News From the Children's Bureau
- Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Webcast
"Title IV-E Adoption Assistance: Everything You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask" is a two-part video presentation and PowerPoint presentation for child welfare professionals, families, and interested individuals seeking additional information and resources on title IV-E assistance. The presentations are available online at the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption website.
- New! On the Children's Bureau Site
The Children's Bureau website features information on child welfare programs, funding, monitoring, training and technical assistance, laws, statistics, research, Federal reporting, and much more. The "New on Site" section includes grant announcements, policy announcements, agency information, and recently released publications.
Recent additions to the site include:
- Status of Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) and Subsequent Child and Family Services Reviews
- Florida's Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Primary Review
- IM 07-05: Issued: June 29, 2007. Measuring Program Improvement Plan (PIP) Improvement for the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) National Standards
- Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibily Review Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) for Alaska, Delaware, Georgia and New Jersey
Visit the Children's Bureau website often to see what's new!
- 2007 CFSR Toolkit for Youth Involvement
The 2007 CFSR Toolkit for Youth Involvement is now available from the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development (NCWRCYD). The toolkit promotes youth involvement in the CFSR process and delineates the ways youth can be more effectively engaged when evaluating child welfare services. Toolkit resources include:
- Information to keep in mind when partnering with youth
- Feedback forms and debriefing strategies for youth and adults
- A CFSR youth involvement checklist
- Condensed descriptions of the CFSR purpose, process, and components
- A glossary explaining CFSR terminology
- Strategies for implementing surveys and conducting focus groups
- Sample survey instruments and focus group questions to solicit youth input
- PowerPoint presentations that can be adapted for States
The toolkit is available in print form with digital files or as a web document that will be regularly updated with best practice information from the field.
- New Child Welfare Outcomes Report Released
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released Child Welfare Outcomes 2002-2005: Report to Congress, the seventh in a series of annual reports designed to inform Congress, the States, and the public about State performance on delivering child welfare services. The Child Welfare Outcomes Reports provide information about State performance on seven national child welfare outcomes related to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children involved in the child welfare system. The outcomes reflect widely accepted performance objectives for child welfare practice.
The first six Child Welfare Outcomes Reports presented data for each State regarding 12 measures used in the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) that assessed State performance relevant to the seven national child welfare outcomes. The current report includes data on the 12 original outcome measures as well as 15 additional measures recently developed for the second round of the CFSRs that began in March 2007.
Highlights of the recent report include:
- Of the States submitting data for all 4 years, 64 percent demonstrated an improvement in performance on the measure of maltreatment recurrence.
- The majority of children in all States who were legally free for adoption at the time of exit from foster care in both 2004 and 2005 were discharged to a permanent home.
- In 2005, many States that had a relatively high percentage of children reunified in less than 12 months also had a relatively high percentage of children reentering foster care in less than 12 months.
- In 2005, many States that had a high percentage of reunifications occurring in less than 12 months also had a high percentage of adoptions occurring in less than 24 months.
- States were generally effective in achieving placement stability for children in foster care for less than 12 months, but placement stability declined dramatically for children in foster care more than 12 months.
The report can be found online on the Children's Bureau website:
- Children's Bureau QIC Series
Representatives from six child welfare Quality Improvement Centers (QICs) funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau met in June to share updates on their work and evaluations. The four original QICs were first funded in 2001 as regional centers to develop evidence-based knowledge about effective practices in child protective services and adoption. Their work has covered a range of areas, including culturally appropriate services, strengthening families with substance abuse issues, adoption from foster care, and improving clinical supervision. These organizations include:
- Frontline Connections QIC, operated by the Northwest Institute for Children and Families, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- Rocky Mountain QIC, operated by the American Humane Association, Englewood, CO
- QIC on Adoption, operated by United Methodist Family Services, Richmond, VA
- Southern Regional QIC, operated by the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, Training Resource Center, Lexington, KY
They were joined by two more recently funded national QICs:
- QIC on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services, operated by the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, Training Resource Center, Lexington, KY
- QIC on Nonresident Fathers and the Child Welfare System, operated by the American Humane Association and its partners, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and the National Fatherhood Initiative
As the original QICs come to the end of their funding period, they are sharing evaluations and lessons learned in the field from their subgrantees. Some of these findings were shared at the June meeting, and many can be found on their websites.
Over the next few months, Children's Bureau Express will run a series of articles focusing on individual QICs, their subgrantees, and their findings to date. Look for these articles to learn more about the important contributions these organizations are making to child welfare practice.
For more information on the Children's Bureau QICs, contact Melissa Lim Brodowski, Federal Project Officer in the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect:
- Workbook Series on Staff Training
A series of six workbooks from the training program Staff Retention in Child and Family Services is now available online. The training is part of Developing Models of Effective Child Welfare Staff Recruitment and Retention Training developed by Michigan State University.
The purpose of this training series is to increase the effectiveness of child and family service agencies in developing and retaining their staff by applying information from research and best retention practices to their work. The workbooks currently available include:
- The Role of Leaders in Staff Retention
- The Practice of Retention-Focused Supervision
- Working With Differences
- Communications Skills
- The First Six Months
- Recruiting and Selecting the Right Staff in Child and Family Service
The workbooks are also available through the Children's Bureau Child Welfare Workforce Connection:
Children's Bureau Express last wrote about the Michigan State University's Staff Retention in Child and Family Services workbooks in "Workbook Series Addresses Michigan Workforce Issues" (March 2007).
For more information on workforce issues, consult the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
- National Foster Care and Adoption Directory
The National Adoption Directory on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website is now the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory (NFCAD). The NFCAD is a free, searchable online directory of foster care and adoption resources in every State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It contains information on thousands of public and private organizations and is continually updated in order to provide users with the most current information available.
The NFCAD allows users to search the following categories of foster care and adoption information:
- Licensed Private Domestic Adoption Agencies
- Licensed Private Intercountry Adoption Agencies
- Public (Foster Care) Adoption Agencies
- Foster Care and Adoption Resources in Your State/Territory
- State Foster Care and Adoption Officials
- Foster Care and Adoption Support Groups
- Search Support Groups (for adopted adults and birth relatives)
- Accessing Adoption Records
Each record provides contact information, type(s) of services provided, and languages spoken. Search results can be grouped by type of services offered and languages spoken and can be sorted by organization name, State, city, or zip code.
- Mapping Diagnosed Conditions: An AFCARS Technical Bulletin
States seeking information on mapping diagnosed conditions as they appear in a State's information system to the national Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) may benefit from a recent technical bulletin published by the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology. Technical Bulletin #14 provides background information on AFCARS and includes regulatory definitions for the proper collection and reporting of the disability information in the AFCARS adoption and foster care files.
- Engaging Nonresident Fathers
Nonresident fathers and paternal relatives can be important resources for permanency planning for children and families involved with the child welfare system. But the fathers and their relatives often need to be identified, located, and engaged by caseworkers in order to be included in such planning. Nonresident father involvement in permanency planning is the subject of a recent issue brief released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). The brief examines the findings of a study conducted by the Urban Institute and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) involving 1,958 children, with nonresident fathers, who had been in foster care between 3 and 36 months.
Researchers conducted telephone interviews with 1,222 caseworkers in Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Tennessee and found that just over half of the fathers (55 percent) had been contacted by caseworkers when planning for permanency. The name of the father appeared in the case file in 88 percent of the cases, and paternity had been established in 63 percent of the cases.
The study also found that the efforts used by caseworkers to locate fathers varied widely and were not always consistent. In addition, caseworkers reported little use of child support agency locator resources. Only 35 percent of the cases reported using a State's parental locator service.
Caseworkers' opinions about nonresident fathers and safety varied to an extent, but the majority felt that nonresident father involvement enhanced a child's well-being. The majority also believed that nonresident fathers need help with their parenting skills.
To read the ASPE issue brief, Child Welfare Casework With Nonresident Fathers of Children in Foster Care, visit:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/06/CW-involve-dads/ib.pdf (PDF - 162 KB)
Children's Bureau Express (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov) has explored the topic of father involvement in a number of articles, including the following:
- "Nonresident Fathers and the Child Welfare System" (July/August 2006)
- "Debut of Fatherhood User Manual" (July/August 2006)
- "Project Fatherhood" (April 2004)
- "Positive Father-Child Involvement Found Among Early Head Start Families" (December 2003/January 2004)
- "Literature Review Explores Non-Custodial Fathers' Involvement in Child Welfare" (April 2003)
- "LONGSCAN Examines Fatherhood" (April 2002)
- Summer Interns Experience Life in DC
Twenty-two summer interns arrived in Washington, DC, in late May to assume a variety of internships in government, nonprofit associations, and the private sector. But unlike most of the college interns who descend upon Washington on a regular basis, these 22 outstanding college scholars also happen to be foster youth or former foster youth without permanent families or homes. Selected by the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) to participate in the OFA's summer internship program, the 22 students recently wrapped up 6 busy weeks in Washington that included their full-time internships, as well as weekly workshops in professional development and leadership and meetings with members of Congress and the media.
The OFA internship program began in 1994 as a way to provide real-world experience and prestigious internships to students who would otherwise be unable to afford such experiences. The OFA arranges the internships, provides scholarships for travel and living expenses, and offers workshops conducted by professionals who can help the students prepare for life after graduation. Over the years, students have interned in a variety of Washington workplaces, and this year's students were no different—staffing U.S. Senators' offices, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Hospital Center, law offices, and more.
"Our objective is to immerse these students in top-tier professional settings where they can gain invaluable workplace experience," says OFA National Events Director Annalisa Assaadi. "We tend to see a transformation as they become confident in an office environment and learn more about their strengths. They emerge from this program not only with a strong resume with which to launch their careers, but with confidence that they can and will succeed."
A new twist offered by OFA this year was the student intern blog on the OFA website. The blog includes photographs and interviews, as well as the interns' comments about their experiences. The following entry from Brittany James reflects the fresh perspective and enthusiasm of these students:
"At first, I was really nervous to start my internship at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. I wasn't sure what to expect, and didn't know if I would fit in. But once I got here, everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and I felt right at home! I've been fortunate enough to be assigned meaningful projects, too. . . Overall, my time in Washington, DC, has been amazing. I love the city, the people, and my job. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have had such a wonderful opportunity."
To read the OFA's student internship blog, visit:
To read more about the OFA and its programs for foster youth, visit the website:
- Methamphetamine Use During Pregnancy
A recent study of mothers who used methamphetamine during pregnancy found an increased likelihood of multiple psychosocial risks (poverty, mental illness, family dysfunction, and family violence) that may result in poor parenting and caregiving skills and have a negative effect on developmental outcomes for children. Comparing a sample of 49 mothers who used methamphetamine to 81 mothers who did not, the study found that prenatal methamphetamine use was associated with:
- Lower maternal perceptions on quality of life
- Greater likelihood of substance use among family and friends
- A markedly increased likelihood of developing a substance abuse disorder after giving birth
The study's results may inform the support services offered to new mothers and children of methamphetamine-using parents. As signs of methamphetamine use during pregnancy were predictive of later substance dependence, the authors suggest that practitioners should seek to identify substance use problems early to provide adequate preventive services. Also, the probability of the mother living in an unsafe neighborhood combined with the likelihood of substance use within the mother's family and social support system raises concerns for the child's safety even outside of the mother's care. Services for these mothers should seek to improve parenting skills as well as strengthen social support systems to ensure the safety of the child, according to the authors.
The full study, "Demographic and Psychosocial Characteristics of Mothers Using Methamphetamine During Pregnancy: Preliminary Results of the Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle Study (IDEAL)," by Chris Derauf et al., was published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Volume 33, and can be purchased online:
- Foster Parents Who Stay
Determining the factors that influence foster parent retention may have a long-term effect on agencies and on the children they serve. Administrative data analysis can be a useful way to gauge foster parent retention and length of service. A recent study published in the Children and Youth Services Review looked at placement records for children, individual foster parent characteristics, and foster parenting records in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Oregon to examine foster parent involvement and variations in length of service.
The study found that the care provided by foster parents is unevenly distributed. Across the three States, 20 percent of the foster parent population provided 60 to 80 percent of the foster care. This evidence suggests that there is a greater need to identify and retain qualified foster parents to improve child outcomes.
Looking at foster parent length of service by State, the study found that the median length of service ranged from 8 to 14 months, which is less than the length of stay of many children in foster care. Between 47 and 62 percent of foster parents in these States exited the system after 1 year of service. The percentages for parents staying active after 1 year of foster parenting were 40 percent for New Mexico, 53 percent for Oklahoma, and 38 percent for Oregon.
Parents caring for infants, adolescents, and children with special needs usually stayed active for longer periods of time. Older parents and those in urban areas were often able to care for children for much longer. These homes were usually favored by child welfare workers and consequently shouldered a greater share of the responsibility for caring for children.
"Length of Service for Foster Parents: Using Administrative Data to Understand Retention," by Deborah Gibbs and Judith Wildfire, was published in the Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 29, and can be purchased online:
- Improving Reunification Outcomes
A recent teleconference presentation by the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) highlighted several practices in the area of family reunification, including a county program, a useful measurement tool, and an ongoing study.
One focus was on the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in Pennsylvania, which has demonstrated an outstanding rate of reunification among its families involved with child welfare. The NFPN has studied Allegheny County's of system of intensive reunification and identified evidence-based practices and programs found to be effective. These include frequent case conferences and court reviews, as well as ambitious timeframes and celebrations of reunifications.
During the teleconference, NFPN representatives also discussed the work of Dr. Ray Kirk, who developed the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for Reunification. Dr. Kirk subsequently recommended a three-stage model for reunification.
NFPN is currently conducting a study on intensive reunification cases to determine if outcomes for intensive reunification programs differ from those for intensive preservation. The factors of race, type of referring problem, substance abuse, and stepdown services will also be looked at in reunification cases. Findings from these and previous studies will be used to develop a model for reunification.
These projects were discussed as part of a May 30 teleconference sponsored by the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning and the Child Welfare League of America.
For more information on any of these projects, visit the NFPN website:
- Interview: Powerful Families
Powerful Families is a parent education and family-strengthening program for low-income families that focuses on increasing financial literacy, advocacy, and community leadership. Developed by Casey Family Programs, Powerful Families has been piloted with 53 partner agencies in 82 sites in 9 States and the District of Columbia. At each site, groups of 15-20 parents meet for 9 weeks in peer- and partner-led groups to learn more about money management, advocating for themselves and their children, and effecting positive change in their communities.
Powerful Families Director Margaret Hunt talked with Children’s Bureau Express (CBX) to share some of the program's successes.
CBX: What is unique about the Powerful Families program?
Hunt: Powerful Families had an unusual beginning. About 5 years ago, Casey Family Programs conducted a survey among low-income populations with a high percentage of child welfare involvement. Families were asked about the kinds of education topics that would be helpful to them. Topics mentioned by parents were not the topics being covered by the popular parent education programs at the time. So, Casey designed the Parent-to-Parent Program, now Powerful Families, to cover the topics of financial literacy, advocacy, and leadership training to meet families' needs.
CBX: What are some short-term and long-term goals for the families involved in the Powerful Families program?
Hunt: Some of the short-term goals are to raise parents' information levels on such topics as loans and credit scores, help them learn to work within the system to get what they need, and show them how they can create change in neighborhoods and communities.
Long-term goals include supporting parents so they are able to maintain children safely in their own homes, helping parents combat social isolation by connecting with others, and building better communities for children and families.
CBX: How does this program work with the child welfare system?
Hunt: This is a child welfare prevention program. Over two-thirds of the partners are prevention groups contracted with child welfare agencies. Some of the others work in justice or incarceration. Many of the partners are those who focus on populations that have high numbers of families of color. They use the Powerful Families curriculum to strengthen their families and prevent entry into the child welfare system or to help parents gain the skills and attributes necessary to achieve reunification.
CBX: How do you identify community partners?
Hunt: The program was originally piloted in New York City, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The success of the program led to interest from other partners, and now there are many partners who contact Casey to collaborate on a Powerful Families program in their community. Casey prefers partners that work primarily with high-risk families "at the door of child welfare." This includes families already involved with child welfare and those at risk of being involved.
CBX: How is the Powerful Families curriculum tailored for specific populations of parents?
Hunt: This happens through the partners. For instance, a partner agency may set up a group just for kinship caregivers or single parents or even older youth leaving foster care. In that case, the parent leader of the group is someone who has that same experience and can relate the material and help the parents in the class make the connections that are meaningful to them.
The parent leader also helps keep other parents connected to the program. That is one reason for our high [more than 60 percent] graduation rate. Parents seem to like the classes because they can see how the curriculum applies to their own lives—how they can better save money, advocate for themselves, and become leaders in their community. Parents come back for more classes, and they bring their friends with them. Also, parents make connections with others and build their own support systems.
CBX: What's in the future for Powerful Families?
Hunt: Soon, we'll be launching a new curriculum on family dynamics, piloting that in 2008. In the evaluation area, we're planning to do more rigorous evaluations involving control groups. We're also hoping to work with more State CPS groups so that we can increase the positive impact for families.
To find out more about Powerful Families, visit the website at www.powerfulfamilies.org for toolkits, resources, evaluation reports, and more, or contact Margaret Hunt at 206-282-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Adapting Services for Underserved Populations
"Effective Interventions for Underserved Populations" is the topic of the Summer 2007 issue of Focal Point, published by the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health at Portland State University. While evidence-based practice is increasingly emphasized in the field, examining the effectiveness of programs adapted for specific populations is often overlooked. The articles in this issue describe creative strategies for tailoring interventions and programs to respond to the unique needs of historically underserved populations. Some of the populations and services addressed include:
- Parenting training and family-centered services for American Indian and Alaska Native youth and families
- Treatment of co-occurring disorders in Hispanic youth
- Culturally competent foster care for African-American children
- Telemedicine for rural populations
Download the complete issue on the center's website:
www.rtc.pdx.edu/PDF/fpS07.pdf (PDF - 2007 KB)
- Child Welfare Database Updates
Since its launch a little more than a year ago, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) for Child Welfare has built a robust database of evidence-based child welfare programs and practices. Professionals, researchers, and other users can search the online database to identify effective or promising practices that have been reviewed by a topical expert and a national scientific panel. Programs are rated for their evidence, outcomes, and relevance for child welfare populations.
One search option allows users to search by topical area. These currently include:
- Domestic/intimate partner violence: Batterer intervention programs
- Domestic/intimate partner violence: Services for women and their children
- Motivation and engagement
- Parent training
- Placement stabilization
- Substance abuse (parental)
- Trauma treatment for children
- Youth transitioning into adulthood
New topical areas are scheduled to be posted soon, and new programs are added on a continual basis, as soon as the comprehensive review process is completed.
The CEBC is run by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families, in cooperation with the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center.
Children's Bureau Express last wrote about the CEBC in "The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse" (July/August 2006).
- Legal Center for Foster Care and Education
The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (Legal Center FCE) is a national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children in the foster care system. The Legal Center FCE provides expertise to States and constituents, facilitates networking to advance promising practices and reforms, and provides technical assistance and training.
Resources available through the Legal Center FCE website include publications, a resource library of documents related to education of children in foster care organized by State and topic, a listserv, and a schedule of conference calls focused on topics of interest to advocates working in the field of foster care and education.
The Legal Center for FCE is a collaboration between Casey Family Programs and the ABA's Center on Children and the Law, in conjunction with the Education Law Center-PA and the Juvenile Law Center.
- Secondary Traumatic Stress in Professionals
Child welfare professionals may be at risk for suffering secondary traumatic stress due to the nature of their job. A new manual addresses this risk and presents workers and supervisors with tools for recognizing and coping with the problem. Using a "train the trainer" approach, the book provides information on education, individual coping techniques, and social support strategies for dealing with this type of stress.
Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Child Welfare Professional is based on the authors' 10-year study with over 600 child welfare professionals and their experiences with traumatic stress. As the book points out, secondary traumatic stress affects the entire child welfare workforce by causing worker turnover. This, in turn, has a negative impact on the children and families that these workers serve.
Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Child Welfare Professional, by Josephine G. Pryce, Kimberly K. Shackelford, and David H. Pryce, is available for purchase on the Lyceum Books website. The website also offers free access to Chapter 3, "Educating Child Welfare Workers About Secondary Stress."
- Opportunities for Faith-Based and Community Groups
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Compassion Capital Fund was created to help faith-based and community groups enhance their ability to provide social services by building their capacity, diversifying their funding, and engaging other groups in effective collaboration. The Compassion Capital Fund website offers a webpage designed to help faith-based and community groups identify Federal funding opportunities. Links are organized according to topic, such as "At-Risk Youth" and "Refugees."
In keeping with its mission, the Compassion Capital Fund website also offers the Capacity Benchmarking Tool for Faith- and Community-Based Organizations. This manual is designed to help staff and board members of nonprofit organizations strengthen their organization and better fulfill their mission. The manual includes chapters on strategic planning, fundraising, and financial management, among others. It can be downloaded free of charge:
- Child and Youth Well-Being Index
An annual index of child well-being shows that American children engage in fewer risky behaviors than in the past, but several other measures of well-being are not so positive. The Foundation for Child Development Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI) Project at Duke University issues an annual report on how children are faring. This year's CWI is an updated measure of trends between 1975 and 2005, with projections for 2006.
The decline found in risky behavior is based on measures of teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol use among youth, and violent crime—all of which were down. But other major trends show that progress in quality of life for U.S. children has stalled, ending an 8-year upward trend that lasted from 1994 until 2002. Children's health also continued to decline, which could be attributed in part to the escalating rates of child obesity.
To read the full report, by Kenneth C. Land, visit the CWI website:
www.soc.duke.edu/~cwi/2007_CWI_Report.pdf (PDF - 200 KB)
Children's Bureau Express "Child Well-Being Shows Slight Improvement" (June 2004).
- OJJDP Model Program Guide
The Model Programs Guide (MPG) provides a searchable database of evidence-based programs across the spectrum of youth services, including family therapy, leadership and youth development, mentoring, parent training, residential treatment centers, and wraparound services. Developed by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the MPG was designed to assist practitioners and communities in implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention programs that can make a difference in the lives of children and communities.
Each program description includes the risk and protective factors addressed by the program, as well as the populations served. Each program is rated as exemplary, effective, or promising based on a review of empirical evidence demonstrating the prevention or reduction of problem behaviors; the reduction of risk factors related to problem behaviors; or the enhancement of protective factors related to problem behaviors.
- Healthy Marriage Initiative Newsletters
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Healthy Marriage Initiative helps couples who have chosen marriage gain greater access to marriage education services. The Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative (HHMI) and the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI) promote culturally competent strategies for fostering healthy marriages within these communities.
Several recent HHMI and AAHMI newsletters highlight State and local healthy marriage programs. Information is included on the "Partners for Life" program in El Paso, TX, and the "Basic Training for Couples" course in Washington, DC. Both are marriage education programs organized by ACF grantees that provide a series of trainings for couples on topics such as communication, finances, and parenting.
Use the following URLs to download the newsletters:
HHMI Newsletter: www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/doc/march_28_newsletter.doc
AAHMI Newsletter, Issue 1: www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/pdf/Mar07issue1.pdf (PDF - 337 KB)
AAHMI Newsletter, Issue 2: www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/pdf/may_07_issue.pdf (PDF - 490 KB)
Find trainings, workshops, webinars, and other opportunities for professionals and families to learn about how to improve the lives of children and youth as well as a listing of upcoming events and conferences.
- Online Adoption Courses
Two new online courses developed by Adopting Learning Partners are designed to educate prospective adoptive parents about specific child populations. The first, Adopting the Older Child, can help parents determine whether adopting an older child, either internationally or through the domestic child welfare system, is right for them.
This course is designed to help parents:
- Consider their expectations of older child adoption
- Understand the importance of the child's history
- Develop strategies for integrating an older child into the existing family unit
- Identify the challenges specific to older adopted children
- Understand when and where to seek assistance
A second new course, Medical Issues in International Adoption, will be available later this summer.
Adoption Learning Partners (ALP) offers web-based educational resources for adoptive parents, adopted individuals, and birth parents. Courses are available on an array of adoption issues, including interethnic adoption, attachment issues, creating lifebooks, and adoption tax credits.
- Spanish-Speaking Forensic Interviewing Training
Forensic interviewing training for Spanish speakers is being offered by the National Children's Advocacy Center on November 5-9, 2007. The training is specifically designed for law enforcement or child protective services professionals and for employees of children's advocacy centers who are proficient in Spanish and conduct some or all of their child interviews in Spanish.
A complete course description and registration forms, along with information about costs and continuing education units, are available online:
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through November 2007 include:
- NAPCWA Fall Meeting
National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators
September 7–10, Arlington, VA
http://www.aphsa.org/Conference/calendar.asp (link no longer available)
- 12th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma
Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma
September 15–20, San Diego, CA
http://www.ivatcenters.org/conference/index.html (link no longer available)
- 20th Annual National Independent Living Conference
Growing Pains 2007
Daniel Memorial Institute
September 19–22, Denver, CO
http://www.danielkids.org/sites/web/content.cfm?id=276 (link no longer available)
- 2007 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
October 10–12, Kansas City, MO
http://www.nationaldec.org/Conference/conference07.htm#2007Conf (link no longer available)
- 19th Annual ATTACh Conference
Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children
October 10–13, Providence, RI
http://www.attach.org/(link no longer available)
- 2007 Alliance for Children & Families National Conference
October 17–19, Anaheim, CA
http://www.alliance1.org/Conferences/National2007/natl-conf.html (link no longer available)
- 2007 Conference on Differential Response
American Humane Association
November 14–16, Long Beach, CA
http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pc_initiatives_differential(link no longer available)
- National Training Institute
ZERO TO THREE
November 30–December 2, Orlando, FL
http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=prof_nti (link no longer available)
Further details about national and regional adoption and child welfare conferences can be found through the "Conference Calendar Search" feature on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:
- NAPCWA Fall Meeting