. (Editor). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Hagerstown, MD. 602 pp. $99.00. Hardcover.

    Since the publication of the first edition of this book, there have been over 400 peer-reviewed articles appearing in the world's English-language medical literature about child maltreatment or related conditions. Some of these articles have been significant enough to alter current concepts about the medical aspects of child maltreatment. Some have added persuasive information to bolster past concepts, and others have described new manifestations or presented clinical cases to clarify current thinking. These contributions have been found in a broad range of publications encompassing the field of pediatrics and the pediatric subspecialties in radiology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, infectious disease, surgery, gynecology, dermatology, and psychiatry. There have also been important contributions to the fields of pathology, forensic pathology, and law. While the information is written from a medical perspective, it is, by virtue of the clarity of the writing, accessible to all professionals who seek to understand the signs, symptoms, and the injuries of the abused child. The editors have designed a guide through the medical, surgical, radiographic, and laboratory terrain of child abuse and neglect. For the medical practitioner, there is advice about diagnostic tools and therapeutic approaches for child victims of abuse. Nonmedical professionals will find authoritative information about current medical knowledge and practices. Those who must present their findings and opinions in court will find the collective knowledge and experience of experts in the field of child maltreatment. The second edition offers three new chapters:

    • The biomechanics of physical injury
    • New directions in neuroradiology of child abuse
    • Unusual manifestations of child maltreatment.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
    PO Box 1600
    Hagerstown, MD 27141
    Phone: 800-796-0646 x2326
    Fax: 973-644-2339

  • Physical Signs of Child Abuse: A Colour Atlas

    Physical Signs of Child Abuse: A Colour Atlas

    Hobbs, C.; Wynne, J. Harcourt Health Sciences, St. Louis, MO. 408 pp. $99.00. Hardcover.

    Detailed information on many types of child abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse is provided in this color reference guide for health care providers. The authors present examination methods and procedures, along with a large number of color photographs and charts, to facilitate diagnosis and help prevent misdiagnoses of physical abuse. They describe the "jigsaw" approach to examination, which encourages examiners to obtain all of the pieces of the informational puzzle before making a decision or diagnosis of abuse.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Harcourt Health Sciences
    11830 Westline Industrial Dr.
    St. Louis, MO 63146
    Phone: 800-325-4177

  • Resources for Maternal and Child Health Professionals on Child Maltreatment

    Resources for Maternal and Child Health Professionals on Child Maltreatment

    Healthy Generations, a newsletter by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, offers information on child abuse from a maternal and child health perspective. The special May 2001 issue is a joint effort by the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program and the Child Abuse Prevention Studies certificate program. An accompanying videoconference on child abuse was held June 7 and broadcast statewide.

    The newsletter includes a speech by advocate Sheila Wellstone, given in February 2001, that launched a two-year child abuse seminar series at the University of Minnesota. An overview article on child abuse discusses its prevalence, etiology, and impact on children. Another article examines coping strategies and protective factors that characterize children traumatized by abuse. The issue also highlights effective child abuse prevention programs, including the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, a short-term care shelter for children of parents in crisis.

    The MCH Program at the University of Minnesota is one of 13 federally funded training programs. Its particular strength is in the area of adolescent health, with a majority of the faculty conducting research related to teens.

    Access a copy of the Healthy Generations newsletter, as well as other resources on child abuse at:

    To obtain a free subscription to Healthy Generations or a free videotape of the accompanying child abuse videoconference, contact:

    Jan Pearson
    Center for Leadership in Education in Maternal & Child Public Health
    Division of Epidemiology
    School of Public Health
    1300 South Second St. #300
    Minneapolis, MN 55454
    Phone: 612-626-8644

    Related Item

    See the following related article in the November/December 2001 Children's Bureau Express:

    • "News From the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network: Minnesota Program Offers Certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies"
  • Psychological Maltreatment of Children: The APSAC Study Guides 4

    Psychological Maltreatment of Children: The APSAC Study Guides 4

    Binggeli, N. J.; Hart, S. N.; Brassard, M. R. Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA. 131 pp. $49.95. Paperback.

    Psychological maltreatment is probably the most common form of child abuse. Not only is it a type of maltreatment existing in its own right, but it also is imbedded in, and interacts with, all other forms of child abuse and neglect. Psychological Maltreatment of Children is a brief introduction to the emotional abuse of children and youth for mental health professionals, child welfare specialists, and other professionals involved with research, education, practice, and policy development in child maltreatment. The authors define and outline theories of psychological maltreatment, describe its effects, and examine this form of abuse as a social problem. They cover assessment, prevention, and treatment strategies, and show how to analyze a case of child psychological maltreatment. The APSAC "Practice Guidelines for the Psychosocial Evaluation of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment in Children and Adolescents" are provided in full.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Sage Publications, Inc.
    2455 Teller Rd.
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
    Phone: 805-499-9774
    Fax: 805-375-1700

  • Emotional Abuse and Emotional Neglect: Antecedents, Operational Definitions and Consequences

    Emotional Abuse and Emotional Neglect: Antecedents, Operational Definitions and Consequences

    Glasser, D.; Prior, V.; Lynch, M. A. The British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse, York, UK. 2001. 73 pp. $25.71. Hardcover.

    British researchers conducted a study to gain a greater understanding of how emotional abuse is operationally defined and why, if it is so hard to define, children are placed under this category on Great Britain's Child Protection Register. They thought that because emotional abuse refers to a relationship, rather than a concrete set of physical actions, professionals might be reluctant to define a case as emotional abuse. Thus, a child in need of assistance may not receive it. The research was designed to:

    • Gather demographic data for children listed as emotionally abused on the British Child Protection Register
    • Identify possible antecedents of emotional abuse
    • Capture the nature of concerns about children at the time of registration, including children listed under multiple categories
    • Record the specific reasons for registration under the emotional abuse category
    • Examine the outcomes of registration
    • Discover the possible co-existence of unnamed emotional abuse on registrations of neglect and physical injury from a separate sample.

    Using a sample of 94 cases listed as emotional abuse on the register, the researchers reviewed the minutes of each case hearing, as well as subsequent interviews with the social workers involved. They conclude that what constitutes emotional abuse needs to be better defined, and that professionals and care providers need to be alert to behaviors indicating that children have experienced such abuse.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
    10 Priority St.
    York, YO1 6EZ United Kingdom
    Phone: 0-190-461-3605
    Fax: 0-190-464-2239

  • Understanding Recruitment of Latino Resource Parents

    Understanding Recruitment of Latino Resource Parents

    An informational resource by the National Center for Resource Family Support, operated by Casey Family Programs, considers problems and possible solutions for foster care recruiters facing a shortage of Latino caregivers.

    The background paper describes challenges confronting professionals who must place Latino children in out-of-home care. The paper notes that a large percentage of Latino children who enter care are part of sibling groups and speak little or no English. The paper also notes that recruiting Latino foster families is hampered by a lack of bilingual forms, caseworkers, and financial resources and by cultural misconceptions.

    The background paper notes that little is known about placement issues for Latinos in general and in connection with various sub-groups of this diverse population in the United States. The paper says that further research is needed to completely understand the issues surrounding Latino children in child welfare.

    The paper also offers examples of successful Latino resource family recruitment initiatives and mentions ideas for recruiting prospective adoptive parents based upon research conducted in the Mexican American community, which could also be applied to the recruitment of foster parents. Free public service announcements, offered by the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation in two Hispanic dialects and English, are described. Other ideas developed by Casey Family Programs for recruiting Latino families and for working with culturally diverse foster families are also listed.

    Access a copy of "Resources on Latino Resource Parents—Recruitment" at: latino_foster_parent_recruitment.pdf. (This link is no longer available.)

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Foster Parent Recruitment Aimed at Latino Families in Utah" (September/October 2001)
    • "Attracting and Supporting Foster Families" (May/June 2001)
    • "Growing Latino Population Spurs Efforts to Recruit Latino Foster and Adoptive Families" (January/February 2001)

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.

  • News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: CWLA Releases Documents on Wor

    News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: CWLA Releases Documents on Wor

    As part of its focus on the workforce crisis, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) held a 2001 conference, "Finding Better Ways." In order to share material presented at the conference with a wider audience, CWLA has posted a set of documents that recap workshop presentations at trieschman/2001fbwrecap.htm. Many of the 21 presentations that are summarized refer to the role of training in addressing recruitment and retention. Two presentations in particular focused primarily on using training as an effective strategy for improving job performance and staff retention:

    • "Enhancing Worker Retention and Development Through Career Ladders and Training Programs," presented by William P. Martone and Joanne Solek, The Sycamores, Pasadena, CA. The presentation can be found on the Internet at 2001fbwWilliamMartone.htm. This presentation explored the experiences of a not-for-profit child welfare agency in Los Angeles County in developing two critical strategies to address the work force crisis: career ladders and training programs.
    • "Performance-Based Training Programs: Providing Effective Training for Job Performance," presented by Cassandra McKay, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois, Chicago. The presentation can be found on the Internet at 2001fbwCassandraMcKay.htm. This presentation provided a framework to construct a cost effective, performance-based training program using the ADDIE model: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

    In June 2002, CWLA's Walker Trieschman Center will present the next annual "Finding Better Ways" conference, titled "Managing the Workforce Crisis: Promising Practices and Emerging Research." Information is available on the CWLA website at

    Additional conferences related to child welfare training are listed in the "Resources" area of the Child Welfare Training Resources Online Network at

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "CWLA Spotlights Workforce Crisis" (July/August 2001)
    • "State of the Child Welfare Workforce Examined" (July/August 2001)