News From the Children's Bureau
- National Resource Center for Youth Development Publishes Adolescent Permanency Report
National Resource Center for Youth Development Publishes Adolescent Permanency Report
The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 directed child welfare agencies to place more children and youth in permanent homes. But what does "permanency" mean for adolescents?
The National Resource Center for Youth Development examined the question of adolescent permanency, including its implications on independent living services. In its recently published report, Permanency Planning: Creating Life Long Connections--What Does It Mean for Adolescents?, the Resource Center presents the results of a two-day Adolescents and Permanency Think Tank and recommendations for next steps.
Three issues emerged in examining the literature related to adolescents in the child welfare system:
- Adolescents need connections to adults and peers throughout their lifetime
- Adolescents need to be taught skills that will prepare them to live independently
- All youth, but particularly adolescents, must be seen as central actors in their own futures and must be incorporated fully into the planning process for their future.
The Think Tank brought together State independent living coordinators, State foster care workers, State adoption workers, and youth. The group identified issues for adolescents related to safety, permanency, and well-being. Participants also pinpointed supports necessary for youth to achieve these goals and implementation strategies. Some of the support categories discussed were:
- Relationship with caring peers and adults
- Youth driven change
- Youth defined family connections
- Organization and workforce enhancement
- Adoption as an option
The Resource Center's publication is meant as a starting point for States in planning permanency for adolescents. It includes specific recommendations for States, emphasizing the need to identify driving and restraining forces, develop assessment tools, define outcomes, conduct focus groups with young people, educate policy makers, and network with other organizations and agencies to achieve permanency for adolescents.
A copy of the report is available online at: ://www.nrcys.ou.edu/yd/resources/publications/monographs/mono.pdf.
For a print copy or to obtain more information regarding adolescents and permanency, contact:
National Resource Center for Youth Development
University of Oklahoma
College of Continuing Education
4502 E. 41st St.
Tulsa, OK 74135
- CB Express Has a New Look
CB Express Has a New Look
The September issue of the Children's Bureau Express (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov) is back with several new design features, which we hope you will find useful.
The left-hand menu bar now has separate tabs, which differentiate each category. A new section, entitled "Feedback," provides an opportunity for readers to send us story ideas or comments, as well as to read what other people are saying about the CB Express. (Editor's note: these sections are no longer available.) You can also see a preview of article titles by moving your mouse over the categories listed under "This Issue."
Another new feature is a "Related Items" box in the top right-hand corner of each article, highlighting stories about the same topic area in the CB Express or other publications.
For more details on how to get the most out of the Children's Bureau Express, look under the "Using this Site" option on our home page menu bar.
- Three Monographs Issued by National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning
Three Monographs Issued by National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning
As part of its mission to support child welfare agencies in providing high-quality foster care services and helping children achieve permanency, the National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning (NRCFCPP) has published three new monographs.
Bridging the Gap: Permanency Planning With Drug Affected Families
Prepared by Judy Blunt. 2000. 52 pages.
Drug use and abuse present a major barrier to timely decisions about permanence for children. With a grant from the Hite Foundation in 1999, NRCFCPP began a project to address the implications of new timeframes for planning and decision-making mandated by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) on working with drug-affected families.
This report presents the recommendations from a November 1999 workshop. More than 70 people, including parents, substance abuse treatment practitioners, child welfare workers, policy makers, and legal professionals came together to discuss ways to improve collaboration between child welfare and substance abuse treatment systems.
The report also highlights current research about the relationship between child welfare concerns and substance abuse in families. Selected model programs and family rehabilitation programs are profiled. The report concludes with personal testimonies by parents who struggled to overcome addiction and raise safe, healthy children.
Contact information for conference organizers, presenters, and participants is included.
Concurrent Planning: Tool for Permanency--Survey of Selected Sites
Prepared by Lorrie L. Lutz. 2000. 30 pages.
Concurrent planning emphasizes working toward family reunification while at the same time establishing a "back-up" permanency plan if that goal is not possible. With provisions in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) for encouraging concurrent planning, interest in training has grown nationwide.
To respond to this need, NRCFCPP in 1998 surveyed concurrent planning activities at 12 sites around the country. The results are published in this document. Survey participants provided insights into successful implementation of concurrent planning. Intensive casework and structural changes, such as caseload reduction and frequent case reviews, were suggested. The survey also highlighted a need for joint training of key staff and stakeholders. Few formal evaluations of concurrent planning activities have taken place, but some preliminary data is presented.
A list of site contacts and a bibliography are included.
The Implementation of Managed Care in Child Welfare: The Legal Perspective
Prepared by Denise Winterberger McHugh. 2000. 32 pages.
A new report by NRCFCPP examines the implications of Federal laws for implementation of managed care, both in child welfare systems and in Medicaid mental health services. Issues examined in the report include:
- Permanency planning and safety
- The role of the judiciary
- Privatization of the child welfare case management function
- Categorical funding and allowable costs
- Fair competition.
Besides providing legal background on each of these issues, the author cites examples of how different public agencies have approached them. She cautions agencies to carefully consider legal ramifications in designing a managed care system. The report concludes with a note that the implementation of managed care in child welfare is an "evolutionary process" and that much remains to be learned.
To obtain a copy of any of these monographs or for technical assistance related to foster care and permanency planning, contact:
National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning
Hunter College School of Social Work
129 East 79th St.
New York, NY 10021
- Monograph Addresses Training, Education Issues Raised by ASFA
Monograph Addresses Training, Education Issues Raised by ASFA
The Children's Bureau has released a new monograph addressing practice, training, and social work education issues related to implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA).
Changing Paradigms of Child Welfare Practice: Responding to Opportunities and Challenges is the product of a June 1999 symposium organized by the Children's Bureau in cooperation with the Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Social workers, National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, and Child Welfare League of America. The symposium and the resulting monograph address:
- Recent changes in policy brought about or affirmed by ASFA and other Federal legislation and the implications of those policy changes on practice
- Partnership models that have been developing between social work education programs and child welfare agencies as well as other types of partnerships within communities
- Ways that university-based and professional development programs are or should be changing in response to new policies, practices, and partnership models.
To obtain a free copy of the 140-page monograph, contact:
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
330 C St., SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 800-394-3366 or 703-385-7565
- NAIC Website Wins Forbes Award
NAIC Website Wins Forbes Award
Forbes.com's Best of the Web has named the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC) website a Forbes' Favorite in its September 11 issue. NAIC is a service of the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Forbes' Best of the Web staff surfed thousands of websites to derive a comprehensive list of 300 superior websites in 45 categories. Five key criteria were used in selecting the winners: content, design, navigation, speed, and customization.
The NAIC site was selected as the best site for the adoption category, which falls under a group of sites labeled as "The Good Life." Forbes describes the NAIC site as "the mother of all adoption sites." The review recommends the site for its comprehensive and trustworthy information, including summaries of adoption laws, searchable databases, and state-by-state list of child welfare agencies offering photo listings online. "This is information central," writes Forbes.
In addition to investing and personal finance sites that readers associate with Forbes, the Best of the Web suggests sites worth visiting in such varied areas as collecting, toys, cars, new homes, alternative medicine, home schooling, and short films. Look for the September 11 issue of Forbes.com Best of the Web on newsstands and on the Forbes.com website at: http://www.forbesbest.com.
Look for the Forbes' Favorite logo on the newly redesigned National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website at: http://naic.acf.hhs.gov.
- DHHS Report Takes First Close Look at Child Welfare Outcomes in States
DHHS Report Takes First Close Look at Child Welfare Outcomes in States
How well are States meeting the needs of children and families who enter the child welfare system? As part of broad national efforts to answer this question, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August released the first annual report compiling data on how States perform on seven key outcomes for child welfare practice.
DHHS produced Child Welfare Outcomes 1998 under a mandate from the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. HHS will use the report, in combination with other monitoring activities, to evaluate how well States are meeting the needs of children who are abused and neglected, in foster care, and awaiting adoption.
DHHS consulted with States, local agencies, Tribes, courts, unions, child advocacy organizations and other interested parties to develop the measures. The key outcomes that States are expected to attain are to:
- Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect
- Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care
- Increase permanency for children in foster care
- Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing re-entry
- Reduce time in foster care to adoption
- Increase placement stability
- Reduce placements of young children in group homes or institutions.
This report compiles available data for each State on all but the last outcome. The report also summarizes data for 30 States that provided the most comprehensive data. Most of the data in the report was drawn from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).
The report contains contextual data on each State's population, the number of children living in poverty, the number of children reported to child protective services, the number of children in foster care, the number of children waiting to be adopted, and the number of children adopted.
For an online copy of the report, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cwo98/index.html.
It is also available in PDF format at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/ cwo98/ChildWelfare1998.PDF.
To obtain a free print copy of the report, contact:
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
330 C St., SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 800-394-3366 or 703-385-7565
Read a CB Express item about the AFCARS website in this issue, "New Website Focuses on Adoption and Foster Care Data." Visit the AFCARS site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/dis/afcars/
- New Website Focuses on Adoption and Foster Care Data
New Website Focuses on Adoption and Foster Care Data
The Children's Bureau has launched a new website devoted to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).
AFCARS is a system for collecting data on children in foster care and children who have been adopted under the auspices of a State child welfare agency. The site provides access to policy and technical documentation, software, data tables, and other items related to AFCARS. Visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/dis/afcars/.
Child Welfare Outcomes 1998, released by the Department of Health and Human Services in August, relies in part on AFCARS data. Read "DHHS Report Takes First Close Look at Child Welfare Outcomes in States," in this issue of CB Express. The report is available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cwo98/index.html.
Child Welfare Research
- Companies Honored for Employee Adoption Benefits
Companies Honored for Employee Adoption Benefits
"Adoption All-Stars," or employers who provide the very best adoption benefits, were honored May 4th at the 2nd annual Symposium luncheon of the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Although still relatively rare, adoption benefits are being offered at a growing number of U.S. companies according to the Center's Director Kent Markus. He explained that a combination of criteria were used in selecting the honorees. These included:
- The amount of the employer's financial contribution toward adoption related costs
- The number of weeks of paid leave
- The number of weeks of unpaid leave
- The availability of in-house reference and referral sources
- The longevity of the benefit of that employer
In general, the recognized firms offer at least $5,000 per adoption and up to 2 weeks paid time off. Many provide extra money for adoptions of special needs children. A list of the 46 honorees can be found at http://www.law.capital.edu/adoption/allstars.asp. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
For more information, contact:
Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law
Capital University Law School
303 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Visit the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website for a copy of the factsheet, Adoption Benefits: Employers as Partners in Family Building at: http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/f_benefi.cfm. (Note: the title of this factsheet has changed to Employer-provided Adoption Benefits.) For a print copy, call NAIC at 888-251-0075.
For an interview with Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International restaurants and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, about corporate adoption benefits, visit: http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_08/b3669137.htm.
- Researchers Find Link between Childhood Abuse and Adult Anxiety
Researchers Find Link between Childhood Abuse and Adult Anxiety
A recent study, published in the August 2, 2000 issue (vol. 284, no. 5) of the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows a link between early childhood trauma and a higher level of stress hormones later in life.
The study, conducted from 1997 to 1999 at Emory University in Atlanta, concludes that women who had experienced physical or sexual abuse as children show exaggerated stress hormone levels as adults, when placed in stressful situations (mock job interviews and math tests, in this case). Women who were abused as children and who were currently suffering major depression exhibited the highest levels of stress.
According to the study, "Severe stress early in life is associated with persistent sensitization of the pituitary-adrenal and autonomic stress response, which, in turn, is likely related to an increased risk for adulthood psychopathological conditions."
Researcher Dr. Jeffrey Newport said the study raised the following issues:
- Clarity needed on what drug treatments might be helpful to adult survivors of childhood abuse
- Drugs in development called coricotropin releasing factor-receptor antagonists might be even more effective
- Consideration of preventive measures in children who have suffered abuse.
Consistent with findings from laboratory animal studies, the authors note that "this is the first human study to report persistent changes in stress reactivity in adult survivors of early trauma."
The complete article is available online to paid subscribers of the Journal of the American Medical Association and to all American Medical Association members by registering at http://pubs.ama-assn.org/register.html.
For bulk reprint orders for distribution by commercial organizations, contact Wanda Bartolotta, 500 Fifth Ave, #2210, New York, NY 10110. Phone: (212) 354-0050. Fax: (212) 354-1169. Email: email@example.com. For reprint orders in limited quantities for distribution by education organizations and for author reprints, contact Author Reprints, 515 N State St, Chicago, IL, 60610. Phone: (312) 464-4594. Fax: (312) 464-4849.
- Health Professionals to Focus on Domestic Violence Day
Health Professionals to Focus on Domestic Violence Day
To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Family Violence Prevention Fund has scheduled the second annual Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day on October 5.
FVPV is offering a free Screening to Prevent Abuse Packet to help interested groups plan events for the day. The packet includes:
- Suggested organizing activities
- Preventing Domestic Violence: Clinical Guidelines on Routine Screening
- Catalog of materials (including new multilingual safety cards and posters)
- Practitioner reference card
- Patient postcard
- Samples of victim safety card
- Health care provider buttons: "Is someone hurting you? You can talk to me about it."
- Public relations tools
- Domestic violence assessment and intervention tips
- Fact sheet on domestic violence and health care
- Executive Summary on the Family Violence Prevention Fund
For more information or to request a packet visit FVPF at http://www.fvpf.org/health/screening.htm or call 888-Rx-Abuse.
- More Findings from the Center for Family Life Study
More Findings from the Center for Family Life Study
The comprehensive evaluation of the Center for Family Life in Brooklyn, New York, was designed and implemented by the Center and three researchers from the Columbia University School of Social Work--Peg McCartt Hess, Brenda G. McGowan, and Michael Botsko.
Findings from this study are published in:
Preserving and Supporting Families Over Time: A Preventive Services Program Model. Hess, P.M., McGowan, B.G., and Botsko, M. Child Welfare. In press.
"Practitioners' Perspectives on Family and Child Services." Hess, P.M., McGowan, B.G. and Meyer, C.H. In Children and their Families in Big Cities, A. Kahn and S. Kamerman, Eds. Columbia University School of Social Work. 1996.
Nurturing the One, Supporting the Many: The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (title tentative). Hess, P.M., McGowan, B.G., and Botsko, M. Columbia University Press. Forthcoming.
- Project Targets Domestic Violence in the Workplace
Project Targets Domestic Violence in the Workplace
Ten States will participate in a new public-private project aimed at addressing domestic violence in the workplace.
The Corporate Citizenship Initiative (CCI) on Domestic Violence was spearheaded by the National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a program of the nonprofit Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF). Corporate sponsors of CCI are the Hitachi Foundation, Blue Shield of California, and Verizon Wireless.
The project will assemble teams in each State representing leaders from business, government, labor, victim advocates, and domestic violence coalitions. The teams will work to educate employers and employees about domestic violence and help establish model programs on domestic violence in the workplace. The project also will include a train-the-trainers component to widen the initiative's reach.
The participating States are Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and West Virginia.
For more information, contact FVPF at:
Family Violence Prevention Fund
383 Rhode Island St., Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
Also see "Health Professionals to Focus on Domestic Violence Day" in this issue of CB Express.
To read a CB Express article about a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report on violence against women, see "Justice Bureau Examines Rates of Violence Against Women" in the June issue.
For other related CB Express articles, search our archives for "domestic violence."
The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information has materials available on domestic violence. Visit the publications section of the Clearinghouse website (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/search/pubs_search.cfm) or call 800-FYI-3366.
Strategies and Tools for Practice
- Report Considers Attributes of Exemplary Preventive Program
Report Considers Attributes of Exemplary Preventive Program
A commitment to a coherent philosophy and creative, flexible social work practices are defining elements of a Brooklyn-based program whose primary mission is to prevent children from entering out-of-home foster care.
Good Works: Highlights of a Study on the Center for Family Life, explores the operations and attributes of the Center in Sunset Park. The report is drawn from a comprehensive evaluation of the Center conducted by researchers from the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City.
The evaluation was one of several funded by the Annie E. Casey Evaluation Grants Program with the aim of understanding how exemplary family support programs actually function and whether they improve outcomes. The Casey Program published Good Works in June.
Author Susan Blank summarizes findings and excerpts information from the evaluation study, which took place from 1993-1996. In some sections, Blank supplements information from the study with findings from a more recent neighborhood survey.
CFL has served neighborhood households with children or pregnant women since 1978. The Center supplements its assessment and counseling services--the core of its preventive program--with school-based programs, parent education, adult employment, neighborhood foster care, and other services.
In analyzing the Center's longevity, success, and high-standing in the community, the report observes and examines characteristics that define CFL's practice and philosophy, including:
- Professionals who combine clinical social work with practical problem solving, and advocacy
- A commitment to forming working partnerships with families
- A priority placed on belonging to the community
- A deep engagement in community development activities
- A focus on issues that affect the whole community and an emphasis on encouraging people to work together to solve problems
- An emphasis on planning and assessing before taking action
- A developmental focus in relationships with clients.
CFL's strength rests on a foundation of "institutional coherence," concludes Blank. "The program's effective approaches merit additional attention from professionals and other who wish to improve preventive services to families."
Good Works is available online as a PDF file at http://www.aecf.org/publications/cfl.pdf
Free copies of Good Works are available from:
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
701 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
- NIH Solicits Grant Applications on Child Development in Poor Families
NIH Solicits Grant Applications on Child Development in Poor Families
Researchers from various disciplines interested in the intersection of child development, poverty, and public policy will be interested in a new Program Announcement from the National Institutes of Health.
Jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), it is part of the SEED (Science and Ecology of Early Development) 2000 Initiative, made up of several Federal partner agencies. The goal of the SEED initiative is to stimulate research to better understand the factors that affect child development in low-income families.
The Program Announcement (PAS-00-108) will remain active for three years, through a July 1, 2003 application receipt date. Three to four grants will be funded, for up to 5 years, under this program announcement. The purposes are threefold: (1) to examine the effects of poverty on the development of children in low-income families; (2) to identify risk and protective factors for physical and mental health and cognitive, linguistic, affective, and social development of these children; (3) to identify social-ecological factors that affect the development of poor children and that can be used to guide and inform policy.
Research priorities identified by NICHD, NIMH, and SEED partners include:
- effects of poverty on child development
- mechanism through which poverty affects child development
- link between intervention approaches and child outcomes
- child care arrangements in low-income families
Examples of research questions and the full program announcement are available online at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-00-108.html.
For more information, contact:
Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B13, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Cheryl Boyce, Ph.D.
Developmental Psychopathology and Prevention Branch
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD 20892-9617
- Federally Sponsored Website Addresses Parenting Concerns
Federally Sponsored Website Addresses Parenting Concerns
Nine Federal agencies participating in the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recently collaborated to create a new website for parents.
The Parenting Resources of the 21st Century website is part of the Council's mission to reduce violence and serious delinquency. The site addresses topics such as child abuse, school violence, child development, home schooling, organized sports, and the juvenile justice system.
Besides linking users with sources of information, the site highlights recent research and conferences. The following areas are covered:
- Child and youth development
- Child care and education
- Family concerns
- Family dynamics
- Health and safety
- Out-of-school activities
- General resources for parents, youth, funding, and publications
- What's new
The category Family Concerns includes a section targeted to family members who have experienced, witnessed, or been victimized by gang activity, hate crimes, school violence, or domestic violence. This category also includes a section addressing child abuse and neglect and directs users to information and resources on physical abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, child pornography, and child prostitution. This area of the website also addresses concerns about children's health, education, and safety.
Parents can obtain information on work and family issues, incarceration, and military service in the Family Dynamics area. This section also directs users to information on various family relationships, including:
- Adoptive parents
- Divorced parents
- Foster parents
- Kinship care
- Multicultural families
- Multigenerational families
- Single-parent families
- Teen parents
- Two-parent families
Visit the site at http://www.parentingresources.ncjrs.org. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- Inside Transracial Adoption
Inside Transracial AdoptionSteinberg, G. and B. Hall. Perspectives Press. 2000. 405 pages. $ 24.95.
Intended as a practical manual, this book is a guide for current or prospective adoptive parents of children from different racial or cultural backgrounds. The authors focus on ways to create and maintain strong, loving families "consisting of individuals who are proud and culturally competent members of differing races."
The book is organized by three general categories--racial identity, family life, and adoption--and examines these issues from a developmental perspective as they affect infants, preschoolers, school-aged children, teens, and young adults.
To purchase a copy, contact:
P.O. Box 90318
Indianapolis, IN 46290-0318
- Measuring the Effects of Stress on Families
Measuring the Effects of Stress on Families
A new Urban Institute study based on data collected as part of the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), attempts to quantify the ways families and children are affected by stress.
The authors of "Stressful Family Lives: Child and Parent Well-being" selected some of the questions from the NSAF, which was conducted in 1997, and used them as a "family stress index." Using a point system, families acknowledging at least 2 of 6 "stressful circumstances" were considered to be "stressful family environments."
The data are broken down in terms of family income and geographic location. The study indicates that children in more affluent families are less likely to live in stressful environments than less affluent children. The study also shows significant differences from State to State in the proportion of children living in stressful households.
The data suggest that children living in stressful households are less likely to perform well in school, more likely to have behavioral problems, and more likely to live with parents who are highly aggravated or have mental problems.
"Stressful Family Lives: Child and Parent Well-being" is available online at: http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/series_b/b17/b17.html.
To obtain a print copy, contact:
The Urban Institute
2100 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
- Adoption Guide Aimed at Educators
Adoption Guide Aimed at Educators
As children head back to school, professionals and parents might want to add An Educator's Guide to Adoption to their resource list.
The 22-page guide published by Celebrate Adoption, Inc., aims to:
- Help teachers understand how families are built by adoption
- Share research findings on adoptees' success in school and in life
- Provide resources for integrating accurate information about adoption into lessons when appropriate
- Help teachers respond when awkward situations related to adoption issues arise
- Suggest positive language to use when talking about adoption.
Celebrate Adoption, Inc., is a coalition of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons who aim to improve public understanding and acceptance of adoption.
Single copies of An Educator's Guide to Adoption cost $7.50. Contact:
Celebrate Adoption, Inc.
P.O. Box 2213
Silver Spring, MD 20915
Website: http://www.celebrateadoption.org (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
Adoptive Parents' Guide to Your Child in Primary School is another resource available online that addresses school issues and adoption. The Guide is published by Canada's Family Helper magazine. Visit http://www.familyhelper.net/pa/phsch.html.
- National Child Health Day Will Focus on Early Childhood Development
National Child Health Day Will Focus on Early Childhood Development
Early childhood development will be the theme for National Child Health Day, scheduled for October 2, 2000, according to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
"With the slogan 'Mission 2000: Early Childhood, Launching Healthy Futures,' this year's activities will focus on the physical, mental and social development of children ages 0-5," said Peter C. van Dyck, M.D., M.P.H., HRSA associate administrator for maternal and child health. "We'll emphasize the ways families, schools, and communities can help children achieve their full potential during these critical years."
This year's National Child Health Day will include information on early childhood development, nutrition, safe child care, and injury and violence prevention. Held the first Monday of every October, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the day more than 70 years ago.
For more information and public awareness materials on National Child Health Day, visit the websites of these sponsors:
Maternal and Child Health Bureau: http://newsroom.hrsa.gov/NewsBriefs/2000/natchildday.htm (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
American Health Foundation: http://www.ahf.org (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
A 2000 Child Health Day Kit is also available from the National Maternal and Child Health Clearinghouse at 888-434-4624.
- Transracial Adoption and Foster Care: Practice Issues for Professionals
Transracial Adoption and Foster Care: Practice Issues for ProfessionalsCrumbley, J. Child Welfare League of America Press. 1999. 158 pages. $18.95 paperback.
This book, aimed at professionals who work with foster and adopted children and their families, concentrates on transracial issues. Three sections address, respectively:
- Specific ways that practitioners can work with transracial adoptive and foster families to ensure that children develop positive racial and cultural identities
- How practitioners might better serve transracial families
- Professionals concerns, such as cultural competence and recruitment.
The book contains a number of appendices, including a guide to resources and legislation and a bibliography.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 2019
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-2019
- When Can Children Stay Safely Home Alone?
When Can Children Stay Safely Home Alone?
Judging by calls placed to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, many parents and even professionals are confused about when children can be safely--and legally--left home alone.
Clearinghouse Staff Attorney Kristie Kennedy reports that the Clearinghouse frequently fields calls asking what State laws require. The Clearinghouse does not specifically track laws related to "latchkey kids," but, Kennedy says, it is clear that State as well as local laws on the issue vary widely.
What do we know about the numbers of children being left alone? According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, one in four children ages 5 to 12 spend time alone after school. The Urban Institute estimates that 22 percent of U.S. children ages 5 to 14 are at home alone at least some of the time.
According to Kennedy, the first best place to seek advice is your local child protective services agency. Other possible sources of guidance include the local police department and local prosecutor's office. Professionals also might want to consult with their State's department of children's services.
Even if a relevant law is on the books in your State or locality, do not expect to find hard and fast rules. Most communities have a "standard of care" based upon many factors. Generally, laws won't say, "At age 14, a child can be left alone legally and safely," says Kennedy. The most important thing is for parents to consider each child individually. Consider the child's age, the length of time he or she will be alone, and his or her confidence, judgement, and capacity for self-care.
The following websites offer guidelines and resources on keeping children safe from injuries in the home and elsewhere:
http://www.esafety.com (Editor's note: this link is no longer available)
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.
- New Child Welfare Training Resource Available Online
New Child Welfare Training Resource Available Online
Looking for information on training the child welfare workforce? Visit a one-stop source at the Online Network of Child Welfare Training Resources.
The Children's Bureau recently launched the network as part of a larger Child Welfare Training Resources Project that is under development. The online network is operated through the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. The online network is designed to enable trainers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to locate training resources, share information and lessons learned, and stay abreast of new training initiatives.
The online network will link to sources of training curricula and materials developed by:
- Federally funded grantees
- State training institutes
- University-State partnerships
- National Resource Centers
- Professional organizations
- Bilingual Guide Teaches Parents About Brain Development
Bilingual Guide Teaches Parents About Brain Development
English and Spanish-speaking parents have a new tool to help their baby's brains grow and develop.
Building Your Baby's Brain: A Parent's Guide to the First Five Years, by Teaching Strategies, Inc., was developed under a grant program administered by the Department of Education. Directed towards parents, grandparents, and caregivers, the guide describes recent scientific discoveries about the development of the brain, including the mechanics of how brain cells connect, and the "windows of opportunity" for learning during the first five years of life.
The guide's recommendations to parents include the following:
- Engage your child by talking, reading, playing, singing, touching.
- Have a healthy pregnancy and communicate with your unborn baby.
- Test your newborn's vision, since the brain connections for sight can only be made in the first few months.
- Provide guidance and teach about feelings, self-control, and how to relate to others.
- Incorporate music and art into your child's first years to promote math, sensory, and thinking skills.
- Carefully choose a childcare or preschool program.
- Make your home safe, never shake or throw a baby in the air, and take precautions to prevent lead poisoning and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Take good care of yourselves.
Download a free copy in English at: http://www.teachingstrategies.com/bookshop/detail.cfm?productid=7
Download a free copy in Spanish at: http://www.teachingstrategies.com/bookshop/detail.cfm?productid=18
To purchase a set of 10 books for $29.50, contact:
Teaching Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 42243
Washington, DC 20015
For more information related to early brain development, see these articles in past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:
- "Congress Convenes Research Briefing on Early Childhood Intervention Programs" (June 2000)
- "New Glossary Defines Brain Development" (April 2000)
- CASA Training Available Online
CASA Training Available Online
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA) makes its curriculum for training CASA volunteers available through its website, CASAnet. The curriculum is designed to allow trainers to customize the training materials to their own States and localities. While this training is geared to the specific needs of CASA volunteers, aspects could be useful for volunteers in other areas of child welfare. The curriculum, which was updated in June, includes a training manual, a sample timeline for movement of child abuse and neglect cases according to the Adoption and Safe Families Act, a sample summary of State juvenile codes, and other documents.
Find the curriculum online at http://www.casanet.org/training/curriculum.
For more information, contact:
Sally Wilson Erny
100 W. Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98119