News From the Children's Bureau
- New Media Campaign Launched for National Adoption Month 2002--AdoptUSKids
New Media Campaign Launched for National Adoption Month 2002--AdoptUSKids
November is National Adoption Month and the theme this year is AdoptUSKids. The purpose of National Adoption Month is to focus attention on the increasing numbers of children in the child welfare system waiting to be adopted. Many of these waiting children have special needs, and all of them need the security and stability of a permanent family to develop to their full potential.
During November, States, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals will celebrate adoption as a positive way to build a family. Across the nation, activities and observances, such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events, will spotlight children who need permanent families.
To help States, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals promote this year's events, the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption, in collaboration with the Children's Bureau, developed a new AdoptUSKids campaign marketing kit. The kit can be used to generate media coverage and increase support for adoption. It includes campaign planning resources, such as posters, fact sheets, press releases, speaker talking points, promotional materials (note cards, print ads, flyers, billboards/bus cards, book marks), a wealth of other materials, and a CD-ROM to assist in adapting the materials to reflect your organization's contact information.
The complete AdoptUSKids campaign marketing kit, including the CD, is available free (while supplies last) from the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption by calling (248) 443-7080 or emailing email@example.com. The kit can also be accessed online on the National Adoption Month website at http://adoptmonth.calib.com/manual/index.htm. (Editor's note: the current kit is available online at http://www.adoptuskids.org/content_images/my_page_social_worker/Marketing_kit.pdf.)
For more information on National Adoption Month, visit the National Adoption Month website (http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/) or contact the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse at:
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
330 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (703) 352-3488 or (888) 251-0075
Fax: (703) 385-3206
- HHS Launches National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
HHS Launches National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) will focus on substance use disorders among families who have abused or neglected their children. The program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect.
NCSACW will develop and implement a comprehensive program of information gathering and dissemination, knowledge development and application, and provide technical assistance to promote practice, organizational, and systems change at the local, State, and national levels. The focus of NCSACW's work includes following six overall goals:
- Communicate among all stakeholders of the Center.
- Gather specialized knowledge and improve collaboration among the substance abuse and child welfare fields and family judicial systems.
- Use the full range of resources of the Center to create a widely recognized body of expertise and materials on substance abuse, child welfare, and related Tribal and family judicial systems.
- Develop Web-based and other technological means of collecting and disseminating specialized knowledge on substance abuse, child welfare, and family court systems.
- Use the expertise of the Center to assist consumers, families, communities, Tribal leaders, other professionals, and policymakers to improve practice, procedures, and policies on substance abuse, child welfare, and family court systems.
- Improve the effectiveness of the Center by measuring its outcomes and gathering feedback from all stakeholders.
The contract award was made to the Center for Children and Family Futures, Inc., an Irvine, California-based policy institute, in September 2002, and is envisioned as a 5-year project through September 2007. Dr. Nancy Young, a well-known national expert on the public policy issues affecting children of substance abusers, will serve as the Center's project director.
For further information, contact:
Dr. Nancy Young
Center for Children and Family Futures, Inc.
4940 Irvine Boulevard, Suite 202
Irvine, CA 92620
Phone: (714) 505-3525
- National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center Releases Publication on Expediting Permanency
National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center Releases Publication on Expediting Permanency
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center published the manual Expediting Permanency for Abandoned Infants: Guidelines for State Policies and Procedures to expedite the primary goal of these children's permanency with their biological parent(s), a relative, or another family.
The resource center convened a national group of experts to explore current laws and practice related to expediting permanency for abandoned infants. As a result, the report:
- Provides background information on abandoned infants.
- Suggests legal and practice standards regarding "abandonment."
- Defines permanency and suggests ways to incorporate the definition into State law and practice.
- Identifies best practices in expediting permanency for infants who are abandoned or at risk of abandonment.
The report primarily focuses on abandoned children ages 0 to 3, but recognizes many older children are abandoned and the importance that policies and procedures not exclude older children. These older children should also be given the best chance of achieving permanency as expeditiously as possible.
The report also suggests strategies for preventing abandonment using promising practices to expedite permanency.
The report is available in PDF format at http://aia.berkeley.edu/media/pdf/expediting_permanency.pdf.
- NAIC Website Rated Best of the Web by Forbes.com
NAIC Website Rated Best of the Web by Forbes.com
The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website was voted a "Forbes Favorite" in Forbes.com's Best of the Web Fall 2002. Sites were ranked according to five criteria: content, design, speed, navigation, and customization. Of the 14 adoption-related websites reviewed, six were ranked "Best of the Web," with the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse's site earning top honors with the "Forbes Favorite" designation.
This is Forbes.com's third annual ranking of the best websites in the nation. The Best of the Web Directory contains reviews of more than 3,500 sites, grouped into nine categories: Collecting, Education, Health, Investing, Look It Up, Luxe Shopping, Personal Finance & Careers, The Good Life (where adoption falls), and Travel.
Forbes.com's summary of the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website:
This is one government program that actually helps you cut the red tape. The site is full of reliable information and resources for prospective parents, adoptees, birth relatives and adoption professionals alike. It's user-friendly, guiding you through the layers of cross-referenced information in a clear and congenial way. Need tips on transracial adoption? How to deal with adoption-agency residency requirements if you're a military family? It's all here, though prospective parents seeking domestic adoptions will find the most. Be sure to check out the FAQs for more specifics.
Visit the Forbes.com Best of the Web Fall 2002 site at http://www.forbes.com/bow/.
- Results of 2001 Child and Family Services Reviews Released
Results of 2001 Child and Family Services Reviews Released
Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) are designed to enable the Federal Government to ensure that State child welfare agency practice is in conformity with Federal child welfare requirements, to determine what is actually happening to children and families as they are engaged in State child welfare services, and to assist States to enhance their capacity to help children and families achieve positive outcomes.
The Federal Government conducts CFSRs in participation with State child welfare staff and peer consultants. Reviews are structured to help States identify strengths and areas for improvement within their agencies and programs.
During Federal fiscal year 2001, CFSRs were conducted in the following 17 States:
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
States were assessed on seven outcomes for children and families and seven systemic factors. None of the Sates reviewed were in substantial conformity with the seven outcomes in the CFSRs. Below are those outcomes and the number of States not in conformity:
- Safety Outcome 1: Children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect—14 States.
- Safety Outcome 2: Children are safely maintained in their own homes whenever possible and appropriate—13 States.
- Permanency Outcome 1: Children have permanency and stability in their living situation—17 States.
- Permanency Outcome 2: The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for children—13 States.
- Well Being Outcome 1: Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children's needs—17 States.
- Well Being Outcome 2: Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs—13 States.
- Well Being Outcome 3: Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs—16 States.
Fewer than half the States met the national standards for the six aggregated data indicators used in the CFSRs. The list below shows the indicators, the national standards associated with each indicator (shown in parentheses), and the number of states that met the national standards:
- Recurrence of maltreatment (6.1% or less): 7 States.
- Child abuse and neglect in foster care (.57% or less): 9 States.
- Foster care re-entries (8.6% or less): 8 States.
- Length of time to reunification (76.2% or more): 6 States.
- Length of time to adoption (32% or more): 5 States.
- Stability of placement (86.7% or more): 4 States.
The majority of States were found to be in substantial conformity on each of the seven systemic factors in the CFSRs. Below are those systemic factors and the number of States in conformity:
- Statewide information system: 14 States.
- Case review system: 11 States.
- Quality assurance system: 15 States.
- Staff and provider training: 12 States.
- Service array: 12 States.
- Agency responsiveness to community: 17 States.
- Foster and adoptive parent licensing, recruitment, and retention: 15 States.
Each State participating in the CFSRs must prepare a Statewide assessment before the onsite component of the review. Following the onsite review, the Children's Bureau prepares a final report containing the review outcomes. These reports can be found on the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwrp/staterpt/index.htm.
Child Welfare Research
- Child Welfare System Featured on National TV
Child Welfare System Featured on National TV
The Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) was featured on the August 14 edition of CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown. The story illustrated how a child welfare system can be improved to better support children and families.
Allegheny County turned its program around (changing from a treatment approach to prevention) by offering support and services before families reach the crisis point, with the ultimate goal of removing the risk instead of the child. As Marc Cherna, Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, pointed out, "An investment in services now, to help families before they really fall apart, saves a tremendous amount of money down the road."
In 1995, Allegheny County took a hard look at the current state of their child welfare system. The data showed that changes had to be made. Allegheny County CYF workers faced excessive caseloads and a 35 percent vacancy rate, an adoption backlog with 1,500 children awaiting permanent placement (that number is currently only 500), and an adoption process that took an average of 4 years to complete (adoptions are currently completed in only 9 months).
One way they fixed the system was to set up a network of community-based resource centers to help families deal with the issues that often lead to child maltreatment. These centers offer one-stop support with housing, employment, and drug abuse treatment. CYF provides parenting courses and family counseling programs, most of which are provided in-home and involve all family members. In 2001, CYF provided 11,280 children and their families with these services. This focus on crisis intervention and in-home services has produced impressive results. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of children placed outside of their homes fell a full 30 percent from 3,085 to 2,174: a total of 911 children who did not enter the foster care system.
When children do need to be removed from their homes, kinship care is now the first option considered by CYF. Case workers find that children placed with relatives have fewer behavioral problems and tend to remain in only one foster environment. Also, when children are placed with relatives, the parents visit more often.
The CYF Transportation/Visitation Program offers transportation and supervision services for weekend and evening visits between parents and their children in foster care, with the goal of speeding the reunification process. It has worked. The length of time children spend out of the home dropped 30 percent (from 21 months to 14.5 months) between 1997 and 2002. In 2001, 675 children were returned to their homes out of the 2,161 in out-of-home placement.
For more information on Allegheny County or CYF, visit http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/dhs/CYFnew/cyf.html.
For a transcript of the CNN broadcast, visit http://www.cnn.com/transcripts/0208/14/asb.00.html.
A video of the program is also available for $40 by calling 1-800-CNN-News.
- Intimate Partner Violence Among Teen Mothers
Intimate Partner Violence Among Teen Mothers
Teen mothers are at a high risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) during the postpartum period, according to a study at a University of Texas Medical Center. Published in the April 2002 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Samantha Harrykissoon, M.P.H., Vaughn Rickert, Psy.D., and Constance Wiemann, Ph.D. examined the prevalence, frequency, severity, and patterns of IPV during the first 24 months of postpartum within a multiethnic cohort of adolescents.
Findings from the study reveal:
- Prevalence of IPV was the highest at 3 months postpartum (21 percent) and the lowest at 24 months (13 percent).
- The number of mothers who were assaulted or experienced severe IPV increased from 40 percent to 62 percent across this period.
- Seventy-five percent of mothers reporting IPV during pregnancy also reported IPV within 24 months following delivery.
- Seventy-eight percent of mothers who experienced IPV during the first 3 postpartum months had not reported IPV before delivery.
The study has important implications for adults who work with teen mothers and their boyfriends or husbands. As teen parenthood is assumed to be difficult, youth workers would not necessarily associate violence as the cause of the stress or other warning signs they may notice among new teen parents. The study also demonstrates the importance of asking teen parents what is happening in their lives, asking about and watching for signs of physical abuse, and being available to discuss issues other than those specific to parenthood.
Learn more about the study from the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/issues/v156n4/abs/poa10208.html.
Free copies are also available from:
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
6621 Fannon Street, CC610.01
Houston, TX 77030-2399
You may also email Dr. Wiemann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Genetics and the Effects of Child Abuse
Genetics and the Effects of Child Abuse
The results of a recent New Zealand study published in the journal Science and summarized in the Washington Post indicate "...a certain form of gene that breaks down neurotransmitters makes men more likely to be violent, but only if they were maltreated as children." The study helps explain why most men emerge from childhood accidents or violence emotionally unscathed, while some never seem to recover and become violent adults. Environment plays a critical role. In the absence of abuse, this particular gene form did not make men more likely to be violent or antisocial. When there was a history of abuse, however, the study showed higher rates of violent behavior later in life.
The study followed 442 boys in New Zealand from birth to age 26. Of the boys who were maltreated and had the particular gene form, 85 percent became antisocial. These children made up only 12 percent of the study population but later accounted for 44 percent of violent crime. It is not yet known how many men in the general population may have this form of the gene.
While more studies are needed to confirm the findings, researchers are confident the results can be put to good use. Knowing which abused children are most at risk, for example, could help social workers and therapists target more directed intervention strategies.
The Washington Post article, "Study Links a Gene to Impact of Child Abuse," appeared in the August 2 edition of the Post and can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A34075-2002Aug1?language=printer.
Strategies and Tools for Practice
- Outcomes Being Documented for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Outcomes Being Documented for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
What is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT? You might call it the Cyrano de Bergerac approach to parent education. During PCIT, parent and child take center stage while, behind the scenes, a therapist coaches the parent with appropriate lines to say to the child ("You're sitting very nicely!"). The goal, and proven result, of PCIT is to halt the downward spiral of family violence by retraining parents in new techniques to build positive relationships.
PCIT began in the 1970s as a way to treat children with serious behavior problems and later was adapted to the child maltreatment population. During PCIT sessions, parents wear a small audio device (an "earbug"). A clinician observes the parent and child through a one-way mirror and communicates with the parent through the earbug. Parents are coached to swap commands and criticism directed at their child for strategies that reinforce positive behavior.
It Is Working
The CAARE (Child and Adolescent Abuse, Resource, and Evaluation) Center at the University of California Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) in Sacramento has provided PCIT for about 6 years. According to Alissa Porter, CAARE's PCIT training coordinator, "We've looked at data 6 months out, and skills have been maintained." Parents show improvement in listening skills, physical proximity, and positive, constructive dialog and a decrease in sarcasm, criticism of the child, and personal distress.
Empirical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of PCIT as a treatment for abused children and their families. The UCDMC PCIT program studied 162 groups of "parent"-child pairs: children living with their biological parents (93), with foster parents (41), and in kinship care (28). The groups were surveyed before and after completing the PCIT program. The results were impressive, in terms of reducing the number of children at risk:
- Children and Biological Parents: 41.9% at risk before PCIT, 16.1% at risk after PCIT.
- Children and Foster Parents: 58.5% at risk before PCIT, 34.1% at risk after PCIT.
- Children in Kinship Care: 50% at risk before PCIT, 34.1 at risk after PCIT.
Preliminary results from long-term studies indicate that the skills learned during PCIT and the reduction in risk factors are retained after many years. CAARE also offers post-therapy booster sessions to help parents maintain their skills.
UCDMC and the University of Florida offer clinical training in PCIT.
For more information, contact:
PCIT Training Coordinator
Department of Pediatrics
University of California Davis Medical Center
3300 Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95820
Sheila M. Eyberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology
Child Study Lab
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100165
Gainesville, FL 32610
Phone (352) 265-0680 ext. 46878
- New Communication Tool for Citizens' Review Panels
New Communication Tool for Citizens' Review Panels
The University of Kentucky College of Social Work is pleased to announce that it will host a listserve for those who are interested in citizen participation in public child welfare. The listserve will be a vehicle by which citizens review panel members and coordinators, as well as public child welfare agency staff, can share ideas about how citizens can assist in child protection. Although the information on the listserve will likely be geared toward the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act citizens review panels, anyone with an interest in child welfare is welcome to join.
Listserve members communicate and exchange information electronically, by using email to post a question, response, or announcement to the group. To sign up for the National Citizens Review Panel Listserve, please email Blake Jones at email@example.com.
- Managing for Outcomes: A Basic Guide to the Evaluation of Best Practices in the Human Services
Managing for Outcomes: A Basic Guide to the Evaluation of Best Practices in the Human Services
Managing for Outcomes offers basic guidance to human service managers on program evaluation philosophies and procedures. It provides information on developing best practices and documenting results gained as well as detailed information on assessment procedures and tools, quality assurance practices, and determining cost effectiveness. It also details the management practices necessary to correctly implement evaluation procedures.
Order online for $24.95 through the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) at http://www.cwla.org/pubs or by contacting CWLA at:
Child Welfare League of America
P.O. Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
- Healthy Start, Grow Smart Series
Healthy Start, Grow Smart Series
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Education released a resource for parents on how to care for newborn babies. The Healthy Start, Grow Smart Series (2002) provides easy-to-understand information about babies' monthly development and needs during their first year. The booklets include a variety of topics such as:
- Newborn health screening and check-ups
- Sleeping patterns
- Brain development
- Safety tips
Each booklet is specific to the age of the baby, and contains a range of particular information such as a special message to fathers, information for single and teen parents, information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and the dangers of shaking babies. There are also informational resources for families.
The series was an initiative of Laura Bush as the First Lady of Texas and was sponsored by the Texas Department of Health. President and Mrs. Bush asked that the series be revised and distributed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services.
The series can be obtained by contacting:
ED Pubs, Education Publications Center
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 1398
Jessup, MD 20794-1398
Order online at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html.
Download in Word or PDF format at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/earlychildhood/healthystart/.
- Understanding and Preventing Violence in the Lives of Children and Youth
Understanding and Preventing Violence in the Lives of Children and Youth
Violence in the lives of today's children and youth can take many different forms--from self-inflicted injuries to child abuse and witnessing violence at home or on television. As this is a prevalent issue in society, the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine devoted its August 2002 issue to the problems of violence in young lives.
The issue provides editorials, research articles, and a pediatric forum on various youth violence topics. Research includes articles such as:
- Mothers' and health care providers' perspectives on screening for intimate partner violence in a pediatric emergency department.
- Children who witness violence, and parent report of children's behavior.
- Implementation of a program to teach pediatric residents and faculty about domestic violence.
- A 12-year prospective study on the long-term effects of early child physical maltreatment on psychological, behavioral, and academic problems in adolescence.
- Effect of abuse on health.
- Caretaker-child concordance for child's exposure to violence in a preadolescent inner-city population.
The issue can be found at http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/issues/current/toc.html.
See the article in this issue of CBX, "Intimate Partner Violence Among Teen Mothers."
- New Publications on Funding and Sustainable Strategies for Child and Family Initiatives
New Publications on Funding and Sustainable Strategies for Child and Family Initiatives
The Finance Project has produced a series of products that provide useful information to policymakers, program developers, community leaders, and others concerned with improving the financing of education, family and children's services, and community development.
Each guide or strategy brief presents options for generating resources or for using resources effectively to fund specific programmatic needs. Each also illustrates options with examples drawn from initiatives around the country and highlights relevant considerations to assist decisionmakers who weigh the alternatives.
The series includes:
- Thinking Broadly: Financing Strategies for Community, Child and Family Initiatives -- intended to assist policymakers, community leaders, and program developers by outlining an array of approaches to finance comprehensive community initiatives.
- Sustaining Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Key Elements for Success -- intended to help policymakers, program developers, and other stakeholders at both State and community levels identify basic resource needs and address strategic decisions to assist them, regardless of their initiatives' programmatic focus.
- Using the Community Reinvestment Act to Help Finance Initiatives for Children, Families and Communities -- outlines several types of activities for which lenders may receive community reinvestment act (CRA) credit and identifies important considerations for communities seeking to access CRA resources for community development initiatives.
- Health Insurance for Small Businesses: State and Local Financing Strategies -- intended to assist policymakers, community leaders, and program developers by identifying financing strategies to help small businesses offer health coverage.
All publications are in PDF format on The Finance Project's website at http://www.financeproject.org/newseries.htm. Note: this link is no longer available, but information can be found on their site at www.financeproject.org/index.asp.
- Children Cared for by Relatives: What Do We Know about Their Well-Being?
Children Cared for by Relatives: What Do We Know about Their Well-Being?
Children Cared for by Relatives: What Do We Know about Their Well-Being? is part of a series by The Urban Institute presenting findings from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families, a nationally representative survey of 44,000 households. The authors provide an overview of the well-being of children in kinship care families. They reveal that "...children living with relatives fare worse than children living with their parents on most measures of behavioral, emotional, and physical well-being." The authors detail areas where children in kinship care fare worse, the same, or, in a few cases, better than their counterparts living with their parents. For example, children in kinship care are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school, but have comparable activity involvement and are equally likely to skip school.
The authors outline several areas for further development to provide support for families involved in kinship care.
A free copy of the report can be ordered online at: http://www.uipress.org/Template.cfm?Section=Reports&Template=/ Ecommerce/ProductDisplay.cfm&ProductID=4060, or by calling (202) 261-5687.
- Justice Department Announces More Than $14 Million To Mentor At-Risk Youth
Justice Department Announces More Than $14 Million To Mentor At-Risk Youth
The Justice Department is awarding more than $14 million in grants to fund juvenile mentoring programs across the nation. Through the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP), administered by the Office of Justice Programs' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), more than 5,000 at-risk youth in 38 states and the District of Columbia will receive one-to-one mentoring aimed at keeping them in school and away from drugs and crime.
The 3-year grants range from $156,000 to $220,000 each.
"Experts tell us that the single greatest factor in helping a child avoid delinquent behavior is a strong, caring relationship with an adult," said Deborah J. Daniels, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. "Over the past 9 years, those caring relationships have been provided at over 200 JUMP-funded sites in 47 States, and we're pleased to add these 66 new programs to that total."
OJJDP selected the new sites through a competitive review process from a pool of 863 applicants. The mentoring sites will focus on three major goals: improved academic performance, reduced school dropout rates, and prevention of delinquent behavior. All sites are required to coordinate their activities with local educational agencies. Among the youth participating in the projects will be children of incarcerated parents, minority youth, Native Americans, children in foster care, youth in special education, and homeless youth. Sites will recruit a wide range of mentors, including military personnel, college students, faith-based representatives, business professionals, Tribal leaders, and law enforcement personnel.
For more information on the Office of Justice Programs, see their website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
A press release on the grant program, including the attached list of grantees and award amounts, can be found at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/about/press/ojp020918.html. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need?
Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need?
Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need? is part of a series by The Urban Institute presenting findings from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families, a nationally representative survey of 44,000 households. The authors look at the specific service needs of children in kinship care and reveal that many of the children, while eligible, do not receive those services. "Kinship care families' relatively low level of receipt of TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families], Medicaid, and subsidized child care raises questions about barriers they face in accessing these supports."
The authors believe that because there are relatively few kinship care families, they may be overlooked by program administrators and policymakers. Also, because of the stigma attached, many kinship care families may not accept the services available to them. Even if kinship care families were to receive all the financial aid to which they were entitled, many would still lack other services such as housing, mental health care, and child care. The authors outline several courses of action to help get needed services to kinship care families.
A free copy of the report can be ordered online at: http://www.uipress.org/Template.cfm?Section=Reports&Template=/ Ecommerce/ProductDisplay.cfm&ProductID=4085, or by calling (202) 261-5687.
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.
- Child Welfare-Substance Abuse Training Curricula and Resources Soon Available
Child Welfare-Substance Abuse Training Curricula and Resources Soon Available
A new compendium of curricula and resources on the child welfare-substance abuse connection will be available this fall. The compendium stems from the recognition that after the Adoption and Safe Families Act was enacted, little was known about available training resources addressing the linkages between child welfare and substance abuse. Produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families--both within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services--the compendium attempts to help fill that knowledge gap and disseminate information about currently available training curricula focusing on these linkages.
Training curricula are categorized according to their primary focus and content. Topics include:
- Overview of substance abuse and addiction
- Overview of child welfare
- Collaboration and service integration
- Service provision
- Working with children and adolescents
- Treatment and recovery
- Foster care/adoption and substance abuse
- The courts and legal representation
- Forthcoming resources (in final stages of development or revision process and will be released by the end of 2002)
The compendium will be accessible this fall via the Internet at http://www.samhsa.gov. Additional free copies will also be available this fall from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (800-729-6686) or the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (800-394-3366).
- FosterParentNet Builds Circle of Support for Foster Parents
FosterParentNet Builds Circle of Support for Foster Parents
FosterParentNet, a project designed by the Professional Association of Treatment Homes and National Foster Parent Association, focuses on expanding the network of support groups and other resources offered to foster parents. The challenges involved in caring for children in out-of-home placements can be multi-level and complex. Burnout and stress often contribute to a foster parent's decision to discontinue care. A strong circle of support can be a determining factor in foster parent retention.
This 3-year project was funded in Fiscal Year 2000 through the Children's Bureau Adoption Opportunities Grant Program, in the priority area of Leadership Development: Parent Support Groups. FosterParentNet provides foster parents with:
- Mini grants awarded for new and innovative start-up support groups. Sixty grants will reach all 50 States, as well as targeted culturally diverse populations.
- Training workshops offered across the country for facilitators who will train others on support group recruitment, leadership, and facilitation.
- A best practices manual and video available for those interested in starting a foster parent support group.
The project also developed and operates the FosterParentNet Education Center at http://www.fosterparentnet.org, where foster parents have access to online classes, registering for the course of their choice and completing it at their individual speed. Current offerings include Foster Parent Support Group Training and Drugs of Abuse--What Every Parent Needs to Know. Glossaries of Web terms and foster parent terminology are also available. FosterParentNet will be adding new information specifically geared to the educational needs of foster parents and social workers involved in foster care. Courses are currently subsidized, so they are offered at no cost.
Through the website, foster parents can also participate in online discussion boards and join an email listserve. Facilitated chat sessions, which serve as virtual support groups, are also conducted periodically.
For more information on FosterParentNet, contact:
FosterParentNet Project Director
2324 University Avenue West, Suite 120
St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: (800) 557-5238
Two other programs funded by the Children's Bureau within this priority area are:
- KinNET, a national network of support groups for relatives caring for kin in foster care, developed by Generations United and the Brookdale Foundation Group. (Website: http://www.gu.org/projg&osupport.htm.)
- Network of adoptive parent support groups, developed by the North American Council on Adoptable Children. (Website: http://www.nacac.org/pas_supportgroups.htm.)
Information on the Adoption Opportunities program and other Discretionary Grant Programs of the Children's Bureau can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/discretionary/dis_index.htm.
Fourteenth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
The Fourteenth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, March 31 through April 5, 2003. The conference theme, Gateways to Prevention, focuses on efforts to challenge existing assumptions about how to prevent child maltreatment and consider a range of strategies to protect children and support families and communities.
The Fourteenth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect is sponsored by the Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The conference is designed for child protection workers and administrators, social workers, educators, researchers, health care practitioners, law enforcement professionals, policy makers, child advocates, members of the clergy, parents, volunteers, and others committed to ensuring the protection of children. Those attending will have the opportunity to hear from staff of demonstration projects and learn from the experiences of colleagues who are working to engage both families and communities in preventing the occurrence and recurrence of child maltreatment. Six Learning Clusters will focus on serving diverse populations, child protective services systems changes, faith-based and community initiatives, research to practice, strengthening families, and interagency collaboration.
More information about the conference can be found at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/cbconference/fourteenth/index.cfm.
Nominations Requested for the Lisa Renee Putman Excellence in Direct Service Award
The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, within the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, requests nominations for the Lisa Renee Putman Excellence in Direct Service Award, to be presented at the Fourteenth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. The conference is held biennially for all professionals, volunteers, advocates, and community members who work to make children safe and families strong. An award description and nomination form are now available on the conference website (note: this is no longer available). Please submit nominations no later than December 31, 2002.
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child abuse and neglect through January 2003 include:
- Eleventh Biennial National Open Adoption Conference "Open Adoption in Practice" (The National Federation for Open Adoption Education; November 4 and 5, N. Lake Tahoe; http://www.adoptionhelp.org/).
- 2002 CWLA National Adoption Conference--Lifetime Connections: Achieving Excellence in Adoption (Child Welfare League of America; November 5 through 8, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; http://www.cwla.org/conferences/2002adoptrfp.htm -- this link is no longer available).
- 5th Annual National Survivors of Violence "From Pain to Power and Anger to Action: A United Voice for Prevention" (The Harvard School of Public Health; November 8 and 9, Boston, MA; call (617) 495-7777).
- APHA's 130th Annual Meeting and Exposition (American Public Health Association; November 9 through 13, Philadelphia, PA; http://www.apha.org/meetings/).
- "From Blues to Bluegrass…Toppin' the Charts in Training Excellence" (American Public Human Service Association – National Staff Development and Training Association; November 17 through 20, Nashville, TN; http://www.aphsa.org/).
- Communities Connecting For Youth: Research, Innovations and Trends in Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention (National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention; November 20 through 23, San Diego, CA; http://www.noappp.org/).
- National Council on Family Relations 64th Annual Conference (National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); November 21 through 24, Houston, TX; http://www.ncfr.org/).
- Zero to Three National Training Institute (Zero to Three; December 6 through 8, Washington, DC; http://www.zerotothree.org/nti00/index_main00.html -- this link is no longer available).
- The Annual Meeting of State and Tribal Child Welfare Officials "Partners in Progress: Lessons Learned from the CFSR" (National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice; January 27 through 29, Washington, DC).
Further details about national and regional child abuse and neglect conferences can be found in the "conference" section on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/index.cfm.
Further details about national and regional adoption conferences can be found in the "conference" section on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse's website at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/conferences/index.cfm.