Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:40

Five Steps to a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce

Five Steps to a Stronger Child Welfare Workforce (Press release)

Annie E. Casey Foundation - September 12, 2018

The five-step process described in this paper comes from On the Frontline, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's three-year effort to measurably improve the leading edge of the child welfare workforce: its child protection staff, including investigations caseworkers and supervisors.

Report: : https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-fivestepstoastrongerchildwelfare-2018.pdf

https://youthtoday.org/2018/09/five-steps-to-a-stronger-child-welfare-workforce/

Published in Children's Justice Act

On February 9, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the most significant reform to foster care since the federal government got into that business.

This fundamental re-ordering of the government’s role in child welfare extends far beyond the 437,000 children living in foster care today. A 2017 study found that one in three U.S. children will be investigated as victims of child maltreatment by the time they turn 18. That means millions of American children will have the experience of a child abuse investigator coming into their home, questioning whether or not their parents are fit to care for them. This is no niche concern.

Despite the sweeping implications, the debate since the Family First Prevention Services Act was passed has largely been confined to the narrow world of child welfare policy. But, the development portends something much larger: a historic moment in American governance. At a time of ballooning federal deficits and Congressional leaders’ calls for reining in costly “entitlement” programs like Medicaid and Social Security, Family First quietly but significantly expanded the scope of the federal child welfare entitlement, which currently supports only foster care placements and adoptions.

Read the full article: 

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/foster-care-and-americas-compact-vulnerable-people/31809

 

Published in Children's Justice Act

This paper reviews factors that impact the likelihood that a permanent placement will be attained for a child in care. It begins with a review of system-level factors that act as barriers to permanency, including problems in recruiting and retaining prospective foster and adoptive families, high caseloads and turnover among child welfare workers, inadequate resources to assist families, and an overcrowded court system. Case-level factors that may inhibit a child’s likelihood of obtaining a permanent home are then reviewed and include a prior removal history, placement stability, initial placement, and reason for removal. Finally, the paper reviews child and family level factors that impact permanency outcomes, including demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, race/ ethnicity), physical and mental disabilities, and parental substance use and mental health. Programs and initiatives that have been implemented to support positive permanency outcomes are then highlighted, as well as key federal legislation related to improving permanency outcomes. The need for increased research to identify successful strategies to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families is emphasized. 19 references. 

Link to Report

Title: Achieving Permanency for Children in Care: Barriers and Future Directions. 
Author(s): Madden, Elissa E.;Aguiniga, Donna M. 
Published: 2017 
Available from: Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South) 
https://www.upbring.org/ 
8305 Cross Park Drive 
Austin, TX 78754 

This report presents the findings of a study that investigated transformational relationships between youth and social services workers. The research explored how transformational relationships work, the attributes of workers who are particularly good at creating transformational relationships, and the attributes of organizations that successfully promote transformational relationships. Data was collected through more than 80 interviews with youth, workers, and organization leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom. Following an introduction, the first section describes worker behaviors that helped to build transformational relationships, including listening, persistence over time, being “real”, challenging the youth, showing up in crises, and showing love. Challenges identified by youth that were helped through transformational relationships are then discussed and include: stress, the difficulty of experiencing and recognizing emotions, negative self-perception and shame, and powerlessness and lack of agency. Additional sections explain the transformational relationships helped youth see that they matter, imagine a different future, develop an emerging sense of power and agency, and develop a capacity to self-regulate. Key characteristics of effective workers who were able to develop transformational relationships with youth are described, including optimism and emotional maturity, and important similarities of organizations that excelled at creating a context in which transformational relationships flourish are discussed, including having relationships at the heart of practice, meeting critical needs, embedding relationships as one part of a broader practice model, hiring and supervising workers who have the capacity to excel at relating to youth, making substantial efforts to relate to workers in ways that model how they want workers to related to youth, and tracking the status of relationships. The report closes with recommendations to organizational and system leaders. 3 references. 

Published: 2017 
Available from: Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) 
http://www.cssp.org/ 

1575 Eye Street N.W., Suite 500 
Washington, DC 20005 
Printable version (PDF): https://www.cssp.org/pages/body/Transformational-Relationships-for-Youth-Success-Report.pdf

Published in Children's Justice Act

A booklet for patients and families on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome produced by the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative. 

Link to booklet

This Adolescent Trauma and Substance Abuse (ATSA) online course was developed to provide training and materials for mental health clinicians, substance abuse treatment providers, parents, caregivers, and youth on the complex intersections between psychological trauma and co-occurring substance abuse and dependency. The course includes an interactive online module on “Understanding Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse Among Adolescents,” a webinar and lecture presentation featuring expert faculty from the NCTSN, and a four-part Train-the-Trainer video series entitled “Trauma and Co-Occurring Disorders: Understanding and Working with Youth and Their Caregivers.”

You will need to go to the site first and register - then you can go to the course. Link to NCTSN: https://learn.nctsn.org/login/index.php 

A new report completed by Child Trends, under contract to the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation at the Administration for Children and Families, examines Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs. HMRE programs aim to help youth form healthy relationships and, eventually, healthy marriages (and avoid unhealthy ones) by improving their attitudes, knowledge, skills, and expectations around romantic relationships. This report builds on research that finds that young people's romantic relationships can influence their behaviors and experiences (both positive and negative) during adolescence and beyond.

The report finds that most HMRE programs target and reach diverse-and often disadvantaged-youth populations in a variety of settings. However, these reach more youth ages 14 to 17 than in the 18 to 24 age range, which leads the authors to recommend providing more programs targeted at older youth. Read more about the report's findings and recommendations at acf.hhs.gov.

 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 16:30

Southwest Louisiana Foster Care Coalition

Young adults aging out of foster care have been a large concern not only for our nation, but our community. Some of these individuals will turn eighteen with no connections or resources. As a result, the City of Lake Charles established a committee to help combat this crisis.

The coalition is made up of individuals from various organizations. However, their goal is the same. The goal is to help these young adults by providing them with the tools and guidance to reach their full potential. This document was created by the AmeriCorps Vista members to work on the daily operations to achieve this goal. These young adults are our future. Therefore, it is our responsibility to do all we can to help them.

This website has regional and state resources that are available for foster youth and families.

http://www.swlafostercare.com/

 

Published in Youth

Determining if a Child is Safe

The basic and most important determination judges make in child in need of care cases is whether a child(ren) is safe. Critical safety decisions are made when removing a child and determining whether a child should return home. However, without a comprehensive decision-making structure and thorough inquiry, decisions can lead to over and under removal, leaving children unsafe or returning them home too quickly. 

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has implemented a research-based, structured safety assessment process designed to avoid these problems. It is the responsibility of all individuals involved in a case to understand the goal of child safety, the terminology used when discussing safety, and the type of information needed to make good decisions about child safety.

This bulletin was developed in 2016 by the Pelican Center for Children and Families with assistance from ABA Center for Children and the Law and the Pelican Center/Louisiana Child Welfare Training Academy Training and Education Committee members. Please download and share!

 

Published in Law and Best Practices

"Nonmedical prescription opioid misuse is a fast growing public health problem and primary cause of unintentional deaths nationwide, particularly in many rural areas of the country.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyday 44 people die of a prescription drug related overdose.1 The opioid crisis is multifaceted and affects communities nationwide. When the costs are calculated they exceed $55 billion annually."

Foster parent shortage dire as heroin overdoses rise

WBAL - May 24, 2017

In a policy brief from July 2016 titled "Families in Crisis," the HRSA stated that the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Health Services "is concerned that the opioid crisis could exacerbate child abuse and neglect given that we're seeing a link nationally. State child welfare systems have reported that they are experiencing an increase in families coming to their attention with substance use problems impacting their ability to safely parent."

Report: 1 Families in Crisis: The Human Service Implications of Rural Opioid Misuse: https://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/rural/publications/opioidabuse.pdf

Published in Children's Justice Act
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