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November 2007Vol. 8, No. 10Spotlight on National Adoption Month

Issue Spotlight

  • Hague Convention Comment Period

    Hague Convention Comment Period

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published its rule amending regulations relating to intercountry adoption by U.S. citizens. In order to facilitate the ratification of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, the rule:

    • Establishes new administrative procedures for the immigration of children in Convention countries who are adopted by U.S. citizens
    • Makes other amendments to DHS regulations relating to the immigration of adopted children to reflect the changes necessary to comply with the Convention

    Written comments may be submitted to DHS on or before December 3, 2007. To read the rule in its entirety, visit: (link no longer available)

    Related Item

    The U.S. Department of State recently posted an open letter on its website to update adoption service providers on the process for accreditation and approval under the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention.

  • Angels in Adoption

    Angels in Adoption

    The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) honored its 2007 Angels in Adoption at an October 4 gala in Washington, DC. Each year, the nonpartisan organization, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of U.S. children in foster care and orphans worldwide, recognizes citizens who have made extraordinary contributions to improve the lives of vulnerable children. This year's Angels in Adoption Gala honored more than 180 adoptive parents from all 50 States and the District of Columbia. Three celebrity honorees were recognized as "National Angels" for their advocacy on foster care and adoption issues: Grammy-winning artist Patti LaBelle, Miami Heat basketball star Alonso Mourning, and the critically acclaimed chef and author Marcus Samuelsson.

    To read more about the CCAI and its Angels in Adoption program, visit the institute's website:

  • Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

    Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

    Companies offering adoption benefits to employees are actively supporting permanency for children and youth. Each year, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption lists the top 100 adoption-friendly workplaces in the United States based on adoption benefits offered to employees. Companies from a wide range of industries are ranked according to the level of financial assistance offered, the amount of paid leave for parents who adopt, and other benefits that make life easier for employees who choose adoption.

    This year's winner of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace program is Citizens Financial Group. Based in Providence, RI, Citizens offers a generous financial reimbursement package plus a week of paid leave for employees who adopt. The top five companies for 2007 were:

    1. Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
    2. CMP Technology
    3. Timberland
    4. JPMorgan Chase
    5. Avon Products, Inc.

    In a press release announcing the winners, the Foundation noted that an increasing number of employers now offer adoption benefits. In 2006, this amounted to approximately 45 percent of employers. Businesses have begun to realize that offering adoption benefits helps companies by enhancing employee recruitment and retention.

    The Dave Thomas Foundation offers a free toolkit for companies looking for ways to expand their package of adoption benefits. The toolkit includes a step-by-step beginner's guide to adoption benefits, a CD explaining different benefit options, a sample proposal and benefits policies form, a tax summary form, and more. There is also a toolkit for employees who want to make the case for employer-provided adoption benefits.

    To learn more about the Adoption-Friendly Workplace program or to order a free toolkit, visit:

  • Celebrate Adoptive Families

    Celebrate Adoptive Families

    Every November during National Adoption Month we pay tribute to the adoptive parents who have opened their hearts and homes to children and youth in need of a permanent, loving family. Through public awareness campaigns and local activities at courthouses, agencies, churches, and other community centers, we also raise awareness about the more than 114,000 children in foster care who are ready for adoption and encourage prospective adoptive parents to choose adoption for their families.

    The theme of National Adoption Month this year is "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. There are thousands of teens in foster care who would love to put up with you." This theme is a continuation of last year's successful national recruitment campaign to encourage the adoption of teens from foster care. Developed by the Ad Council, in partnership with the Children's Bureau, the Adoption Exchange Association, and the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids, the public service advertisements take a lighthearted look at the everyday moments teens and parents face in order to demonstrate that teens don't need perfection, but they do need parents. For more about the campaign visit:

    Families, communities, and organizations are encouraged to celebrate adoption and contribute toward efforts to recruit new foster and adoptive families. This year's National Adoption Month webpages on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website offer a redesigned and enhanced National Foster Care & Adoption Directory. The webpages also highlight tools and resources for professionals, teachers, and prospective and adoptive families to help celebrate National Adoption Month:

    A calendar of activities for the month of November, in both English and Spanish, offers ideas for celebrating National Adoption Month:

    This year, National Adoption Day is Saturday, November 17. This is the day when courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, and advocates work together to coordinate the finalization of thousands of adoptions across the country to make the dreams of waiting children and their adoptive families come true. Find toolkits and press materials to plan an event, or use the National Adoption Day database to locate an event near you:

  • Adoption Excellence Awards 2007

    Adoption Excellence Awards 2007

    Later this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will announce the names of organizations, families, and individuals who have been selected to receive Adoption Excellence Awards for 2007, recognizing the recipients' contributions to providing stable, permanent homes for our nation's children in foster care. These awards, presented annually since 1997, demonstrate the Department's national commitment to rebuild the lives of the 514,000 children in foster care and to achieve permanency for the 115,000 of those who are waiting for adoptive homes and families.

    The awardees will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC. Nominations are reviewed and winners are chosen by a panel of recognized experts in the adoption field, including staff from Federal and State agencies. A complete list of the 2007 award recipients will be announced in an ACF press release and posted on the Children's Bureau website:

    Recent Issues

  • July/August 2024

    Spotlight on Youth, Authentic Youth Engagement, and Lived Experience

    Spotlight on Youth, Authentic Youth Engagement, and Lived Experience

  • June 2024

    Spotlight on Reunification

    Spotlight on Reunification

News From the Children's Bureau

  • The Source Focuses on Trauma-Informed Services

    The Source Focuses on Trauma-Informed Services

    The summer 2007 issue of the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center's The Source is a special issue on trauma-informed services for families affected by substance abuse and/or HIV. The journal includes articles on understanding the effects of trauma during treatment, trauma and recovery, self-reported abuse as a risk factor in permanency planning, trauma-informed organizational change, and trauma-informed and gender-responsive approaches to treatment. (PDF - 3,680 KB)

  • The Native American Children &Youth Task Force

    The Native American Children &Youth Task Force

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the formation of an internal task force that will focus on the difficulties faced by many Native American youth. The Native American Children & Youth Task Force will review how various local, State, and Federal efforts can be improved to better address the risks faced by young Native Americans. Some of these risk factors include:

    • The highest death and school dropout rates of any ethnic group in the country
    • High rates of child neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, and malnutrition
    • High rates of parental unemployment, often combined with poverty and lack of access to health care

    The new task force will be chaired by Channell Wilkins, former director of the Office of Head Start. In an ACF press release, Chairman Wilkins said, "I look forward to addressing these challenging issues affecting our youth. This new task force will aid us in finding solutions that will remediate these alarming trends."

    Read the full press release on the ACF website:

  • Knowledge Development Through Children's Bureau Funding

    Knowledge Development Through Children's Bureau Funding

    A recent journal article describes how the Children's Bureau is taking a knowledge-development approach to grantmaking. According to the article, the Children's Bureau has structured its discretionary grant programs so that they maximize knowledge development and help the child welfare field move toward more evidence-based policy and practice. This emphasis places higher standards on grantees and highlights the knowledge gained from research and demonstration projects and how this knowledge can be used to inform policymakers and direct program and practice staff.

    Three strategies help to keep the focus of the discretionary grants on knowledge development:

    • Grant applicants are required to submit a logic model and allocate a certain percentage of the project budget for outcome evaluation.
    • After making the awards, the Children's Bureau monitors the grant projects, working closely with grantees to provide technical assistance and promote the development of local research networks.
    • The Children's Bureau disseminates the knowledge derived from the projects in a purposeful and planful way, including through its clearinghouse, Child Welfare Information Gateway.

    The article provides two examples of Children's Bureau grant clusters that illustrate the Bureau's commitment to knowledge development and management:

    • The Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services and Adoption, first funded in 2001 to increase regional involvement in research, demonstration projects, and dissemination
    • The Family Connections Prevention Replication Projects, funded in 2004 to incorporate features that would contribute to knowledge development about child abuse and neglect prevention strategies

    The Children's Bureau continues to improve its processes for knowledge development and management. This involves determining which information should be disseminated widely and which should be made available to smaller, more targeted audiences. In pursuing an effective knowledge development and management policy, the Children's Bureau effort is part of a larger trend to increase accountability and maximize Federal investment to move the field of child welfare toward more evidence-based policy and practice.

    The full article, "Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants: Knowledge Development Through Our Research and Demonstration Projects," by Melissa Lim Brodowski, Sally Flanzer, Catherine Nolan, Jan Shafer, and Elyse Kaye, was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, Vol. 4 (No. 3/4), 2007. It is available from Haworth Press:

  • 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:

    • Information Memorandum 07-06 on the topic of Appropriate Referrals, Requests for Location Services, Child Support Applications, and Electronic Interface Between Child Welfare and Child Support Enforcement Agencies
    • Status of Program Improvement Plans and Subsequent Child and Family Services Reviews
    • Round Two Draft Key Findings Reports for North Carolina and Vermont

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

  • Children's Bureau Associate Commissioner Change

    Children's Bureau Associate Commissioner Change

    Susan Orr, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, has been asked to accept a 1-year position as the Director of the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) in the Office of Public Health and Science. In her new position, Dr. Orr will draw on her years of public policy experience to provide leadership to OPA and advise the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health on a wide range of reproductive health topics.

    As head of the Children's Bureau since 2002, Dr. Orr has advised the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and has led the Bureau's work on legislative, policy, and budget recommendations in the area of child welfare. Dr. Orr has been responsible for overseeing the Children's Bureau's $7+ billion budget, which has included funding for numerous State programs and projects focused on preventing child abuse and neglect, protecting children, and helping children achieve permanency.

    Joe Bock, currently Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Children's Bureau, will temporarily assume the position of Acting Associate Commissioner.

  • Discretionary Grants Awarded

    Discretionary Grants Awarded

    The Children's Bureau recently announced the award of discretionary grants for FY 2007. The grants were made in five areas, with the greatest number of grants going toward programs to "Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse." Fifty-three grants were made to regional partnerships, including States and Tribes, to provide activities and services designed to increase the safety, permanency, and well-being of children at risk of or already in out-of-home placement due to parental substance abuse.

    Other awards were made in the following areas:

    • 2007 National Child Welfare Leadership Institute
    • Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect Through Nurse Home Visitation
    • Using Comprehensive Family Assessments to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
    • AdoptUsKids

    For a full list of grantees, visit the Children's Bureau website:

  • Supervisory Training Curriculum

    Supervisory Training Curriculum

    Child welfare professionals interested in supervisory training resources can benefit from a new curriculum developed by Charmaine Brittain and produced by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement. Supervisory Training: Putting the Pieces Together is based on Alfred Kadushin's model of social work supervision and is divided into three modules: Administrative, Educational, and Supportive Supervision. The curriculum includes assessment tools, training instructions, PowerPoint presentations, bibliographies and handouts, games, a training journal, and more. To download the zip files with the training materials or to order the curriculum, visit:

  • Cultural Competence Training for Child Welfare

    Cultural Competence Training for Child Welfare

    A unique collaboration between the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and two universities has resulted in a curriculum for supervisors, caseworkers, and graduate social work students that uses a systems of care model to promote culturally competent practice with Latino children and families in the child welfare system. Using a Children's Bureau grant, the team developed training protocols that are family-focused and encourage community-based services that are culturally appropriate. The team also provides follow-up technical assistance to help workers apply their new knowledge and skills.

    The partners drew on the expertise of a Community and University Advisory Panel of Latino Experts. This group included members from across Texas with both child welfare and university backgrounds who provided consultation on curriculum development and delivery, making recommendations based on their experience working with the Latino population.

    The curriculum, "Culturally Competent Practice With Latino Children and Families," includes eight training modules:

    • Cultural Competence With Hispanic Children and Families
    • Overview of Systems of Care
    • Engagement
    • Assessment
    • Planning
    • Implementation and Intervention
    • Transition
    • Case Simulation

    The training targets supervisors and caseworkers from the Texas DFPS who work primarily with Latino families in their homes, promoting family preservation. It addresses some of the findings from Texas's Child and Family Services Review, which indicated that improvement was needed in the areas of safely maintaining children in their own homes and family involvement in case planning.

    To date, the training has been delivered to 180 staff and supervisors throughout the State. Participants also had the opportunity to receive technical assistance through an additional half day of training 60 days later, which allowed them to review successes, challenges, and strategies for implementing the training in working with Hispanic children and families. The curriculum also has been adapted as part of a practicum course in the graduate social work program at the University of Texas at Arlington.

    While evaluations are ongoing, preliminary results from pilot training have been positive. Evaluations focus on three aspects of the training: reaction, learning, and behavioral change.

    The project is a collaboration of the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, the Texas DFPS, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. For more information, contact:

    Joan Rycraft, Ph.D.
    P.O. Box 19129
    School of Social Work, University of Texas
    Arlington, TX 76019

    The Culturally Competent Systems of Care Practices With Hispanic Children and Families project is funded by the Children's Bureau, Grant 90CT0132, under the Children's Bureau Priority Area: Field-Initiated Training Projects for Effective Child Welfare Practice With Hispanic Children and Families. 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.

  • A Success Model of Adoption: The QIC on Adoption

    A Success Model of Adoption: The QIC on Adoption

    Third in a series of articles on the Children's Bureau's Quality Improvement Centers

    A success model of adoption built on private-public collaborative partnerships, staff specialization, and evidence-based practice has become a hallmark of the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption (QICA) in Virginia. Implemented by United Methodist Family Services and funded by the Children's Bureau beginning in 2001, the QICA researched and developed the success model and then made grants to three Virginia organizations to create more effective delivery systems for adoption services. In turn, the grantees' enhanced delivery systems brought about:

    • An increase in adoption of foster children
    • A decrease in the time children spent in foster care before adoption
    • An increase in adoption stability

    With guidance from the QICA, the grantees developed partnerships with public and private agencies to align and integrate their services. This collaboration led to regional adoption services delivery systems that provided broader access to more services, reduced worker isolation, and created a partnership between public and private organizations instead of a vendor relationship. Workers were able to specialize and provide adoption services across jurisdictional boundaries. The QICA also facilitated the integration of evidence-based practice into the grantees' processes for assessing families and children and providing preplacement and postplacement support. All of these components contributed to increased and accelerated permanency outcomes for children.

    At the close of the project's funding, the three grantees showed outstanding results:

    • The Charlottesville Adoption Knowledge and Evaluation program incorporated integrated services, evidence-based practice, and technology transfers to staff to achieve a 70 percent adoption rate for the children served.
    • The Piedmont Adoption Coalition developed a regional approach to fill service gaps in rural areas and achieved a 69 percent rate of adoption.
    • The Partners for Enhancing Adoption Connections and Effectiveness focused on recruitment that was child-specific and evidence-based to place 71 percent of the children served, all of whom had elevated risk factors.

    According to Project Coordinator Tara Pappas, "The projects were immensely successful due to the formation of partnerships among public and private agencies. The replication of this model could be useful in adoption placements across jurisdictional boundaries to further increase permanency for youth."

    With funding coming to a close, the QICA is focusing on disseminating information about the success model of adoption. Much of this information can be found on the QICA website, which provides information not only on adoptions in Virginia, but also on best practices, resources, and publications:

    For more information on the QICA, contact:
    Jackie Burgeson, ACSW, Project Director
    Tara Pappas, MSW, Project Coordinator

    Related Items

    To read the earlier articles in the QIC series, go to:

    • "Addressing Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment: The RMQIC" (September 2007)
    • "Promoting Cultural Competence and Collaboration: The Frontline Connections QIC" (October 2007)

Child Welfare Research

  • Partitioning the Adoption Process

    Partitioning the Adoption Process

    Different stages of the adoption process are associated with different predictors of timely permanence for children. A study published in the May/June 2007 issue of Child Welfare explores two different phases of adoption—time from removal to adoption placement and time from placement to finalization—to better predict permanency and gauge the timeliness of the adoption process.

    Using 5 years of AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) data from Oklahoma (from 1997 to 2001), researchers looked at records for all children with a case plan goal of adoption. They were able to conduct separate analyses for the time from removal to adoption placement, time from placement to finalization, and total time from removal to finalization. These phases were analyzed in terms of five predictor variables: child characteristics, child abuse or neglect history, placement history, system variables, and service delivery variables.

    Results show that:

    • Length of time from removal to adoption finalization decreased significantly over the 5 years, primarily due to decreased time from placement to finalization.
    • Child and family characteristics and the history of abuse and neglect were much more predictive of timely adoption placement than of the length of time from placement to finalization.
    • Services can be improved and adoptions expedited if process components are analyzed and treated separately.

    "Partitioning the Adoption Process to Better Predict Permanency," by Tom McDonald, Alan Press, Peggy Billings, and Terry More, is available in the May/June 2007 issue of Child Welfare:

  • Improving Mental Health Services for Adoptive Families

    Improving Mental Health Services for Adoptive Families

    Adopted children are at a greater risk of experiencing emotional or behavioral problems, which can take a heavy toll on adoptive families if they cannot obtain needed mental health services after the adoption is finalized. Postadoption services have gained greater recognition for their importance in supporting and preserving adoptive families to reduce the likelihood of disruption or dissolution. A new report by the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) explores strategies for expanding and improving postadoption mental health services for adopted children and their families.

    The most common types of mental health services sought by adoptive families include individual and group counseling for children and families, crisis intervention services, and specialized children's treatment services. Studies show that families think postadoption services are most effective when they have the following characteristics:

    • Family-systems orientation
    • Services tailored for different types of adoptive families
    • A broad range of clinical services offered continually over time

    The report describes a number of promising State postadoption programs and outlines several Federal funding sources that can be used to finance postadoption services. According to the report, strategies to maximize the use of both Federal and State funding and improve the quality and availability of mental health services for adopted children and their families include expanding the use of mental health funding to adoptive families, building agency commitment to families after an adoption, and strengthening adoption competency in community services.

    Read the full report, Post-Adoption Services: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children Adopted From Foster Care, on NACAC's website: (PDF - 150 KB)

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • Early Intervention Options for Developmental Problems in Maltreated Children

    Early Intervention Options for Developmental Problems in Maltreated Children

    Although the rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect for children ages 18 and younger has generally shown a slight decrease since 1990, the rate of victimization for infants and toddlers younger than age 3 has continued to climb. Developmental problems in these children may be overlooked because of greater concerns about safety and permanency.

    A new literature review produced by ZERO TO THREE for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cites common problems associated with maltreatment in the first 3 years of life, including health, cognitive, emotional, social, and psychopathological outcomes.

    In the second part of this review, early intervention options and prevention programs are described. Because they address overlapping sets of problems, these interventions are grouped by treatment format, such as therapeutic daycare centers and preschools, foster care therapeutic interventions, clinic-based mental health treatment, and infant-focused interventions.

    The full report, Literature Review: Developmental Problems of Maltreated Children and Early Intervention Options for Maltreated Children, is available from ASPE: (PDF- 259 KB)


  • Research Center Focuses on Families Affected by Substance Abuse

    Research Center Focuses on Families Affected by Substance Abuse

    The Child Welfare, Drug Abuse and Intergenerational Risk Research Center (CWDAIR) focuses on the design, development, and delivery of coordinated, evidence-based services for families in the child welfare system with drug abuse and co-existing problems, especially HIV/AIDS. The goal is to improve services for vulnerable families and children in the child welfare system in order to reduce the chance of intergenerational continuity of these interrelated problems.

    CWDAIR, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is operated by the School of Social Welfare at the University of Albany, State University of New York. Services available include statistical guidance and data analyses, a mini-grants program, a seminar series, and research facilitation.

    More information is available on the CWDAIR website:

  • Summer Research Institute Applications

    Summer Research Institute Applications

    The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect is now accepting applications for participation in its Summer Research Institute, which will take place May 28–June 1, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Participants work during daily computing sessions, obtain assistance from consultants and colleagues, and attend relevant colloquia. The application deadline is January 11, 2008. (link no longer available)

  • Supporting Foster Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

    Supporting Foster Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

    Connect, a mini-magazine for caregivers, produced by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), contains information and resources for foster parents and kin on meeting the needs of children in the child welfare system who have been exposed to domestic violence.

    In the current issue, the article "Building Bridges," by Colin W. Morris, discusses the importance of nurturing healthy communication between foster and biological parents for a child's overall well-being. Morris also offers tips for foster parents to help address the challenges that may arise while trying to create an open and supportive environment. This issue also includes information for foster fathers and Parent2Parent, a section of questions and answers by foster parents.

    To order or download a copy of Connect, visit the FVPF website: (link no longer available)

  • Federal Grants for Research on Interventions for Child Abuse and Neglect

    Federal Grants for Research on Interventions for Child Abuse and Neglect

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement soliciting research project grant applications focused on conducting efficacy and effectiveness trials of child abuse and neglect interventions. Large-scale trials, including preventive interventions, targeting victims or perpetrators of abuse and neglect are of particular interest. For more information:

  • Adoption Resources for Educators

    Adoption Resources for Educators

    The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), a nonprofit adoptive family support center, provides a variety of adoption-related information, programs, and resources for families, professionals, and educators, including a monthly e-newsletter. Two articles in C.A.S.E.'s August 2007 newsletter address the role of adoption in the academic setting.

    In the first article,"When Friends and Teachers Acknowledge Adoption as a Positive Way to Build Families," Judith Madden provides information for adoptive parents and educators on how to best approach adoption topics in school. S.A.F.E. at School: A Manual for Teachers and Counselors is mentioned as a resource for educators that provides strategies for creating a positive and supportive environment for adoptive families.

    "Back to School with Confidence," written by adoptive parent Margie Persheid, discusses the challenges many adopted children face at school and what parents can do to make the learning environment a supportive one.

  • RFA for Nonresident Father Involvement Projects

    RFA for Nonresident Father Involvement Projects

    The National Quality Improvement Center (QIC) for Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for projects that will use the funding to determine the impact of nonresident father involvement on child outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being. The 5-year funding will focus on the child welfare systems' engagement of fathers, especially collaboration among the courts, community systems, fatherhood program providers, nonresident fathers, and paternal kin.

    The QIC on Non-Resident Fathers is a collaboration among American Humane and its partners, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, and the National Fatherhood Initiative, and is funded by the Children's Bureau. For more information, email American Humane:

  • Understanding the Juvenile Justice System

    Understanding the Juvenile Justice System

    In response to concerns that delinquency rates for youth involved in the child welfare system are significantly higher than for other youth, the August 2007 issue of Practice Notes provides an overview of the juvenile justice system for child welfare practitioners. Features include a brief description of the juvenile justice system, juvenile justice terms, and resources and programs available in North Carolina for decreasing delinquent behavior.

    Practice Notes is published by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Research Project.

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.

  • Nominations for Child Welfare Leadership Institute Training

    Nominations for Child Welfare Leadership Institute Training

    The National Child Welfare Leadership Institute is soliciting nominations of public and Tribal midlevel child welfare managers to participate in a leadership development program. This is a rare and exciting opportunity for States, counties, and Tribes to develop leadership potential among their midlevel management staff.

    During the training, participants will develop leadership skills and formulate action plans to lead their organization. Training will be based on a "positive change" initiative relating to best practice models in response to current critical issues in child welfare. The program will include two residential leadership development sessions: a 5-day session in April 2008, followed by 3 months of transfer of learning, followed by a 3-day session.

    All costs, except transportation to and from the residential sessions, will be funded by a Children's Bureau grant. Nominees must have the endorsement and support of their nominating organizations.

    Child welfare executives and Tribal leaders are encouraged to nominate promising midlevel managers.

    For more information, please contact Norma Harris:

  • CWLA Expands the PRIDE Training Program

    CWLA Expands the PRIDE Training Program

    Two new modules for the PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) Advanced and Specialized Training program have been released by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA).

    The first, Preparing Youth for Successful Adulthood, provides caregivers with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist youth with their healthy transition into adulthood. The four-session module focuses on the development of life skills for youth, such as getting a job, going to school, and learning how to cook. In addition, the training provides an integrated model that focuses on the importance of stable, consistent, and healthy relationships in helping youth learn life skills and, in turn, transition effectively into adulthood.

    The second new module, Working Together to Improve Educational Outcomes for Youth in Care, is intended to enhance participants' knowledge and skills that will enable them to act as an education advocate and improve educational outcomes for youth in care. This includes youth living with foster parents or with kin. The information may also be helpful to adoptive parents and to staff of residential group care facilities.

    To read more about the PRIDE program or to access ordering information for these training modules, visit the CWLA site:

  • Conferences


    Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through February 2008 include:

    December 2007

    January 2008

    • 22nd Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
      Chadwick Center for Children & Families
      January 28–February 1, San Diego, CA

    February 2008

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

  • ABA Center Offers Training for Child Welfare Attorneys

    ABA Center Offers Training for Child Welfare Attorneys

    The ABA Center on Children and the Law is now offering "Trial Skills for Child Welfare Attorneys" training, a day-long program designed for attorneys in child welfare law who represent child welfare agencies, parents, and children. The training includes strategies in dependency cases that help children achieve a permanency goal more quickly.

    Through a mix of lectures, demonstrations, and mock trial exercises, the training helps beginning and advanced attorneys organize large caseloads and prepare for trial, as well as expand their knowledge of the rules of evidence and their skills in examining and cross-examining witnesses. Each program is specially adapted for local practice and State law, and each participant leaves with continuing legal education credits and a trial notebook to help organize and prepare for future cases.

    For information, contact Anne Marie Lancour: