News From the Children's Bureau
- National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information Launches New Website Design
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information Launches New Website Design
The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned website (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov). By enhancing the Clearinghouse's ability to connect users with timely, reliable information about child abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect prevention, and child welfare, the site truly embodies the new Clearinghouse tagline, "Gateways to Information: Protecting Children, Strengthening Families."
"More than 99 percent of our contacts with customers now take place via the Web," said Mary Sullivan, Clearinghouse Director. "We believe the design of this new site, developed with extensive user input, will help us serve those customers more efficiently by directing them quickly and easily to the information they need."
To create the website's new design, the Clearinghouse went directly to its two largest customer groups: child welfare professionals and the general public. Clearinghouse staff asked selected users to review the current site and provide feedback on whether--and how easily--they found what they needed most. This detailed "usability testing" was part of a larger needs assessment process that included focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders such as State child welfare program managers, directors of National Resource Centers, representatives from other national organizations, and Federal employees.
Ongoing responsiveness to user concerns is built in to the new site's design, through a "Give Us Suggestions" feature, an opportunity to rate and comment on the utility of various resources, and a section of the home page that will highlight the site's most popular resources. Other notable features include:
- Improved navigation and topical organization. The new structure, including an A to Z index of keywords, allows users to move through the site more easily.
- Enhanced search function. In addition to identifying relevant site content, the new search function points users to related national organizations, Clearinghouse publications, library abstracts, Children's Bureau Express articles, and training opportunities.
- State-specific information. Users can search for laws, websites, contacts, and conferences by State.
- Online ordering. For the first time, print copies of Clearinghouse publications can be requested online.
Clearinghouse staff are still available to assist customers by mail, phone, fax, or email. The contact information remains the same:
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
330 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (800) 394-3366 or (703) 385-7565
Fax: (703) 385-3206
- New Bill Aims to Increase Adoptions of Older Children in Foster Care
New Bill Aims to Increase Adoptions of Older Children in Foster Care
A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would reauthorize the Adoption Incentives Program and better target incentives to meet the needs of older children in foster care waiting for families. The Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (H.R. 3182) was introduced on September 25, 2003, and was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.
While the overall number of children being adopted from foster care has grown dramatically in recent years, older children still face long waits and, in many cases, are never adopted. Children in this older age group now represent almost half of the children waiting to be adopted nationally. To address this problem, the Adoption Promotion Act would link some incentive dollars directly to increases in adoptions of children ages 9 and older, while continuing to recognize and reward overall increases in the number of adoptions.
Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, presented the Administration's proposal for similar changes before the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee in April. In his testimony, Dr. Horn praised the Adoption Incentives Program, saying, "By providing a fiscal incentive and by shining a bright light on State performance in adoption, [the Adoption Incentives Program] has made a substantial contribution to increasing the number of children adopted over the past 5 years."
Another bill to reauthorize the Adoption Incentives Program (S. 1439) was introduced in the Senate in July and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. For full text and information about the status of either bill visit THOMAS, a legislative tracking service of the Library of Congress, at http://thomas.loc.gov.
Approximately $14.9 million in bonuses was paid to 25 States and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from State-supervised foster care in fiscal year 2002. For more information, including a list of States and amounts received, see the press release on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website at www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030912.html.
For more on the Administration's efforts in support of adoption, see "Better Futures for Waiting Children" by Dr. Wade Horn, in the December 2002/January 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.
For information about National Adoption Month 2003 (November), see "National Adoption Month 2003 Campaign Recruitment & Marketing Kit Now Available" in this issue.
- The Role of Leadership
The Role of Leadership
Much has been written recently about child welfare reforms in Illinois, under the guidance of Jess McDonald, Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) from 1994 to 2003. (See Additional Resources, below.) The outcomes achieved during his tenure are impressive:
- Fewer children are in foster care. The number of children in substitute care has decreased 60 percent, from more than 50,000 in 1997 to approximately 21,000 in 2003.
- Children spend less time in out-of-home care. Children entering care now will spend 43 percent less time in care than those entering in 1995 (25 months vs. 44 months).
- Permanency has increased. More children were adopted or had guardianship established in 1999 than in the 10 years between 1985 and 1995 combined.
- Children stay closer to home. Placement in out-of-state residential programs has been reduced from a peak of 800 children to fewer than 20.
These achievements demonstrate what can be accomplished by a strong leader. Jess McDonald's efforts in Illinois illustrate many recognized principles of effective leadership, including:
- Accepting responsibility. Within 1 month of accepting the position, McDonald announced Illinois was going to seek accreditation. "I saw this as a key strategy for changing the organizational culture ... to one where the folks owned the change," he says.
- Emphasizing outcomes. Illinois took performance data back to the field and included front-line staff and leadership in the decision-making process about how to improve outcomes.
- Creating a shared vision. McDonald sought and strengthened partnerships with all stakeholders, including educational institutions like the University of Illinois School of Social Work, the court system, and numerous private agencies (through performance-based contracting).
- Finding ways to create new resources. McDonald and his staff created more permanency options for children in out-of-home care by taking advantage of the Title IV-E waiver that allowed subsidized guardianships. He also found ways to make better use of existing staff in order to cut caseloads for everyone--from 40 cases per worker to 17.
- Focusing on practice. "If you don't have competent capacity, you're not going to get the outcomes," says McDonald. Illinois made a commitment to increasing staff capacity through strength-based training for front-line staff and supervisors.
Leaders like Jess McDonald epitomize the qualities that will help child welfare agencies across the country continue to improve their performance and, by doing so, improve the lives of countless children and families. Though Jess has recently retired, child welfare leaders at all organizational levels across the country have much to learn from his work. The Children's Bureau is here to assist all of these committed professionals in their efforts, through initiatives such as the Child and Family Service Reviews to emphasize outcome-based work, child welfare waiver demonstration projects and discretionary grant programs to support innovation and dynamic thinking, and more. For more information, visit the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/index.htm.
Additional Resources on Child Welfare Leadership
For more about Jess McDonald and the reforms in Illinois:
- Read more about Jess McDonald's success in Illinois in the April 2003 issue of the Child Welfare Institute's newsletter, Commentary (www.gocwi.org/pdf/April%202003%20Commentary.pdf).
- Interviews with Jess McDonald and three other departing child welfare directors are featured in the latest issue of Managing Care, a publication of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/).
- The Illinois DCFS website documents progress over time in nine outcome areas: www.state.il.us/dcfs/signsprog.pdf.
- Child Welfare Reviews (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwrp/index.htm). This section of the Children's Bureau website provides information about the Child and Family Service Reviews.
- Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Projects (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/initiatives/cwwaiver.htm). Summaries of Children's Bureau demonstration projects testing new approaches to the delivery of child welfare services to improve outcomes for children.
- National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids). A service of the Children's Bureau, the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement strengthens and supports organizations committed to the welfare of children, youth, and families through research, training, technical assistance, and evaluation.
- APHSA Leadership and Practice (www.aphsa.org/lpd). The Leadership and Practice Development department of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) supports and enhances the capacity of State and local human service agencies to implement new policies and effect major program reforms.
- Council on Accreditation (www.coanet.org/home.html). The Council on Accreditation is an independent, nonprofit, child- and family-service and behavioral healthcare accrediting organization.
Search the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information database for other organizations related to leadership and child welfare: www.calib.com/nccanch/database/orgsrch.cfm.
Books on leadership:
- Chrislip, D.D. (2002). The collaborative leadership fieldbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (http://charitychannel.com/article_3941.shtml).
- Heifetz, R.A. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Linsky, M. & Heifetz, R.A. (2002). Leadership on the line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
- Baker, W.A. & Kluger, M.P. (1994). Innovative Leadership in the Nonprofit Organization: Strategies for Change. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. (www.cwla.org/pubs/pubdetails.asp?pubid=5677).
Search the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information documents database for other publications about leadership and child welfare: http://basis.caliber.com/cwig/ws/library/docs/gateway/SearchForm.
Read about child welfare reforms in New York City in the recent Connect for Kids article, "Caring for the Caseworkers Who Care for Kids" (www.connectforkids.org/benton_topics1544/benton_topics_show.htm?doc_id=188830).
Read more about leadership in child welfare in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express (www.calib.com/cbexpress).
- "Managing for Outcomes in Child Welfare" (August 2003, Training)
- "Developing a Parent Leadership Team as an Innovative Parent Leadership Strategy" (August/September 2002)
- National Adoption Month 2003 Campaign Recruitment &Marketing Kit Now Available
National Adoption Month 2003 Campaign Recruitment &Marketing Kit Now Available
The Collaboration to AdoptUSKids, in partnership with the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption and the Children's Bureau, created the National Adoption Month 2003 Campaign Recruitment & Marketing Kit to help increase awareness about adoption and support efforts to recruit and retain foster and adoptive parents. In the kit, local organizations will find tools and resources to help them plan and implement activities for National Adoption Month in November.
- Information on general, targeted, and child-specific recruitment and retention.
- Marketing, public relations, and advertising strategies.
- Tools to help organizations evaluate and report recruitment campaign success.
- Sample materials, including press releases, sponsorship letters, and public service announcements.
- A companion CD-ROM with customizable promotional items such as posters, ads, flyers, invitations, and bookmarks.
The National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption (www.nrcadoption.org) assists States, Tribes, and other federally funded child welfare agencies in building their capacity to ensure the safety, well being, and permanency of abused and neglected children through adoption and post-legal adoption services program planning, policy development, and practice. Contact the Resource Center at (248) 443-0306 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information about ordering kits and additional supplies for National Adoption Month.
The Children's Bureau's Collaboration to AdoptUSKids (www.adoptuskids.org) is a project to devise and implement a national adoptive family recruitment and retention strategy, operate the AdoptUSKids.org website, encourage and enhance adoptive family support organizations, and conduct a variety of adoption research projects. The Collaboration can be reached at (888) 200-4005 or email@example.com.
Child Welfare Research
- New Resources on the Domestic Violence-Child Maltreatment Connection
New Resources on the Domestic Violence-Child Maltreatment Connection
Research indicates 30 to 60 percent of families involved with the child welfare system also experience domestic violence. In order to serve these children and families effectively, child welfare workers need to be aware of the issue and know how to help.
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) website recently added a new "In the Spotlight" area addressing all forms of family violence, including child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse. The site offers information on statistics, existing and pending legislation, publications, State and local programs, training and technical assistance, and funding opportunities. The resources can be accessed at www.ncjrs.org/family_violence/summary.html.
Additional Resources for Research and Practice
- The September 2003 issue of Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, "Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Current Status and Research Directions," presents findings from a 3-day workshop on children exposed to violence held in July 2002. The table of contents for this issue can be found online at http://ipsapp009.kluweronline.com/ips/frames/frames.asp?J=4578&cookie=1. (This link is no longer available; information can be found at http://springerlink.metapress.com.) Individual articles may be purchased from Kluwer Online (www.kluweronline.com).
- The Journal of Emotional Abuse also published a special issue on the topic. The table of contents for "Prevention and Intervention for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence" (Volume 3, Numbers 3/4) is available on the Haworth Press website at www.haworthpress.com/Store/Toc/J135v03n03_TOC.pdf.
- An article published in the August issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology shows children who witness their parents using violence against each other or who regularly receive harsh punishment are at greater risk of being involved in an abusive relationship as an adult. These findings are the result of a 20-year study of 543 randomly selected children and their mothers. The full text of the article is available on the American Psychological Association website at www.apa.org/journals/ccp/press_releases/august_2003/ccp714741.html.
- A new publication by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Children and Domestic Violence: A Bulletin for Professionals addresses the impact of domestic violence on children and resulting implications for professional practice. Resources such as websites and publications are also listed. The bulletin is online at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/domesticviolence.cfm or can be ordered by contacting the Clearinghouse at (800) 394-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The May 2003 issue of Practice Notes, a publication for North Carolina's child welfare workers, provides an introduction to domestic violence and offers practical suggestions for talking with and protecting adults and children struggling with this issue. A publication of the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, Practice Notes is available at http://ssw.unc.edu/fcrp/cspn/cspn.htm.
Read more about the link between domestic violence and child maltreatment in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Pilot Initiative in New York City to Better Support Families Affected by Domestic Violence" (August/September 2002)
- "News from the Child Welfare Training Resources (CWTR) Online Network: Issues in Domestic Violence Videotape Training Program" (May 2002)
- "Abused Boys and Sons of Battered Mothers More Likely to be Involved in Teen Pregnancies" (May/June 2001)
- Predictors of Recurrence in Child Protective Cases Involving Substance Abuse
Predictors of Recurrence in Child Protective Cases Involving Substance Abuse
A recent study published in the July 2003 issue of Children and Youth Services Review found four factors were associated with an increased risk of maltreatment recurrence within 60 days among families with substance abuse problems:
- Presence of serious safety concerns due to caretaker drug or alcohol use
- Determination that caretaker is at high risk for criminal behavior
- Lack of police involvement during the investigation
- Presence of a single, female, African-American head of household
The study involved 95 cases, randomly selected from the Illinois Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System database, in which alcohol or drugs were related to the maltreatment report. All cases involved first-time child protective services (CPS) reports. More than one-quarter of the families in this study had a second maltreatment report within the 60-day timeframe.
Researchers cite a number of practice implications based on these findings, including:
- The presence and severity of caretaker substance use should be included in CPS risk and safety assessments.
- CPS workers need to be adequately trained to assess substance abuse problems.
- Results of risk and safety assessments need to be translated into immediate services for families to ensure a child's safety and prevent the recurrence of maltreatment.
- Appropriate substance abuse treatment services must be available to address the needs of families--most notably, families headed by single, African-American women.
A copy of this article can be obtained from the primary author:
Children and Family Research Center
1203 W. Oregon
Urbana, IL 61801
For more about addressing substance abuse in child welfare cases, see these articles in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Child Welfare-Substance Abuse Curricula and Resources" (June/July 2003)
- "HHS Launches National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare" (October 2002)
- "CWLA Addresses Intersection Between Substance Abuse and Child Abuse" (November/December 2001)
- Collaboration with Law Enforcement Found to Enhance Abuse Investigations
Collaboration with Law Enforcement Found to Enhance Abuse Investigations
A collaborative effort between law enforcement and child protective services (CPS) is the preferred approach to investigating reports of child maltreatment, according to a recent study issued by the American Humane Association. Investigation Models for Child Abuse and Neglect--Collaboration with Law Enforcement is the second and final report in an effort to delineate the different models of collaboration between law enforcement and CPS being utilized in the United States, analyze how those models are implemented in practice, and determine how well they are working.
The analysis, completed with support from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and its Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare, explores how collaborative programs are being implemented at sites in six States: Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, Utah, and Florida. Each site was selected to represent one of the following three models of CPS-law enforcement cooperation:
- Minimal law enforcement involvement or coordination (Wyoming)
- Joint or coordinated child abuse and neglect investigations (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, and Utah)
- Sole law enforcement investigation responsibility (Florida)
For each site, the report offers a description of the model, demographics of the setting, how the model works in policy and practice, strengths of the model, suggestions to better serve children and families, and outcomes data. The report also includes results of interviews with representatives from eight national organizations, to provide an overview of national collaboration trends. A 14-page executive summary collects overarching themes from the site visits, best practices, and practice concerns.
Investigation Models for Child Abuse and Neglect--Collaboration with Law Enforcement is available on the American Humane website at http://www.americanhumane.org/site/DocServer/PC-EMC_Report_6_03.pdf? docID=1141.
- State Department Issues Proposed Regulations for Intercountry Adoptions
State Department Issues Proposed Regulations for Intercountry Adoptions
The U.S. Department of State issued long-awaited proposed regulations (www.childwelfarelaw.info/HagueAdoptionRegs.pdf; Editor's note: this link is no longer available) in mid-September to implement the Intercountry Adoption Act. Signed into law in 2000, the Act ( http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=106_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ279.106.pdf) implements the Hague Convention, a global treaty that should provide greater safety, accountability, and transparency for the tens of thousands of adoptive families who seek to adopt children from other nations each year. Comments are being accepted until November 14, 2003.
The proposed regulations were created to ensure:
- Adoption service providers are properly accredited to provide intercountry adoption services and meet appropriate quality control standards.
- Families receive timely and meaningful disclosures about fees, procedures, and their children's medical well-being.
- Those involved in the adoption process have official recourse when problems arise.
Commenters may send hard copy submissions or comments in electronic format. For complete submission instructions, see the Federal Register announcement at www.childwelfarelaw.info/HagueAdoptionRegs.pdf (Editor's note: this link is no longer available).
For further information contact Edward Betancourt or Anna Mary Coburn at (202) 647-2826, or Jessica Rosenbaum at (202) 312-9717. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may use Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) by contacting the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
Read more about the Hague Convention in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "U.S. More Vigilant of International Adoptions" (April 2002)
- "Website Publishes Feedback on Draft Intercountry Adoption Standards" (November/December 2001)
- U.S. Census Counts Adopted Children for the First Time
U.S. Census Counts Adopted Children for the First Time
The Census Bureau took its first-ever look at adopted children in a report released in August. Adopted Children and Stepchildren (www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-6.pdf) presents information on the characteristics of 2.1 million adopted children and 4.4 million stepchildren, as estimated from the Census 2000 sample that collected data from approximately 1 out of every 6 households.
Some highlights of findings include:
- In 2000, 1.6 million adopted children under the age of 18 were living in U.S. households. This number represents 2.5 percent of all under-18 children of householders. (The term "householder" refers to the person in whose name the housing unit is owned, being bought, or rented.)
- 87 percent of these adopted children were born in the United States.
- Of the 258,000 adopted children who were foreign-born, nearly half (48 percent) were born in Asia, about one-third (33 percent) in Latin America, and about one-sixth (16 percent) in Europe. More of these children came from Korea (57,000, or 22 percent) than any other single country.
- 76 percent of householders with an adopted child list their race as white; 15 percent list African-American; Asians, other races, and people who list two or more races make up the difference. 9 percent are Hispanic (of any race).
- 17 percent of adopted children under age 18 were of a different race than the family householder.
- Adoptive families are evenly distributed across all regions of the United States.
- Adoptive households are better off economically than those of biological children.
- A higher proportion of adopted children under age 18 had at least one disability than biological and stepchildren under 18.
Census 2000 represents the largest, most complete data source on characteristics of adopted children, their families, and households. However, because children were identified only by how they are related to the householder, this report cannot provide a comprehensive count of all adopted children. For example, if a married couple lived in a household of one of their parents, their children would be reported as "grandchildren of the householder" whether or not they were adopted.
For information about the Federal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which tracks U.S. adoptions from foster care, read "Efforts to Improve State Reporting on Foster Care and Adoption Are Paying Off" in the May/June 2001 issue of Children's Bureau Express (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov). The most recent AFCARS report (#8) can be found on the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/afcars/report8.htm.
Strategies and Tools for Practice
- CASASTART Program Helps Deter Drug Use and Violent Behavior in At-Risk Youth
CASASTART Program Helps Deter Drug Use and Violent Behavior in At-Risk Youth
CASASTART (Striving Together to Achieve Rewarding Tomorrows), a program of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, helps high-risk preadolescents resist alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs and avoid violent behavior. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated by an independent outside evaluator, and it was recently featured on the Promising Practices Network as a "proven" program (www.promisingpractices.net/program.asp?programid=107).
CASASTART's goals are to provide youth with the services and support they need to become productive, law-abiding citizens and to create a safer environment for adolescents and their families through the reduction of crime and illegal drugs in their neighborhoods. To attain these goals, CASA brings together key stakeholders in a community, including families, schools, law enforcement agencies, and social service and health agencies.
Individuals are identified for participation based on three areas of risk: family risk, which includes violence or disintegration; personal risk, which includes being a victim of abuse or neglect; or school risk. Each participant receives case management services as well as social support, family services, education services, after-school and summer activities, mentoring, community policing/enhanced enforcement, juvenile justice intervention (if needed), and incentives.
Research found, 1 year after program completion, CASASTART participants were significantly less likely than a control group to report:
- Drug use in the past month (52 percent vs. 67 percent)
- Lifetime sales of drugs (37 percent vs. 46 percent)
- Drug sales activity in the past month (14 percent vs. 24 percent)
- Committing a violent crime in the past year (22 percent vs. 27 percent)
CASA began the program in 1992 with funding provided by three constituent agencies of the U.S. Department of Justice and several national foundations. From 1992 to 1995 the program was tested in six cities. It currently operates in nearly 40 schools around the country.
More information about CASASTART can be found on the CASA website at http://www.casacolumbia.org/newsletter1458/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=10725 (Editor's note: this link is no longer available).
Read more about the link between childhood maltreatment and later substance abuse in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Study Identifies Link Between Childhood Abuse and Drug Abuse in Adulthood" (June/July 2003)
- "Researchers Find Biological Link Between Child Abuse and Increased Likelihood of Later Substance Abuse" (April 2002)
- New Resource for Preventing Youth Homelessness
New Resource for Preventing Youth Homelessness
Youth exiting foster care are at increased risk for future homelessness, often due to a lack of independent living or supportive services to help them maintain stable housing. The National Alliance to End Homelessness recently launched a new Web resource to inform and support those working to prevent youth homelessness, with a focus on youth involved with child welfare and juvenile justice. The Ending Youth Homelessness site (www.endhomelessness.org/youth) features effective strategies and programs as well as links to research and other resources on the topic.
Programs featured on the site include:
- Connecticut Department of Children and Families: A continuum of supportive housing options for youth ages 14 and older in the foster care system.
- Illinois Department of Children and Families: Housing advocacy and cash assistance for youth aging out of foster care.
- Lighthouse Youth Services (Cincinnati, OH): Supportive housing for youth in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and homeless shelter systems.
Information about featured practices includes services provided, sources of funding, and program contacts for further information.
A recorded Webcast of a recent Leadership to End Homelessness audio conference on youth homelessness can be found on the PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) website at www.pathprogram.samhsa.gov/naeh.asp.
Read more about services for youth aging out of foster care in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Face Uphill Climb to Adulthood" (May 2003)
- "Independent Living Programs in Oregon and California Give Aging-Out Foster Youth Support" (February/March 2002)
- "National Foundations Fund New Initiatives for Foster Care Youth" (September/October 2001)
- Online Funding Tools
Online Funding Tools
Seeking additional sources of funding in these tight fiscal times? These websites may help:
Connect for Kids' "Toolkit for Funding" (www.connectforkids.org/) offers nonprofit organizations valuable guidance for finding and securing funding. Grant information is provided for a variety of topical areas, including child care, children's health, children's mental health, juvenile justice, substance abuse, and special needs. The toolkit includes:
- Getting Funded: Advice from the Field
- News, Tips, and Electronic Alerts
- General Funding Resources
- Grants by Topic
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) offers a brief guide to writing successful grants on its website. The publication offers tips for:
- Preparing to write the grant: including information on how to define your project, identify the right funding sources, contact funders, acquire proposal guidelines, and determine personnel needs.
- Writing the proposal: including tips for narratives, budgets, supporting materials, and following proposal specifications.
- Following up: tracking the status of your proposal and requesting feedback.
Find the guide on the CPB website at www.cpb.org/grants/grantwriting.html.
- Strengths, Challenges, and Needs of Kinship Caregivers
Strengths, Challenges, and Needs of Kinship Caregivers
In 2000, almost 4 million children were living with relatives other than their parents. Two new publications highlight the unique challenges facing these caregivers.
A new report from Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support, The Kinship Report: Assessing the Needs of Relative Caregivers and the Children in Their Care, presents a balanced view of kinship care in the United States. Through literature reviews and interviews, the report:
- Presents a fuller, more accurate picture of the difficulties faced by kinship care families, and provides for a better appreciation of the strengths they bring to their situation.
- Identifies the ways in which the financial, physical, and social needs of these children and caregivers are being met.
- Identifies the support systems that are sustaining these families, as well as those supports that still need to be created.
- Makes valuable information available to kinship families and those working to help them, so services and lives can be enhanced.
The full report and an executive summary are available on the Casey Family Programs website at www.casey.org/Resources/Archive/Publications/KinshipReport.htm
The National Endowment for Financial Education teamed with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to produce a new publication for families, Sticking Together: Kinship Care and Financial Care. This new publication helps families better understand and be prepared for the challenges and rewards involved in kinship care. Highlights include advice on day-to-day issues such as cooking and clothing, legal issues such as family reunification and legal guardianship, and financial issues such as preserving retirement saving and estate planning.
Copies of the publication (Item #8986) are available free (requestors must pay for shipping) from CWLA by calling (800) 407-6273 or online at www.cwla.org/pubs.
A new brief from the Urban Institute, Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Children in Grandparent Care (www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=310842), focuses specifically on grandparent caregivers.
- "Next Generation Grants" Available
"Next Generation Grants" Available
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently announced the availability of approximately $4 million for Next Generation Grants to nonprofit organizations (such as public charities, faith-based and secular community organizations, private foundations, and schools). The grants will provide seed money to help new and startup organizations, as well as established organizations proposing new projects or programs, plan and implement new service programs that have the potential for becoming national in scope. Proposals and supporting materials are due November 17, 2003.
Grants will fund innovative strategies to engage volunteers in service that results in measurable outcomes for both beneficiaries and participants. Innovative models should fall under at least one of three service areas:
- Programs that engage individuals in an intensive commitment to service in communities (defined as serving at least 40 hours per week).
- Volunteer programs for seniors (age 55+).
- Programs that connect service with education.
For additional information and concept paper guidelines visit the CNCS website at www.cns.gov/whatshot/notices.html. (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)
- 2004 Public Human Services Directory
2004 Public Human Services Directory
The 2004 Public Human Services Directory is now available from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). The updated directory provides accurate and reliable information that reflects changes brought about by the November 2002 elections. Information includes:
- Office of the Governor and Washington, D.C., office listings for each State.
- Key staff in State, local, and related agencies, including names, titles, addresses, phone and fax numbers, email and Internet addresses.
- Detailed regional, district, county, or city agency listings with hours of operation.
- Toll-free numbers for statewide information.
- Contacts for more than 75 program and policy areas, including TANF, Medicaid, Health, Child Care, Child Welfare, Foster Care, Adoption, Child and Elder Protective Services, and Nutrition Assistance.
- Comprehensive index of all State and local administrators.
The directory is available for $120 for APHSA members, $135 for nonmembers, or $155 for international requests. The information in the directory will stay current with periodic free updates available on the APHSA website. For ordering information or to view a sample page of the directory, visit the APHSA website at www.aphsa.org/Publications/PublicDirectory.asp.
- Recruiting Students Into the Child Welfare Field
Recruiting Students Into the Child Welfare Field
Many child welfare agencies face challenges recruiting and maintaining an effective workforce. A new publication from The Haworth Press Inc., Charting the Impacts of University-Child Welfare Collaboration, addresses the process of preparing a professional workforce, including collaborations between social work educators and public child welfare agencies that have led to innovative changes in curricula and practice. Topics include determining a graduate's emotional capacity for child welfare service; delivering educational content in human behavior in the social environment courses; and using design teams to promote practice innovations, systems change, and cross-systems change.
Copies of Charting the Impact of University-Child Welfare Collaboration are available in both hard cover ($49.95) and soft cover ($29.95) from The Haworth Press at www.haworthpress.com/Store/Product.asp?sku=4828.
Read more about child welfare workforce development in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express (http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov):
- "Meeting the Challenge: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Staff" (August 2003)
- "GAO Reports on Child Welfare Staffing Challenges" (June/July 2003)
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.
14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Couldn't make it to the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in April? Saw a great session, and wish you could remember whom to contact for more information? Check out the new resources available on the conference website (http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/cbconference/index.cfm). Materials are now available for more than 40 presentations, as well as transcripts and streaming videos from most plenary sessions. Presentation abstracts and presenter contact information also are available for all sessions.
Upcoming national conferences on adoption and child welfare through January 2004 include:
- National Youth Summit (Family and Youth Services Bureau; November 6 through 8, Washington, DC; http://www.ncfy.com/summit 2003).
- Children's Rights Council 14th National Conference "Effecting Positive Outcomes for Children" (November 7 through 8, Hanover, MD; www.gocrc.com).
- "Lifelong Connections in Adoption" (Adoption Knowledge Affiliates; November 7 through 8, Austin, TX; www.adoptionknowledge.org/confer1.htm).
- "Tools that Work: Improving Child Welfare Services Through Research, Performance Measurement, and Information Technology" (CWLA Walker Trieschman Center; November 12 through 14, Miami, FL; www.cwla.org/conferences).
- "Shared Connections: Bringing Birthmothers and Adoptive Mothers in Open Adoptions Together" (Insight: Open Adoption Resources and Support; November 13 through 16, Higgins Lake, MI; http://openadoptioninsight.org/shared_connections.htm).
- American Public Health Association's 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 through 19, San Francisco, CA; www.apha.org/meetings).
- Federation for Children's Mental Health 15th Annual Conference "Families Deserve the Best … Promising Interventions and Best Practices for Serving Children with Mental Health Needs" (November 20 through 23, Washington, DC; www.ffcmh.org).
- First Annual Trauma Treatment Clinic (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children; December 1 through 5, Lahaina, HI; www.apsac.org).
- Zero to Three's 18th National Training Institute (December 5 through 7, New Orleans, LA; www.zerotothree.org/nti00/index_main00.html -- this link is no longer available).
- Putting it Together Seminar (Independent Living Resources, Inc.; December 9 through 12, San Diego, CA; www.ilrinc.com/eposter/productdetail1.asp?catalogID=238).
- 18th Annual San Diego Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment (Chadwick Center for Children and Families; January 26 through 30, San Diego, CA; www.charityadvantage.com/chadwickcenter/2004conference.asp -- this link is no longer available).
Further details about national and regional child welfare conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website at http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/profess/conferences/index.cfm.
Further details about national and regional adoption conferences can be found in the "conferences" section on the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website at http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/conferences/index.cfm.
- New Training Curriculum Helps Involve Fathers in Their Children's Lives
New Training Curriculum Helps Involve Fathers in Their Children's Lives
The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) recently released a first-of-its-kind Fatherhood Training Curriculum to help child welfare professionals engage fathers more effectively. After a 2-year study of the child welfare system, NFPN concluded the system was primarily geared toward mothers and their children, leaving fathers largely out of the picture. NFPN uncovered no written policies, resources, or training curricula in the child welfare system to help involve fathers in their children's lives. The new 70-page curriculum was created to fill that gap.
Topics covered by the curriculum include:
- What do we know about fatherhood?
- Current child welfare practice regarding fathers
- Agency assessment and policies
- Communicating with fathers
- Principles of practice (including case examples)
- Evaluation tools
More information about the curriculum can be found on the NFPN website at http://www.nfpn.org/fatherhood/training_curriculum.php. The curriculum costs $50 and can be ordered online from NFPN at http://www.nfpn.org/products/ or by writing to:
Priscilla Martens, Executive Director
National Family Preservation Network
3971 North 1400 E.
Buhl, ID 83316
Read more about the role of fathers in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Literature Review Explores Non-Custodial Fathers' Involvement in Child Welfare" (April 2003)
- "Supporting Responsible Fathers in Baltimore, Maryland" (May 2002)
- "LONGSCAN Examines Fatherhood" (April 2002)