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News From the Children's Bureau

  • Children's Bureau Research Priorities

    Children's Bureau Research Priorities

    The Children's Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has published its child abuse and neglect research priorities for Fiscal Years 2006-2008 and is seeking public comment. The research priorities will help guide subsequent funding.

    As mandated by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the proposed research priorities cover topics that include the causes, prevention, assessment, identification, treatment, cultural and socioeconomic distinctions, and consequences of child abuse and neglect.

    Comments on the list of priorities must be received by April 4, 2006, and should be sent to the attention of Catherine Howard:

    The full text of the research priorities was printed in the February 3 Federal Register:

    (Editor's note: The link is no longer available.)

  • Updated Look for <i>Children's Bureau Express</i>

    Updated Look for <i>Children's Bureau Express</i>

    Beginning with this March issue, visitors to the Children's Bureau Express (CBX) website will find an updated layout with enhancements to help them find the information they need more quickly.

    The readership of CBX has grown exponentially, increasing more than seven-fold in a little more than 3 years, to almost 14,000. Our subscribers include a broad range of child welfare professionals, including caseworkers, supervisors, administrators, academics, policymakers, advocates, and related professionals. As would be expected, they have diverse information needs, spanning the continuum from child abuse and neglect prevention and child protection, to out-of-home care and domestic and intercountry adoption.

    Development of the new design was based on user feedback from a survey completed by more than 1,800 subscribers in the spring and summer of 2005. Among other findings, the survey indicated that the majority of respondents (95 percent) were satisfied with CBX, and almost half applied information from CBX to their work on a regular basis.

    In light of subscribers' high satisfaction, the popular features of the CBX website were maintained and, in some cases, improved. Archived editions are still available, and users are still able to scan headlines of past issues or search by keyword for the information they need. But enhancements were made in response to customer suggestions. Visitors can:

    • Locate information more quickly. Headlines on the homepage are now accompanied by the first few lines of text from the story. The Publications section now includes a broader array of items, such as videos and toolkits, and has been renamed "Resources." Individual article titles in the Resources, On the Web, Training, and Funding sections are now visible on the homepage.
    • Navigate the site more easily. On every page there is a visual reference for current location and a visible, direct link back to the homepage.

    The new look more closely mirrors the recently redesigned Children's Bureau website. While the look and some features are new, our goal remains the same: to further the mission of the Bureau to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. As the number of subscribers grows, CBX will continue to refine and improve in order to support that mission and meet the information needs of child welfare professionals.

    The staff of Children's Bureau Express welcome readers’ comments on the new site. Email us at

  • Education Issues Webpage

    Education Issues Webpage

    The National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues has added a new page to its website dedicated to the issue of the educational needs of foster children and other vulnerable youth.

    The materials are organized by document type but can also be searched by State. The types of documents include studies, reports, legislation, policy memoranda, training materials, journal articles, newsletters, and other resources.

  • Increasing Adoptions of Hispanic Children

    Increasing Adoptions of Hispanic Children

    A Colorado-based project shows that mentoring can lead to successful adoptive placements for Hispanic children in foster care. The Me and My Shadow (MMS) program recruits and trains mentors, who are then matched with Hispanic children and youth who are older (10+ years) or part of a sibling group.

    Beginning with a mentoring relationship allows both adults and youth to get to know each other in a nonthreatening way, without the pressure that pre-adoptive placement might bring. Mentors and mentees make an initial 6-month commitment. They are supported by a full range of services provided by the parent organization of MMS, which is a licensed child placement agency.

    Recruiting mentors is an essential part of the MMS program. A number of different tactics are used to market the program and recruit adults, including community social events and publicity in the media. MMS staff make visits to churches and local chambers of commerce to talk about their program and to share stories and pictures of successful mentoring relationships and adoptions. These outreach efforts have paid off: In the 3 years of the MMS program, 216 adults have made inquiries about mentoring, and 50 of those were eventually admitted to the program, trained, and matched with a child.

    Evaluation of the MMS program has been ongoing. Preliminary data show that in the 3 years before the program began, the parent agency for MMS was able to complete 23 adoptions, 9 of which were for Hispanic children. After 3 years of operating the MMS program, the agency had completed 50 adoptions, 20 of which were for Hispanic children.

    For information about the MMS program and its approach of using mentorship as a bridge to permanency, contact:

    Jim Belarde, Project Director
    Me and My Shadow
    Loving Homes, Inc.
    10800 East Bethany Drive, Suite 515
    Aurora, CO 80014
    Phone: 719.406.4381

    The Me and My Shadow program was funded by the Children's Bureau, Grant 90-CO-0966, under the Children's Bureau Priority Area: Developing Projects for Increasing Adoptive Placement for Minority Children. This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from official Children's Bureau site visits.

  • Peer Networks Facilitate Information Sharing

    Peer Networks Facilitate Information Sharing

    The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) is currently maintaining two peer networks as a vehicle for sharing information among the staff of public child welfare agencies.

    The first is the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) Peer Network. NRCOI sponsors quarterly calls with State, local, and Tribal CFSR coordinators from across the country so they can discuss topics of interest, listen to guest speakers, and exchange information.

    The second is the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Peer Network. Regular calls among this group enable CQI staff to share experiences and successes. Each call highlights State and county successes in a specific topic area and then includes a facilitated discussion focused on barriers, challenges, and strategies.

  • Get Ready for Foster Care Month!

    Get Ready for Foster Care Month!

    Foster Care Month is coming in May, but now is the time to start planning your events and activities. Visit the National Foster Care Month website for information on event planning, to order pins and posters, and to download a complete toolkit to meet your information needs:

  • Standards for Caseworker Visits With Children in Foster Care

    Standards for Caseworker Visits With Children in Foster Care

    Caseworker visits with children in foster care have been linked to permanency outcomes, safety, and well-being for the children in care. Most States have standards specifying how often caseworkers should visit children in foster care, as well as how the visiting time should be spent, but these standards are not consistent across States.

    Two reports recently released by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services documented which States have standards, what the standards stipulate, and how the States track visitation. The reports noted the following:

    • Forty-two States and the District of Columbia had statewide written standards calling for caseworkers to visit children in foster care at least monthly.
    • Twenty States were able to produce statewide reports of visits; of these 20 States, 7 indicated that fewer than half of the children in foster care were actually visited on a monthly basis in FY 2003.
    • Forty States and the District of Columbia reported implementing statewide written standards for the content of caseworker visits with children in foster care.
    • The most common activities recommended by the visitation standards included building relationships and communication between the caseworker and child, as well as addressing the needs of the child.

    The OIG offers recommendations for improving visitation standards and the frequency, content, and tracking of actual visits. One recommendation for States with limited or nonexistent capacity to record the frequency of caseworker visits and produce statewide reports is to implement an automated system, such as the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS), capable of tracking and producing reports of caseworker visits.

    The complete reports can be accessed on the OIG website:

    Related Items

    Children's Bureau Express last covered the topic of caseworker visitation in the following articles:

    • "Guidelines for Caseworkers' Family Access and Visitation" (April 2005, Resources section)
    • "Curriculum for Caseworker-Child Visits" (March 2005, Training section)
  • Children's Bureau FY 2006 Discretionary Grants

    Children's Bureau FY 2006 Discretionary Grants

    The Children's Bureau uses a competitive peer-review process to award discretionary grants for research and demonstration projects to State, Tribal, and local agencies; faith-based and community-based organizations; and other nonprofit and for-profit groups. This year, beginning in the early spring, the Children's Bureau will publish separate funding announcements for its FY 2006 discretionary grants.

    Beginning this year, funding announcements will NOT be published in the Federal Register. For printed copies of the announcements or other information about the grant application process, call the ACYF Operations Center at 866.796.1591. Prospective applicants should visit the websites listed below for up-to-date information.

    For general information on applying for Children's Bureau discretionary grants, visit the Programs and Funding section of the Children's Bureau website:

    For information about specific grants, visit the following websites:

    • Search for Children's Bureau grant opportunities under the Agency Category "Department of Health and Human Services" (HHS) or under the Funding Activity Category "Social Services and Income Security." Users can apply for Children's Bureau discretionary grants online, only through The site also has options for requesting automated notification of grant availability.

    • ACF Grant Opportunities. Children's Bureau and other Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funding announcements are posted here:


  • Resources for Youth Development

    Resources for Youth Development

    The December 2005 issue of E-Update for Youth Development Advocates is packed with good information and resources on youth development, including an upcoming conference on independent living, websites for high school students deciding on careers and college, and a study on Medicaid spending for foster children.

    The newsletter is available on the website of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development:


Child Welfare Research

  • Evaluating a Community Partnership Initiative

    Evaluating a Community Partnership Initiative

    Evaluation of a pilot project that focused on community partnerships and involvement found several positive outcomes for child welfare practice but no reduction in rates of child maltreatment. Chapin Hall Center for Children conducted an evaluation of Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), an initiative that was piloted in four urban sites. The initiative focused on:

    • Individualized course of action plans for all families
    • Neighborhood networks of formal and informal services
    • Agency practices that place workers in the communities and improve services
    • Local decision-making by workers and community members together

    The evaluation involved surveying the different groups of stakeholders, as well as longitudinal studies of data from 2000–2004. There were three areas of findings:

    • Child safety showed no improvement as measured by child abuse reports, recurrence reports, service availability, or service quality.
    • Child welfare practice showed improvements in case assessment, service planning, worker satisfaction, collaborative decision-making, and perceptions of workers by residents.
    • The CPPC conceptual framework showed a need for improvement in helping families address their parenting challenges, integrating informal supports, sustaining collaborations, and altering community’s normative values.

    Community Partnerships for Protecting Children: Phase II Outcome Evaluation, by D. Daro, S. Budde, S. Baker, A. Nesmith, and A. Harden, is available on the Chapin Hall site:

  • Instruments for Assessing Risk and Safety

    Instruments for Assessing Risk and Safety

    A comparison of two types of risk assessment models revealed that child welfare workers may be better able to determine the risk of neglect and abuse if they use an actuarial model rather than a consensus-based model. Comparing the two types of models was the focus of a study commissioned by the Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC). The study reviews the research evidence related to risk and safety assessment instruments, as well as implications for practice.

    Actuarial and consensus-based models differ in the following ways:

    • Actuarial models use statistical procedures to identify factors that predict future maltreatment, while consensus-based models emphasize a comprehensive risk assessment.
    • Actuarial models use different factors to assess the risk of abuse versus neglect, while consensus-based models use the same factors.
    • Instrument factors in actuarial models tend to be more objective, while those in consensus-based models tend to be more subjective.

    The study also describes California's 2001-2004 systems reform effort, which led to a recommendation for all counties to use a standardized risk assessment procedure. While no specific instrument was identified, various domains and items that needed to be assessed across seven decision points in the life of each case were identified.

    The study, Risk and Safety Assessment in Child Welfare: Instrument Comparisons, by A. D'Andrade, A. Benton, and M. J. Austin, is available on the BASSC website: (PDF 1,245 KB)

  • Correlations Between Reentry and Reunification

    Correlations Between Reentry and Reunification

    A study of the relationship between the length of time children spent in foster care and the success of reunification showed a complex correlation between the two factors. Researchers examining the relationship between reunification and reentry in 33 Oklahoma counties found that reunification within the first 30 days was associated with low rates of reentry into foster care. However, reunification after 6 months was also related to low reentry rates. Reunifications that took place between 1 month and 6 months after the initial placement into foster care were associated with the highest rates of reentry into care.

    Past studies have shown a significant relationship between early reunification and higher rates of reentry. Some possible explanations for the current findings include:

    • Agencies are removing children inappropriately or for "cooling off periods," and these children are returning to their families fairly quickly.
    • In some Oklahoma counties, law enforcement officers process reports made on weekends, and the officers may be more likely to remove children, who are then returned relatively quickly when social services become involved.

    Reunification and reentry rates differed dramatically among the Oklahoma counties in this study. While some of these differences may reflect differences in populations and differing risks for children, they also may be caused by differences in norms and policies among agencies, counties, and courts.

    "Balancing Reunification and Reentry Goals," by T. McDonald, S. Bryson, and J. Poertner, was published in the January 2006 issue of Children and Youth Services Review and is available on the journal's website:

  • Supporting Marriage to Improve Child Well-Being

    Supporting Marriage to Improve Child Well-Being

    Two recent articles reflect the national focus on supporting healthy marriages in order to strengthen families and improve child well-being.

    Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

    As part of the effort to support healthy marriages, many States and jurisdictions are looking to marriage and relationship education (MRE) programs developed for specific populations. Many of these newer programs are tailored for low-income parents, unwed parents, or racial or ethnic minorities, and they cover such topics as parenting, communication, domestic violence, and accessing services.

    A recent policy brief from the Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC) explores the potential of these programs to strengthen families and improve the lives of children. The FSPC policy brief examines the differences between traditional MRE programs and newer programs and presents case studies of four MRE programs being piloted in different areas of the country.

    The policy brief notes that while many studies have shown a correlation between healthy marriages and positive and protective benefits for children, the use of MRE has not been rigorously evaluated and remains a promising practice. Recommendations are provided for governments and family services agencies that want to implement MRE programs.

    Marriage and Relationship Education: Will It Reduce Poverty and Strengthen Families? is available on the website of the National Human Services Assembly: (PDF 936 KB)

    Expectations of Unmarried Parents

    One population targeted by MRE programs is low-income, unmarried new parents and parents-to-be. Reasons for the drop in the marriage rate for this group were the focus of a recent article in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The authors used survey data and interviews to discover why low-income parents who say that they plan to marry at the time their child is born do not follow through on their plans.

    When interviewed about why they remained unmarried 1 year after their child was born, most parents revealed a number of financial and relationship prerequisites that they felt needed to be met first. They cited financial concerns, worries about the quality of the relationship, and fear of divorce as reasons not to marry.

    In discussing their findings, the authors note that no parents mentioned the impact of their choices on their children. The parents tended to view marriage and childrearing as two separate decisions, and their prerequisites for marriage, such as being financially stable, did not apply to parenthood. None of the parents believed that having a child together was a reason for marriage, nor did any parents discuss the potential advantages that their marriage might provide to their child.

    The authors discuss the results in terms of cultural explanations that affect decision-making by low-income parents.

    "High Hopes but Even Higher Expectations: The Retreat From Marriage Among Low-Income Couples," by C. M. Gibson-Davis, K. Edin, and S. McLanahan, is available in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family:

    Related Item

    Children's Bureau Express last explored the impact of marriage on child well-being in "ACF Releases New Report on Healthy Marriage Initiative" (July/August 2005).

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Assessing an Agency's Cultural Competency

    Assessing an Agency's Cultural Competency

    A toolkit for the self-assessment of agency cultural competency has been developed by the El Paso County, CO, Greenbook Initiative. The toolkit, which can be downloaded for free, is a comprehensive collection of surveys, interviews, facility checklists, and document reviews, as well as reports from two sites where the toolkit was piloted. The toolkit allows agencies to survey staff, volunteers, and clients regarding their perceptions and experiences with agency policies. It also directs agencies to examine their mission statement, policies, procedures, outreach, communications, and physical facilities with a view toward cultural competency.

    The toolkit provides a definition of cultural competency that stresses the ability of an agency to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. To be culturally competent, an agency must:

    • Value diversity
    • Have the capacity for cultural self-assessment
    • Be conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact
    • Institutionalize cultural knowledge
    • Adapt service delivery based on understanding of cultural diversity

    Reports from the two agencies that piloted the toolkit include their survey results, as well as actions to improve cultural competency in areas that showed deficiencies. Actions include such steps as:

    • Forming an ongoing cultural competency committee
    • Increasing outreach to underserved communities
    • Targeting the overrepresentation of minorities in foster care
    • Increasing communication in a variety of ways
    • Increasing family involvement in case planning

    The toolkit was developed as part of the Greenbook Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice to help communities serve families experiencing both domestic violence and child maltreatment. The El Paso County site is one of six sites implementing the best practice principles developed by the Greenbook Initiative.

    The Cultural Competency Organizational Self-Assessment Toolkit is available on the Greenbook website: (PDF 507 KB)

  • Developing Leaders

    Developing Leaders

    Many local, State, and Federal agencies are resorting to a "just-in-time" approach for replacing retiring leaders, and planning and training for new leaders may be lacking. According to a study released by CPS Human Resource Services, many organizations rely on last-minute hiring and training; instead, these organizations should be looking toward an integrated approach in which the long-term needs of many workers at many levels are addressed across the full life cycle of employment.

    One element of the study involved interviews with expert sources and leaders in 35 jurisdictions that were addressing leadership development and succession planning. Three themes emerged from the interviews regarding what qualities and skills new leaders need to possess:

    • Knowledge and understanding outside their own department or functional area
    • Knowledge and understanding at the executive level
    • A broad network of relationships

    Based on their research findings and experience, the study’s author offers eight recommendations for jurisdictions attempting to build their leadership pipelines:

    • Make workforce planning the foundation.
    • Engage senior leaders.
    • Identify competencies that leaders will need.
    • Assess developmental needs.
    • Create a leadership development strategy.
    • Institutionalize the process of creating and following through on Individual Development Plans.
    • Tap into the talent pool of retirement-eligible employees and retirees.
    • Do not let cost keep your organization from building the leadership pipeline.

    The study also includes 15 case studies from local, State, and Federal Government, in which jurisdictions used an integrated approach to developing leaders.

    Building the Leadership Pipeline in Local, State, and Federal Government, by M. B. Young, is available on the website of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources:

    Related Item

    The U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management offers guidance on succession management on its website:


  • Federal Funding Information

    Federal Funding Information

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance offers a database of all Federal programs available to State and local governments; federally recognized Indian tribal governments; territories and possessions of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private for-profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. It is maintained by the General Services Administration.

    Programs are listed by Federal agency or may be accessed using keyword searches. The database contains information about 15 types of assistance, including grants, surplus equipment, training, and guaranteed loans. Each program description includes contact information and eligibility requirements.


  • Federal Support for Youth Development

    Federal Support for Youth Development

    The Department of Labor has launched a new website to support Shared Youth Vision,a collaboration among the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Labor. The collaboration was formed to respond to needs identified in the 2003 White House Task Force Report on Disadvantaged Youth. The website provides reports from the three regional forums held last winter in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Phoenix.

    The objective of the collaboration is to facilitate the development of policy and funding vehicles that will support State efforts to deliver much-needed services to disadvantaged youth. The website also provides links to resource materials that are valuable for ongoing collaborations at the State and local levels. (Editor's note: Link no longer active)

  • Barriers to Higher Education for Youth in Foster Care

    Barriers to Higher Education for Youth in Foster Care

    Youth in foster care have a greatly reduced chance of attending college, and programs designed to assist low-income and first-generation college students often do not reach out to youth in foster care. A publication from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) reviews the factors that contribute to the low rate of college attendance by youth in foster care and makes recommendations about what policymakers can do to make college a viable option for more of these youth.

    Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth: A Primer for Policymakers provides basic information on the characteristics of youth in foster care, adult life skills, mental health, and educational attainment. With this basic information, policymakers will be better able to follow through on the recommendations to increase college attendance and better the lives of youth in foster care.

    Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth, by T. R. Wolanin, is available on the IHEP website: (PDF 4.14 MB)

    Related Items

    Children's Bureau Express last covered the topic of higher education for youth in foster care in the following articles:

    • "Casey Foster Care Alumni Achieve Success in High School Graduation, Employment" (February 2004)
    • "Improving Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth" (December 2002/January 2003)
  • Evidence-Based Practice Manual

    Evidence-Based Practice Manual

    A new desktop resource is now available for practitioners in health and human services fields. The Evidence-Based Practice Manual: Research and Outcome Measures in Health and Human Services is an interdisciplinary volume of evidence-based assessment measures, treatment plans, and interventions.

    The 104 chapters were written by prominent researchers in such fields as social work, medicine, psychology, and criminal justice. The chapters fall into nine categories:

    • Critical issues
    • Research ethics and grant guidelines
    • Diagnosis, interventions, and outcome research
    • Epidemiological and public health research
    • Conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement
    • Assessment tools and measures
    • Program evaluation strategies
    • Qualitative research exemplars
    • Quantitative research exemplars

    The book also includes an extensive glossary and an annoted bibliography of Internet resources on evidence-based practice and research.

    The Evidence-Based Practice Manual, edited by A. R. Roberts and K. R. Yeager, is available from Oxford University Press:

    Related Item

    A recent publication from the Chadwick Center and the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators provides guidelines for identifying, implementing, and rating evidence-based practice in child welfare. The Guide for Child Welfare Administrators on Evidence Based Practice is available on the website of the American Public Human Services Association: (PDF - 4,608 KB)

  • Scholarships for Former Foster Youth

    Scholarships for Former Foster Youth

    The Casey Family Scholars Program administered by the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) (Editor's note: OFA is now known as Foster Care to Success) provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to former foster youth, under the age of 25, who have spent at least 12 months in foster care and not been subsequently adopted.

    The application has two parts, and the first submission deadline is March 31, 2006. Information and the form can be accessed through the OFA website:

    The OFA has also created a website that provides information about Chafee education and the Education Training Voucher (ETV) program available through the States:

    Related Items

    The National Resource Center for Youth Development tracks which States offer tuition waivers to help youth in foster care earn college degrees. The information is available on its website:

    Children's Bureau Express covered the topic of tuition waivers in "Improving Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth" (December 2002/January 2003).

  • Iowa Meth Watch

    Iowa Meth Watch

    The Iowa Meth Watch Program is designed to help curtail the theft and suspicious sales of pseudoephedrine and other household products that can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. The program promotes cooperation between retailers and law enforcement by providing training and materials for retailers to prevent the diversion of legitimate products for illegal use.

    Meth Watch began in Kansas as a public-private partnership between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Methamphetamine Prevention Project, and Kansas retailers. It has been replicated in Iowa and six other States.

    The Iowa Meth Watch website provides information about the signs and symptoms of meth use and the effect of meth on children, families, and communities; the website also has resources such as brochures, posters, decals, stickers, and training videos used to implement and maintain the Iowa Meth Watch Program. These resources may be useful for similar programs.

    [Editor's note: This link is no longer available.]

  • Guidance on Immigration Law for State Court Judges

    Guidance on Immigration Law for State Court Judges

    Although State court judges do not have jurisdiction to make decisions on immigration issues, the decisions they make can affect a person’s immigration status and have implications for children adopted through intercountry adoptions.

    A recent publication, Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, provides guidance to State court judges and other legal professionals on the intersection of Federal immigration law with many of the cases a State court may decide. Chapter 5, in particular, focuses on specific issues related to intercountry adoption.

    The book was written by S. Kinoshita and K. Brady of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and is available online: (Editor's note: This link is no longer active. To view the 2010 version of the book, visit

  • <i>Reunited</i>, A Video for Parents Affected by Meth

    <i>Reunited</i>, A Video for Parents Affected by Meth

    Substance-abusing parents whose children have been removed by CPS will identify with the parents who speak openly about their own experiences in the video Reunited. The 25-minute video captures the frank talk of parents who were able to overcome their problems and work with the child welfare agency in order to be reunited with their children.

    Most of the parents in the video were using methamphetamines when their children entered the child welfare system. The parents' desire to have their children home with them and to make a better life for their children and themselves provided the motivation these parents needed to seek treatment for their meth habit. In the video, the parents acknowledge the hard work that it takes to recover from substance abuse, and they also acknowledge the rewards of working with the child welfare system. Because the experiences are told by real parents, the video can be an effective teaching tool for parents in the same situation.

    The video, which was funded by the Oregon Department of Human Services under a Federal grant, also provides information about the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) to parents who might be unaware of the time limits mandated by this Federal law.

    Reunited was produced by E. Martin and J. Wurscher and is being distributed to all child welfare agencies throughout Oregon. Other agencies or individuals can purchase the video at cost through the Reunited website: (Editor's note: Link no longer active)

  • How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

    How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

    A new brochure from Stop It Now! provides guidance for parents, teachers, and others about recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse. The eight-page pamphlet uses easy-to-understand language to provide definitions of sexual abuse and community notification. It discusses the safety action plan that each family should develop to protect children.

    The brochure also includes a number of checklists that can help adults detect abuse, including:

    • A list of touching and nontouching behaviors that constitute sexual abuse
    • Behavioral warning signs that a child may have been abused
    • Physical warning signs that a child may have been abused
    • Healthy sexual behaviors in children at different ages
    • Signs to watch for when adults are around children
    • Warning signs for an adult with sexual behavior problems

    Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: Facts About Those Who Might Commit is available on the Stop It Now! website:

    [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.

  • Meeting the Service Needs of Children of Prisoners

    Meeting the Service Needs of Children of Prisoners

    The Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners, a project of the Child Welfare League of America, works to provide training and technical assistance to professionals and agencies that provide services to children of incarcerated parents. This includes child welfare agencies, criminal justice professionals, childcare and early childhood education providers, community groups, mentoring programs, teachers and schools, and other programs.

    The center offers training in the form of 90-minute workshops, half-day and 1-day overviews, 2-day intensive training, and a 2-day training of trainers for mentoring programs. Specialized training is available for mentoring programs, afterschool program providers, early childhood education and childcare providers, and juvenile justice, child welfare, corrections, and community corrections programs and professionals. All trainings are provided onsite.

    The resource center has a new name, the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated. Learn more about the trainings at:

  • Helping Youth in Care Develop Their Racial and Ethnic Identity

    Helping Youth in Care Develop Their Racial and Ethnic Identity

    To help child welfare professionals better support the healthy development of the racial and ethnic identity of youth in care, Casey Family Programs offers a three-part program called Knowing Who You Are.

    The core of the training is a 24-minute video designed to raise awareness of the issue of racial and ethnic identity formation of youth in care. A facilitator's guide and a viewer's guide are available to provide a basis for group discussion. The second component is an online, self-paced course that expands the knowledge and skills that child welfare professionals need to assist youth in achieving a healthy sense of identity. The third component is a 2-day onsite training session targeted to staff, youth in care, alumni, birth parents, and resource families.

    Complete information about the training program is available on the Casey Family Programs website:

  • Conferences


    Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through June 2006 include:


    • The 25th National CASA Annual Conference
      Children: They're Everybody's Business

      National CASA Association
      April 1–4, San Diego, CA

    • The 24th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference
      Advocacy and Action: Building Alliances in Indian Child Welfare

      National Indian Child Welfare Association
      April 2–5, San Diego, CA


    • Methamphetamine and Child Welfare Conference for Child Welfare and Alcohol and Drug Agency Directors
      The Children's Bureau and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
      May 8–9, Washington, DC
      Directors will receive invitations
    • The Pathways to Adulthood National Independent Living/Transitional Living Conference
      National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development
      May 17–19, Portland, OR
    • America's Families: We All Play a Supporting Role
      Prevent Child Abuse America
      May 21–24, San Diego, CA


    • APSAC 14th Annual Colloquium
      The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
      June 21–24, Nashville, TN
    • First Annual Conference: Parenting Traumatized Children
      Attachment Disorder Network
      June 22–24, Norcross, GA

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