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October 2010Vol. 11, No. 8Spotlight on Implementation

This month, CBX spotlights implementation and includes write-ups of the five regional Child Welfare Implementation Centers funded by the Children's Bureau in October 2008. CBX also includes an article on how West Virginia worked with its regional IC and other partners, as well as links to background information and resources on implementation.

Issue Spotlight

  • The Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center

    With a service area that cuts through the middle of the country, the Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center (MPCWIC) supports State and Tribal child welfare agencies in Regions VI and VIII, extending from Montana south to Louisiana and covering 11 States and 66 Tribes. MPCWIC's funded projects reflect the diversity of this large area and include:

    • Colorado Department of Human Services' Project on Child Welfare Practice Reform. This 3-year project will define and implement a Colorado child welfare practice model, with a focus on providing technical assistance to ensure improved capacity for data measurement and quality assurance/improvement.
    • New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department's Child Welfare Practice Model. This project is focused on the development and implementation of a clearly articulated practice framework, inclusive of vision, mission, values, and operating principles, to guide all of the State's change initiatives.
    • Osage Nation Implementation Project. The goals are to develop a business mapping model and a culturally based family-centered child welfare practice model, along with a decision support data system to help facilitate these models. The project will create system change on the management and direct practice level to improve the coordination and delivery of child welfare services to Osage Nation families and children.
    • The Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations) and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa's Skun-eyah (Garden) Project. The project includes the development and implementation of a culturally sensitive child welfare practice model that is directly related to improved outcomes for Native families and children. The project also includes a business process mapping component to ensure consistent quality child welfare services to families and children.

    The MPCWIC approach for each implementation project will focus on aligning technical assistance and evaluation with the six stages of implementation:

    1. Exploration
    2. Installation
    3. Initial implementation
    4. Full implementation
    5. Innovation
    6. Sustainability

    MPCWIC's website includes a number of presentations and other resources from its regional forums on such topics as system change and practice models. Access the resource links here:

    MPCWIC is operated under a cooperative agreement by the University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work, Judith Granger Birmingham Center of Child Welfare; the University of Denver, Butler Institute for Families, Denver, CO; and the Native American Training Institute in Bismarck, ND.

    For more information, contact Dr. Maria Scannapieco, Principal Investigator:

    Or visit the MPCWIC website:

  • The Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center (ACCWIC) partners with State and Tribal child welfare agencies in ACF Regions III and IV, serving 13 States, the District of Columbia, and 6 Tribes. ACCWIC provides long-term consultation and support to facilitate sustainable systems change. Using a systems of care framework and applying Child and Family Services Review principles, the Center:

    • Provides implementation knowledge to coach and facilitate successful individualized implementation projects
    • Fosters systemic and lasting improvements in child welfare agencies
    • Convenes regional forums
    • Supports peer-to-peer networking
    • Generates toolkits, resource manuals, and other products to document "what works"
    • Engages evaluation techniques and employs "lessons learned"

    ACCWIC is currently supporting five individualized implementation projects:

    • Mississippi Department of Human Services: Statewide Implementation of a Family Centered Practice Model: Increasing Readiness and Managing Change
    • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Social Services Division: An Initiative to Create a Technical Assistance Program in North Carolina's Child Welfare System
    • Tennessee Department of Children's Services: Strengthening In-Home Services Through the Utilization of Service Array in Individualized Case Planning
    • West Virginia Bureau of Children and Families: Implementing West Virginia's Safety Assessment Management System
    • Maryland Department of Human Resources, Social Services Administration: Youth Engagement in Planning for Self-Sufficiency

    ACCWIC chartered the Learning Leaders Council (LLC) as a foundation for its peer-to-peer network. The LLC includes one representative from each State and Tribe with a depth of understanding of their child welfare programs and resources. The LLC exchanges information around the successes and challenges to implementation of sustainable systems change. It serves as a vehicle to assist in the development of the ACCWIC Learning Community by recommending structure and content for the peer-to-peer network. Members of the LLC assist with the development of strategies to target the dissemination of implementation resource information to best support each State and Tribe. Council members also provide valuable input to the planning of future ACCWIC forums.

    The ACCWIC website offers a number of resources, including:

    For more information about ACCWIC, contact Cathy Fisher, Project Director:

    Or visit the ACCWIC website:

  • The National Implementation Research Network

    The National Implementation Research Network

    The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, offers information on implementation and its constructs, especially as it relates to social services work. The website includes documents, presentations, reports, and links to other useful information. Visit the NIRN website ( to find:

    Related Items
    A number of other websites are beginning to offer resources on implementation and human services:

  • Defining Implementation

    Defining Implementation

    A special issue of last year's Research on Social Practice, Vol. 19(5), focused on the implementation of evidence-based practice in human services fields. Two articles in particular provide background on implementation and its components.

    "What Is Implementation Research? Rationale, Concepts, and Practices," by Onil Bhattacharyya, Scott Reeves, and Merrick Zwarenstein, provides an overview of implementation research in the social sciences, exploring the gap between knowledge and practice, and discusses how to bring current practice closer to best practice.

    "Core Implementation Components," by Dean Fixsen, Karen Blase, Sandra Naoom, and Frances Wallace, describes both the stages of implementation and the core components, arguing that the "missing link" between science and service is implementation.

    The six stages of implementation include:

    • Exploration
    • Installation
    • Initial implementation
    • Full implementation
    • Innovation
    • Sustainability

    The core components (or implementation drivers), which are discussed in more detail, include:

    • Staff selection
    • Preservice and in-service training
    • Ongoing coaching and consultation
    • Staff evaluation
    • Decision support data systems
    • Facilitative administrative support
    • Systems interventions

    As described by the authors, the components are integrated with each other to influence staff behavior and organizational culture. They are also integrated with the stages so that it is easy to identify where implementation teams are in the implementation process (i.e., what stage) and what they are doing (e.g., what core component). 

    The full articles are available for purchase on the Sage Journal website:

  • The Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The mission of the Northeast and Caribbean Implementation Center (NCIC) is to facilitate communication and networking across public child welfare systems, to offer guidance and tools identifying sustainable system change strategies, and to provide resources to support intensive implementation projects that improve the quality and effectiveness of services for children, youth, and families. The NCIC serves States, territories, and title IV-B funded Tribes in ACF Region I (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) and Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).

    The primary work of NCIC is to provide technical assistance focused not simply on a discreet problem or issue but on topics that are substantial enough to create sustainable systemic change. To carry out our work, NCIC offers a range of activities and resources to the States and Tribes in ACF Regions I and II, including:

    • Peer Networking: NCIC supports regional peer networks that share implementation experiences and provide mutual aid and problem-solving. Recent network opportunities have focused on public sector leadership strategies, coaching models, and starting up implementation projects.
    • Intensive Implementation Projects: As of June 2010, the NCIC is providing training and technical assistance resources to six State child welfare agencies to support projects that focus on improving child welfare practice and enhancing the skills of supervisors. The following are the current NCIC implementation projects:
      • Connecticut Department of Children and Families: Advancing Child and Family Outcomes through Integrated Practice and Contracted Program Improvement Initiatives
      • Massachusetts Department of Children and Families: Enhancing Supervisory Capacity to Support and Sustain the New DCF Integrated Casework Practice Model
      • New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families: Designing and Implementing a Statewide Family-Centered Practice Model for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice
      • New Jersey Department of Children and Families: Managing With Data to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families
      • New York State Office of Children and Family Services: Building a System of Sustainable Supports for Child Welfare Supervisors
      • Vermont Department for Children and Families, Family Services Division: Implementing a Comprehensive Statewide Practice Model Implementation

    From engaging with these States to implement their projects, NCIC is learning many lessons about what it takes to implement large-scale system reform in public child welfare agencies. These early lessons and full descriptions of these projects can be found on the NCIC website. 

    • Evaluation and Dissemination of Learning
    • The NCIC website offers audio files of NCIC peer networking calls, information about NCIC services, links to other sites of interest to those in child welfare, and recent NCIC publications, including:
      • Basics of Coaching: A Brief Review of Recent Literature
      • New Jersey Department of Children and Families “Manage by Data” National Promising Practice Findings
      • Supervisory Models in Child Welfare

    For further information, contact Susan Kanak, Project Director:

    Or visit the NCIC website:

  • West Virginia Implements Integrated Safety System

    West Virginia Implements Integrated Safety System

    West Virginia's Bureau for Children and Families (BCF) is implementing a new child protective services (CPS) model that makes child safety the primary consideration in child welfare decision-making. The West Virginia Safety Assessment and Management System (SAMS) is based on a comprehensive safety intervention model developed by ACTION for Child Protection, Inc. ACTION for Child Protection consulted with West Virginia to define and adapt intervention concepts, criteria, and processes that are intended to establish structure and standardization for practice and decision-making during CPS involvement with families.

    West Virginia BCF partnered with the National Resource Center for CPS and the Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center (ACCWIC) to plan and support systematic implementation of SAMS across the State.

    Advantages of SAMS
    SAMS represents a significant change in how West Virginia's CPS workers respond to reports of child abuse and neglect. BCF staff knew that a meaningful change in approach was necessary, especially after the State's two Federal Child and Family Services Reviews (in 2003 and 2008) indicated that West Virginia's child welfare practice did not meet the standards for child safety. In addition, the State had a high acceptance rate for reports made to CPS and a high repeat maltreatment rate.

    As an evidence- and research-based model, SAMS offers a number of advantages over the previous CPS approach:

    • It provides workers with consistent standards and tools to help them collect appropriate information from families.
    • It offers guided decision-making so that workers can make more objective decisions based on the safety of children and the protective capacities of caregivers.
    • It emphasizes supervisory involvement and oversight.
    • It is a family-centered approach designed to respect families and to engage them in decision-making and problem-solving.

    Implementing SAMS
    After an extensive planning process, West Virginia is implementing SAMS in a staged rollout that began in 2009. Dr. Sarah Kaye, Director of Research & Evaluation for ACCWIC, notes, "West Virginia's approach to SAMS implementation is grounded in implementation science and brings best practices from other fields to public child welfare. The State is focusing on organizational structures and supports as well as staff competence to increase the likelihood of sustained practice change." 

    The four family assessments are being introduced individually, so that workers have time to fully learn and incorporate each new process. "Special Forces" teams—composed of program managers, supervisors, child welfare consultants, and trainers who are experts in SAMS—are embedded throughout the State to provide training and mentoring to staff and supervisors. The work of Special Forces is supported by technical assistance and consultation from the National Resource Center for CPS.

    Commissioner Jason Najmulski and Deputy Commissioner Louis Palma are active and visible champions of SAMS. The State is aligning policies, procedures, data systems, and quality assurance to provide the infrastructure to support SAMS. Stakeholders and collaborative partners have been engaged at the State and local level to promote community support. 

    West Virginia is one of five States that was selected as an ACCWIC implementation project in 2009. ACCWIC provides technical assistance and has helped in developing a Fidelity Monitoring System to collect SAMS fidelity data during clinical case consultation that is used to inform the implementation process. Eventually, fidelity data and Federal outcome data will be integrated into data dashboards that all BCF staff across the State will be able to access.

    SAMS and Workers
    Both workers and stakeholders have had generally positive reactions to the new model. Amy Lawson Booth, Statewide SAMS Implementation Coordinator, explained, "Because of SAMS, we're really getting a chance to practice social work. We've moved away from investigative work, and we're intervening with families when and how we should." An online newsletter, SAMS Horizons, keeps BCF staff across the State informed of the implementation progress, provides regional news about SAMS, and spotlights an outstanding SAMS worker in each region.

    Looking Ahead
    BCF staff expect to see full implementation of SAMS in the fall of 2011. Besides the staged rollout, the State is making changes to its Families and Children Tracking System to be able to incorporate SAMS data. SAMS implementation is also having a big effect on the State's Program Improvement Plan (PIP) process, and staff look to SAMS to contribute to improved practice, more appropriate services for families, fewer entries and reentries into the child welfare system, more emphasis on family-centered practice, and, of course, improved safety for children.

    Learn more about SAMS and access the extensive materials on the SAMS website:

    Many thanks to Amy Lawson Booth, Statewide SAMS Implementation Coordinator, who provided the information for this article.

  • The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center (WPIC) partners with States, Tribes, and territories in transforming child welfare systems to improve the services delivered to children, youth, and families in ACF Regions IX (Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam) and X (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska).

    The Center provides technical assistance to overcome barriers to systems change, accelerate the pace of change, and operationalize core values systemwide to transform policy and practice. The Center has identified five interrelated key elements that are critical for implementing sustainable systems change: leadership/commitment, vision and values, environment, capacity/infrastructure, and stakeholder involvement.

    To support the implementation of sustainable change, the Center administers and facilitates systems change implementation projects. These projects are intensive, in-depth technical assistance efforts tailored to the strengths and needs of child welfare systems. Based on the review and selection of their initial applications, the following sites in Regions IX and X have been selected by WPIC and the Children's Bureau to implement their proposed systems change efforts:

    • The Navajo Nation has proposed to implement culturally competent permanency planning consistently into practice. This project will increase timely permanency by implementing concurrent planning practices.
    • In partnership with 15 other Alaska Tribal organizations and in collaboration with the State of Alaska, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will address disproportionality of Alaska Native family involvement in child welfare systems by creating an alternative response system and enhancing family involvement in decision-making.
    • Los Angeles will align and coordinate its existing child welfare reform efforts and engage families, youth, and stakeholders as partners in planning for and implementation of child welfare system change efforts.

    WPIC also provides opportunities for States, Tribes, and territories to learn from each other about planning and implementing systems change in child welfare. The Center hosted a regional forum on lessons learned in implementing systems change, coordinated webinars featuring strategies for planning and creating buy-in for systems change, and shared information through a listserv and website. The Center will be facilitating peer learning with sites approved for a systems change implementation project and providing opportunities to learn from the experiences of these sites in implementing systems change.

    WPIC is led by the American Institutes for Research, working in partnership with four other national organizations:

    • National Indian Child Welfare Association
    • Center for the Study of Social Policy
    • Georgetown University's National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health
    • Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida

    For more information, contact Marketa Gautreau, Project Director

    Or visit the WPIC website

  • The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center

    The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center (MCWIC) is part of the Center on Children, Families and the Law (CCFL) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. CCFL is a multidisciplinary center devoted to teaching, research, and public service on issues related to child and family policy and services.  MCWIC works with the States and Tribes in Region V (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota) and Region VII (Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas). Using a multidisciplinary, multilevel, and systemic approach, MCWIC is engaged in four implementation projects:

    • Indiana Department of Child Services; Project: Centralized Intake Unit
      MCWIC is providing implementation support as the Indiana Department of Child Services institutes a centralized intake system to replace the current system of approximately 210 different phone numbers staffed by case managers, supervisors, and contract employees located throughout the State's 92 counties. The new system will result in consistency of practice, improved responsiveness to community stakeholders, and improved case tracking capability.
    • Iowa Department of Human Services; Project: Partnering With Parents for System Change
      MCWIC is partnering with the Iowa Department of Human Services to institutionalize parent engagement strategies that actively inform child welfare policy, practice, and programs statewide. One of those strategies is the Parent Partner program, which will be initiated across the State. This implementation project will also help to establish policy and practice informed by parents' insights by building a cadre of parents actively engaged in all levels of child welfare practice in Iowa.
    • Ohio Office of Families and Children; Project: New Technical Assistance Model
      The Ohio Office of Families and Children, with MCWIC's support and collaboration, is developing and implementing a new model for providing technical assistance to its stakeholders. The project consists of several distinct elements: a formal assessment of organizational culture and climate, a comprehensive rule review, implementation of organizational structural and functional changes to facilitate the new technical assistance model, and ongoing fidelity monitoring.
    • Wisconsin Department of Children and Families; Project: Best Outcomes for Indian Children
      The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and MCWIC are working with Wisconsin's 71 county child welfare agencies and the 11 sovereign Tribes in Wisconsin to improve outcomes for Indian children. The project includes developing child welfare practice principles, training materials, and standardized case practice tools designed to effectively implement the recently enacted Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act.

    MCWIC also provides peer networking opportunities for child welfare professionals, such as:

    • Consultative in-person meetings between child welfare professionals engaged in similar implementation efforts
    • Tribal Gatherings focused on topics of interest to Tribal child welfare practitioners. Tribal Gatherings provide opportunities to build and foster links between peers. MCWIC also provides participants with information regarding system change and innovative Tribal Child Welfare practices. Information and media from the first three Tribal Gatherings are available here:
    • Regional Forums designed to foster peer connections among child welfare professionals and to provide them with knowledge relevant to the implementation process, in Years 1, 3, and 5 of our project. Information and media from our first Regional Forums can also be found here:
    • Implementation project focused webinars
    • CONNECT, an Internet social networking website developed and hosted by MCWIC specifically with the child welfare community in mind. It serves child welfare workers, administrators, trainers, and their support network - including individuals at the State, Tribal, county, and Federal levels. CONNECT is free, flexible, and for those who care about the welfare of children.

    MCWIC has a number of other child welfare and implementation resources listed on its website. To access those resources, visit:

    For more information, contact Mark Ells, Project Director:

    Or visit the MCWIC website:

    Recent Issues

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News From the Children's Bureau

Find links to the latest Federal child welfare news, including new foster care and adoption statistics, the latest from the T&TA Network, reports from other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, and more.

  • New! On the Children's Bureau Site

    New! On the Children's Bureau Site

    The Children's Bureau website carries information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more. The "New on Site" section includes grant announcements, policy announcements, agency information, and recently released publications.

    Recent additions to the site include:

    Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new!

  • Collection of NYTD Data Begins

    Collection of NYTD Data Begins

    October 1, 2010, marks the launch of the first national data collection dedicated to understanding the transitions of youth from foster care to independent living, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). On this day, States begin collecting data for NYTD, including case-level information on youth and the services they receive to assist them in living independently as part of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). States will also be collecting outcomes information for NYTD on certain youth who are in or who have aged out of foster care. Ultimately, these data will provide insights into where State independent living programs and services can improve youth outcomes by increasing financial self-sufficiency, educational attainment, connections with adults, and access to health insurance as well as by helping youth avoid homelessness and high-risk behaviors. Alongside the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), NYTD will assist in gaining a more complete, national picture of youth served by child welfare agencies.

    The first semiannual NYTD data reporting deadline is May 15, 2011. While data collection is just beginning, States have been hard at work preparing for this historic effort since the regulation implementing the database was published in February 2008. States have partnered with foster youth, foster parents, youth service providers, and other stakeholders to determine how best to implement the NYTD data collection requirements, including how best to administer the NYTD youth outcome survey. To support these efforts, the Children's Bureau has provided technical assistance to States through the National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) and the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRCCWDT). These technical assistance efforts include three national technical assistance meetings for State representatives, the launch of a national community of practice website, and an active listserv for information sharing and dialogue among States and their stakeholders. The Children's Bureau will continue these supportive efforts, recognizing that NYTD is part of an ongoing partnership to improve our collective understanding of youth in transition through the collection of longitudinal data. 

    For more information on NYTD, please contact the Children's Bureau at

    Or visit:

  • New User Manuals Highlight Community Partnership and First Responders

    New User Manuals Highlight Community Partnership and First Responders

    The Children's Bureau has developed two new publications in its popular User Manual series. The two resources, available for free download from the Child Welfare Information Gateway website, provide new insight into the topics of child protection and child maltreatment investigations. 

    Community Partnerships: Improving the Response to Child Maltreatment discusses how communities, organizations, agencies, neighborhoods, and individuals can coordinate their efforts and create a safer and more stable environment for children. Based on the belief that multidisciplinary approaches are essential to address the challenges of today's families in crisis or at risk, the manual highlights the importance of responsive family- and community-centered approaches for the delivery of services and supports. This manual also illustrates the planning process by providing step-by-step guidance on how to establish and sustain a community partnership and measure results. The guide also includes eight appendices that offer checklists, examples of community partnerships, and a resource listing.

    The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations is written for community professionals called to assess cases of possible child abuse. Roles and responsibilities of different first responders (emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, and child protective service workers) are outlined. In particular, this publication underscores the importance of identifying signs of child maltreatment within the context of domestic violence or substance abuse. Risks of child trauma in a postdisaster situation are also addressed, along with issues relevant to disaster preparation and planning. This manual provides basic guidelines for conducting interviews with children and preparing for testimony in court. Appendices offer a detailed description of signs of abuse, criteria for distinguishing various types of injuries, home visit safety tips, and more.

    Both manuals are part of the Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual series published by the Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To download a copy of any manual in this collection, please visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

  • CDC Offers Resources on Shaken Baby Syndrome

    CDC Offers Resources on Shaken Baby Syndrome

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently posted a new page in its Injury Prevention & Control web section on traumatic brain injury and shaken baby syndrome (SBS). The new information includes facts, statistics, resources, and methods of prevention of SBS.

    Shaking a baby is usually the result of a caregiver's frustrated response to a child's crying. A leading cause of child deaths, SBS can cause bleeding in the brain or eyes. Infants up to the age of 4 months are most at risk of injury from shaking, and inconsolable crying is the primary trigger for shaking a baby.

    The webpage describes two educational booklets about SBS and its prevention:

    • Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome: Guide for Health Departments and Community-Based Organizations
    • A Journalist's Guide to Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Preventable Tragedy, which also links to a video in English and Spanish

    Also available are four public service radio announcements in English and Spanish on "Coping With Crying," as well as additional resources.

    Access these resources on the CDC website:

  • $39 Million Awarded in Adoption Incentives

    $39 Million Awarded in Adoption Incentives

    On September 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the award of $39 million to 38 States and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care in FY 2009. Originally created as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Adoption Incentives program awards $4,000 for every child adopted beyond the State's best year total. Under the new legislation of the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, States receive additional awards for increasing adoptions of older children and children with special needs. This year, Texas will receive the highest amount at over $7 million.

    Commenting on the awards, David A. Hansell, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families said, "America's communities benefit when children grow up in stable families. We're very pleased that the adoption incentives program is helping States improve their programs and place more children into homes that are theirs forever."

    To read the HHS press release, visit:

    To see the full list of States and awards, visit the ACF website:

  • Updates From the T&TA Network

    Updates From the T&TA Network

    The Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Network continues to produce resources that can help States and Tribes in their work with children and families. Some recent resources are listed below:

    • Child Welfare Information Gateway has added a new list of Related Organizations to its website. Accreditation and Standard-Setting includes national organizations that provide agency/member accreditation and/or standard-setting for child welfare-related services.
      Information Gateway also has updated one of its general information packets on adoption. Getting Started: Adoption includes factsheets on Adoption: Where Do I Start?, Adoption Options, and The Home Study Process.
    • The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) has published two papers of interest to child welfare practitioners:
      • Substance Abuse Specialists in Child Welfare Agencies and Dependency Courts: Considerations for Program Designers and Evaluators focuses on the value of co-locating substance abuse specialists in child welfare offices and dependency courts. (1.47 MB)
      • Drug Testing in Child Welfare: Practice and Policy Considerations aims to guide child welfare agency policymakers in developing practice and policy protocols for the use of drug testing in child welfare practice. (904 KB)
    • The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement's (NRCOI's) Peer Training Network recently was asked several questions about partnerships between schools of social work and social services departments that allow agency employees to earn clinical hours to apply to their L.C.S.W. degrees. Answers for these and other questions are posted.
    • The National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues (NRCLJI) has posted on its homepage a PowerPoint presentation from July 2010, prepared for the Children's Bureau T&TA Network, that gives an overview of the NRCLJI.
    • The National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services has published Differential Response Approach in Child Protective Services: An Analysis of State Legislative Provisions, which looks at differential response legislation in 14 States. (462 KB)
    • The National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (QIC NRF) has produced a practice brief, Engaging Nonresident Fathers in Child Welfare Cases: A Guide for Court Appointed Special Advocates, to help court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers locate fathers of children who enter the child welfare system, assess the fathers' capacities as resources for their children, and involve paternal relatives in case planning. (574 KB)
    • The National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRCCWDT) offers a Groupsite mail list that provides individuals with a shared calendar, discussion forums, member profiles, photo gallery, file storage, and more. Recent threads have discussed handheld computers for frontline caseworkers, geographic information systems for child welfare workers, and more. Register at:
      NRCCWDT and the National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) have created the National Youth in Transition (NYTD) Technical Assistance Overview website, which provides links to materials and documents that can be used to track and assess Independent Living programs. It also has available a Community of Practice, a peer-to-peer information sharing site, and several technical assistance briefs.
    • The National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (FRIENDS) redesigned its website and now features easy-to-find information, enhanced search capabilities, and a new logo.
    • The National Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes) has online descriptions of its mission, goals, partners, principles, and values. A six-page summary and a PowerPoint presentation are available on the website:
  • NSCAW Findings on the Status of Children

    NSCAW Findings on the Status of Children

    The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) recently released three new research briefs based on data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). NSCAW is a longitudinal study of children at risk of abuse or neglect or already in the child welfare system. Data are drawn from firsthand reports from children, parents, and other caregivers, as well as reports from caseworkers, teachers, and administrative records.

    • A Summary of NSCAW Findings presents an overview of the main NSCAW findings on children's safety, permanency, and well-being in the following key areas:
      • Permanency and living situation, including whether children are living at home, are in an out-of-home care, have been adopted, or are living with kin
      • Child and family well-being, including health needs, delinquent behavior, and caregiver risk factors
      • Use of mental health, special education, and parenting services (202 KB)

    • Kinship Caregivers in the Child Welfare System examines the parenting provided by kinship caregivers to children age 10 or younger who have been involved in investigations of child maltreatment. The study found that, on average, kinship caregivers were older, less educated, less likely to be married, and more likely be living under the Federal poverty level than foster caregivers. The implications of these findings for the quality of care and the need for better financial supports for these families are discussed. (417 PDF)

    • Children Involved With Child Welfare: A Transition to Adolescence, is the third in a series and presents findings from the NSCAW Wave 5 follow-up (6 to 7 years after baseline). It provides information about safety, adolescent well-being, services received by adolescents and their caregivers, and child welfare system services for 1,484 adolescents who were reported for maltreatment when they were between 3 and 11 years old. (549 KB)

    A complete list of NSCAW-related reports can be found on the OPRE website:

  • AFCARS Shows Reductions in Foster Care Population

    AFCARS Shows Reductions in Foster Care Population

    At the end of August, the Children's Bureau posted new statistics on the numbers of children involved with the child welfare system. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report #17, which provides preliminary estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2009, indicates that, on September 30, 2009:

    • There were 423,773 children in foster care.
    • The children had an average age of 9.6 years.
    • The largest percentage of children (48 percent) were in foster family homes with nonrelatives, followed by 24 percent in foster homes with relatives.
    • The case goals of almost half of the children (49 percent) were to reunify with parents or caregivers. Another 25 percent (114,556) were awaiting adoption.
    • Of the children in foster care, 40 percent were White, 30 percent were Black, and 20 percent were Hispanic.

    In addition, the report indicates that 57,466 children were adopted from foster care during FY 2009; 54 percent were adopted by their foster parent.

    The numbers reflect a trend that began in 2006 of decreases in the numbers of children in foster care, entering care during the year, and awaiting adoption.  In FY 2005, there were 511,000 children in foster care.

    The Children's Bureau website also provides an updated Trends in Foster Care and Adoption chart, which now displays numbers from FY 2002 through FY 2009. Through AFCARS, the Children's Bureau collects case-level information from States on all children in foster care for whom State child welfare agencies have responsibility for placement, care, or supervision and on children who are adopted from foster care.

    Find the latest AFCARS reports on the Children's Bureau website:

  • OPRE Updates Program Managers' Guide to Evaluation

    OPRE Updates Program Managers' Guide to Evaluation

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has updated The Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation. The guide explains the value and utility of program evaluation for assessing program performance, measuring program effects on families and communities, and documenting successes. It outlines how to perform program evaluation and how to use the results to improve programs and benefit staff and families.

    This updated version reflects currently accepted practices, up-to-date terminology, a glossary, and an appendix containing a comprehensive list of evaluation resources. The update is designed to be relevant to all ACF program areas. The online version now includes tips, samples, and worksheets previously available only in the hard-copy version.

    The guide answers the following questions:

    • Why evaluate your program?
    • What is program evaluation?
    • Who should conduct your evaluation?
    • How do you hire and manage an outside evaluator?
    • How do you prepare for an evaluation?
    • What should you include in an evaluation plan?
    • How do you get the information you need?
    • How do you make sense of evaluation information?
    • How can you report what you have learned?

    Access the guide on the OPRE website: (500 KB)

Child Welfare Research

Child welfare news brings you reports and statistics on such issues as child well-being, child fatalities, youth transitions, and mentoring parents.

  • Using Citizen Review Panels to Prevent Child Maltreatment Deaths

    Using Citizen Review Panels to Prevent Child Maltreatment Deaths

    Although child abuse rates appear to be declining in the United States, there has been no real change in the number of child maltreatment fatalities. In a new research study, "Effects of a Citizens Review Panel in Preventing Child Maltreatment Fatalities," authors Vincent J. Palusci, Steve Yager, and Theresa Covington explore Michigan's use of a citizens review panel (CRP) to examine child maltreatment fatalities in the child welfare system.

    Child fatality review teams (CFRTs) have been instituted in most U.S. States to provide a multidisciplinary, multiagency review of all or most child fatalities. CRPs were first required in 1996 for States as part of reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and many States have instituted CRPs specifically to review child maltreatment fatalities. While both CFRTs and fatality CRPs review child deaths, CRPs are constituted expressly for the purpose of reviewing deaths of children known to the child protective services agency and are charged with making recommendations primarily to that agency within the child welfare system.

    Michigan instituted its Fatality CRP in 1999 to identify, understand, and respond to the system issues and prevention possibilities in these deaths. For the purposes of this study, the authors compared the annual number of child maltreatment deaths associated with each finding in the annual reports made during two 3-year periods: 1999–2001 (Period I) and 2002–2004 (Period II). These two periods were chosen because they reflected adequate time for recommendations in Period I to be implemented and affect potential future cases in Period II.

    The study identified a number of problem areas in the State's child welfare system. Most of those problem areas identified were addressed by the State child protective services agency with changes in law, policy, or practice, and there was a later reduction in the number of findings and in the number of deaths associated with those findings over time. The authors conclude that further research is needed to assess the impact of CRPs on child welfare practices, but that child fatality reviews by CRPs offer the potential to reduce child maltreatment deaths by improving child protective service practices.

    This study will be published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect and is currently available online. (226 KB)

  • Innovative Approaches to Engaging Parents

    Innovative Approaches to Engaging Parents

    American Humane recently released a report that highlights two parent engagement programs designed to meet the immediate needs of families and to meaningfully involve parents in decision-making. The Parent Mentoring Program and the Parent Partner Program were developed and implemented by the Washington State Division of Child and Family Services. 

    The Parent Mentoring Program uses specially trained foster parents (mentors) to support parents by helping them develop an action plan that addresses immediate needs (e.g., housing, employment) as well as barriers to reunification. The program involves a training curriculum, selection criteria for both mentors and participating families, and a process that enables social workers to guide mentors in their work with parents. The program is considered innovative because it provides more individualized and intensive support than is typically available to parents in the child welfare system. A quasi-experimental evaluation of the program found that parents in the Parent Mentoring Program were more likely to reunify with their children than parents who were not in the program.

    The Parent Partners Program draws on the learning experiences of parents who were able to successfully reunify with their children with the help of the Parent Mentoring Program. These parent partners are matched with parents who are currently trying to reunify with their children so that they can provide education and support and help parents advocate for themselves. Participants also attend courses designed to help them understand the child welfare system (including timelines, roles of professionals, and ways to access services).

    "Engaging Parents: Innovative Approaches in Child Welfare," by Maureen Marcenko, Ross Brown, Peggy DeVoy, and Debbie Conway, is available at: (167 KB)


  • Data on Child Well-Being in America

    Data on Child Well-Being in America

    Two new national reports provide easy access to current data on the well-being of children in America:

    America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010

    The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics ( gathers data from 22 Federal agencies to update 40 well-being indicators on children, youth, and families in this annual report. A brief report was released this year; a full report is released every 2 years. The indicators span seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. Among the report's conclusions are the following major findings:

    • Health insurance coverage rates for children increased
    • Teen smoking was at its lowest since data collection began in 1980
    • The adolescent birth rate declined after a 2-year increase
    • The percentage of children whose parents had secure employment was the lowest since 1996, and the percentage living in food-insecure households was the highest since monitoring began in 1995

    Read or download the report on the Forum's website:

    2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book

    This annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, now in its 21st year, presents data on 10 key indicators of child well-being, addressing health, education, teen employment, teen pregnancy, and family economic conditions. According to the data, overall improvements in child well-being that began in the late 1990s stalled in the years just before the current economic downturn. The authors caution that, because the report uses data collected in 2008 before most families were fully affected by the economic downturn, the overall effects have yet to be measured.

    Some popular features of the KIDS COUNT Data Center website include:

    • A downloadable version of the full report
    • Data by State, county, city, or school district
    • State rankings and geographic profiles
    • Customizable maps, trend lines, and rankings for use in publications and presentations
    • Accessible via mobile device

    Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center for more information:


  • Promising Results for Youth Transitioning in New York City

    Promising Results for Youth Transitioning in New York City

    The Academy, a program for New York City youth aging out of foster care, is helping youth achieve positive outcomes by bridging the gap between foster care and postcare services. Earlier this year, the Vera Institute for Justice published an evaluation of the Academy, and FEGS Health and Human Services System released a report summarizing the program's activities and successes.

    Transition-age youth are referred to the Academy by private foster care agencies, and each youth is matched with a personal advisor who provides all services under one roof. The advisor serves as a mentor and case manager, helping youth set and meet their goals and providing constant support. Some of the Academy's key features include:

    • Flexible intake and participation policies
    • Individually tailored service plans for education, training, employment, and support
    • Social and recreational opportunities
    • The provision of services by people outside the child welfare system

    According to the FEGS report, the Academy has served 399 young people since its creation in 2007. Among youth engaged in educational services, career readiness services, or job search activities:

    • Seventy percent demonstrated educational progress or continue to remain active in the program working toward their educational goals
    • Eighty-eight percent completed the full curriculum, 54 percent participated in work internships, and 52 percent participated in job search activities
    • Forty percent were successful in securing employment, and 32 percent remained actively engaged in the job search program

    Vera researchers found strong support for the Academy among professionals in the field and praise for its "no reject, no eject" philosophy. Some of the challenges faced by the Academy include difficulties coordinating services and managing collaborations among the community-based and foster care organizations involved with the program.

    The Academy was created in 2007 by the Heckscher Foundation for Children in close collaboration with the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and is now operated by FEGS Health and Human Services System in cooperation with multiple foster care agencies across the city. To read highlights of the activities and successes of the program, download The Academy, A Promising New Initiative: Helping Young People Aging Out of Foster Care Prepare for Their Futures: Program Results and Next Steps, by FEGS Health and Human Services System: (2651 KB)

    To review the results of the Vera Institute of Justice's process evaluation of the program, download The Academy: A Program for Older Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care, by Allon Yaroni, Rachel Wetts, and Tim Ross, on the Vera website: (561 KB)

Strategies and Tools for Practice

CBX links you to information on effective ways to communicate with the public about child welfare issues, engaging fathers, and implementing a practice model for youth in child welfare and juvenile justice.

  • Effective Storytelling Solutions to Mobilize the Public

    Effective Storytelling Solutions to Mobilize the Public

    Research shows that stories focused on problems, such as child maltreatment, can often backfire by increasing cynicism about the government and citizens' ability to solve problems, rather than driving a community to action. The Child Advocacy 360 Foundation developed a Communications Catalyst Initiative based on the belief that stories about effective programs for children, or "solutions stories," are an overlooked tool that can educate and mobilize citizens. A new report, Solutions Storytelling: Messaging to Mobilize Support for Children's Issues, describes research based on this initiative.

    Researchers used focus groups, testing, and surveys to investigate the impact of different kinds of messages about children and ways to help children. The research was based on three central components of the initiative:

    • Change the emphasis of the message from problem to solution.
    • Make the role of community visible.
    • Inspire action on behalf of children not one's own, particularly at-risk children.

    Using a variety of sample messages, researchers found that solution stories that had a positive impact on participants' views about citizen advocacy and action were those that incorporated five core components:

    • Connection to community (reminding audiences that the entire community benefits from children who are healthy and safe)
    • Big picture thinking (highlighting several very different programs and their solutions)
    • Necessary, not just nice (presenting programs as vital to the community)
    • Inspiring action (incorporating examples of model behavior)
    • "Proving" effectiveness (not necessarily having statistical evidence of success)

    The report was produced by the Topos Partnership and can be downloaded: (880 KB)

    Related Item

    Suggested Strategies and Messages from this report can be found in a separate document: (80 KB)

  • Practice Model for Crossover Youth

    Practice Model for Crossover Youth

    Crossover youth, the population of young people who move between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, have been the subject of extensive research over the past decade. Studies show that crossover youth are often in the child welfare system for long periods of time, regularly experiencing multiple placements; a disproportionate number of them are youth of color; and the population as a whole generally requires a more intense array of services and supports than other youth known to each system individually.

    Based on this growing body of knowledge, Casey Family Programs, in partnership with the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute (CJJR), developed and published The Crossover Youth Practice Model. The manual describes the specific practices needed to reduce the number of youth who cross over between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, the number of youth entering and reentering the State's care, and the length of stay in out-of-home care.

    The practice model creates a nexus between the research and best practices known to child welfare and juvenile justice, the research related to crossover youth, and the lessons learned in practice from the Juvenile Justice & Child Welfare Integration Breakthrough Series Collaborative. States can use this model as a template for serving crossover youth because it provides a mechanism that enables agencies to strengthen their organizational structure and improve practices that directly affect outcomes for youth.

    The manual describes the model:

    • In terms of its values and principles
    • In relationship to family engagement
    • As a mechanism for reducing disproportionality and disparity and improving cultural competence
    • In terms of implementing the model through five practice areas that follow the course of a case from arrest through case closure

    The authors conclude that meeting the needs of crossover youth requires multisystem collaboration, as well as best practice and evidence-based programs related to child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, substance abuse, and education.

    The Crossover Youth Practice Model was written by Lorrie Lutz and Macon Stewart, with contributions from Lyman Legters and Denise Herz. It is available on the CJJR website: (7.4 MB)

  • Meeting CFSR Standards of Father Involvement

    Meeting CFSR Standards of Father Involvement

    The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) has developed a new guide, Father Involvement—Meeting CFSR Standards, designed to help child welfare agencies improve their practice and outcomes regarding fathers' involvement with their children and their children's cases.

    While the Federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR)—which assesses each State's compliance with Federal child welfare standards—has no specific measure for father involvement, there are four relevant items under Child Well-Being Outcome I. Currently, completed CFSRs indicate that States are receiving poor ratings in the area of father involvement.

    NFPN's guide provides the following answers to the question, "What can be done to help States improve their practice and outcomes?"

    • Assessment: An agency must first understand its current response to fathers, which can be done through an organizational assessment or by asking workers to complete an assessment form on father involvement.
    • Motivation and Training: Anticipating that organizational and worker assessments of father involvement will need improvement, administrators can plan a kickoff event with a motivational fatherhood speaker and soon after schedule the first training for workers.
    • Engaging Fathers: Workers can engage fathers by explaining how father involvement positively affects child development, helping fathers select child-appropriate activities, and connecting fathers to male-oriented supports and services.
    • Reinforcement and Instilling Cultural Change: Administrators can reinforce positive changes and make them a regular part of the agency culture by having additional training and developing processes and policies that make father involvement an integral part of agency culture.
    • Sustainability: An agency must integrate its good practice into the agency's core components.

    The guide also describes how Kansas increased assessment of the fathers' needs, services for fathers, involvement of fathers in the case planning process, and the quality and frequency of the visits between the caseworker and the father.

    The guide's appendices offer tools for increasing father involvement, including:

    • Assessment of an agency's father friendliness
    • A checklist for assessing a father's involvement
    • Activities for fathers and their children
    • A message for mothers about the importance of fathers
    • Other resources

    To download the full guide, visit the NFPN website: (371 KB)


  • Native American Children in Dependency Court

    Native American Children in Dependency Court

    The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) established minimum Federal standards for State dependency courts handling cases involving Indian children. The latest issue of The Judges' Page newsletter presents an array of articles discussing ICWA requirements to assist attorneys, judges, child advocates, court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers, and social workers understand and comply with the law. Some of the issues discussed include the requirement to provide timely written notice to the child's Tribe, the preferred placement provisions of ICWA, the need for "active efforts" to prevent placement or achieve reunification, and the enhanced burden of proof in termination of parental rights cases. Another article explains national policy recognizing the special political status of Indian Tribes and the legislative intent to preserve the unique values of Indian culture.

    The Judges' Page is a publication of the National CASA Association in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges:

  • Meeting the Needs of Immigrant Children and Youth

    Meeting the Needs of Immigrant Children and Youth

    Today, approximately a quarter of all U.S. children and youth are either the children of immigrants or are immigrants themselves. In response to the growing number of immigrant children and youth, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) released Meeting the Needs of Immigrant Children and Youth in Child Welfare, an online Practice Update that discusses the challenges faced by members of the immigrant community and the child welfare system and caseworkers who serve them.

    Immigrant families come to the attention of child welfare for many of the same reasons as other children and youth. However, immigrants also face language and cultural barriers, limited resources, and an illegal or temporary immigration status, all of which makes involvement in the child welfare system especially challenging. Additionally, issues related to immigration law, language, and culture make working with these families a time consuming and often complicated endeavor for caseworkers.

    According to author Roxana Torrico, child welfare caseworkers can do the following to ensure that immigrant families and children receive the services and assistance they need:

    • Participate in cultural competency trainings
    • Participate in trainings focused on immigrant issues
    • Develop professional relationships with local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency staff
    • Establish partnerships with community-based agencies that have experience working with the immigrant community
    • Access an array of social services, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Medicaid
    • Participate in task forces and collaborations dedicated to immigrant issues

    This publication is available on the NASW website: (74.5 KB)

  • AARP Offers Database of Support for Kin Caregivers

    AARP Offers Database of Support for Kin Caregivers

    A new online database can help grandparents and other relatives raising kin children to find support and services. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation has launched the Grandcare Support Locator, which allows kinship caregivers to search for specific types of groups and services within their State or jurisdiction. Using the online search form, users can search within their zip code to find services (e.g., child care, health care, respite care, newsletters) or support groups (in-person, telephone support, or online). Users can limit the search to Spanish- or English-language results, and they can restrict the search to items relevant to grandparents raising grandchildren or to grandparents experiencing visitation issues.

    Find the free searchable database on the AARP website:

  • Grief and Loss for Foster Parents

    Grief and Loss for Foster Parents

    A new factsheet from the Children's Administration of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is designed to provide foster parents with coping strategies for handling grief and loss. The factsheet explains that grief is a natural response to a loss and that everyone experiences grief at some point in their lives, including foster parents, children in out-of-home care, and parents whose children have been placed in out-of-home care.

    The factsheet provides practical information on the following topics:

    • Losses that may cause grief
    • The five stages of grief and how individuals may experience those stages
    • Common symptoms of grief
    • Ways to practice self-care during periods of grief

    Download Grief and Loss Coping Strategies for Foster Parents from the Washington State DSHS website: (303 KB)

    Additional foster parenting resources from DSHS can also be found on the website:

  • Using State Legislation to Reduce the Foster Care Population

    Using State Legislation to Reduce the Foster Care Population

    A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) outlines ways State legislation can promote safe reduction of the population of children in foster care and ensure that children have permanent families. In Legislative Strategies to Safely Reduce the Number of Children in Foster Care, author Madelyn Freundlich discusses how State lawmakers can affect the number of children in foster care with positive results for children, youth, and families by focusing on three areas:

    • Preventing out-of-home placement, including reentry into foster care
    • Reducing children's length of stay in foster care
    • Reducing disproportionality and disparate outcomes for children of color in foster care

    The report discusses how lawmakers can support initiatives that foster the necessary collaboration to implement new practices and programs; assess outcomes; strengthen the courts and the child welfare system; and engage the community in achieving safety, permanency, and well-being for vulnerable children and youth. Examples of programs in specific jurisdictions are used to spotlight evidence-based and promising practices.

    NCSL is a bipartisan organization that provides research and technical assistance to State legislators and staffs. This report is available on the NCSL website: (2.85 MB)

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.

  • Visiting Between Parents and Children in Foster Care

    Visiting Between Parents and Children in Foster Care

    Child Welfare Information Gateway has partnered with the National Resource Center on Permanency and Family Connections to offer an online training, "Introduction to Parent-Child Visits." Based on workshops and materials developed by Rose Marie Wentz, the six lessons provide training on maintaining parent-child and other family connections, covering such topics as goals of visits, the legislative background pertaining to visitation, and best practices.

    Register to take the online training on the Information Gateway website:

  • Conferences


    Upcoming national conferences on child welfare and adoption through January 2011 include:

    November 2010

    • Fractured Families: The Causes and Consequences of Children Separated From Their Families Across International Borders
      International Social Service
      November 4–5, Baltimore, MD
    • 5th Annual Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare
      The Child Welfare Response Continuum
      American Humane
      November 8–10, Anaheim, CA

    • WorldForum 2010
      A World Fit for Children: Advancing the Global Movement
      International Forum for Child Welfare
      November 8–11, New York, NY

    December 2010

    January 2011

    • 25th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
      Chadwick Center for Children and Families
      January 22–28, San Diego, CA

    Further details about national and regional child welfare and adoption conferences can be found through the Conference Calendar Search feature on Child Welfare Information Gateway:

  • Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice (EBBP)

    Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice (EBBP)

    The project creates training resources to help bridge the gap between behavioral health research and practice. Currently, the project offers online training in five courses:

    • EBBP Process
    • Search for Evidence
    • Systematic Review
    • Critical Appraisal
    • Randomized Controlled Trials

    Sponsored by Northwestern University and the National Institutes of Health, the EBBP courses meet the requirements for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for some professions. CE credit for social workers is scheduled to be established soon.

    Visit the EBBP website to learn more:


  • NCFA Hague-Compliant Training

    NCFA Hague-Compliant Training

    The National Council for Adoption (NCFA) offers online training for prospective adoptive parents planning to adopt from another country that is a party to the Hague Convention. "The Intercountry Adoption Journey" fulfills 8 of the 10 training hours required of parents and has been reviewed by the U.S. State Department and the Council on Accreditation. Since its launch in 2008, more than 6,000 prospective parents have completed the training. The NCFA also includes supplemental training on specific countries. Visit the website to register: