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April 2002Vol. 3, No. 3Spotlight on National Child Abuse Prevention

Issue Spotlight

  • New Packet from Prevent Child Abuse America Aids Prevention Efforts

    New Packet from Prevent Child Abuse America Aids Prevention Efforts

    Spread the message about child abuse prevention during April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and all year with the newest packet from Prevent Child Abuse America. Target Stores funded its eye-catching 2002 packet, which features children's drawings and quotations.

    Designed in booklet form this year, the packet contains pages perforated for easy reproduction and a pocket for adding your own materials. The downloadable version contains the same content. A few pages can be used as posters or coloring sheets for kids. Written for the lay reader, the fact sheets contain:

    • Facts about child abuse
    • Information on how you can help prevent child abuse
    • Information on how to react to abuse in public places
    • Information on the costs of child abuse and neglect in the United States
    • Resource directory
    • Summary of how to make a difference in preventing child abuse

    The packet emphasizes how to aid in the prevention effort, with several pages devoted to knowing the warning signs of abuse and how to report it. Besides behavioral and physical changes in children, the signs of an abusive adult are outlined. For example, a parent or caretaker who is indifferent or insulting to the child, and who is isolated from other parents, may be cause for concern. Other ways to help include being a nurturing parent, reaching out to your neighbors, and taking part in prevention and community-strengthening projects. Parents are also urged to teach their children self-protection skills.

    In addition to the 2002 packet, Prevention Month materials from the last 2 years are also available. Call 1-800-CHILDREN to order a packet or download the materials at:

  • April 30 Designated as Day for Non-Violent Discipline

    April 30 Designated as Day for Non-Violent Discipline

    Parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers are asked to refrain from hitting children on April 30. The fifth annual SpankOut Day USA is sponsored by EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children), a program of the Center for Effective Discipline in Columbus, Ohio.

    EPOCH-USA advocates non-violent methods of discipline instead of corporal punishment. It states that corporal punishment is unsupported by research, sometimes leads to injury, alienates caregivers and children, and contributes to the cycle of physical violence by teaching that it is acceptable to hit people who are weaker and smaller. Alternative methods of discipline, such as distracting infants/toddlers from misbehavior, teaching a more appropriate behavior, and making reasonable consequences are suggested. "Catch your child being good" by praising and hugging is also proposed as a way to raise a well-behaved child.

    Using the theme "Raising Good Kids Without Hitting," EPOCH-USA offers various materials to help communities participate in SpankOut Day. It also provides grants to non-profit agencies to hold educational events on that date. Among the items EPOCH-USA offers are:

    • Event logos
    • Positive Discipline agreement for parents
    • SpankOut Day community proclamations
    • Faith community materials
    • Newsletter articles and press releases
    • Handbook of suggested events
    • Posters, stickers, magnets, T-shirts
    • Reproducible, copyright-free brochures in English and Spanish
    • Free public service announcement

    According to Nadine Block, Executive Director or EPOCH-USA, SpankOut Day is modeled after the "Great American Smokeout." "It is currently a national event but we have had much interest from a number of international organizations and plan to expand it beyond the U.S. next year," said Block. She anticipates approximately 100 events commemorating SpankOut Day 2002. Some examples from years past include an educational booth at Fort Jackson Army Base in South Carolina, translation of SpankOut Day materials into Russian for 200 immigrant families in Ohio, and a discipline mentor program for teen mothers in Wisconsin. Two positive discipline workshops in Ohio for client families of social service agencies featured "time-out totes" (containing a child's chair, a timer, and a booklet on effective use of time-out) and a kite-flying event which highlighted alternatives to spanking.

    Contact information:

    Nadine Block, Executive Director
    Center for Effective Discipline/EPOCH-USA
    155 W. Main St.
    Suite 1603
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone: (614) 221-8829
    Fax: (614) 221-2110

    Related Item

    Also see "Study Examines Spanking Among Minnesota Parents" (this issue of CBX)

  • Study Examines Spanking Among Minnesota Parents

    Study Examines Spanking Among Minnesota Parents

    Parents who stop physically punishing their children and employ alternative methods of discipline, such as nurturing and teaching, are rewarded with children who become less aggressive and violent. Those are the findings of a recently concluded 8-year study coordinated by the University of Minnesota's Extension Service in Goodhue County, in partnership with other agencies. Researchers followed 1,000 parents of children younger than 13 to learn about their attitudes toward spanking.

    "If you hit your children, it will be very difficult to teach them not to hit others because they have experienced it from the most important person in their lives," said retired University of Minnesota Extension Service sociologist, Ron Pitzer, who led the study. Running concurrently with the study, a public awareness and educational campaign called "Kids: Handle With Care," sent the message to Goodhue County residents that it is never okay to spank a child. The message was disseminated through newspaper articles, radio programs, restaurant table tent cards, grocery bags and carts, church programs, parade floats, and a county fair exhibit.

    The following results were reported among Goodhue County parents at the conclusion of the study:

    • The use of physical punishment dropped from 36 percent to 12 percent.
    • Parents who spanked their children reported a considerable increase in their children's aggressiveness.
    • Parents who reduced physical punishment reported their children were less aggressive.
    • Parents who attended classes were better at setting limits and enforcing consequences, and they were more calm and nurturing. Their children were more compliant, communicated more openly, had a better attitude, and were calmer.
    • Fathers matched or exceeded mothers in alternative, more positive discipline methods.

    The findings demonstrate that the county-wide educational effort was successful in helping parents make the decision to eliminate spanking, resulting in happier parents and happier children.

    For more information on the Goodhue County study, contact Kathleen Olson, University of MN Extension Service, 651-385-3100.

  • April 2002 is Child Abuse Prevention Month

    April 2002 is Child Abuse Prevention Month

    April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation since 1983. This year's theme, "Cherish Our Children—Strengthen America's Families," was chosen by the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

    The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information supports the Children's Bureau's observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month by hosting a Web page and disseminating packets of print materials, including a new four-color poster. The Web page and print packet offer an array of informative and helpful resources. Read articles about fathers' roles with children and families, faith communities' contributions to child welfare, and preventing maltreatment of children with disabilities. Find contact information for organizations that work to prevent child abuse and neglect. Follow the calendar of daily activities that you can do to help prevent child abuse and neglect. And find out how to nominate an effective or innovative prevention program as part of the Emerging Practices in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention project.

    You can visit the Clearinghouse's revised and updated "Prevention 2002" Web page, launched April 1 at: (Editor's note: this link is no longer available. The current Prevention Initiative website is To obtain a free print packet, call the Clearinghouse at 800-FYI-3366 or send an email request to

    Related Items

    "New Packet from Prevent Child Abuse America Aids Prevention Efforts" (this issue of CBX)

    Childhelp USA sponsored the fourth annual National Day of Hope on April 3. For more information about this special Prevention Month activity, visit (Editor's note: this link is no longer active.)

    On April 30, EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) will sponsor the fifth annual SpankOut Day USA. Read more about it in "April 30 Designated as Day for Non-Violent Discipline" in this issue of CBX.

  • Organizations Concerned with Child Maltreatment, Family Violence Lauded by Magazine

    Organizations Concerned with Child Maltreatment, Family Violence Lauded by Magazine

    In December 2001, Worth Magazine published a list of what it considers to be the best human services charities. Included in that list are four organizations of special interest to readers of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • Child Welfare League of America. Spends 88 cents of every dollar on programs (the other 12 cents divided among fund-raising, administration, and future reserves). Focuses on improving the lives of at-risk kids through abuse prevention, youth development, child care, adoption and foster care programs, and programs for pregnant and parenting teens.
    • Family Violence Prevention Fund. Spends 75 cents of every dollar on programs. Works to reduce physical and sexual abuse of women by their partners.
    • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Spends 79 cents of every dollar on programs. Serves battered women and their children. Provides cell phones to be used in crisis situations; provides cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dental work to victims.
    • Prevent Child Abuse America. Spends 57 cents of every dollar on programs. Works to prevent child abuse and neglect; encourages immunizations and well-baby checkups. Formerly known as the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

    This list in Worth magazine also provides annual revenue, telephone numbers, and Web addresses of these and many other organizations.

  • New Website Disseminates Information on National Child Abuse and Neglect Conferences

    New Website Disseminates Information on National Child Abuse and Neglect Conferences

    The Children's Bureau and its Office on Child Abuse and Neglect are pleased to announce that information about the 13th and 14th National Conferences on Child Abuse and Neglect is now available on the Internet.

    The site is hosted by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and can be accessed at conferences/cbconference/index.cfm. Visitors to the site can access plenary and presentation abstracts, order audiotapes of workshop and keynote presentations, read about the Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner's Award honorees, and view photos of the 13th National Conference.

    The website will be expanded to include information on the 14th National Conference, "Gateways to Prevention," to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, March 31-April 5, 2003. There will be links to Web pages containing the conference announcement, the Call for Abstracts, and registration information. For more information on the 14th National Conference, please call PaL-Tech at (703) 528-0435.

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News From the Children's Bureau

  • CAPTA Authorization Moves Through Congress

    CAPTA Authorization Moves Through Congress

    Even though CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act) expired on September 30, 2001, Congress appropriated funds for CAPTA-authorized programs for fiscal year 2002, with the understanding that reauthorizing legislation would be introduced this year. That action is now taking place in the House, with the Senate expected to follow. CAPTA was last reauthorized in 1996.

    CAPTA hearings were held on August 2 and October 17, 2001 in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Select Education. On March 5, 2002, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced H.R. 3839, the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act, which would reauthorize CAPTA for 5 more years through 2007. The bill also would reauthorize the Adoption Opportunities program, the Abandoned Infants Act, and the Family Violence Prevention and Treatment Act.

    The House Subcommittee voted on March 6 to approve H.R. 3839 with amendments requiring that:

    • Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators notify an individual who is a subject of a child abuse and neglect report.
    • Hospitals notify CPS of the birth of infants with fetal alcohol syndrome or with drug exposure in utero to develop a plan of services for mother and infant.

    CAPTA language also suggests that materials and services provided by CAPTA-funded agencies should be in an appropriate language other than English for those children and families whose English-speaking abilities are limited.

    The legislation authorizes $120 million for State CPS grants and research and demonstration grants (current funding level $48 million) and $80 million for prevention grants (current funding level $33 million). Other changes in the subcommittee-approved bill provide for improved training, recruitment, and retention of CPS staff. The bill:

    • Aims to reduce the number of false and malicious report of child maltreatment filed by improving public education about the CPS system and appropriate reporting of suspected child maltreatment
    • Promotes partnerships between CPS and private and community-based organizations to ensure that services are more effectively provided
    • Authorizes a Fourth National Incidence Study on child maltreatment and a study on the number of infants and young children abandoned each year
    • Expands adoption opportunities to allow services for infants and young children who are disabled or born with life-threatening conditions.

    On March 20, the full House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved the legislation with minor changes to the version submitted by the Subcommittee on Select Education. The provisions added in the House Committee's markup include funding to better meet the needs of substantiated victims of child maltreatment through collaborations among CPS, health, community-based, and other programs.

    It is expected that H.R. 3839 will go to the House floor in April under "suspension of the rules," a procedure which bars amendments and requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

    Visit the website of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for links to the bill summary, committee hearings, and press statements about H.R. 3839, Keeping Children and Families Safe Act at:

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express (

    • "CAPTA Update" (November/December 2001)
    • "HHS Assistant Secretary Testifies Before Congress on CAPTA" (July/August 2001)
  • Children's Bureau Awards Contract to Study Court Improvement Program

    Children's Bureau Awards Contract to Study Court Improvement Program

    The Children's Bureau awarded an 18-month contract to James Bell Associates to determine the feasibility of evaluating activities and strategies developed under the Court Improvement Program (CIP). Congress authorized CIP in 1993 with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and again in 1997 with the Adoption and Safe Families Act, based on the lack of resources and organizational capacity to meet Federal requirements by courts handling child protection cases. The Children's Bureau annually awards CIP grants to the highest court of each State to develop and implement performance-improvement strategies for State courts and their responsibilities under Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

    The main objectives of this contract are to:

    • Identify a set of national promising CIP activities and strategies
    • Determine if a full-scale evaluation would produce information of interest based on criteria applied to these activities and strategies
    • Identify CIP programs conducting these activities and strategies that are agreeable to a full-scale evaluation
    • Develop an evaluation design and plan for full-scale evaluations of selected CIP programs.

    The Children's Bureau created a technical work group to assist James Bell Associates. Together they will:

    • Review materials and consult court experts to identify promising CIP activities
    • Develop a classification system based on activities and strategies and their objectives
    • Establish criteria to select CIP activities for the research
    • Visit selected CIP programs for interviews and review of data systems
    • Analyze and synthesize information from site visits.

    Contract deliverables include an Evaluability Assessment Report based on site findings to guide a future national evaluation, and an Evaluation Design and Work Plan Report for programs to be included in a national evaluation and how the evaluations can address the Children's Bureau's research questions.

    For more information about the contract, contact:

    James Bell Associates
    2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1120
    Arlington, VA 22201

    Related Items

    Read an interview by Julee Newberger of Benton Foundation's Connect for Kids with Judge Ernestine Gray about her model juvenile and family court in New Orleans. (

    Search the archives of the Children's Bureau Express for other articles on court improvement at

  • National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice Convenes Meeting of State and Tr

    National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice Convenes Meeting of State and Tr

    Supporting States as they develop and implement program improvement plans (PIPs) was the focus of the second annual meeting of State and tribe child welfare officials held in Washington, DC, in January. Last year's meeting in New Orleans laid the groundwork by helping States prepare for the review. This year's meeting, again sponsored by the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice, brought together representatives from States and 30 federally recognized tribes to participate in discussions and sessions with staff from the Children's Bureau, seven national resource centers supporting States and tribes, and regional office staff from the Administration for Children and Families.

    Panel discussions centered on sharing lessons learned from the first year of reviews and the first set of PIPs that had been submitted by States after their reviews. Topics included:

    • Measuring improvement
    • PIPs, practice principles, and promising practices
    • PIPs and systemic change in State child welfare systems
    • Child and family services reviews and PIPs: tools and strategies to create systemic change.

    "State and tribal representatives who participated in these two meetings were very pleased to have the opportunity to learn from Federal staff as well as from each other about lessons learned about planning and implementing the statewide assessment and onsite review and preparing program improvement plans," said Elena Cohen, director of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice. "In addition, participants learned about the array of technical assistance that is available through the Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance Network."

    For more information, contact:

    National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice
    1150 Connecticut Ave., NW
    Suite 1100
    Washington, DC 20036
    Phone: 800-628-8442
    Fax: 202-628-3812

  • Child Welfare Outcomes 1999 Annual Report Released

    Child Welfare Outcomes 1999 Annual Report Released

    The Child Welfare Outcomes 1999: Annual Report is the second in a series of annual reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, prepared in accordance with section 203(a) of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997. The report presents data on how States perform with respect to a set of national child welfare outcomes. The outcomes, which reflect widely accepted performance objectives for child welfare practice, are the following:

    • Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect
    • Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care
    • Increase permanency for children in foster care
    • Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing re-entry
    • Reduce time in foster care to adoption
    • Increase placement stability
    • Reduce placements of young children in group homes or institutions.

    The series of annual reports on child welfare outcomes is central to the Department's comprehensive approach to attaining the goals of safety, permanency, and well-being for all children who come into contact with public child welfare systems.

    Highlights of the findings regarding States' performance include the following:

    • The rate of recurrence of child abuse and neglect varied extensively among States. While additional information is needed to interpret the meaning of the data, the variation may reflect actual differences in State policies or definitions of child maltreatment and the level of evidence required for substantiation.
    • Maltreatment of children in foster care by caretakers is infrequent, and there is little difference among States concerning these statistics. However, any incidence of maltreatment in foster care by caretakers or facility staff is unacceptable, and States should continue their efforts to reduce the occurrence of those events.
    • The vast majority of children who exited foster care in FY 1999 exited to permanent homes. Greater efforts are needed to find permanent homes for children who are older than 12 years when they enter foster care, as children in this group are more likely to "age out" and become emancipated rather than be placed in a permanent home.
    • States that are reunifying children within 12 months also have relatively high percentages of re-entries into foster care.
    • There was extensive variation among States with respect to the percentages of children exiting foster care to adoption who had been in foster care for 24 months or less.
    • Many States need greater efforts to minimize the number of placement settings experienced by children who are in foster care for more than 12 months.
    • Most States have a low incidence of placement of young children in group homes or institutions.

    Ultimately, the annual reports are intended to assess State child welfare system performance on the child welfare outcomes over time. This type of analysis was not done for the current report because of the considerable improvements in the quality and quantity of data from 1998 to 1999. These improvements made it impossible to determine whether observed changes from 1998 to 1999 are the result of changes in data quality or changes in performance. As data quality improves and stabilizes, future Child Welfare Outcomes Annual Reports will address State performance on the outcome measures over time. Upcoming reports also will incorporate key information from the Child and Family Services Reviews about State child welfare system functioning and the broader context in which child welfare systems operate. Capturing this additional information will lead to a more meaningful interpretation and understanding of States' performance on the outcome measures.

    To obtain a copy of the report, contact:

    National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
    330 C Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20447
    Phone: 800-394-3366 or 703-385-7565

    The report is also available through the Children's Bureau website at

  • News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: Continuing Education Available

    News From the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: Continuing Education Available

    The Children's Institute International (CII) Online Training Center at is a resource for child welfare professionals who wish to earn continuing education credits or participate in self-study. Children's Institute International is a private, nonprofit organization that provides child abuse prevention and treatment services, as well as professional training, research, and advocacy. The CII Online Training Center is sponsored by the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute (FVSAI).

    The CII Online Training Center offers courses in the areas of Child Abuse, Child Development, Child Welfare, Families, Family Violence, Diversity, and Staff Development. Psychologists, therapists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and registered nurses can choose a course or purchase credits, enroll, and log-in to view the course on their computers. Online participation enables professionals to earn continuing education credits at their convenience. Participants can take a break in the middle of a lecture and log-in again when ready to continue. The CII Online Training Center tracks viewing time and records it in the Completion Certificate.

    Participants can receive Contact Hours, Home Study Continuing Education Units or Self-Study/Distant Learning Credit in compliance with the California Board of Behavior Science, the State Bar of California and the California Board of Registered Nursing. CE Credit is pending with several other boards and associations.

    The website offers complete course listings and descriptions, as well as preview videos. Courses are presented through audio and video files, as well as text (PDF) files. The site includes a Tech Support area that provides frequently asked questions and information about system requirements and browser configuration.

    For more information, contact:

    Children's Institute International
    Online Training Center
    711 South New Hampshire Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90005
    Phone: 213-807-1947

Child Welfare Research

  • America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2001 Report Released

    America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2001 Report Released

    The fifth annual report America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2001 finds significant gains in key indicators of the well-being of America's children such as a declining child poverty rate and record-low number of adolescent births. The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, which includes 20 Federal agencies, compiled the report that updates information from last year. In order to provide more comprehensive and consistent information on the condition and progress of America's children, Forum agencies are working to close data gaps, particularly gaps related to children with disabilities, the role of fathers in children's lives, and the measurement of positive behaviors associated with improved child development.

    Other highlights of the report include the following:

    • The percentage of children living in households with at least one parent employed full time rose
    • More children had health insurance
    • Adolescent death rate reached an all-time low
    • The percentage of 10th and 12th grade students who smoke decreased.

    The report also includes two special features regarding asthma and employment while in school, and a new indicator on advanced academic courses that provide further insight into the well-being of the nation's children:

    • Asthma—the percentage of children diagnosed with asthma is increasing; possible causes could be the result of better diagnosis, changes in environment, air quality, and access to preventive health care among other factors
    • Employment while in school—the report finds that having a job while in school is more prevalent among older high school students, and it is common among younger students as well
    • Advanced courses—the report finds many students are taking advanced courses in areas including math (40 percent), science (60 percent), English (20 percent), and foreign languages (13 percent).

    The website has the report in HTML and PDF formats at

  • Supreme Court Decision Will Impact Civil Confinement of Sex Offenders

    Supreme Court Decision Will Impact Civil Confinement of Sex Offenders

    The U.S. Supreme Court's January 22nd ruling in Kansas v. Crane will make it harder for States to keep sex offenders in civil confinement after they've served their sentence. The Court's decision will have an unknown impact on the child welfare field according to Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law. Davidson did point out, however, that the ruling "is not opening doors to loose sexual offenders on the streets."

    In order to impose civil confinement, States will have to show that the offenders have a mental illness that causes a lack of control over their own behavior. The January 22nd ruling builds upon a prior decision by the high court in Kansas v. Hendricks. Both rulings upheld the constitutionality of the "Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act."

    A general dearth of research clouds the potential impact of the law. Examination of how often prosecutors seek civil confinement, the percentage of cases affecting children, and the extent of collaboration between prosecutors and mental health professionals will help guide implementation of these laws.

    States with laws similar to Kansas include Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.

    The ruling can be found as a PDF file on the Supreme Court's website at Kansas v. Crane ( (This link is no longer available. To obtain opinions, use the resource provided by the U.S. Supreme Court at

    Related Item

    See the following related article in the May/June 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "High Court Upholds Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators in Washington State"
  • Transition Programs in Indian Country

    Transition Programs in Indian Country

    A new report provides insights into independent living services provided to youth in American Indian communities.

    Transition Programs in Indian Country, by Casey Family Programs and the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), looks at how child welfare agencies in Indian Country assist American Indian youth to leave foster care and transition to their adult lives. Directors, or designated representatives, of 86 Indian Child Welfare agencies were interviewed over the phone between December 2000 and May 2001. They represented 67 tribal child welfare agencies, eight Alaskan Native village child welfare agencies, and 11 off-reservation urban Indian programs. The report presents the following key findings and recommendations:

    • Basic transition services are likely missing from most programs; directors would like to add services such as life skills, social skills, mentoring, and subsidized transitional housing.
    • There is interest in potential funding through the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the Chafee Independence Program. To accomplish this, agencies must first be contacted by State officials, which is required by the Act.
    • Tribal programs, off-reservation urban programs, and Alaskan Native programs consistently offer cultural awareness services, a service often found lacking in mainstream programs.

    Highlights of policy, research, and practice recommendations include:


    • Shift mainstream child welfare practice from policies and legislation based on "independent living" concepts toward policies congruent with American Indian standards to connect, or reconnect, foster care youth with supportive families and communities
    • Enforce compliance by State and Federal agencies with the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 requirements by facilitating consultations with each tribe in a given State
    • Continue services to young adults based on need and developmental level instead of age, which could mean extending foster care beyond age 21.


    • Investigate model transition service programs in Indian Country identifying how cultural activities support transitions, and what service systems work best for American Indian youth


    • Note the importance of cultural awareness services and rites of passage programs in transition policy and practices
    • Respect and support cultural services provided by tribes and urban Indian programs
    • Recognize and engage tribes as sovereign and independent nations, and be culturally sensitive to the methods tribal representatives use to conduct business.

    In addition, the National Resource Center on Youth Development is conducting a tribal youth project. For more information, contact Gay Munsell at 918-660-3700.

    View or download the complete report in PDF format at

    Related Item

    Read "Five Reports on Indian Child Welfare Released" in the July/August 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.

  • Friends of the Children Offers Long-Term Mentoring to Troubled Kids

    Friends of the Children Offers Long-Term Mentoring to Troubled Kids

    A Portland, Oregon-based organization takes the long view when it comes to prevention and asks its employees to do likewise. Friends of the Children aims to provide an antidote to instability in children's lives by pairing them with a mentor who commits to staying on the job for 12 years—long enough to see their charge through school.

    The philosophy of Friends of the Children is that what many troubled children need is a stable, enduring, caring relationship with an adult. Friends of the Children has a staff of paid, professional mentors ("Friends") who are assigned to spend around 4 hours per week with each child to which they are assigned. First grade teachers identify children most at risk for participation in the program. Mentors are expected to establish relationships with these children, and maintain them for at least 12 years. Parents and guardians must agree to the long-term commitment.

    Friends of the Children was founded in 1993 in Portland, Oregon by a businessman named Duncan Campbell. It began with 3 Friends serving 24 children in northeast Portland. As of January 2002, the program has employed 88 Friends, serving more than 700 children in 11 cities. Additional locations include Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Cincinnati, and Seattle. The organization broadens its impact by expanding to two new cities every year.

    By focusing on prevention rather than rehabilitation, Friends of the Children achieves positive outcomes at much lower costs. The National Center for Juvenile Justice estimates that the total cost of rehabilitating one youth can average between $1.7 and $2.3 million, while the total cost for one child in Friends for 12 years is $84,000 ($7,000 per year). An independent evaluation of behavioral and emotional indicators indicates steady improvements in self-esteem, communication skills, and impulsive behaviors. Teacher evaluations have also shown stability in classroom behavior and academic progress.

    "Given the vulnerability of the population, and the focus on prevention, we can conclude that, while it's too early to say that kids are improving, we can definitely state that we are keeping them from getting worse," writes Steve Berman, MSW, MBA, LCSW, and program manager for Portland Friends of the Children, in the Fall 2001 issue of Focal Point.

    For an in-depth view of why Friends of the Children works, read Berman's article online at: FocalPointFA01/pgFPfa01Friends.shtml

    Contact information:

    Friends of the Children
    44 NE Morris St.
    Portland, OR 97212
    Toll Free: 877-493-2707
    Local: 503-281-6633
    Fax: 503-281-6819

    Related Items

    Download a new research brief from Child Trends, which finds that mentoring programs can significantly improve outcomes for kids, but only if relationships between mentor and mentee are long-term and intensive and if programs are well-structured (

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "Mentors Share Homes, Teach Life Skills to At-Risk Families" (September/October 2001)
    • "Mentoring Program Targets Foster Care Children" (September/October 2001)
    • "Study Examines a Successful Independent Living Program for High Risk Youth" (May/June 2001)
  • Study Explores Impact of Alcoholism on Father-Infant Interactions

    Study Explores Impact of Alcoholism on Father-Infant Interactions

    An ongoing study at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions is shedding light on the impact of paternal alcoholism on parent-infant interactions. Previous studies with older children of alcoholics found chaotic home environments, often characterized by negative parenting behaviors. This study examines negative interactions as early as infancy with a goal of targeting affected families for early parenting interventions.

    In the study, 204 families with 12-month-old infants were recruited. The families were classified in one of two groups: a control group with no or few current alcohol problems, and a father alcoholic/alcohol-abusing group. Within the father alcoholic group, the majority of mothers (82 percent) were light drinkers or abstainers, and 18 percent were heavy drinkers or had current alcohol problems.

    The families were asked to participate in observed interactions with their infants at four different ages (12, 18, 24, and 36 months) with three visits at each age. The 12- and 18-month visits focused on parent-infant interactions and attachment, while the 24- and 36-month visits focused on parenting and toddler self-regulation. Interactions during these visits were videotaped and rated. The investigators focused on three areas of parental behavior during interactions: negative affect, positive affect, and sensitivity.

    Results of this study have indicated that alcoholic fathers displayed lower sensitivity, lower positive affect, and higher negative affect in their interactions with their infants than did nonalcoholic fathers. Not surprisingly, risk factors associated with paternal alcoholism, such as fathers' aggression, antisocial behavior, and depression, were linked with decreased paternal sensitivity.

    The parenting behavior of women married to alcoholic men did not differ from the parenting behavior of women married to non-alcoholic men. As in previous studies, there was a correlation between maternal depression and alcoholism and lower levels of sensitivity when interacting with her child.

    Overall, the infants of alcoholic fathers were less responsive to their fathers than were children of nonalcoholic fathers. Results of the study suggest that maladjustment among children of alcoholic fathers can manifest itself as early as 12 months of age. Depression and alcohol problems were associated with decreased sensitivity among both mothers and fathers.

    Contact information:

    Rina Das Eiden, Ph.D.
    1021 Main Street
    Buffalo, NY 14203
    Phone: 716-887-3350

  • LONGSCAN Examines Fatherhood

    LONGSCAN Examines Fatherhood

    The Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) ( is a consortium of research studies made up of five satellite sites and a coordinating center at the University of North Carolina. The studies operate under common by-laws and procedures, but each site is conducting its own unique research on the causes and impacts of child maltreatment. The goal of LONGSCAN is to follow the children and their families until the children are young adults, conducting assessments regularly and collecting maltreatment data from multiple sources.

    Three LONGSCAN studies, released in November 2001, examined various impacts of fathers or father figures in the family environment.

    The first, "The Effect of Fathers on Child Behavioral Problems in Families Referred to Child Protective Services," was conducted by the State of Washington Office of Children's Administration Research. It examined some possible effects of the presence and quality of interaction between children and fathers/father figures—defined by the mother as either a primary father in the child's life regardless of biological or nonbiological relationship, or an adult male identified by the mother as residing in the home—on children's behavior in families reported to child protective services. The findings indicated lower levels of aggression and depression in children at age 6 if an adult male in a father-like relationship was present in the child's life.

    The second, "Are Father Surrogates a Risk Factor for Child Maltreatment?" found that children who had a father surrogate living at home were twice as likely to be reported for maltreatment than children with no father or a biological father in the home. Conducted by the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, the study also found that when a surrogate father maltreats a child, the mother is the one substantiated for neglect because she failed to protect her child.

    The third study, "Father Involvement and Children's Functioning at Age 6 Years: A Multisite Study," examined:

    • Whether the presence of a father figure, defined as a supportive male adult, was associated with better child functioning
    • Whether children's perceptions of father figures' support were associated with better functioning
    • Whether the association was affected by the father figures' relationship to the child, the child's race, and the child's gender.

    The multisite study, conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, UNC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, San Diego State University, UNC at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health, the Office of Children's Administration Research, Seattle, and the Juvenile Protection Association, Chicago, found that a father's presence was associated with better cognitive development and increased perceived competence by the children. In addition, children who described greater father support had a greater sense of social competence and fewer depressive signs. There were no significant influences on the father figures' level of support and children's functioning based on the relationship to the child, child's race, and the child's gender.

    Contact information:

    Lynn Martin, MS (Coordinator)
    LONGSCAN Coordinating Center
    Center for Child and Family Health
    3518 Westgate Dr., Suite 100
    Durham, NC 27707
    Phone: 919-419-3474
    Fax: 919-419-9353

  • Role of Teachers in Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

    Role of Teachers in Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

    What is expected of teachers in regard to reporting suspected child abuse and neglect? It's a common question with complex answers. A recent article on the Child Welfare League of America website offers some insight.

    The article, When Should Teachers Report Abuse? (, provides educators with definitions of child abuse and neglect, along with examples and guidelines for reporting.

    Written by Nancy Duncan, MSW, a California child abuse investigator, the article outlines what key information a reporter should have when reporting suspected abuse or neglect. This includes the child's full name, date of birth, home address and telephone number, details of the suspected abuse, and information about the alleged perpetrator.

    Duncan also warns against asking leading questions or inserting information, as this may taint the investigation. Finally, she outlines what reporters can expect from the resulting investigation—for themselves, the child, and the family.

  • U.S. More Vigilant of International Adoptions

    U.S. More Vigilant of International Adoptions

    It's estimated that U.S. families adopt four of every five children placed through intercountry adoption and in 2001, U.S. families adopted 18,537 foreign-born children. The high cost of these adoptions, averaging between $15,000 and $25,000, and the one to three years it takes to complete the process have led to abuses in some countries.

    In response to growing concern about the adoption process in some countries, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) was enacted by the U.S. on October 6, 2000 to approve the provisions of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

    The Hague Convention sets minimum standards and procedures for adoptions between implementing countries in order to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children, to ensure proper consent to the adoption, and to establish the child's status in the receiving country.

    The Department of State, the lead agency in the United States, is expected to publish Hague Convention regulations in the Federal Register in 2002. The State Department will collaborate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to ensure that Hague adoptions comply with applicable U.S. immigration laws.

    Because not all countries have ratified the Hague convention, other steps are being taken to discourage questionable adoption practices in all intercountry adoptions. Recently, INS announced the immediate suspension of the processing of adoption petitions in Cambodia and a review of the adoption process in Vietnam. In Guatemala, an international report finding widespread abuses prompted the U.S. and Canadian embassies to require DNA testing of birth mothers and children to confirm their biological relationship.

    Visit the State Department's International Adoption website for more information on international adoption issues and information about adoption in specific countries (

    Related Items

    Visit the International Adoption Web page on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website ( for additional information.

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "U.S. Studies Adoptions in Romania" (November/December 2001)
    • "Website Publishes Feedback on Draft Intercountry Adoption Standards" (November/December 2001)
    • "Federal Legislation Enacted on International Adoption" (November 2000)
  • Researchers Find Biological Link Between Child Abuse and Increased Likelihood of Later Substance Abu

    Researchers Find Biological Link Between Child Abuse and Increased Likelihood of Later Substance Abu

    Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts have found a biological explanation as to why abused children are more likely to become substance abusers later in life.

    The study focused on a region of the brain called the cerebellar vermis. Repeated sexual abuse was found to affect the blood flow to this region, thereby causing damage. The cerebellar vermis has an important role in people's emotional state, and it is also strongly affected by alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs. "Damage to this area of the brain may cause an individual to be particularly irritable, and to seek external means, such as drugs or alcohol, to quell this irritability," according to Carl Anderson, Ph.D., who was involved in the study.

    Anderson and his colleagues measured resting brain blood flow in the cerebellar vermis of 32 participants, ages 18 to 22. In the 15 subjects that had a history of childhood abuse, the researchers measured lower blood flows. As reported in the January 2002 edition of Psychoneuroendrocrinology, researchers used information from this and another study of 537 drug-abusing college students to conclude that childhood abuse impairs the development of the cerebellar vermis; a function of which is to control the level of an individual's irritability. Such an individual is then more likely to use drugs to compensate for this lack of control.

    Related Items

    See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express (

    • "Abused Children Susceptible to Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Problems as Adults" (January/February 2001)
    • "Guidance for Treating Substance Abusers Affected by Child Abuse and Neglect Issues" (April 2000)
  • Two California Counties Use Results-Based Accountability to Keep Children Safe

    Two California Counties Use Results-Based Accountability to Keep Children Safe

    Santa Cruz County and San Mateo County in California are using a relatively new approach to measure and direct their efforts in keeping children safe, and posting their processes and results online. Their efforts are based on the "results-based accountability" model of Mark Friedman, director of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute (

    Friedman's Results-Based Accountability Model

    The progression of thought in Friedman's model starts by asking "What do we want?" followed by "How will we recognize it?" and ending with "What will it take to get there?"

    The model states that what we want—the results—are desired conditions of well-being for the population (children, adults, families or communities), stated in plain language.

    Next, experience and data (indicators) are used to recognize the results. Data quantifies the results, indicating to what extent the results exist, and provides baselines, which are used to measure progress and provide a simple management tool that incorporates data-based decision making throughout the process. Finally, the story becomes clear and the question "What will it take to get there?" can be answered.

    Santa Cruz

    In Santa Cruz County one over-arching community goal, or desired result, was identified: Keeping children safe in their families and communities. The resulting program, Investing in Children and Families—What Works! ( -- Editor's note: this link is no longer available) is a multi-year effort that builds on existing public/private partnerships.

    There are 12 key indicators for children's safety identified in Santa Cruz County:

    • Rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect
    • Rate of out-of-home placement due to child abuse or neglect
    • Rate of supervised in-home placement due to child abuse or neglect
    • Rate of hospitalization due to unintentional injury
    • Rate of hospitalization due to intentional injury
    • Rate of child deaths by cause (injury/homicide/suicide)
    • Rate of child victims of crime
    • Rate of domestic violence with child witnesses
    • Percentage of children in supervised after school activities
    • Suspensions/expulsions for violent behavior in school
    • Rate of juvenile felony arrests
    • Percent of teens using drug or alcohol at least once a week.

    Publications and projects available on the website provide the story behind the trends for several indicators, risk and protective factors, partners, as well as strategies, services, and activities that are effective. The project action plan links programs with community goals.

    San Mateo

    San Mateo County took a slightly different approach, identifying six goals in their Children in Our Community: A Report on Their Health and Well-Being( The six goals are intended to ensure that children are:

    • Safe
    • Healthy
    • Nurtured in a stable, caring environment
    • Succeeding in school
    • Out of trouble
    • Supported by systems.

    For each of these goals, San Mateo County identified a set of indicators to quantify their progress and they identified areas where better/additional data was needed to understand how the community was supporting the children.

    The indicators compared the most recent data with historical county data, State data, and, in some cases, national data. Data will be updated regularly as a means of measuring improvement.

    The experience of Santa Cruz and San Mateo illustrate how the results-based accountability approach simplifies performance measurement and ensures that the measure of success includes results, not just the amount of effort.

  • Casey Family Services Releases White Paper on Post-Adoption Services

    Casey Family Services Releases White Paper on Post-Adoption Services

    What post-adoption services should be in place for families? A new white paper from Casey Family Services, "Strengthening Families and Communities: An Approach to Post-Adoption Services," has some recommendations: adoption subsidies for children with special needs; easy access to government-funded mental health services; and technology-enabled support systems for adoptive families.

    The Casey document makes these and other recommendations on policies and practices that can help adoptive families maintain stability and permanency. The paper reflects proceedings at a Casey-hosted conference on post-adoption services that took place in December 2000. Participants included State child welfare officials, adoption program managers, judges, State legislators and representatives from court improvement projects, child advocacy organizations, private agency associations, and adoptive parent organizations.

    The paper offers the following perspectives on shaping policies to ensure successful adoptions:

    • Services and supports should be available to all adoptive families regardless of type of adoption
    • A network of services and supports ranging from prevention and early intervention services to in-home or residential treatment services should be available in communities
    • Services and supports should be available as needed by adoptive families at various times throughout a child's development.
    • States should track the entry and re-entry to foster care of children adopted via the public child welfare system and other non-public agencies.
    • Adoptive parents and adopted youth and young adults should be engaged in the design and delivery of post-adoption services.

    Casey Family Services also suggests that public and private welfare agencies collaborate to educate the public about adoption-related issues and the benefits of post-adoption services.

    For a copy of the white paper, contact:

    Sarah Greenblatt
    Executive Director of the Casey Center for Effective Child Welfare Practice
    Casey Family Services
    One Corporate Drive, Suite 515
    Shelton, CT 06484
    Phone: 203-929-3837 or 888-799-KIDS

    Related Item

    See the following related article from the November/December 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

    • "New Study Looks at Success Rates of Adoptions of Children from Foster Care"

Strategies and Tools for Practice

  • New Family Reunification Assessment Tool Now Available

    New Family Reunification Assessment Tool Now Available

    In trying to safely reunite children with their families, child welfare agency administrators often ask the following:

    • What are the significant factors involved in planning for reunification?
    • Is there a research-based tool that can predict successful or failed reunifications?
    • Is training available for reunification workers?

    These issues are addressed in the National Family Preservation Network's (NFPN's) reunification assessment tool and training. For the past 2 years NFPN, in collaboration with Dr. Ray Kirk from the University of North Carolina, has been developing and field-testing a reunification assessment tool, the NCFAS-R. The tool is based on Dr. Kirk's earlier development of a tool to assess family functioning in Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) settings. He found that tool to be effective in measuring family functioning, and improvement in family functioning, in turn, is statistically associated with placement prevention.

    To tailor the assessment process for reunification cases, Dr. Kirk added two new domains, caregiver/child ambivalence to reunification and readiness for reunification. Dr. Kirk's research report on the tool contains these findings:

    • Field-testing demonstrated reliability and validity of the tool
    • Child welfare workers responded positively to using the tool
    • The tool identifies both problem areas and family strengths and aids in developing a service plan
    • IFPS-based interventions are effective for reunification cases—70 percent of the families were successfully reunited
    • Successful or failed reunifications strongly relate to differences between intake and closure scores
    • The most dramatic shifts are improvements in family safety and child well-being

    The field-test results are supportive of the efficacy of the NCFAS-R and the use of IFPS-based interventions for reunification cases. Additional field-testing will be conducted through May, 2002. The research report on the tool may be viewed at NFPN's website (

    NFPN is offering a training package consisting of the tool, database software and guide, and training video and practitioner's guide. Consultation on use of the tool is also available. For more information, please contact Priscilla Martens, NFPN's Executive Director, via email at or by phone at 888-498-9047.

  • Unique Photography Exhibit in New Mexico Promotes Adoption and Foster Parenting

    Unique Photography Exhibit in New Mexico Promotes Adoption and Foster Parenting

    A creative approach to a standard process has resulted in national exposure, motivation, and inspiration. The Heart Gallery exhibit presents professional photographs that capture the character and essence of many children who are available for adoption in the State of New Mexico.

    Photographs of the children available for adoption were needed for a magazine produced by the State, and Ellie Ortiz, advertising and promotions director for the State of New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families department, thought the pictures should be in a gallery. A few phone calls and connections later produced the Heart Gallery exhibit, an exhibit that debuted last March in Santa Fe and has traveled throughout the State.

    The children were given the option to have their pictures used; approximately 45 percent of the children available for adoption were in the exhibit. Local and national photographers donated their time and talent to the project; film, processing, frames, and gallery space were also donated. Promotion and coverage of the exhibit ranged from a local television morning show and local newspapers to an Associated Press reporter picking up the story as well as being featured in Camera Arts magazine.

    The exhibit appeared in Albuquerque, Raton, Socorro, and Taos. The exhibit not only promoted adoptive and foster parenting, but it also led to inquiries regarding the next steps to be taken in the adoption process. More than 1,000 people attended the exhibit, resulting in 11 adoptions and 56 adoption inquiries; one of the photographed children is in the process of being adopted by her photographer. The exhibit has sparked the interest of organizations in Oklahoma and Rhode Island to have similar events, and the Santa Fe gallery owner wants to host exhibits at his galleries in Dallas and New York City.

    The children will be formally presented with their portraits prior to the unveiling of a new collection, titled Heart Gallery 2, which opens in Santa Fe this September.

    To view some of the children from the Heart Gallery exhibit, visit the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department website ( and click on the "special events" link.

    For more information about the Heart Gallery exhibit, contact:

    Ellie Ortiz, Advertising and Promotions Manager
    State of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department
    1031 Lamberton Place NE
    Albuquerque NM 87107
    Phone: 505-841-7919

  • New Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare Opens

    New Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare Opens

    The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has created the Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare. The Foundation made an $11 million dollar grant—implemented over the next 3 years—to the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to create the New York City-based center. The new center, managed by Susan Notkin, will be responsible for completing and evaluating the Foundation's Community Partnership for Protecting Children initiative.

    The initiative aims to determine the benefits of collaboration between community members and child protective service agencies in promoting child safety. The grant will be used to support State and local agencies leading partnership activities, to provide technical assistance to enhance partnerships' capacity, expertise, and skills, and to assist State and national organizations that encourage informed debate on community-based approaches to child protection.

    The grant to the CSSP will enable the continued implementation of the Community Partnerships initiative in the current four sites: St. Louis, Missouri; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition, the grant will allow for evaluation of the impact of this work, being conducted by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

    Visit the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation at for more information.


  • Reducing Child Maltreatment: A Guidebook for Parent Services

    Reducing Child Maltreatment: A Guidebook for Parent Services

    Lutzker, John R.; Bigelow, Kathryn M. Guilford Publications, Inc., New York, NY. 2002. 231pp. $30.00. Paperback.

    Based on 20 years of research and practice with over 1,500 families at risk for child physical abuse or neglect, the authors show how to help parents improve interactions with children, create safer home environments, and respond effectively to child health care needs. They present step-by-step instructions for assessing and teaching key parenting skills which are proven to prevent or reduce child maltreatment, and offer tips and resources for service providers. The guide contains more than 30 assessment forms and checklists, many of which are ready to photocopy and use, including:

    • Planned activities training checklists for playtime, mealtime, bathtime, getting dressed, and bedtime
    • An interaction skills checklist
    • A parent behavior checklist (parent version and counselor's version)
    • A health recording chart
    • Parent-Child Interaction Staff Training Quizzes and Answers.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Guilford Publications, Inc.
    72 Spring St.
    New York, NY 10012-9902
    Phone: 800-365-7006 or 212-431-9800
    Fax: 212-966-6708

  • Lifebooks Available for Foster Care and Adoption

    Lifebooks Available for Foster Care and Adoption

    Lifebooks are available to children, adoptive parents, social workers, and case workers to assist children in recording their personal histories as they go through the adoption or foster care process. Designed to be a constant in children's adoption or foster care experiences and starting from their birth, lifebooks help children understand their histories and new beginnings with photos, artwork, and other personal memories.

    My Foster Care Journey, written by Beth O'Malley, allows children to complete information such as their favorite foods, families they have lived with, schools they have attended, and more; it also has room for favorite pictures and signatures of friends. The lifebook provides simple definitions of birthparents, judges, and foster homes. A Spanish version is also available.

    Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, also by Beth O'Malley, provides parents with many ideas in creating their own lifebook for their child. It offers tips in dealing with roadblocks such as what information to discuss and when; lifebook "essentials" such as always starting from the child's birth, mentioning the birthparents, and reasons why the child was adopted; and the differences between lifebooks and scrapbooks.

    Foster Children's Life Books: A Caseworker's Handbook, by The Center for Child and Family Studies at the University of South Carolina's College of Social Work, provides caseworkers with strategies to create and maintain lifebooks. In some instances a caseworker may be the only constant in a child's life for a period of time, and can assist the child with his or her lifebook. There is a specific section on therapeutic uses of the lifebook and developing relationships, separation and grief, working with a grieving child, adjusting to a new family, getting at feelings, dealing with conflicts and crises, and building self-esteem.

    For more information on My Foster Care Journey and Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child contact:

    440 Revere Street
    Winthrop, MA 02152

    For more information on the Foster Children's Life Books: A Caseworker's Handbook lifebook, contact:

    The Center for Child and Family Studies
    College of Social Work
    University of South Carolina
    Columbia, SC 29208

  • Kinship Caregiver Programs

    Kinship Caregiver Programs

    According to analyses of the 1997 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), there are 1.8 million children in kinship care. Nearly three-fourths (1.3 million) of these children lived with relatives privately—without involvement of the child welfare system—while a half a million children were removed from their parents by a public welfare agency and placed in kinship care because of abuse and/or neglect. The study also found that 20 percent of children in kinship care live in precarious socioeconomic conditions and that despite their eligibility, relatively few children in kinship care receive benefits and services to which they are entitled.

    Kinship caregivers are getting more attention and numerous programs are working to offer support and services to children in kinship care and their families, but more remains to be done to reach those who need such services.

    In California, San Mateo County' (,,15584775_18137716_20770891,00.html) is offering relative caregivers a variety of services to assist them in raising the children in their care. The program offers parenting help, peer mentoring, support services, and youth services for elders raising their relatives' children.

    The Grandparent Caregiver Law Center, at the Brookdale Center on Aging in New York City, was created to address the financial and legal issues faced by grandparents who are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.

    The Grandparent Information Center (, part of the website for the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), provides grandparents raising grandchildren with a variety of information including fact sheets, a newsletter, legal referrals, and information and referrals to local support groups.

    For other examples of kinship care programs, search the documents database on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website (

    Related Items

    Visit the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( for the following related items:

    • Kinship Care factsheet (new title is Keeping the Family Tree Intact Through Kinship Care)
    • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Resources
  • Sex Abuse Trauma? Or Trauma From Other Sources?

    Sex Abuse Trauma? Or Trauma From Other Sources?

    Gardner, Richard A. Creative Therapeutics, Inc., Cresskill, NJ. 2002. 366 pp. $57.95. Paperback.

    Many sexually abused children have different reactions to the abuse they suffer and can exhibit anything from psychoses to almost no reaction at all. As with any problem related to abuse, other influences on the child, such as family troubles, can make identifying symptoms directly related to sexual abuse difficult. Choosing the appropriate treatment methods in this situation can be challenging. For evaluators working within the legal system, making the distinction between symptoms related to sexual abuse and those related to other sources is important, as the findings will help in determining legal damages, both compensatory and punitive. The author focuses on symptoms more commonly seen in sexual abuse and includes a literature review of current research, an overview of the assessment format, and details on scoring the protocol during the clinical evaluation. Various protocols include:

    • The Sexual Effects Group
    • The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Group
    • The Nonspecific Effects Group
    • The Projectives Group.

    To purchase a copy, contact:

    Creative Therapeutics, Inc.
    PO Box 522
    155 County Rd.
    Cresskill, NJ 07626-0522
    Phone: 800-544-6162 or 201-567-7295

  • New Health Care Coverage Guide for Kinship Caregivers

    New Health Care Coverage Guide for Kinship Caregivers

    Kinship caregivers face numerous obstacles in obtaining basic services for the children they are raising. Health care coverage, in particular, may be difficult to acquire due to numerous administrative barriers and a lack of awareness about what is available. Now, the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is offering two new publications meant to aid kinship caregivers in understanding and applying for Medicaid and the Federal Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

    Healthy Ties: Ensuring Health Coverage for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives is based on the CDF's 50-state survey of Medicaid and CHIP enrollment policies for children being raised by kinship caregivers. Healthy Ties presents "State Snapshots," which outline each State's policy for health insurance enrollment as well as barriers faced by kinship caregivers. It also offers suggestions on how State agencies and advocates can increase access to health insurance for children living with kinship caregivers.

    The companion brochure, Healthy Ties: The Grandparent's and Other Relative Caregiver's Guide to Health Insurance for Children, provides kinship caregivers answers to basic questions about enrolling children in Medicaid and CHIP. The brochure also lists helpful resources for kinship caregivers and State contacts for children's health programs.

    Healthy Ties: Ensuring Health Coverage for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives is available in PDF format at

    Healthy Ties: The Grandparent's and Other Relative Caregiver's Guide to Health Insurance for Children is available in PDF format at

    Copies of the publications can also be ordered by calling the Children's Defense Fund at 202-662-3568, by email at, or by writing to the Children's Defense Fund, Child Welfare and Mental Health Division, 25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

    Related Items

    • "Kinship Caregiver Programs" (April 2002 CBX)
    • "Generations United Announces 10 KinNET Grants for 2002-2003" (January 2002 CBX)

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.

  • Training Institute Launched by Prevent Child Abuse Virginia

    Training Institute Launched by Prevent Child Abuse Virginia

    Prevent Child Abuse Virginia has launched a Training Institute aimed at professionals, volunteers, and parents. All seminars take place at the Prevent Child Abuse Virginia offices in Richmond, but registrants from any State are welcome.

    The schedule from September 2000 through January 2001 includes sessions focused on conflict resolution, domestic violence, substance abuse, and ways to work with mentally challenged parents.

    Full-day seminars cost $85; half-day seminars cost $50. For more information and a complete list of seminars, contact:

    Linda Halstead
    Training Institute Director
    Prevent Child Abuse Virginia
    4901 Fitzhugh Ave.
    Suite 200
    Richmond, VA 23230
    Phone: 800-CHILDREN or 804-359-6166
    Fax: 804-359-5065