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March 2024Vol. 25, No. 2Spotlight on Diversity and Racial Equity in Child Welfare

This issue of CBX spotlights resources centered on diversity and racial equity in child welfare. Read a message from Associate Commissioner Aysha E. Schomburg about the Children’s Bureau’s 2024 Race Equity Challenge, an opportunity for us to journey together towards transformative systemic change rooted in equity. This issue also includes the latest resources and tools for child welfare professionals and the families they serve.

Issue Spotlight

  • Finding Our Way, A Message From the Associate Commissioner

    Finding Our Way, A Message From the Associate Commissioner

    Cowritten by Associate Commissioner Aysha E. Schomburg, Arleen Rodriguez, and Tabitha Temple

    In the fabric of the child welfare system, lies a tapestry of racial injustice and inequity. It's a thread that has plagued generations and marked the system with an extensive history of disparate outcomes for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous children and families. Within this story there lies a struggle, maybe the better word is a journey—a journey towards racial equity that is both exhausting and transformative. One marked by the structural challenge that the system is truly functioning as it was intended yet illuminated by the determination and resilience of individuals like you and me who consistently seek and work arduously for change.

    To do the best we can for the families we serve, it is critical to confront the reality of historical injustices and hold the tension of this painful history with the hope of the opportunity in front of us. We all know how disproportionality and disparities were born, but when we set our goals, is it on the front burner or the back? It is not always easy to hold that tension and often we find ourselves yielding to the colonizer lens. When we do that, we continue to uphold the caste system and perpetuate the inaccurate stories of historically marginalized and silenced communities. 

    The journey is not a linear path but rather a continuous struggle marked by progress, setbacks, and resilience. The journey requires a collective commitment and intentional decision to challenge our own bias, examine our decisions, and practice continuous self-reflection. I am excited to share that in honor of Black History Month and in alignment with the President’s Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government, the Children’s’ Bureau kicked off the 2024 Race Equity Challenge.

    The challenge allows us to create a collective space. We will begin with the Road to Equity prompting us to identify our goals for participating in the challenge. It sets the stage for a transformative experience. We then delve into Building on Protective Factors and how we can attune ourselves to their expression among diverse communities. Next along the journey is Understanding Disproportionality in Child Welfare. This crucial discussion dives into the intersection of bias and disproportionality. Our next stop will be Culture in Child Welfare as we acknowledge the vital role that culture plays as a protective factor. Our final stop, Shared Trauma, Collective Resilience, and Healing, is where we will acknowledge the importance of resilience and how we can heal as a community. 

    I hope you will participate in this challenge, share your experience, and that some part of the way you approach your work will be transformed.

  • Americans' Views of U.S. Foster Care: Elevating Black Americans' Perspectives and Experiences

    Americans' Views of U.S. Foster Care: Elevating Black Americans' Perspectives and Experiences

    The EMBRACE Project (Expanding Meaningful Black Relationships and Creating Equity) is a multiyear, research-driven initiative that aims to not only understand but enhance the long-term health and success of Black youth in foster care. Gallup and Kidsave, an organization dedicated to establishing mentoring connections and adoptive families for older children, collaborated as part of the EMBRACE Project to conduct a study on how the American public, with a specific focus on Black Americans, perceives the foster care system and adoption from foster care. This study, Americans' Views of U.S. Foster Care: Elevating Black Americans' Perspectives and Experiences, aims to identify and understand the barriers to mentoring, fostering, and adopting, particularly for Black potential caregivers.

    By prioritizing the perspectives and experiences of Black Americans, the study tries to pinpoint the significant obstacles that deter involvement with the foster care system. The goal is to leverage these insights to dismantle systemic barriers and encourage greater engagement with fostering and adoption, specifically within the Black community. The study explored three areas: knowledge and perceptions of U.S. foster care, significant barriers to providing care, and encouraging fostering and adoption.

    Trends among Black Americans who participated in the study included four key takeaways:

    • Black Americans report knowing more about foster care and adoption from foster care than Americans of other racial and ethnic backgrounds and are more likely to have participated in a program with children in foster care.
    • Black Americans report lower levels of confidence in specific areas of the U.S. foster care system. For example, they are more likely to agree that the foster care system could do more to keep biological families together and less likely to agree that the foster care system supports children in need of care regardless of the child's racial or ethnic background.
    • The amount of money required to provide foster care is a significant barrier.
    • Twenty-five percent of Black Americans say racial and ethnic discrimination is a major barrier to becoming a foster parent.

    The study's results are intended to address a critical need: increasing the number of foster and adoptive parents available for children in need of care. Findings in this report highlight pathways to connect youth in foster care to families that can meet their needs and provide culturally responsive care. The findings also can inform targeted interventions, fostering positive changes within the system. The report authors suggest that education about available resources and requirements as well as increased mentoring opportunities are possible ways to address the barriers respondents cited.

    View the report and press release for more information. 

  • The Health and Well-Being of Amer­i­can Indi­an and Alas­ka Native Children: A History of Inequity and a Path Forward

    The Health and Well-Being of Amer­i­can Indi­an and Alas­ka Native Children: A History of Inequity and a Path Forward

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation published a blog post that examines the health and well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth. AI/AN children, youth, and families have disproportionally poor experiences in health and well-being compared to the general population due to the legacy of historical trauma and discriminatory policies. This post separates equity challenges for this demographic into four categories: economic, education, health and mental health, and family and community. By examining relevant data, the post aims to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges these individuals encounter and identify potential areas for focused interventions and improvements.

    Below are some highlights from the selection of findings on family and community inequities:

    • More than one-third of AI/AN children have had at least two adverse childhood experiences compared to 17 percent of the national average.
    • Forty-three percent of AI/AN youth transitioning out of foster care reported experiencing homelessness, which is higher than the national rate of 29 percent.
    • In 2021, AI/AN children were 2 percent of the foster care population. AI/AN children make up 1 percent of the general population.

    The article also offers forward-looking recommendations for change. These recommendations serve as actionable steps to address the identified inequities and enhance the well-being of AI/AN children and youth. Grounded in practical solutions, the recommendations encourage those involved at all levels of child welfare to consider tangible measures to drive positive outcomes for this demographic that are rooted in culturally tailored and relevant strategies and respectful of the sovereignty of tribal nations. Recommended actions to strengthen the well-being of AI/AN children, youth, and families include the following:

    • Recognize and support culture as a protective factor in program and policy solutions.
    • Strengthen coordination across federal agencies and departments to streamline services and improve equitable access.
    • Continue to promote current efforts to address discrimination and prevent children from entering the child welfare system.

    The post lists resources highlighting recommendations from AI/AN community members and providing additional context, such as the following:

    Readers can explore these resources to discover studies and data that contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the issues.

    Read "Native American Children’s Health and Well-Being: Current Status, Enduring Inequities and a Path Forward" to find child welfare-specific data, recommendations for the future, and links to additional resources.

  • Toolkit for Applying Racial Equity and Sustainability Practices in Family Stabilization Efforts

    Toolkit for Applying Racial Equity and Sustainability Practices in Family Stabilization Efforts

    Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with Lutheran Services of America, launched the Family Stabilization Initiative and developed a sustainability toolkit. Advancing Equitable Outcomes in Child Welfare: A Toolkit for Sustainability is a practical resource for organizations seeking to integrate racial equity and sustainability principles into their implementation of evidence-based or evidence-informed programs. This toolkit is specifically designed for decision-making staff within human service organizations.

    The toolkit is a comprehensive guide, offering key components centered on equity-focused sustainability. Its applicability extends to a broad spectrum of professionals, including agency and program leaders, developers, practitioners, caseworkers, and clinical staff. By focusing on race equity programming, the toolkit addresses a critical need for organizations aiming to foster inclusivity and equitable outcomes within their communities.

    Key features of the toolkit include guidelines for creating a learning collaborative, wraparound service delivery model options, and examples of diversity in partnership. It also provides practical guidance for those seeking to enhance or initiate race equity programming within their specific organizational context.

    Advancing Equitable Outcomes in Child Welfare: A Toolkit for Sustainability is an actionable guide for decision-makers and practitioners to effectively incorporate race equity principles into evidence-based programs, ultimately contributing to the sustainability and positive impact of family stabilization initiatives. Organizations looking to enhance their commitment to racial equity in the context of family stability will find this toolkit a valuable and informative resource.

  • Children's Bureau Announces the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership

    Children's Bureau Announces the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership

    Written by the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership

    Families Rising was awarded $25 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families to lead the Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership (CWEL). The center will be the place for equity in the child welfare workforce.

    CWEL will provide site-specific technical assistance in 10 sites to help jurisdictions diversify the workforce and improve recruitment, retention, and well-being. Race equity and leadership advancement are at the heart of this work. 

    The center believes what is best for children is also best for the workforce. Children in care are more likely to trust and feel comfortable with professionals who reflect their identities. This is why preparing the workforce to meet children’s needs is paramount. 

    To this end, the CWEL is challenging how White-dominant culture affects Black, Indigenous, and Latinx professionals in the workforce—this includes paternalism, implicit bias, microaggressions, and other practices that cause moral injury. 

    CWEL will implement the following key initiatives in jurisdictions to improve recruitment, retention, and well-being and address systemic disparities:

    • Provide leadership development for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx professionals.
    • Sponsor tribal relational leadership fellowships.
    • Teach coaching skills to current leaders. 
    • Create pathways to clinical supervision, equipping professionals with the necessary skills to support their staff.
    • Establish educational partnerships to pave the way for well-prepared child welfare staff. 
    • Create valuable tools, resources, and lessons learned for the workforce.

    The center will work in partnership with the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association and Public Research and Evaluation Services. This collaboration comes at a time when there have been high vacancy rates, staff turnover, and poor outcomes for children and families.

    Is your child welfare agency ready to transform to better meet the needs of your workforce? CWEL will begin identifying sites in the spring of 2024. Stay connected and learn more at cwel.org and by following the center on LinkedIn.

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News From the Children's Bureau

In this section, find the latest news, resources, and publications from the Administration for Children and Families, the Children's Bureau, and other offices within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as a listing of the latest additions to the Children's Bureau website.

Training & Technical Assistance Updates

This section features resources and updates from the Children's Bureau's technical assistance partners to support practices and systems that improve the lives of children and families.

Child Welfare Research

In this section, we highlight recent studies, literature reviews, and other research on child welfare topics.

  • The Impact of a Child's Physical Environment on Their Development and Well-Being

    The Impact of a Child's Physical Environment on Their Development and Well-Being

    Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child released a working paper exploring the impact of a child’s physical environment on their development and health. Place Matters: The Environment We Create Shapes the Foundations of Healthy Development examines how the many conditions in the places where children live, grow, play, and learn affect their development and biological systems—with impacts potentially leading into adulthood.

    The paper examines how a person’s various environments—built, natural, social, and systemic—interact and influence development and health. Published in March of 2023, the paper builds on the science presented in a prior working paper on how early childhood development is intertwined with lifelong health.

    In addition to presenting research on the relationship between a child's physical environment and development, the paper examines how public policy and systemic racism create inequitable access to opportunities. It presents strategies for reimagining and reshaping these environmental influences to make opportunities more accessible and equitable.

    The paper addresses the following topics and findings:

    • The conditions of a place can have positive or negative influences on child health and development.
    • Environmental exposure early in life can cause lasting changes in developing biological systems.
    • Racism influences multiple dimensions of the natural and built environments that affect the foundations of child development and lifelong well-being.
    • The timing of environmental experiences and exposures can influence both short- and long-term effects.
    • Individuals respond differently to the physical environment, but there are clear patterns of risk that can inform universal action.

    The authors also present implications for new directions in policy, with a focus on the following:

    • Strengthening community assets that support healthy development
    • Preventing, reducing, or mitigating environmental conditions that threaten human well-being
    • Understanding how both assets and threats are built into the body, beginning prenatally and in the early childhood period

    Access the paper on the Center on the Developing Child website.

    Related item: In the Training and Conferences section of this issue, we highlight the related recorded webinar “Understanding Racism’s Impact on Child Development: Working Toward Fairness of Place in the United States.”

  • The Benefits of Protective Community Resources for Black Children and Youth

    The Benefits of Protective Community Resources for Black Children and Youth

    Protective community resources (PCRs) are community-level characteristics, conditions, or assets that buffer the effects of risk on children and youth. A recent brief from Child Trends explores research from the past 10 years on PCRs for Black children and youth.

    “Black Children and Youth Can Benefit From Focused Research on Protective Community Resources” analyzes research on PCRs and Black children and youth from 2012 to 2022, specifically from 143 studies. One major finding was the importance of community cohesion, peer support, school connectedness, community role models, and neighborhood amenities and services. Nearly two-thirds of the studies examined at least one of those elements, with the following findings:

    • Community cohesion, or close social relationships among members of a community, is associated with positive behavioral and mental health outcomes for Black children and youth who have been exposed to challenges like economic hardship, discrimination, and violence.
    • Positive peer support is associated with positive impacts on youths' physical and mental health as well as their attitude, behavior, and success related to school.
    • School connectedness, or positive school environments and connection with teachers and staff, is positively associated with educational goals and prosocial behavior.
    • Community role models and mentors can be protective resources for Black children and youth.
    • Neighborhood amenities and services, such as sidewalks, recreation centers, libraries, grocery stores, medical providers, and mental health providers, are associated with health and safety among Black children and youth.

    While the brief outlines and provides details about these findings, it also acknowledges that there are still substantial knowledge gaps related to PCRs for Black children and youth. The brief asserts that these gaps are due to the limited representation and engagement of Black children and youth in research and research studies. There are also gaps in research about Black youth who are members of the LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-Spirit, or other gender or sexual identity) community. In addition, much of the existing research is focused on urban populations and not rural populations.

    The gaps indicate potential direction for future studies on PCRs for Black children and youth. For example, research on key demographic areas (age, sexual and gender identity, ethnicity, employment status, and so on) within the larger population of Black children and youth can provide meaningful data.

    The brief is available on the Child Trends website.

Strategies and Tools for Practice

This section of CBX offers publications, articles, reports, toolkits, and other resources that provide evidence-based strategies or other concrete help to child welfare and related professionals.

  • FRIENDS Framework Details Elements of Culturally Effective Organizations

    FRIENDS Framework Details Elements of Culturally Effective Organizations

    Cultural humility among individual members of an organization is important for the equitable treatment of families. But organizations must also implement policies and practices that speak to an overall culturally responsive and equitable organizational culture. Family-serving organizations and agencies can work toward achieving a culture of equity and inclusion using the FRIENDS (Family Resource Information, Education, and Network Development Service) framework for culturally effective organizations.

    The framework originates from the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity at Brandeis University. It was originally developed for health care but can be adapted for many organizations and disciplines. It is a systems change effort that includes seven elements:

    1. Leadership
    2. Policies and procedures
    3. Data collection and analysis
    4. Community engagement
    5. Language and communication access
    6. Staff cultural responsiveness
    7. Workforce diversity and inclusion

    The FRIENDS website features an overview of each element and additional resources that users can apply to their efforts to strengthen families. According to FRIENDS, implementing changes in the seven elements and working to become a culturally effective organization can have the following benefits:

    • Improved engagement by program participants
    • Enhanced relationships between participants and practitioners
    • Improved outcomes for participants who have experienced historic disparities
    • Increased sustainability as a result of cost-effective and culturally relevant services

    For more information, visit the FRIENDS "Culturally Effective Organizations" webpage.

  • Supporting Positive Racial Identity Development Among Children in Diverse Adoptive Families

    Supporting Positive Racial Identity Development Among Children in Diverse Adoptive Families

    Children and youth from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds need support developing a positive racial, ethnic, and cultural identity—especially when they are adopted into a family that doesn't share their background. Adoptive families should be prepared to have difficult conversations about race, racism, and White privilege to better support their children.

    AdoptUSKids published a discussion guide in 2022 to support these efforts. The guide is designed to help parent group leaders facilitate discussions with adoptive parents, specifically White adoptive parents, of children of color. The topics addressed are meant to help White caregivers understand their role in supporting their child's racial identity development. The guide is divided into three parts: (1) the history and impact of systemic racism, (2) the reality of White privilege, and (3) racial identity work. It provides resources and tips to help facilitators discuss the following topics with their groups:

    • Setting expectations for emotional safety
    • Systemic racism in the United States
    • Defining identity
    • The impact of assumptions and implicit biases
    • The impact of language
    • Working to be culturally aware and open to learning more
    • Defining White privilege
    • Setting expectations for mutually agreed-upon norms for hard conversations
    • Critical responsibilities of those who parent children from different racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds
    • Racial identity and broader racial justice considerations
    • Navigating a sense of belonging
    • Showing your child your work to fight racism
    • Parental roles and responsibilities across the lifespan

    Within each topic, the guide provides information and resources for facilitators to share and questions to ask. It concludes with five full pages of resources about parenting in racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse families. The free guide, Supporting a Positive Racial Identity for Black, Indigenous, and Other Children of Color in Transracial Placements With White Parents, is available on the AdoptUSKids website.

  • Toolkit Provides Equity Improvement Strategies for Courts and Justice Systems

    Toolkit Provides Equity Improvement Strategies for Courts and Justice Systems

    The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) developed a toolkit designed to help juvenile and family court judges enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within court systems.

    DEIB principles are critical in a judicial context and can mitigate unconscious biases, increase understanding of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and improve public trust in the courts. In addition to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, the toolkit addresses the importance of implementing trauma-informed practices within the judicial system.

    The toolkit begins with background information to anchor DEIB efforts. This includes sections on the importance of understanding the impact of colorblind racism on court decision-making and the role of judicial leadership in transforming court systems. The toolkit then shifts to various action plans judicial leadership can implement, including the following:

    • Identifying and correcting microaggressions and cultural insensitivity
    • Ensuring safety, agency, and social support from the consumer’s perspective
    • Addressing pushback and resistance to DEIB efforts

    In addition, the toolkit provides guidance for promoting DEIB through mentoring and support, training and education, community engagement, court environment, judicial leadership and advocacy, data collection and analysis, policy and procedure review, and more.

    The toolkit was developed in 2022 and 2023, and the effort was led by an expert panel from NCJFCJ and featured partnerships with individuals with lived experience, judicial leaders, and experts on bias and trauma. Access Improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Through a Race Equity Lens: A Toolkit for Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the NCJFCJ website.

  • A Deeper Dive Into Diversity and Racial Equity in Child Welfare

    A Deeper Dive Into Diversity and Racial Equity in Child Welfare

    Written by the Capacity Building Center for States

    Addressing racial and ethnic disparities at child welfare agencies is vital because it supports equitable access to culturally responsive services and can improve experiences and outcomes for all children, young adults, and families. Doing so requires agencies to intentionally center equity while planning for change, implementing new programs and practices, and carrying out all ongoing agency work (Capacity Building Center for States, 2021).

    The information below can help agencies hold ongoing discussions about the importance of diversity and racial equity and begin to integrate diversity and racial equity into every aspect of child welfare policy and practice. Collaborating with community partners, implementing equitable and diverse family recruitment efforts, and focusing on inclusive language can move child welfare agencies toward improving racial equity and diversity in their jurisdictions.

    Work With Community Partners to Uplift the Voices of Diverse Groups

    It is crucial for child welfare agencies to work with community partners to uplift diverse voices and bring awareness of rights for all groups. Youth, young adults, and families who are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color; LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-Spirit, or other gender or sexual identity); experiencing homelessness; pregnant or parenting; or who identify with another group or background deserve to have a sense of belonging, normalcy, and chances to advocate for themselves. By working with community partners to provide more accessible resources, child welfare agencies will be able to better support communities, work to eliminate disparities in service delivery, and prevent unnecessary entry into the child welfare system. This type of collaboration can lead to additional benefits such as the following:

    • Integrated services offering a more cohesive approach that meets the individualized needs of diverse families
    • Increased knowledge of and access to available services and resources for diverse children and families

    Child welfare agencies can use the following strategies when working with community partners to integrate diversity and racial equity:

    • Increase a shared understanding of the needs of families who are overrepresented in child welfare, promoting improved communication and information sharing.
    • Develop training programs and initiatives focused on enhancing knowledge and educating staff about diversity and racial equity.
    • Practice inclusive decision-making that incorporates the voices and perspectives of young people and families in decision-making processes and infuse diversity and racial equity into all aspects of agency work.
    Recruit Diverse Foster Families

    Currently in child welfare, African American and Indigenous children are overrepresented in foster care and spend more time in care than White children (James Bell Associates, 2019). Because of this problem, child welfare agencies need to think about the barriers that are preventing permanent placements and stability for children and youth from overrepresented populations.

    One of these barriers is the recruitment of diverse foster parents and families, which is vital for providing children, youth, and young adults with stable, safe, and loving homes with families that share a similar cultural and racial background. Child welfare agencies can implement the following strategies to improve recruitment and retention efforts for diverse foster families:

    • Use positive messaging to recruit parents and counter negative perceptions about child welfare and being foster parents (Lisembee, 2022).
    • Tailor messaging and marketing materials to the diverse communities and cultures the agency serves (Lisembee, 2022). 
    • Collaborate with community partners to develop strong recruitment and retention efforts and improve permanency outcomes for diverse children, youth, and families (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d.).
    Focus on Inclusive Language

    Inclusive language means using language that doesn’t exclude anyone and makes everyone feel that they are welcome and valued. While working with diverse families and young people, it is critical for child welfare agencies to use language appropriately and avoid biases. Agency staff should avoid biased language, which includes “words or phrases that demean or marginalize people based on their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, class, disability, or any other aspect of their identity. Biased language may contain hidden messages based on outdated social norms and/or historical oppression, resulting in reinforced unconscious biases and stereotypes and furthered prejudice” (Carey and Hewitt, 2022, pp. 2–3).

    One key benefit of using inclusive language is the development of a common understanding about terminology, which can facilitate effective communication and intentional engagement with diverse families and young adults, agency staff, community members, and other partners.

    It is important for child welfare agencies to recognize that individuals and groups may have different perspectives on terms and preferences for how to refer to their own racial and ethnic backgrounds and identities. Some strategies and best practices that child welfare agencies can use to make language more inclusive include the following:

    • Use people-first language to speak in a way that centers the person rather than their condition, diagnosis, or ability level (e.g., “person with disabilities” instead of “disabled person”).
    • Use gender-neutral language (e.g., “firefighter” instead of “fireman”).
    • Be inclusive in your speech when talking with diverse children, young people, and families.
    • Keep learning about new words and ways to talk that include everyone.

    Take time to reflect on how your agency strives to ensure diversity and racial equity are integrated into all aspects of child welfare. By working with community partners, recruiting diverse foster families, and focusing on using inclusive language, agencies can advance racial equity and diversity to better serve all children, youth, young adults, and families.

     

    References

    Capacity Building Center for States. (2017). Building and sustaining collaborative community relationships. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/resources/building-sustaining-collaborative-relationships

    Capacity Building Center for States. (2021). Focusing on race equity throughout change and implementation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/resources/change-implementation-focusing-on-race-equity

    Capacity Building Center for States. (2023). Change and implementation in practice: Considerations for advancing racial equity through problem exploration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/resources/racial-equity-through-problem-exploration

    Carey, M. L., & Hewitt, A. A. (2022, April). Guide to inclusive language: Race and ethnicity. District of Columbia Office of Human Rights; District of Columbia Mayor’s Office of Racial Equity. https://ohr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ohr/page_content/attachments/OHR_ILG_RaceEthnicity_FINAL%20%281%29.pdf

    Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Recruiting and retaining families for children and youth in foster care. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/casework-practice/recruiting-and-retaining-families-children-and-youth-foster-care/

    James Bell Associates. (2019). Diligent recruitment of families for children in the foster care system: Challenges and recommendations for policy and practice. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cb/diligentrecruitmentreport.pdf

    Lisembee, M. (n.d.). Intentionality: It’s what foster parent recruitment and retention needs. Families Rising. https://nacac.org/resource/intentionality-its-what-foster-parent-recruitment-and-retention-needs/

Resources

In this section, we present interesting resources, such as websites, videos, journals, funding or scholarship opportunities, or other materials, that can be used in the field or with families.

  • Color-Brave Caregiver Framework

    Color-Brave Caregiver Framework

    Embrace Race, a community of parents, professionals, and other caring adults working together to address the racial challenges faced by today's youth, recently introduced its Color-Brave Caregiver Framework, a tool that provides caregivers with guidance essential to raising children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race.

    The framework is built upon four goals that can help caregivers raise children who are:

    • Resilient and joyful in their own skin
    • Inclusive and empathetic toward others
    • Critical thinkers about race and inequity
    • Racial justice advocates

    Each goal includes three key practices in which caregivers and children can collaboratively engage, and each practice has a dedicated action guide (12 total) with tips, information, and links to supplemental resources intended to promote thoughtful and brave conversations.

    A color-brave caregiver works as a committed guide, compassionate self-examiner, brave learner, and antiracist advocate who is committed to racial equity. To learn more about the Color-Brave Caregiver Framework, visit the EmbraceRace website.  

    Related item: CBX featured the EmbraceRace guide Addressing Structural Racism With Children in the October 2023 issue and the guide 16 Ways to Help Children Become Thoughtful, Informed, and BRAVE About Race in the July/August 2022 issue.

  • Resource Guide Supports Kin and Grandfamilies

    Resource Guide Supports Kin and Grandfamilies

    A new guide from the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network and USAging provides a variety of resources for service providers and the kinship and grandfamilies they support. The Kinship/Grandfamily Provider Resource Guide was created for use by professionals; however, kin and grandparent caregivers will also find much of its information helpful. Resources are provided for each of the following topical areas:

    • Increasing Public Awareness About Kinship/Grandfamilies
    • Engaging and Partnering With Kinship/Grandfamilies
    • Finding and/or Providing Supportive Services for Kinship/Grandfamilies
    • Supporting Kinship/Grandfamily Financial and Food Security
    • Building Evidence to Support Kinship/Grandfamilies

    The guide was developed for SupportCaregiving.org, a website created to support the dissemination and implementation of the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. Access the guide to learn more.

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.