News From the Children's Bureau
- Resources for Strategic Planning for Child Welfare
Resources for Strategic Planning for Child Welfare
The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NCWRCOI) recently released a print guide and held two teleconferences on the topic of strategic planning for child welfare agencies. The guide offers a four-step blueprint for developing a strategic plan, State and Tribal examples, and seven attachments including everything from Federal requirements to a strategic planning process checklist. The teleconferences, held on February 12 and March 2, focused on the Title IV-B Five Year Child and Family Service Plan (CSFP). Best practices related to strategic planning and the integration of the CSFP with other agency plans were discussed.
The guide can be downloaded from the NCWRCOI website at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/rcpdfs/strat.plan.pdf. Teleconference transcripts can be ordered at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/tele_past.htm.
- Technical Assistance on New CAPTA Provisions
Technical Assistance on New CAPTA Provisions
Recent amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) affect the requirements that States must fulfill in order to receive a CAPTA State grant. The Children's Bureau and the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues have developed technical assistance information that deals specifically with two of the recent CAPTA changes.
These requirements state:
- Representatives of a child protective services (CPS) agency shall, at initial contact, advise a person under investigation for child abuse or neglect of the allegations against that person, and all such CPS representatives shall receive training about their legal duties.
- Any person appointed as a guardian ad litem to represent an abused or neglected child in a judicial hearing must receive appropriate training related to this role.
The information is available on the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/initiatives/capta/ (Editor's note: Link no longer available).
- Quality Improvement Center Initiative: Lessons Learned
Quality Improvement Center Initiative: Lessons Learned
In 2001, the Children's Bureau funded five Quality Improvement Centers (QICs) in adoption and child protective services. The goal of this pilot study is to promote a regional approach to the development of evidence-based knowledge about effective practices and to ensure dissemination of this information in a way that informs and alters practice at the direct service level. The Summer/Fall 2003 double issue of Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education focuses on findings from the Southern Regional QIC at the University of Kentucky, on the topic of enhancing the quality of supervision in child protective services social work. The lead article in that issue, "Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services and Adoption: Testing a Regionalized Approach to Building the Evidence Base - A Federal Perspective," summarizes the QIC project as a whole and shares lessons learned from the first 2 years.
During the first year of funding, the QICs were charged with establishing a regional advisory group, collecting data to identify a general area of interest, and selecting a specific research topic. Following this phase, four QICs received approval to move forward with their proposed projects. During years 2 through 4, these QICs are funding, monitoring, and evaluating research or demonstration projects. They will disseminate findings during year 5.
The Children's Bureau has funded a contract with James Bell Associates to conduct an external evaluation to examine the ways in which each QIC implements its mandate, the lessons it learns, and the successes it achieves in support of the overall Children's Bureau mission and goals for this project. Among the lessons learned thus far, the authors note:
- Establishing and maintaining QIC regional advisory groups may have lasting impact for the regions. The QICs report strong networks have been built among advisory group members, which have facilitated greater coordination and collaboration across State lines regarding common practice issues.
- The needs assessment process had the added benefit of being a good mechanism for gaining broad-based support for the QIC projects in their respective regions. QICs report the process of soliciting and gathering input gave participants a greater sense of buy-in for the concept and a sense of truly local responsiveness.
- Funded projects need much more technical assistance than previously anticipated, and start-up takes longer than anticipated.
- Leadership and vision are important to the success of the project. The QICs have benefited from strong leaders, project managers, and support from the parent organizations.
Although it is too soon to determine whether the QIC pilot will be successful, the authors suggest the first 2 years have shown significant promise for implementing this regional model for funding research and demonstration projects and building the evidence base for child protective services and adoption.
"Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services and Adoption: Testing a Regionalized Approach to Building the Evidence Base - A Federal Perspective" was written by Melissa Brodowski, Sally Flanzer, and Catherine Nolan of the Children's Bureau, and Elyse Kaye of James Bell Associates. Subscription information for the International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education and past issues can be accessed on the Temple University website at http://www.profdevjournal.org/index.html.
More information about the QIC project, including research topics and contact information for the four operating QICs, can be found in "QICs Define Regions, Topics of Focus" in the February 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express and on the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/assistance/quality-improvement-centers.
- HHS Assistant Secretary Addresses Questions About TANF, Child Welfare
HHS Assistant Secretary Addresses Questions About TANF, Child Welfare
Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, answered questions on the reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and other programs for low-income families during a Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) teleconference on February 6. Dr. Horn's interview set a new attendance record for the CLASP series, drawing more than 800 listeners in 200 locations, representing 43 States. Some highlights:
Dr. Horn began by saying he is "very optimistic" that TANF will be reauthorized this year. He expressed the President's desire that this reauthorization move the program to what he called "the next phase of welfare reform," reflecting three primary goals:
- Help people get out of poverty, not just off welfare caseloads
- Improve the overall well-being of children, not just increase income levels of parents
- Facilitate service integration at the State and local levels
Later in the teleconference, Dr. Horn was asked about the recent finding that some adolescents suffered negative educational outcomes when their parents returned from welfare to work. The Assistant Secretary replied that the President is very concerned about this finding and repeated that the "overarching purpose" of the TANF program ought to be to improve the well-being of children, not to increase the earnings of parents.
Dr. Horn also said the Administration embraces the principles of positive youth development, viewing adolescents as human beings with both assets and challenges rather than as a series of problems to be solved. He stressed that the research has shown kids do best when they are positively connected to their parents, their schools, and their communities. By building on their assets, he noted, we can empower youth to make good choices.
Toward the end of the conference, Dr. Horn responded to questions about the President's Child Welfare Program Option proposal. Dr. Horn said the Administration is very concerned about the recent child deaths and increasing child protective services (CPS) caseloads in States and wants to help by providing State and local CPS agencies with both increased resources and greater flexibility in how they spend those funds.
To create more resources for CPS agencies, the Administration has requested $1 billion more in funding for the Safe and Stable Families program, to provide family support, reunification, and post-adoption services. They have also proposed doubling funding under CAPTA. For flexibility, Dr. Horn cited the President's Child Welfare Program Option proposal, which would allow States to receive a capped Title IV-E entitlement that could be spent on services (such as wraparound, prevention, or post-adoption services) not currently allowed under the IV-E program (which now allows only for maintenance payments and administrative costs).
Dr. Horn also responded to questions about the President's Healthy Marriage initiative, child care funding, and changes to the Head Start program. For more information about the series or to request a tape of this audio conference, visit the CLASP website at www.claspstore.org/index.htm (Editor's note: Link no longer active).
For more on the President's Child Welfare Program Option proposal, see previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Flexible Funding Demonstration Projects Show Promise" (September 2003)
- "HHS Assistant Secretary Testifies Before Congress on the President's Child Welfare Proposal" (August 2003)
Child Welfare Research
- Celebrate National Professional Social Work Month
Celebrate National Professional Social Work Month
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has declared March to be National Social Work Month. The theme of this year’s campaign--"The Power of Social Work: Pass It On"--is intended to help the general public better understand the profession of social work, how it provides for individuals who need help, and how this process benefits everyone in society.
NASW has developed a toolkit to assist local chapters and other social work organizations with outreach efforts during National Social Work Month and all year long. Contents include:
- An Observance Calendar, to help local groups develop cooperative or co-sponsorship opportunities with other organizations.
- A Packaged Practice Area section, with templates for press releases, electronic press pitches, and letters to the editor for each of NASW's eight areas of specialty (including Children and Families).
- "Fill-in-the-blank" press materials specifically designed to emphasize local angles.
- 15- and 30-second public service announcements to distribute to local radio stations.
All materials can be accessed on the NASW website at http://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/swmonth/.
- Interstate Placement for Adoption
Interstate Placement for Adoption
Recent research indicates that the adoption of children across State lines takes, on average, 1 year longer than the adoption of a child in an in-State placement (4 years from removal to adoption vs. 3 years). A new analysis of data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) for fiscal year 2000 by Dr. Penelope Maza, senior policy research analyst for the Children's Bureau, suggests these delays occur prior to the child crossing State lines for placement. These and other findings regarding interstate placement were published in a recent edition of The Roundtable, a newsletter from the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption (http://www.nrcadoption.org/pdfs/roundtable/V17N2-2003.pdf - 740 KB).
In FY 2000, 6.3 percent of children waiting to be adopted, and 16 percent of children with finalized adoptions, were not living in their home States. The article notes many similarities between children placed out of State and those placed within their home States, including gender distribution, age at removal, and average number of removals. Differences between the groups (including race, age, placement type, and length of stay in care) also are discussed.
The author then reports in detail on the time between various critical events in adoption, to attempt to explain why children adopted out of State tend to achieve permanency later than those adopted in State. She found:
- The median time between removal from the birth family to termination of parental rights (TPR) for children placed out of State was 35 months, compared to 22 months for children placed in State.
- Median time from removal to the last placement setting was almost 2 years longer for children placed out of State than children placed in State (43 months vs. 20 months).
- On the other hand, median time from TPR to adoption was 2 months shorter for children placed out of State than for children placed in State (10 months vs. 12 months), and median time to adoption from last placement was also shorter for children with out-of-State placements (11 months vs. 16 months).
- Almost all children placed out of State for purposes of adoption (90 percent) were already freed for adoption, as opposed to 63 percent of children entering their final placement setting in State.
These findings led Dr. Maza to conclude that the delays in interstate placement occurred prior to the children's placement across State lines. Dr. Maza suggests that the delays are a result of a number of factors affecting out-of-State placements, including:
- The administrative burden (real or perceived) of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
- Beliefs about what constitutes "good practice" (e.g., interpretation of the "close proximity" provision in Federal law).
- Financing (e.g., the question of which State pays for what when children are placed across State lines).
- Miscommunication between States (e.g., lack of clarity about which types of home studies are needed and misunderstanding of each State's policies).
Dr. Maza concludes by noting that practices regarding out-of-State placement may need to be modified to facilitate more timely permanency for these children.
An article in the January/February 2004 issue of Child Welfare Journal, "Interjurisdictional Placement of Children in Foster Care," discusses practical challenges to interjurisdictional placements and proposes six areas of focus for policy and practice improvements:
- Heightened visibility of interjurisdictional adoptive placements
- Expanding and strengthening existing tools and resources to facilitate interjurisdictional placements
- Strengthening practice by developing new tools and resources
- Valuing collaboration
- Family-centered policy and practice
- Adequate financial support for interjurisdictional placements
Find ordering information and online abstracts for Child Welfare Journal on the Child Welfare League of America website at www.cwla.org.
For more information about interstate placement, read "Guidebook Encourages Social Workers to Pursue Adoptions Across State Lines" in the March/April 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Well-Being of Children in Foster Care
Well-Being of Children in Foster Care
Two recent surveys found that many children in foster care are more vulnerable to poor health and developmental outcomes than other children. This is due not only to the difficulties children in foster care face prior to removal from the home (e.g., abuse, neglect, parental substance abuse), but also to difficulties they face upon entering the system (e.g., separation from parents, adjustment to new caregivers, or multiple placements).
Child Trends analyzed data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) and the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) and reported findings in a brief, Children in Foster Homes: How Are They Faring? Results show:
- More than 50 percent of infants and toddlers in foster care are at high risk for neurological and cognitive development impairments.
- Nearly one-third of foster children under the age of 15 have a disability.
- Nearly half of foster children have behavioral or emotional problems.
Despite these problems, foster children also have a number of protective factors in their favor. For example:
- 95 percent have some form of health insurance.
- 90 percent of foster children under age 5 have received required immunizations.
- 76 percent of 11- to 14-year-olds report feeling close to their caregivers.
- 97 percent of 11- to 14-year-olds have an adult they can rely on for help with a serious problem.
The brief offers a number of implications for policy and practice, including the need to:
- Increase the economic resources of foster parents or recruit foster parents with higher income levels.
- Improve the coordination of health care across service providers.
- Design managed care systems that take into account the special needs of foster children.
- Offer more resources to foster parents and kinship caregivers, including training, child care, and respite care services.
A copy of this brief can be obtained from Child Trends at http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/FosterHomesRB.pdf (PDF - 384 KB). Additional information on NSCAW can be obtained at the Administration on Children and Families website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/research/project/national-survey-of-child-and-adolescent-well-being-nscaw-1. Additional information on NSAF can be found on the Urban Institute website at http://www.urban.org/center/anf/nsaf.cfm.
Find more information about NSCAW and NSAF in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need?" and "Children Cared for by Relatives: What Do We Know about Their Well-Being?" (October 2002)
- "New Study Looks at the Well-Being of Children in the Child Welfare System" (June 2002)
- "Surveys Give Snapshot of How Child Welfare Services Are Organized, Delivered" (February/March 2002)
Strategies and Tools for Practice
- Sibling Placement: Research to Practice
Sibling Placement: Research to Practice
Barriers within the child welfare system sometimes keep siblings apart when they enter foster care. However, the authors of "Siblings and Out-of-Home Placement: Best Practices" suggest these barriers can be identified and minimized. The article, which appears in the October-December 2003 issue of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, summarizes existing research on sibling relationships in families where children have been abused and neglected, discusses the conditions that sometimes lead to separation, and offers practical solutions to support maintaining sibling relationships during placement.
The authors suggest that the first step to removing barriers to sibling placement is for child welfare agencies to establish a policy that, absent a compelling reason, siblings should always be placed together when they enter foster care. The authors acknowledge that implementing such a policy may require a number of procedural changes (in how removal of children is undertaken and how reunification proceeds, for example).
A second step should be the active recruiting of foster and adoptive families that are willing to accept siblings. Knowing how to obtain waivers, such as when space or family size becomes an issue, can be essential.
Finally, the article offers a multidimensional assessment tool to assist caseworkers in evaluating the following issues in sibling cases:
- The sibling relationship
- Safety, including risk factors
- Benefits to children of keeping siblings together
- Benefits to children of separating siblings
- Children's wishes and expectations
- Available families
The full text of this article can be found on the Alliance for Children and Families website at www.alliance1.org/fis/.
More information about placement of siblings in foster care can be found in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "National Leadership Symposium on Siblings in Out-of-Home Care Presents Recommendations, Outlines Next Steps" (February 2003)
- "Article Highlights Foster Program That Keeps Siblings Together" (September/October 2001).
- Washington State Programs Address Permanency Outcomes
Washington State Programs Address Permanency Outcomes
Two recent reports from Washington State detail strategies to enhance permanency outcomes for children in foster care.
Improving Parents' Representation in Dependency Cases
The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) developed a pilot program in 2000 to provide better legal representation to parents by training their attorneys to communicate regularly and prepare properly, decrease court delays by reducing attorneys' caseloads, and increase the compensation of parents' attorneys to a level closer to the amount spent by the State on pursuing dependency and termination. The OPD implemented the program in both a rural and an urban setting, using funds appropriated by the State legislature to hire additional attorneys, social workers, and support staff and to increase access to other services.
A review of 144 cases found:
- There were significant reductions in the average number of days and the range of days from removal to shelter hearing for children once the pilot program began.
- The average number of days spent in foster care decreased while days spent in relative care increased from the pre-pilot to full-pilot samples.
- Cases of reunification increased from 36.8 percent for the pre-pilot sample to 56.4 percent for the full-pilot sample. Also, termination of parental rights decreased from 41.3 percent to 22.9 percent in the same respective samples.
- The pilot program significantly increased the likelihood of reunification as an outcome for families with a previous history with the court.
A technical assistance brief on the project, "Improving Parents' Representation in Dependency Cases: A Washington State Pilot Program Evaluation," can be accessed on the Permanency Planning for Children Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges website at http://www.opd.wa.gov/documents/0047-2003_PRP_Evaluation.pdf (961 KB).
Families for Kids Partnership
In 1998, Washington State's Families for Kids Partnership (FFKP) brought together a statewide coalition of more than 300 individuals from 90 organizations to develop a comprehensive 5-year plan to increase permanency for children in foster care. Participants included a broad range of stakeholders, including court representatives, public defenders, Tribes and Indian organizations, advocates, private agencies, foster and adoptive parents, CASA volunteers, and workers and administrators within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). The outcomes of this effort, along with next steps, are detailed in the recently published Washington Permanency Report: Families for Kids Partnership 1998-2003.
Efforts focused on six strategic areas:
- Expediting Permanence. Of the children reunified in FY 2002, 85 percent went home within 12 months, exceeding the Federal standard of 76.2 percent. Time from original placement to adoption decreased from 46 months in 1996 to 37 months in 2002.
- Kinship Families. Of all children in care longer than 60 days, 33 percent were placed with relatives in 2002 (up from 27 percent in 1997).
- Alternate (Non-kin) Permanent Families. For children who entered care for the first time in FY 2002, 82 percent had only 1 or 2 placements in their first year of care.
- Effective Practice with the Youngest Children. The average time from placement to adoption for infants was 32.8 months in 2002, compared to 43 months in 1996.
- Permanence for Adolescents. In 2002, there were 236 youth (ages 13 to 18) who were adopted or who gained guardians, up from just over 200 youth in 1998.
- Community Involvement. Community programs to enrich the lives of children in foster care now operate in at least 14 counties.
FFKP is funded through the Stuart Foundation, by the Children's Administration, Casey Family Programs, Children's Home Society of Washington, the Office of the Administrator of the Courts, and the Northwest Children's Fund. For more information about the partnership or copies of this report, visit their website at www.childrenshomesociety.org/2_familiesforkids.htm (Editor's note: Link no longer active).
- Resource Kits for Kinship Care and Children's Mental Health
Resource Kits for Kinship Care and Children's Mental Health
The Child Welfare and Mental Health Division of the Children's Defense Fund recently published two resource kits aimed at improving the health and safety of vulnerable children and their families.
The Kinship Care Resource Kit is designed to help community- and faith-based organizations support grandparents and other relatives raising children whose parents cannot or will not care for them. These kinship caregivers often face unique difficulties due to their age, income level, and barriers to obtaining services.
The Resource Kit offers basic information, strategies for providing support, and lists of resources that community- and faith-based groups can implement and share. Some of the "how to" strategies include:
- How one individual can help
- Starting a support group
- Ten ways to say "thank you" to kinship caregivers
- Setting up a respite care program
- Organizing activities for children in kinship care
- Offering parent education programs
- Identifying cash assistance programs
- Sharing resources for special needs
The Children's Mental Health Resource Kit is designed to help children's advocates promote access to mental health screens and assessments. The goal is to provide the 4 million youth who suffer from a major mental illness with early and regular assessments and access to treatment and support services. The Resource Kit provides a series of fact sheets on the issue as well as practical strategies for addressing the mental health needs of children at the community and State levels.
The Kinship Care Resource Kit can be downloaded at the Children's Defense Fund website at http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/kinship-care-organization-resource-kit.pdf (638 KB), or copies may be obtained by calling (202) 662-3568. Find the Children's Mental Health Resource Kit online at http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/childrens-mental-health-resource-kit.pdf (759 KB), or order copies by calling (202) 662-3575.
Generations United has posted an issue brief on their website (www.gu.org/projg&oresour.htm) (Editor's note: Link no longer active) that provides basic data about the numbers and economic circumstances of grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States. The KinNET program of Generations United is offering a video highlighting best practices in supporting grandparents and other kin who are raising children. The video is available by calling (202) 289-3979 (cost is $3 to cover shipping and handling).
- Child Trends' Guide to Effective Programs
Child Trends' Guide to Effective Programs
Child Trends has gathered its extensive knowledge of children's programs into a dynamic online Guide to Effective Programs for Children and Youth. The web-based chart provides instant answers about "what works" for a particular age group and desired outcome. Additional details about specific programs are just a click or two away.
For instance, an inquiry into what programs promote good physical health for children up to 6 years old leads to the chart's listing for home visiting services. Clicking on that listing takes the viewer to a new chart that names specific effective programs. In this case, the Nurse-Family Partnership is listed. Clicking on the program name takes the viewer to extensive information about the program, including evaluation results.
The outcome areas covered by this Guide are extensive and include education and cognitive development, social and emotional health, physical health, behavioral problems, and many more. The Guide's visual presentation emphasizes that different programs can contribute to children's development at different ages. The 75 programs evaluated range from prenatal programs to those aimed at young adults. They fall into nine general categories:
- Child care/early childhood education
- Clinic-based, provider-based, miscellaneous
- Community or media campaign
- Home visiting
- Parenting or family component
- Service or vocational learning
Child Trends' web-based Guide promises to offer fast information in a user-friendly format for professionals and policy makers. The Guide to Effective Programs for Children and Youth can be accessed on the Child Trends website at www.childtrends.org/lifecourse/index.htm (Editor's note. This link is no longer active, but visit http://www.childtrends.org/what-works/ to view Child Trends' What Works page.)
- Handbook for Child Welfare Practice
Handbook for Child Welfare Practice
The second edition of Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework Handbook was recently released. First published in 1992, the Handbook was created to serve as a desk reference of practical information for child protective services (CPS) caseworkers and supervisors. For this latest edition, chapter authors were selected for their expertise and direct service experience in CPS to provide the most up-to-date research and practice information. Topics addressed include:
- Community partners
- Intake and investigation
- Child development and developmental milestones
- Medical evaluation of abuse and neglect
- Legal framework
- Accountable practice
CPS workers and supervisors will find much practical information, including casework guidance and protocols, that can be used in their day-to-day practice. Chapters contain both instruction and examples; they offer sequences of steps that may be used in investigating or resolving a particular issue. In addition, supervisors and teachers may use the book to support training or teaching. A special emphasis in this edition was placed on culturally responsive practice.
Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework Handbook may be ordered from the American Humane website at http://www.americanhumane.org/children/professional-resources/special-resources/handbooks.html.
- Grants.gov Offers a Single Source for Information About Federal Grants
Grants.gov Offers a Single Source for Information About Federal Grants
Launched in late 2003, Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) is the one-stop shop for information on Federal grants. A total of 26 Federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Education, now post all grant announcements on Grants.gov.
Key features of the website include:
- Synopses of grant opportunities.
- Online grant applications (not currently available for all grants).
- A detailed search function to help grant seekers access all grants relevant to their area(s) of interest across multiple Federal agencies.
- Email alerts for new grant postings.
In addition, Grants.gov offers customer support services that include a tutorial, user guide, frequently asked questions, and email support. The Government hopes this site will save time for prospective applicants searching for grant opportunities and preparing applications. The online applications are easy to use and can be downloaded and completed offline, giving applicants greater flexibility.
Grants.gov was developed though a collaborative effort of 11 Federal agencies, led by the Department of Health and Human Services. A number of market research efforts, including in-depth stakeholder interviews and meetings, are being conducted to ensure that stakeholders have input into the site's development. Future phases will include grant reporting and closeout functions.
The 2004 Children's Bureau discretionary grant announcements will be published soon on Grants.gov and in the Federal Register. There will be several separate CB funding announcements this year, rather than one consolidated announcement. They may not all be released at the same time. If you have questions about the 2004 funding announcements, call the ACYF Operations Center at (866) 796-1591.
ACYF Grant Web (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/grantreview/) offers a searchable database of abstracts for grants funded by the Administration for Children, Youth and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Editor's note: The previous link is no longer active, but visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/ to view ACF funding opportunity announcements.) The site also contains information for individuals seeking to become grant reviewers. For more information, see "New Online Database of ACYF-Funded Programs" in the September 2003 issue and "Assistance for Prospective Grant Reviewers and Recipients" in the April 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
- Preventing Child Maltreatment, Youth Violence, and Domestic Violence
Preventing Child Maltreatment, Youth Violence, and Domestic Violence
The Journal of Interpersonal Violence confronts the co-occurrence of three types of family violence in its recent special edition, "Finding a Common Agenda for Preventing Child Maltreatment, Youth Violence, and Domestic Violence." The five articles in this volume grew out of a series of meetings among practitioners, policy makers, and researchers who examined the commonalities among these three types of violence and looked for ways to bridge research and prevention efforts.
- "Finding Common Ground in the Study of Child Maltreatment, Youth Violence, and Adult Domestic Violence" (D. Daro, J. L. Edleson, & H. Pinderhughes)
- "Advancing Prevention Research on Child Abuse, Youth Violence, and Domestic Violence: Emerging Strategies and Issues" (N. B. Guterman)
- "Building Community Capacity for Violence Prevention" (W. J. Sabol, C. J. Coulton, & J. E. Korbin)
- "Informal Social Support Interventions and Their Role in Violence Prevention: An Agenda for Future Evaluation" (S. Budde & P. Schene)
- "Engaging Community Residents to Prevent Violence" (L. K. Bowen, V. Gwiasda, & M. M. Brown)
In the Introduction, the editors set forth an overarching plan for studying child maltreatment, youth violence, and domestic violence by discussing common attributes and cross-cutting issues. They suggest that a growing interest in prevention offers unique opportunities for developing a prevention agenda that addresses all forms of family violence.
The Journal of Interpersonal Violence is available from its publisher, Sage Publications, at http://www.sagepub.com/journalsProdDesc.nav?prodId=Journal200855.
- Funding for "Social Entrepreneurs"
Funding for "Social Entrepreneurs"
The Draper Richards Foundation provides grants to social entrepreneurs starting new nonprofit organizations. Awards are $100,000 annually for 3 years and may address areas such as education, youth and families, the environment, arts, health, and community and economic development. Proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis.
Proposed projects must be:
- New nonprofit organizations
- Focused on social change
- Based in the United States
- National or international in scope
Because only four awards are made each year, funding is highly selective. Applicants should have strong management experience and demonstrate that the proposed project provides innovative methods to address social problems.
For more information, visit the Draper Richards Foundation website at http://www.drkfoundation.org/ or contact the foundation at:
Tel: (415) 616-4050
Fax: (415) 616-4060
- Strategies for Financing Child Welfare Activities in Tough Times
Strategies for Financing Child Welfare Activities in Tough Times
An article in the January/February 2004 issue of Children's Voice suggests ways child welfare agencies might cut expenses and increase revenues during difficult financial times. Along with helpful background information on how child welfare activities are funded through various Federal programs, the author provides the following suggestions:
- Stick to your budget. Put off unnecessary expenses, and hold staff, administrators, and the board accountable.
- Review strategic plans. Is what you proposed 3 years ago still possible? If not, change your plans to better reflect current economic conditions.
- Consider cutting programs. Across-the-board cuts can weaken an entire agency, so consider cutting programs that run a deficit. Focus on your core programs and strengthen those.
- Explore entrepreneurial options. Sell your services to other organizations. If you currently sell your services to a county government, consider additional options such as other counties, local governments, or local businesses. Also, consider developing a for-profit arm to fund your nonprofit activities.
- Focus on advocacy. Be a strong advocate on public policy issues that impact your organization. Let legislators know why it's important to fund the services you provide.
- Hold fundraising events in your community. Hold an event and get a local business to sponsor it.
- Get the board involved. This includes fundraising, donating, and offering financial advice.
- Tap into your alumni network. Former clients may be willing and able to contribute.
- Involve staff. Keep them informed of budget issues and help them see their role in meeting the bottom line.
A complete copy of the article can be found on the Child Welfare League of America website at www.cwla.org/articles/cv0401toughtimes.htm.
- Research Study: Spirituality in Youth Services
Research Study: Spirituality in Youth Services
The New England Network for Child, Youth and Family Services and the National Resource Center for Youth Development are conducting a national study to identify promising practices in spiritual programming for adolescents. Researchers are currently seeking information from agencies that provide spiritual programming to adolescents aged 14 to 22 years. Spiritual interventions may be religious or secular, but the agencies should have been providing such services for at least 3 years. Researchers will select 8 to 10 agencies for onsite visits, interviews, and review of evaluation data. Results will be disseminated in 2005. Agencies interested in submitting data can complete the online form available at www.nenetwork.org/research/sys.html (Editor's note: Link no longer active).
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.
- Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through June 2004
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through June 2004
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through June 2004 include:
- National Council for Adoption 2004 Annual Conference (April 1 through 2; Washington, DC)
- 22nd Annual "Protecting Our Children" Conference: "Putting Our Minds Together to Leave No Indian Child Behind" (National Indian Child Welfare Association; April 4 through 7, Denver, CO)
- 2004 Pathways to Adulthood National Independent Living/Transitional Living Conference (Children's Bureau and Family and Youth Services Bureau; April 13 through 15, Washington, DC)
- APSAC Forensic Interview Clinic (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children; April 19 through 23, Seattle, WA; www.apsac.org).
- Putting It Together Seminar (Independent Living Resources, Inc.; April 20 through 24, Raleigh Durham, NC)
- 7th National Child Welfare Data Conference: "Making IT Work: Systems, Data, Policy and Practice" (National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare; April 21 through 23, Arlington, VA)
- Joint Council on International Children's Services Annual Medical Institute and Conference (April 28 through May 1, Washington, DC)
- Finding Better Ways 2004 "Responding to the Changing Faces of Residential Services" (Child Welfare League of America; May 3 through 5, Atlanta, GA)
- 34th Annual Education Conference (National Foster Parent Association; May 10 through 15, Orlando, FL)
- Family Support America's 10th Biennial National Conference (May 12 through 15, Chicago, IL)
- Teleconference: Implementing a Program-Wide Anger Management Intervention (Walker Trieschman Center-CWLA; March 25)
- "Spreading the Magic of Prevention" (Prevent Child Abuse America; May 16 through 19, Disney World Resort, FL)
- National Foster Care Conference "Footsteps to the Future" (Daniel Memorial Institute; June 3 through 5, Jacksonville, FL)
- National CASA Conference (National CASA Association; June 5 through 8, Washington, DC)
- 2004 Conference on Family Group Decision Making "From Margin to Mainstream" (American Humane; June 6 through 9, Harrisburg, PA)
- APSAC Forensic Interview Clinic (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children; June 14 through 18, Norfolk, VA)
- Training Institutes 2004: Developing Local Systems of Care for Children and Adolescents with Emotional Disturbances and Their Families (National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health; June 23 through 27, San Francisco, CA)
Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found in the Conference Calendar on Child Welfare Information Gateway: www.childwelfare.gov/calendar
- National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information Launches New Training Resource
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information Launches New Training Resource
A new section of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov) enables trainers, practitioners, social work educators, and other professionals to locate the most current workforce development/training information and materials for the child welfare workforce.
The Workforce Development/Training Resources section provides searchable databases of the following:
- Training Organizations. Find national, State, and Tribal organizations that provide training information, resources, and services.
- University Degree Programs. Locate Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work programs that specialize in education for the child welfare workforce.
- Publications. Find abstracts and links to workforce development and training materials, curricula, and documents from the Clearinghouse library.
The site also offers opportunities to share information with colleagues about workforce development/training conferences and other training resources. To learn more, visit http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/workforce/index.cfm.
(Editor's note: Links no longer active)