In this month's issue of CBX, read a message from Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, that highlights the opportunity for the child welfare system and its partners to invest in helping to make families more self-sufficient and increasing protective factors that can prevent entry into the foster care system. The issue also features articles focusing on how community partnerships can help prevent child maltreatment before it starts, provide support and services, and help children and families recover.
- Special Journal Issue Highlights the Public Health Model of Child Maltreatment Prevention
Child maltreatment is a major public health concern in the United States. Children who have experienced maltreatment often suffer long-term consequences to their emotional and physical health, including an increased risk for mental and behavioral health issues as well as chronic and sometimes life-threatening conditions, such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. These consequences highlight the growing need for child welfare services and the increasing societal costs of these services.
The journal Trauma, Violence, & Abuse published a special issue focusing on the need for primary prevention within a public health model, which centers on dealing with population-level or pervasive health concerns in a community-based, coordinated way. The articles in the issue address topics such as primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention programs designed specifically for younger children but that can also be applied to older children; a three-pronged approach to prevention that incorporates knowledge development, community engagement, and program sustainability; an evaluation of the Triple-P intervention; and the similarities between the fields of injury prevention and child maltreatment prevention and what can be learned for community-level interventions and child welfare engagement.
The special issue, titled "The Public Health Model of Child Maltreatment Prevention" and edited by Todd I. Herrenkohl, Rebecca T. Leeb, and Daryl Higgins, is available at http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/tvaa/17/4.
- 2020: Building Communities of Hope
Casey Family Programs launched the nationwide initiative 2020: Building Communities of Hope to improve the safety and success of children and their families and ultimately prevent entry into foster care.
2020: Building Communities of Hope is based on four core principles:
- Empower local leaders to stand at the helm of efforts to work with and strengthen families and communities to improve their outcomes
- Improve the utilization of data to drive decision-making and increase the capacity of communities to support families in need
- Change federal, state, tribal, and local funding structures to better support more effective investments in sustainable change, improve outcomes, and restore hope
- Forge effective partnerships between the philanthropic and business communities and federal, state, tribal, and local governments to support long-lasting improvements for children and families
This initiative focuses on the following goals:
- Safely reduce the need for foster care by 50 percent by the year 2020 through partnerships with child welfare systems, families, policymakers, courts, and tribes to promote practices and policies that strengthen family resilience
- Demonstrate how every child can have a safe and permanent family by improving foster care and related services
- Support more effective investments in children and families by contributing nonpartisan information, data, and resources that will help public officials make informed, effective decisions for families
- Encourage community collaboration to improve the long-term positive outcomes of children and their families
The signature report on the initiative, The Evolution of Hope, details efforts in Gainesville, FL, and Johnson County, KY, to implement the initiative's ideals. Gainesville communities collaborated with Partnership for Strong Families—a community-based care lead agency serving Alachua County—and Casey Family Programs to open resource centers offering support and primary prevention services, such as parenting classes and job skills training, to families living in areas with historically high rates of verified child abuse and neglect. Data from 2009 to 2015 show promising results, with a 14-percent decrease in verified child abuse and neglect in Gainesville communities as a result of the services provided by these resource centers.
In Johnson County (KY), the Department of Community Based Services partnered with Casey Family Programs to implement the Johnson County Community of Hope, which brings together social services agencies, the judicial system, community volunteers, mental health services agencies, substance use treatment agencies, public schools, the local library, and the business community. The goal of this initiative is to build stronger families and reduce the number of children in foster care and the number of child maltreatment cases. Since the start of the initiative, the number of children in foster care in Johnson County has dropped by about one-third.
The Evolution of Hope is available at https://www.casey.org/hope2017/.
To read more about 2020: Building Communities of Hope, visit https://www.casey.org/who-we-are/2020-building-communities-of-hope/.
- Funding Opportunity Announcement: Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) —HHS-2018-ACF-ACYF-CA-1351: Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families—to fund 5-year demonstration projects that support the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies aimed at strengthening families, especially those at high risk for child maltreatment. The projects will seek to enhance community-based primary prevention and address specific site barriers in an effort to reduce the number of referrals to child welfare agencies.
Read more about the FOA on the ACF website at https://ami.grantsolutions.gov/index.cfm?switch=foa&fon=HHS-2018-ACF-ACYF-CA-1351.
- The Need for a Primary Prevention-Focused Child Welfare System
Written by Jerry Milner.
Everyone that reads this article is likely aware that our foster care population is continuing to rise. We are up to over 437,000 children in foster care, and the number is increasing every year. It is not all due to the opioid crisis. The vast majority of children come into foster care due to neglect, and most of the neglect is poverty related. We are also seeing yearly increases in the number of reports of child abuse and neglect—we are up to 4 million reports per year.
These are not the trends or results that any of us would like to see. As a system, we are investing a considerable amount of money to achieve very poor results. In fact, our interventions often cause additional trauma when we separate children and families and perpetuate harmful cycles within families over generations. We have to call on ourselves as a nation to answer one very simple question: Why continue operating in a manner that is largely ineffective, expensive, and does not effectively strengthen the resilience of parents?
We think there is an opportunity in child welfare to use our funding and our interventions to help families become more self-sufficient and to enhance parental protective factors so that parents have the capacity to care for their children in safe and healthy ways—without government interventions.
The Family First Prevention and Services Act (FFPSA) helps highlight the need to focus on prevention by opening the door for states to receive federal support for certain prevention services for children who are identified as at imminent risk of entering foster care. This would typically mean that something has already happened, that a child has been injured in some way, and that some trauma has already occurred. While the new tool of FFPSA will be helpful in preventing some foster care placement, shouldn't we be most concerned and invested in doing all that we can to prevent the imminent risk—the injury and trauma—from ever happening in the first place?
While FFPSA allows states to buy evidence-based clinical services for limited time periods, filling an important gap in the prevention continuum, many families need basic concrete supports (rent assistance, legal assistance, housing, food, etc.) and relational supports (mentoring, peer support, etc.) in order to avoid formal child welfare involvement. Also, all families in the child welfare system do not suffer from substance use or mental health problems but are in the child welfare system due to homelessness or housing insecurity, domestic violence, parents transitioning from incarceration, unresolved trauma from their own childhoods, and social isolation.
Many states that have operated under a title IV-E waiver have taken important steps to focus on primary prevention to strengthen families and help avoid children and families from ever becoming at imminent risk of separation. Such upfront investments in families and communities are showing very promising results. We encourage all jurisdictions to consider what you may be able to do with your system partners (both traditional and nontraditional) to strengthen families and reduce the likelihood that maltreatment ever occurs. There are great examples happening all around the country. In addition to this edition of CBX, please stay tuned for an information memorandum from the Children's Bureau that will highlight some of the great primary prevention work I've seen around the country over the past year. We would like to do everything we can to support such efforts.
- Child Welfare Practice Within the Context of Public-Private Partnerships
An article in Social Work discusses how child welfare practice operates within a partnership between public agencies, which have a statutory mandate to provide child welfare services, and private organizations, which provide a variety of services informally or through contracts. According to the article, "Child Welfare Practice Within the Context of Public-Private Partnerships," results from a recent national survey of private child-serving agencies showed that 89 percent of them had contracts with public institutions for services such as family preservation, foster care case management, and congregate care. In addition, federal policies, such as the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, and the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011, have raised accountability expectations for agencies to meet federal benchmarks for service delivery in order to keep their federal funding, underscoring the need for interorganizational trust and collaboration.
The article reviews current literature to answer the following questions:
- How should public and private child welfare relationships and contracting procedures be structured to provide effective service delivery?
- How can performance measurement and management systems be developed to promote child safety, permanency, and well-being?
- How can managers help promote effective and culturally appropriate services?
The article suggests developing a shared mission for service planning, clarifying the roles of both public and private frontline staff, and coordinating day-to-day communication and service activities as the best ways to promote the well-being of children and families involved in child welfare.
"Child Welfare Practice Within the Context of Public-Private Partnerships," by Crystal Collins-Camargo and Bowen McBeath (Social Work, 62), is available at https://academic.oup.com/sw/article-abstract/62/2/130/2972113?redirectedFrom=fulltext.
- Engaging Communities
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (CANTASD), a service of the Children's Bureau, has a webpage that focuses on engaging communities in preventing child abuse and neglect and supporting families involved in child welfare. The webpage includes a spotlight on publications, practice tools, Digital Dialogs, and descriptions of initiatives highlighting community engagement.
Examples of resources currently featured on the page include the following:
- "From the Field: Community Approaches to Toxic Stress"—This article summarizes a Digital Dialog with Cailin O'Connor from the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The dialog centered on understanding toxic stress and how it impacts young children as well as the need to move beyond an individual focus to a systemic focus based on environmental and community contexts.
- "Engaging Business and Other Partners in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Approaches"—This Digital Dialog stresses the importance of partnering with the business community in cross-sector networks for primary prevention.
- "Fostering Hope Initiative"—This video highlights the Fostering Hope Initiative, a neighborhood-based initiative in central Oregon. Fostering Hope is designed to promote the positive development of children, strengthen families, and build community through neighborhood and community supports and services.
Visit the webpage at http://www.cantasd.org/explore-topics/engaging-communities/ to find more resources for community engagement.
- Improving Child Welfare Outcomes: Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment
Child maltreatment and subsequent involvement in the child welfare system can have far-reaching negative effects on children and youth that can last into adulthood, increasing their risk for financial instability, involvement in the criminal justice system, substance use, and homelessness. In addition, child maltreatment and its related prevention and treatment services can cost society approximately $80 billion annually.
A report produced by the RAND Corporation discusses a study in which researchers used a model to simulate maltreatment and its detection; describe the movement of children through the child welfare system; estimate the societal costs of providing prevention, treatment, and kinship care; and estimate how maltreatment and contact with the child welfare system affect outcomes in early adulthood in order to determine how to focus policies to achieve the best outcomes.
Researchers focused on the following three decision points in the model:
- Preventive services to keep children from entering foster care because of maltreatment
- Family preservation treatment services designed to provide services and supports aimed at keeping families together
- Kinship care treatment efforts to support kinship caregivers
These decision points affected the number of children involved in the child welfare system, how they moved through the system, their outcomes, and the costs of the services provided.
The study findings include the following:
- Expanding both prevention and treatment efforts in the simulation model led to a reduction in maltreatment and the number of children entering care, improvement in children's experiences moving through the child welfare system, improvement in outcomes in young adulthood, and a reduction in total lifetime expenditures on preventive and child welfare services.
- Combining expanded prevention and treatment services in the form of support for kinship care led to a net cost reduction of 3 to 7 percent (or approximately $5.2 billion to $10.5 billion saved) of total lifetime spending for the group of children studied.
- Combining prevention, treatment, and kinship care efforts led to reduced maltreatment, improved children's experiences in the system, improved outcomes, and reduced expenditures.
Improving Child Welfare Outcomes: Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment is available at https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1700/RR1775-1/RAND_RR1775-1.pdf (1,680 KB).
How the Child-Welfare System Could Protect More Kids and Save Billions of Dollars (RAND, https://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2018/04/how-the-child-welfare-system-could-protect-more-kids.html).
Spotlight on Child Welfare Data and Technology
Spotlight on Tribal Child Welfare
News From the Children's Bureau
Read about how data sharing and collaboration between the child welfare system and courts ensure families receive timely and appropriate services, a new smartphone application aimed at helping fathers increase engagement with their children, and the latest updates from the Children's Bureau website.
- CB Website Updates
The Children's Bureau website hosts information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, federal reporting, and much more.
Recent additions to the site include the following:
- Family Group Decision-Making: Becoming a Family-Centered Agency: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-welfare-podcast-fgdm-family-centered
- IM-18-03: Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Final Rule Regarding Implementation of the December 2016 Final Rule and Intent to Issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/im1803
- IM-18-04: Fiscal Year 2018 Funding for State Title IV-E/IV-B Agencies to Develop an Electronic Interstate Case-Processing System: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/im1804
- National Reported Summary 2015-2017: Annual Adoption Savings Calculation and Accounting Report: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/national-summary-2015-2017
- Adoption Savings Data 2017: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/adoption-savings-data-2017
Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new.
- Smartphones Encourage Fathers to Participate in Parent-Child Attachment Programs
A report from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discusses a smartphone application—DadTime—that was developed to encourage fathers to participate in a parent education program designed to build father-child attachment.
DadTime was developed as part of the Building Bridges and Bonds Study (B3), funded in 2015 by the Administration for Children and Families to help fathers become more involved in the lives of their young children. B3 is testing a variety of innovative approaches to help fathers strengthen their parenting skills and engagement with their young children.
B3 selected the Just Beginning parenting curriculum for its study because it is designed specifically for fathers and offers hands-on, experiential learning with immediate positive feedback as dads interact with their young children (ages 2 months through 3 years). Just Beginning teaches fathers how to follow their child's lead, notice actions and cues, and encourage or praise their child. The study is exploring whether fathers randomly assigned to the Just Beginning program will use the DadTime application and whether those offered it demonstrate higher attendance rates at the parenting classes.
DadTime was created with input and feedback from fathers engaged in B3. The application's wording order and presentation were based on the fathers' input and reactions. The DadTime development team sought answers to the following questions:
- What language about parent-child engagement works best with fathers of young children?
- What features on the phone application are intuitive for fathers?
- What features interest fathers as prospective users of DadTime, and what changes might increase their interest?
The DadTime development team identified three distinct times as optimal communication windows during the curriculum: reminders to fathers the day before each session, follow-ups the day after a session, and check-ins the following weekend. The application includes exercises for planning how to get the father and his child to a session, opportunities to think about what went well at a session and what to try another time, prompts for rescheduling a session if needed, and suggested activities and games for fathers to engage their children. The application also features a "relationship tree" that sprouts leaves as fathers make progress with their children.
Future studies will look at how participants are using DadTime, how it has been implemented, whether fathers find it useful, and how it has affected attendance and participation outcomes.
Encouraging Attendance and Engagement in Parenting Programs: Developing a Smartphone Application With Fathers, for Fathers is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/b3_dadtime_brief_508.pdf (2,854 KB).
- Data Sharing for Courts and Child Welfare Agencies
Both child welfare agencies and the courts track valuable information on children, youth, and families that help them identifying and understanding the needs of these populations. These systems often do not collect the same information, however, and so collaboration is necessary to ensure those invested in the well-being of children and youth have access to the information they need to make timely, informed decisions.
Federal regulations now require child welfare agencies that operate a comprehensive child welfare information system to include a bidirectional (i.e., two-way) data exchange with the courts. The Children's Bureau produced a technical assistance toolkit to help guide courts and child welfare agencies in their creation of automated, bidirectional data exchanges between their respective information systems. This thorough toolkit walks child welfare and court professionals through the benefits and challenges of data sharing systems and provides several examples and spotlights of successful systems to learn from. Benefits to bidirectional data exchanges with court information systems may include the following:
- Less reliance on hard copy documents and storage
- The ability to capture required title IV-E eligibility data as well as contrary-to-the-welfare-of-the-child determinations
- Consistency in petitions, notices, and motions within a document management system to ensure valid and reliable data
- Cost-savings in automated filings of court documentation
- The ability to measure court performance in timeliness of hearings and decisions
- The ability to report, per jurisdiction, on foster care population demographics, time in care, number of removals, and number of discharges
- Child welfare and court staff are relieved of certain administrative duties so they can concentrate on more critical tasks
- Attorneys, judges, guardians ad litem, court-appointed special advocates, and other court staff have centralized access to information
- Eases the administrative burden on families and children who are subject to proceedings
- Increased timeliness of actions to protect vulnerable children
The toolkit is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/data-sharing-courts-child-welfare.
We highlight how electronic health-care records can help identify quality preventive health measures for children in foster care and an article stressing the importance of taking a broad-scale approach to understanding the needs of children in foster care.
- Shifting the Focus of Foster Care Research From Problems to Needs
Research on children in foster care has tended to focus overwhelmingly on their problems rather than their needs, according to a recent literature review. The authors point out that when needs have been studied, there has been an emphasis on psychological needs and related mental health issues—often to the exclusion of additional areas of need. The authors contend that future research should address the comprehensive needs of children in foster care and in doing so initiate a broad-scale shift in focus from problems to needs.
The authors advocate more research on physical and developmental health needs in particular. While research has focused on how children in care often have more complex medical issues than their peers, it has focused more on medical problems and diseases as opposed to children's potential needs for specialized interventions in this area. The authors call for more research on developing the identity and autonomy of children in foster care, including their need to develop self-esteem, coping skills, and self-regulation. They also advocate regular screening and assessments to determine the need for interventions.
The review points out that while many studies are based on instruments that measure problems, there should be a tool for measuring the needs of children in foster care as well as the satisfaction of those needs.
"The Needs of Foster Children and How to Satisfy Them: A Systematic Review of the Literature, by Anne Steenbakkers, Steffie Van Der Steen, and Hans Grietens (Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 21), is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797187/pdf/10567_2017_Article_246.pdf (768 KB).
- Study Eyes Use of Electronic Health Records to Test Preventive Measures for Kids in Foster Care
While children in foster care generally have greater physical, developmental, and psychological needs than their peers, preventive health measures for these children are largely untested. A recent study in BMC Pediatrics describes a study on the feasibility of using electronic health records to determine appropriate preventive health guidelines for the youngest children in foster care, ages 0-3, and for adolescents, ages 12-18. These two age groups were chosen because of the range of well-care measures available for testing in both age cohorts. The study was designed to gauge the feasibility of gathering the data needed for calculating such health-care measures from electronic health records (EHR) or statewide automated child welfare information systems (SACWIS). Prospective measures of health-care quality included well-child visits, vaccinations, and the developmental screening of young children and adolescents in foster care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care served as a guideline for determining which measures to assess. Researchers reviewed the medical charts of children and adolescents from Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, OH, and corresponding SACWIS data from surrounding Franklin County. Criteria for inclusion included a requirement that the patient had been in foster care in Franklin County with at least one comprehensive well-care visit at a primary care or foster care specialty clinic at NCH. SACWIS data were matched with EHRs from NCH using social security numbers.
The study was conducted as part of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Pediatric Quality Measures Program and focused on the following three points of time in child welfare management: entry into foster care, ongoing foster care, and a foster home change or exit. The study authors acknowledge that missing data proved to be a challenge, particularly with regard to foster care entry and exit dates.
The study concluded that it is not feasible to rely on independent data from either EHRs or a SACWIS to determine quality preventive measures for children in foster care. The authors explain that most of the proposed quality measures that were tested did not achieve "high adherence," as recommended under current guidelines, and note that it is not possible to say whether the missing data points explain the shortcoming. The authors conclude, however, that matching these two data sources at an individual level may provide the necessary complement of data to assess the quality of health care.
"Health Care Quality Measures for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care: Feasibility Testing in Electronic Records, by Katherine J. Deans, Peter C. Minneci, Kristine M. Nacion, Karen Leonhart, Jennifer N. Cooper, Sarah Hudson Scholle, and Kelly J. Kelleher (BMC Pediatrics, 2018), is available at https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12887-018-1064-4?site=bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com (347 KB).
This section of CBX offers publications, articles, reports, toolkits, and other resources that provide either evidence-based strategies or other concrete help to child welfare and related professionals.
- Choosing the Right Solution: Finding, Adapting, or Designing an Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families
Choosing the Right Solution: Finding, Adapting, or Designing an Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families
Written by the Children's Bureau's Capacity Building Center for States.
In a variety of situations—whether developing a statewide strategic plan to strengthen families, implementing a new provision of the Family First Prevention Services Act, or launching a local improvement initiative—child welfare agencies face decisions about how best to address their needs and improve outcomes. Selecting an effective solution is key to success.
The Center's forthcoming brief, Change and Implementation in Practice: Intervention Selection and Design/Adaptation, describes how agencies can thoughtfully select and adapt or design an intervention (any well-defined practice, policy, or program that is clearly described, operationalized, and distinguishable) to achieve desired outcomes and meet specific needs. Key ideas from that brief are highlighted below.
Exploring Possible Interventions
Selecting an appropriate intervention can be challenging. Most agencies will seek interventions that have already been proven effective for a similar situation and population. However, an "off-the-shelf" evidence-supported intervention is not always available. Further, a promising intervention used elsewhere may not fit the agency's context, population served, or capacity.
To select the best possible intervention, agencies should first consider the root cause(s) of their identified problem, target population(s) affected by the problem, theory of change for addressing the problem, and desired outcomes.
Familiar sources for finding potential interventions include online directories on evidence-based practices (EBPs) in child welfare and related fields and related literature. Agencies can also contact technical assistance providers, program developers, and other child welfare agencies and tap into the knowledge of their staff, systems, and community members.
When researching possible interventions, the agency should consider asking the following questions to help zero in on the most appropriate solution:
- Does the intervention clearly address our identified problem and align with our theory of change?
- Is there evidence that the intervention will work for our specific target population?
- Is the intervention well-defined and usable or transferable? In other words, is there enough information and guidance for us to understand it, implement it, and observe it? A well-defined intervention should have clearly designated core components—the essential building blocks and related activities that are believed to lead to positive outcomes.
- Is the intervention a good fit? Is it compatible with our agency? (Does it align with our values, priorities, and service delivery structure?) Is it compatible with the community we serve? (Is it relevant for our target population's culture and preferences, age, setting, risk factors, etc.?)
- Is the intervention feasible for us to implement? Does our agency have the capacity, or could it build the capacity, to implement and sustain the intervention?
Deciding to Use or Adapt an Existing Intervention or Design a New One
Drawing on available research and consulting with key stakeholders, the agency then typically decides on one of three options:
- An existing intervention is appropriate for our needs, and we can replicate it with minor or no changes. In best-case scenarios, agencies will find an EBP or well-defined intervention that they should attempt to reproduce with few or no adjustments.
- An existing intervention can be appropriate, if we further define or adapt it to better fit agency and community needs. When adapting an intervention, agencies should make every effort to preserve the intervention's core components. Major changes can increase the risk that the adapted intervention will not achieve desired outcomes. Where possible, adapting an established intervention should occur in partnership with program developers or researchers so the underlying theory is not weakened.
- No existing interventions are appropriate for our needs, so we need to design a new one. Developing a new intervention can produce a customized solution, though it can take significant time and resources. When designing a new intervention, agencies don't need to start from a blank slate, since existing, research-based intervention components or known practices often can be innovatively combined into a coherent intervention strategy.
While it may be tempting to rush to a solution, taking time to research and think critically about available options will help put agencies on the right path.
For more information on selecting, adapting, and designing an intervention and other change and implementation topics, visit the Change and Implementation in Practice webpage.
This section of CBX provides a quick list of interesting resources, such as websites, videos, journals, funding or scholarship opportunities, or other materials that can be used in the field or with families.
- Five for Families Campaign Aims to Build Family Strengths, Awareness
A Wisconsin child abuse prevention campaign, Five for Families, aims to educate families on the protective resources they have in their community to help keep their children and themselves safe. The goal is to increase statewide knowledge of the Protective Factors Framework, a strengths-based approach to promoting child and family well-being and preventing maltreatment.
The campaign makes the protective factors more easily accessible to parents, caregivers, neighbors, and community members by using everyday language to help families build on their existing strengths in five key areas that correspond to the protective factors:
- Helping kids understand feelings (building social-emotional competence in young children)
- Parenting as children grow (knowledge of parenting and child development)
- Connecting with others (constructive and supportive social connections)
- Building inner strength (parental resilience)
- Knowing how to find help (concrete supports)
The website features a page on each of these areas, including videos of parents who share how the five strengths have benefited their families and how their extended family, friends, neighbors, and the broader community play an important role in building those strengths. The website addresses topics such as why strength matters in families, friendships, and communities. It also explores all five strengths in detail and provides examples of each.
The Five for Families campaign is a universal prevention strategy of the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, which receives funding from the Federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention program. Visit the website at https://fiveforfamilies.org.
- Reentry Starts Here: A Guide for Youth in Long-Term Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Programs
Youth who are involved in foster care are at greater risk of getting involved with the juvenile justice system. Youth placed in group homes are more than twice as likely to become involved in the justice system, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP) within the U.S. Department of Justice estimates there are more than 48,043 youth in placement at a juvenile corrections facility on any given day. It is important to prepare this vulnerable population for reentry into the community, and OJJDP developed a toolkit for youth to help them get ready. Child welfare and juvenile justice professionals and others can provide this resource to youth.
Reentry Starts Here: A Guide for Youth in Long-Term Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Programs is divided into two parts: preparing for reentry and returning to the community. It outlines actionable steps for youth to take to prepare, such as finding a mentor, making a list of contacts, and planning for school and work. It also includes a quick pocket guide youth can use to jump-start their reentry planning process.
The guide is available at www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/251193.pdf (793 KB).
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.
- Evidence-Building Strategies in Child Welfare
The Children's Bureau produced a new course to help train child welfare professionals in evidence-building strategies. The course is intended to demonstrate the importance of rigorous evaluations of the programs and interventions serving families and children involved in child welfare.
The course, which can be taken as a standalone online course or as an online component integrated into a classroom setting, features interactive, self-paced learning modules; experiential learning activities; video-based teaching scenarios; pre- and posttests; knowledge checks; a navigation guide and instructor manual; and recommended resources.
The course is offered free of charge for university professors, instructors, and child welfare training academy staff.
For more information, or to take the course, visit the CapLEARN site at https://learn.childwelfare.gov.
Upcoming conferences and events on child welfare and adoption include the following:
- 6th Annual Safe & Together Conference
Safe & Together Institute
October 1-5, San Antonio, TX
- 2018 ZERO TO THREE Annual Conference
ZERO TO THREE
October 3-5, Denver, CO
- The 30th ATTACh Conference 2018
The Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh)
October 4-6, Virginia Beach, VA
- 2018 American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Annual Education and Training Conference
American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
October 13-17, Monterey, CA
- 2018 Connecting for Children's Justice Conference
Tennessee Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers
October 14-16, Murfreesboro, TN
- JuST 2018 Conference
Shared Hope International
October 16-18, San Diego, CA
- 2018 Conference on Innovations in Family Engagement
University of Denver Colorado
October 16-19, Vail, CO
- 2018 Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health 29th Annual Conference
National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
November 1-3, Houston, TX
- AFCC 13th Symposium on Child Custody Guidelines and Standards and Rules, Oh My!
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
November 8-10, Denver, CO
- Council on Social Work Education 64th Annual Program Meeting
Council on Social Work Education
November 8-11, Orlando, FL
- APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo
American Public Health Association (APHA)
November 10-14, San Diego, CA
- 2018 Mandated Reporter Training
November 13, Grand Rapids, MI
- 4th Annual CQI Community Conference: In Pursuit of Quality: Building a Dynamic CQI Culture
Illinois CQI Community Group and the Foster Care Utilization Review Program of the Children and Family Research Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work
November 28-29, Champaign, IL
- 1st ISPCAN Caribbean Regional Conference
International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (IPSCAN)
December 2-5, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- 6th Annual Safe & Together Conference