Fall 2013

Practice Issues in Child Welfare - 796.53
Tuesday - 11:00AM-12:50PM - Room: SB 332

Session 1  
Introduction and Orientation to the Course

Resources and Readings:
     Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2012 data
Data as of July, 2013

Safety, Permanency and well Being from the Children's Bureau

Issue #113 (Summer 2013)

 issue cover

New From Rise


story art  
Illustration by Patricia Battles  

August 2013 Story of the Month:

Compassion in the Court!
Model courts find that supporting parents can strengthen the whole family.


Child welfare cases are heard in courts because parents and children have legal rights, and the role of lawyers and judges is to protect those rights. But in a typical court case, when one side wins, the other side loses. In child welfare, that’s not the case. When parents lose, children lose. Children and parents both do best when children can safely return home.>>>(more)

story art  
Illustration by Karolina Zaniesienko  

‘I Used to Be in Your Shoes’
As a parent advocate, I help lawyers and parents connect.


I am a parent advocate at the Center for Family Representation (CFR) in New York City. CFR provides parents in child welfare proceedings a lawyer, social worker, family advocate, and parent advocate to support them.>>>(more)


story art  
Illustration by Thaynia Waldron  


‘We’re Here for You’
Support and straight talk helped me trust my lawyer and her team.


On my first day in family court after my son was placed in foster care, I walked up to my court-appointed attorney, introduced myself and asked, “How can you help me?” He just stared me up and down. In court, he said nothing on my behalf. I was furious.>>>(more)


story art  

Rise Issue #24 Summer 2013
Your Lawyer and You

When you enter the courtroom with a child welfare case, you can feel like it’s you against the world in the most important fight of your life.

In this issue, parents describe the impact of lawyers who believed in them and the heartbreak of lawyers who didn’t fight hard enough. We also highlight the innovations that are making it easier for lawyers to act as zealous advocates and for parents to make their voices heard in court.

Sessions 2 & 3  

September 10 & 17, 2013

Where Do Our Families Come From and What Do We Mean by Meaningful Family Engagement?

Resources and Readings:

Practice Guide for Family Centered Casework Practice (PPT)

Meaningful Family Engagement by Nicole Bossard, Angela Braxton and Debra Conway

Nothing About Us, Without Us: Meaningful Youth and Family Engagement in Child Welfare Nicole Bossard, Sara Munson, Angela Braxton, Debra Conway, Benjamin Muhammad, and Gerald P. Mallon


  • Digital Stories from the Field: Family Partner Perspectives 
    The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) at the Hunter College School of Social Work, A Service of the Children's Bureau, developed this website, which represents NRCPFC’s on-going work to create digital stories with key stakeholders in the child welfare field. The stories include the perspectives of parents and family partners, as well as former foster youth, social workers, supervisors, advocates, judges, and CASA workers. NRCPFC has convened a group of family partners who have been working in their states through the initial demonstration Systems of Care grants. On the Family Partner Perspectives section of the Digital Stories website, family partners share their stories and experiences as birth families, adoptive families, and agency practitioners in order to help promote family engagement. The storytellers present their narratives, combining their voices with images, sounds, and video, to create short powerful digital movies that easily can be shared with a designated audience. Each story is accompanied by additional web-based resources on the story topic.
  • Permanency Planning Today, Winter 2011: Meaningful Family Partnerships
    This issue of Permanency Planning Today, NRCPFC’s bi-annual newsletter, provides an overview of NRCPFC’s work related to the integration of meaningful family partnerships throughout child welfare practice and features articles on the following aspects of meaningful family engagement: Extreme Recruitment, an approach to family finding and achieving permanency for youth; engaging non-custodial fathers; and, effectively engaging, recruiting, coaching, and supervising Parent Partners/Advocates. In this issue, NRCPFC Family Engagement Consultants share their perspectives and reflections in the articles, “A Letter to My Social Worker” and “If I Knew Then What I Know Now.” (Winter 2011)
  • Family Engagement Resources
    This NRCPFC resource handout provides a listing of resources on the topic of family engagement in child welfare, including a description of each resource and a website address where it can be accessed online. (October 2010)
  • Meaningful Family Engagement Resources from NRCPFC- and LCWCWP-Sponsored TA: Louisiana DCFS Staff Development and Appreciation Initiative 
    In September and October 2010, several members of the NRCPFC Family Engagement Consultant team were involved in providing intensive technical assistance (TA) that Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project (LCWCWP) and National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) sponsored as part of Louisiana’s DCFS Staff Development and Appreciation initiative in the Lake Charles, Greater New Orleans and Covington Regions. The PowerPoint, Agenda, and Handouts from this TA are available on the LCWCWP website. Handouts include: Father Presence/Father Involvement, Engaging Fathers Discussion Guide, Benefits and Consequences of Change, Birth Parent Engagement Assessment Tool, Meaningful Engagement of Birth Families as Partners Values and Goals. 
  • Meaningful Parent Leadership: A Guide for Success
    This guide from the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the T/TA Network, is designed to encourage organizations working in the area of child abuse prevention and family support to include parents in their program planning, implementation, and evaluation activities.  It is also intended to motivate parents to fully utilize these opportunities. (April 2010)
  • ABA Child Law Practice Articles on Parent Partners
    These issues of Child Law Practice, an American Bar Association Publication, feature the following articles on parent partners:
    • From the Courthouse to the Statehouse: Parents as Partners in Child Welfare
      This article discusses the role of parent partners, highlights parent partner programs throughout the country and the outcomes of these programs, emphasizes the importance of training, offers web resources, and includes a parent advocate story developed by Rise, a magazine written by and for parents involved in the child welfare system. By Diane Boyd Rauber, Child Law Practice Vol. 28, No. 10 (December 2009)
  • Successful Family Reunfications Project 
    In this report from the Successful Family Reunifications Project, families in Washington State shared the challenges they faced, their insights into what led to their success, and their ideas about how we can help more families succeed. The project was sponsored by the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts, Court Improvement Program and Catalyst for Kids. (2006)

Teleconferences, Webcasts, and Videos

  • NRCPFC Webcast: Meaningful Family Engagement 
    Meaningful family engagement is a prerequisite for helping families achieve their goals. This National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections webcast focused on meaningful engagement of families, particularly birth parents. The discussion included strategies for states focusing on how to successfully engage family members affected by the child welfare system, including fathers and paternal resources. In addition, a birth parent shared her experience as a former client and now a national consultant helping public child welfare agencies better engage families within and beyond the case plan. Using state examples of promising practices with meaningful family engagement strategies, this webcast also discussed utilizing the voice of parents as presenters and in digital stories. (January 26, 2011)


Cris Beam’s ‘To the End of June’
Cris Beam reports on America's complicated foster care system.



Alma's Family - Part One

Engaging Families Embracing Change

Parent Peer Mentors in CW Contra Costa

RES Frame 2006


Session 4  

September 24, 2013

Implementation Science and Setting SMART Goals

Resources and Readings:

Implementation Science and Setting SMART Goals-

Case Planning -- https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/

SMART Goals  -- http://www.extension.org/pages/11229/what-are-smart-goals#.UkDj1bx8J6M

Implementation Science - NIRN -- http://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/



Session 5  

October 8, 2013

Meaningful Engagement of Families

Resources and Readings:
Please watch these digital stories:
Parent Perspectives: 

Family Partner Perspectives:


Rise magazine


October 2013 Story of the Month
A Family That Heals Together
Child-parent therapy can help parents and children recover from trauma.

By Erica Harrigan-Orr
All parents feel overwhelmed sometimes when their children do normal things, like have temper tantrums or act demanding. But for parents who have experienced trauma, those difficult moments can remind us of painful childhood experiences when we felt terrified or overwhelmed by someone who was out of control. When that happens, we can respond by getting too angry or by shutting down. 
>> Read more


There Is Always a Way Forward
Therapy showed me I could build a better future for myself and my children.

By Micarline Laventure

When I started attending the Safe Mothers, Safe Children program at the ACS-NYU Children's Trauma Institute, I felt like my past had completely destroyed me and my relationship with everyone.

>> Read more


Rise Issue #25 Fall 2013
The Impact of Trauma on Parenting
Parents who have suffered trauma in their own childhoods want to give their children better lives, but the feelings of rage, shame, fear and hopelessness that so often come from trauma can get in the way.
In this issue, parents write about how trauma has impacted them as parents, and offer insights into child welfare policies and practices that either cause more pain or support them in healing themselves and their children.
>> Read more


Session 7  

Engaging Youth
October 22, 2013

Resources and Readings:

Session 8  

Safety Risk Decisions
October 29, 2013

Resources and Readings:

Session 10  

November 5, 2013

Resources and Readings:

Family Group Conferencing An Overview

Assessment & Case Planning in Child Welfare

What Happens When I Report a Suspected Case
of Child Abuse or Neglect?


Session 11  

Evidence Based Practices in Child Welfare 
November 12, 2013

Resources and Readings:

Evidence Based Practices in Child Welfare
Increasingly, the Children’s Bureau, and the field of child welfare in general, is focused on the utilization of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to support and achieve well-being, safety, and permanency for children, youth, and families. The field of child welfare can continue to become more skilled and effective by using evidence-based and evidence-informed practices and continuing to develop our knowledge base, as well as by drawing on the work of allied disciplines. Given this movement in the field, NRCPFC aims to provide resources and information on this topic through this new micro-site, as well as through our Information Services and Training & Technical Assistance. This site features resources and information from: the NRCPFC; the Children’s Bureau/ACF/DHHS and T&TA Network; Collaborating Organizations; and, the States. It also features Databases/Directories of EBPs. We plan to update the site regularly and invite you to write to us with any additional resources that could be included!

Child Welfare Gateway - EBP

California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare

Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming An Evidence Based Practice
Demonstrating that a program accomplishes its stated goals is increasingly important for social service organizations—funders and clients want to see the evidence of successful outcomes. Although a full-scale evaluation can be a costly and overwhelming goal, adopting the information-gathering and self-reflective approaches that lead up to an evaluation can strengthen an agency’s focus and procedural consistency. As part of the MacArthur Foundation Models for Change initiative, the Vera Institute of Justice created this guide, which describes the process that assesses whether a program qualifies as evidence based—which often determines an organization’s funding and the growth of its client pool—and explains how programs can prepare to be evaluated.

ACS Announces Seven More ChildSuccessNYC Agencies


Session 12  

 Intersection Between Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice - Jeremy Kokomban, Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry, NY

November 26, 2013

Resources and Readings:

News Stories in Child Welfare


CA: The arduous journey of the foster child
Somona Index Tribune - October 04, 2013
This is the first of a three-part series that will look at life in California's foster care system for both foster children and foster parents.



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