Spring 2012

Policy and Practice in Child Welfare – 702.15
Tuesday - 9:00-10:50AM - Room: SB 218

Session 1 - February 7, 2012– In Person Class
- Introduction and Orientation to the Course
Resources and Readings:

Multiple Transitions: A Young Child's Point of View about Foster Care and Adoption Multiple Transition Video Text

Watch this Great Two Part Series "WE INTERRUPT"
Listen to what Minnesota Youth in Foster Care have to say about Permanency in their lives.  This fabulous production was made possible by Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)

CWOP's Executive Director Mike Arsham participated in a panel at a policy forum at the Center for New York City Affairs. The title was: "Ties that Bind: Re-imagining Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare for Teens, Families & Communities."

Also on the panel was ACS Commissioner Ronald Richter and Gabrielle Prisco, Director of the Juvenile Justice Project at the Correctional Association of New York. 
Click here to watch a video of the forum.  

Session 2 – February 14, 2012 – Asynchronous Class
- Child Welfare History

Resources and Readings:
Child Welfare History
PA: Eileen Keller recently spoke about her family's history with the orphan trains
Pittsburg Morning Sun January 25, 2010
Between 1854 to 1929, orphan trains from New York transported over 300,000 destitute children from the city streets or orphan asylums to new homes in the Midwest. Many of them came to Kansas, including four who lived with J.K. and Sarah Hiebert, Hillsboro, grandparents of Eileen Keller, Pittsburg. She discussed the orphan trains and shared family stories recently for a meeting of the Red Hot Toppers, a local chapter of the Red Hat Society.

Timeline of Major Child Welfare Historical Event

Power Point on Child Welfare History

The Broken CordProduct Details
In his intensely personal, disturbing, and moving account of a father's struggle to come to grips with the devastating and yet preventable condition, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Dorris gives us vital information about a crisis demanding worldwide attention. Himself a Native American, anthropologist/novelist Dorris adopted an Indian child in 1971 who, after batteries of tests and transfer from school to school, was finally diagnosed as suffering from FAS. To understand fully his son's condition, Dorris was compelled to "systematically confront Native American history." Here he tells of infants born in the throes of delirium tremens, of social workers so frustrated that they frankly discuss the possibility of incarcerating drunken expectant mothers during pregnancy or of sterilizing repeat offenders. Dorris includes a wealth of scientific data, excellent treatments of alcohol's effects upon Native American culture and of the physiopathological aspects of FAS, and a very complete bibliography.


Session 3 – February 21, 2012– In Person Class
- Legislation in Child Welfare
Resources and Readings:

Session 4 – February 28, 2010 – Asynchronous Class
- Well being Issues: Supporting and Preserving Families

Resources and Readings:

Supporting & Preserving Families

Family Preservation and Support

Practice Notes on Family Support from North Carolina

Comprehensive Family Assessment Guidelines for Child Welfare

MEPA - Multi-Ethnic Placement Act
This video presentation is sponsored by the Policy Division of the Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, in coordination with the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption, a service of the Children’s Bureau.

This is a two part video presentation.  Due to the large file sizes, you may need to wait until download is complete before navigating within the video.

Click here to download the PowerPoint handout (PDF format)


Shattered Bonds: The Color Of Child Welfare Dorothy Robertshttp://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Bonds-Color-Child-Welfare/...Roberts, a law professor, offers a sharp, probing look at the alarming public policy that separates children from troubled low-income black families while making efforts to keep similarly troubled white families together. On the basis of 25 years of research on federal, state, and local welfare programs nationwide, Roberts reveals a system that fails to protect the interests of black children. The statistics are startling: black children make up half the foster-care population despite the fact that they constitute less than one-fifth of the nation's children. Roberts' case studies and interviews offer testimony to the human cost of racist assumptions by the middle-class social workers and judges in assessing what is best for children separated from their families. She recalls black parents whose every action is seen through the prism of race: assertion of rights is viewed as aggressiveness and lack of cooperation, whereas bureaucratic rules are strictly enforced, frustrating efforts to regain custody. Readers concerned with social policy will find this a troubling but informative review of America's child-welfare system.

Focusing on Well-Being: Developing a Protective Factors Framework for Youth in Care (NRCPFC Teleconference/Webinar)Date/Time: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 3:00-4:30 PM EST

This free NRCPFC teleconference/webinar will present research on youth development, resiliency, neuroscience, and the impact of trauma on brain development, and will discuss how child welfare agencies and their partners can use this information to define and improve the overall well-being needs of youth in foster care. The presenters will also put forward a newly expanded, research-based Protective Factors Framework for adolescents that can serve as a guide for helping address the development needs of youth and improve their prospects for success. Presenters: Charlyn Harper Browne, Senior Associate and Project Director, Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and Susan Notkin, Associate Director, Center for the Study of Social Policy. Click on the link below to learn more about this event and register to participate.

Rise magazine - March 2012 Featured Story   

Double Life
I was the perfect mother on the outside and an addict inside.
By Anonymous

For 15 years I lived a double life. One side of me: The almost perfect mother, daughter and friend. But then there was the other side of me: A cocaine addict with an abusive boyfriend.
'Maybe I'm Not Any Good'  
Addiction can make it harder to leave an abusive relationship
By Sabra Jackson

Domestic violence and addiction often go hand in hand. Tracey Little, a domestic violence and substance abuse counselor, explores why, and discusses the challenges facing drug-abusing survivors when they come to the attention of the child welfare system.

Session 5 - March 6, 2010 – In Person Class
-Well Being Issues: Health, Mental Health Care and Educational  Issues
Resources and Readings:
Health Care Issues
Meeting the Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care
This presentation focuses on some of the key components in developing strategies to address improving performance in meeting the health care needs of children in foster care. Presented 10/24/2005 at the Annual National Association of State Foster Care Managers meeting by Jan McCarthy, Director of Child Welfare Policy, National TA Center for Children's Mental Health at Georgetown University.

The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999: Enhancing Youth Access to Health Care 
This article from the July-August 2000 Journal of Poverty Law and Policy discusses the option for states to extend Medicaid eligibility for young people who are under 21 and who on their 18th birthdays were in foster care under the custody of the state. In addition to implementing this option, states can take many steps through their child welfare agencies and Medicaid agencies to ensure that young people leaving foster care enroll in Medicaid and receive the services to which they are entitled.

Working Together: Health Services for Children in Foster Care
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services developed this manual with the assistance and advice of voluntary agencies and county departments of social services. The primary audiences are foster care caseworkers, supervisors, and persons responsible for the coordination of health services. It is not specifically designed for distribution to foster parents, child care workers, or health care practitioners. The policies, protocols, and legal footnotes are specific to New York State's locally administered, state supervised foster care system. However, it contains some more general information and serves as an excellent model

Check out the Health and Mental health Care Care Issues section of the Fostering Connection site on the NRCPFC website: 

Mental Health Care
Mental Health Needs of Foster Children and Children At-Risk for Removal
This article from the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter focuses on the mental health needs of children entering foster care and children at risk of entering care. The article explores the range of mental health needs and ways to address those needs using evidence-based practices. The article discusses ways to work with children as well as methods for parent and foster parent training. (2009)

Parental Mental Health and the Child Welfare System
Research indicates that children with parents/caregivers with significant mental health needs are at greater risk of involvement in the child welfare system. These resources describe promising practices for screening and treatment, tools and training, fact sheets, Web sites, and research to better understand how mental health and child welfare systems can work together to support parents and caregivers with mental health needs.

Check out Health and Mental Health Resources on the NRCPFC Website:

http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/ info_services/

http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/ info_services/

Listen to:
Emotional Well-Being of Children & Youth in Foster Care
On September 20, 2005, the NRCPFC and CWLA hosted the first of a series of teleconferences for state foster care and adoption managers on mental health issues. Listen to the audio files and download the handouts.

Focusing on Well-Being: Developing a Protective Factors Framework for Youth in Care - On February 29, 2012, NRCPFC hosted this webinar on well-being issues.

Strategies for Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Youth in Care 
The second teleconference in the NRCPFC/CWLA series was held November 29, 2005. Listen to the audio files and download the handouts.

Promising Practices for Addressing the Mental Health Issues Impacting Parents of Children in Foster Care The third teleconference in the NRCPFC/CWLA series was held January 31, 2006. Listen to the audio files and download the handouts.

Educational Issues
Q&A: Blueprint for Change: Education Success for Children in Foster Care
This resource from the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education is a “Question & Answer Factsheet” about the Blueprint for Change (a detailed framework that includes goals and benchmarks for children and youth that will help ensure their education success). It answers questions about the development of the Blueprint, its target audience, and how it should be used.
Helping Former Foster Youth Graduate from College: Campus Support Programs in California and Washington State
Campus support programs provide financial, academic, and other types of supports to help former foster youth succeed in college. However, relatively little is known about the impact of these programs on college retention or graduation rates. This Chapin Hall study by Amy Dworsky and Alfred Perez lays the groundwork for an impact evaluation by examining program implementation from two different perspectives. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with the directors of 10 campus support programs in California and Washington State. The interviews covered a variety of domains, including the population served, referral sources and recruitment, the application process, the provision of services and supports, program staff, relationships with stakeholders, and data collection. In addition, participants from 8 of the 10 programs completed a web-based survey that asked about their perceptions of and experiences with the program. The survey included questions about students’ demographic characteristics, referral and recruitment, the application process, reasons for participating in the program, services and supports received, unmet needs, contact with staff, and recommendations for improvement. The report concludes with several recommendations for moving forward with a methodologically sound impact evaluation of campus support programs for former foster youth. (2009)

Check out Educational Issues on the Fostering Connections website for the NRCPFC:  

Listen to:
Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care
On March 31, 2006, the NRCPFC and CWLA hosted a teleconferences for state foster care and adoption managers on educational issues. Listen to the audio files and download the handouts

Session 6 - March 13, 2012 – Asynchronous Class
-Safety Issues
Resources and Readings:

Please read these resources:
Child Sexual Abuse
This manual is intended to address the needs of professionals who encounter child sexual abuse in the course of their work. It describes professional practices in sexual abuse and discusses “how to” address the problems of sexually abused children and their families. It is not designed for laypersons, and it makes an assumption that the reader has basic information about sexual abuse. 

Professionals from a range of disciplines and with varying levels and types of training confront child sexual abuse in their work. This manual is designed to be useful to all of them. It should meet the needs of child protection workers, the front line staff mandated to investigate reports of child maltreatment. It should be valuable to mental health personnel: social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists,
who have responsibilities for reporting, diagnosing, and treating child sexual abuse.

The manual cannot substitute for the discipline-specific training of the professions. Moreover, the manual does not cover all aspects of child sexual abuse in depth. Issues regarding substantiation and case management are explored in greater depth than treatment techniques and research.

Tips for Parenting the Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused.
Robinson, Ron. 2011

Session 7 – March 20, 2012 – In Person Class
-Permanency Issues - Reunification
Resources and Readings:

Visiting Resources From NRCPFC website

Visiting Curriculum 
Introduction to Parent-Child Visits 
Child Welfare Information Gateway and NRCPFC partnered to provide this free, self-guided online training on facilitating visits between parents and children involved with the child welfare system. The training promotes safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families by providing information to help child welfare professionals maintain family connections when children are in out-of-home care, enhance efforts toward family reunification, and improve outcomes for children and families. This training is based on workshops and materials developed by Rose Marie Wentz, NRCPFC Consultant. http://training.childwelfare.gov

Visiting Resources

Videos Demonstrate Caseworker Visits
Nine short videos on the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) website demonstrate best practices for caseworker visits with children and youth in foster care. The videos focus on the changing needs of children at different ages and in different settings. They include:

  • Caseworker Visits: Overview
  • Visits With Infants and Toddlers
  • Visiting Elementary-Age Children
  • Visits With Children Ages 10-12
  • Visiting Youth Placed in Group Homes or Residential Facilities
  • Preparing Foster Children for Visits With Birth Parents
  • Caseworker Visits: Quality Visits
  • Caseworker Visits: Building Stable Placements
  • Caseworker Visits: Supporting Older Youth Transitioning to Independence

To access the videos online, visit the Minnesota DHS website (scroll down to "Training Videos"):

Please watch this webcast:

Session 8 - March 27, 2012 &
Session 9 - April 17, 2012 – In Person Class
Resources and Readings:
Please read these resources:

Learn More About the Adoption Experience

The Adoption History Project

Normative Crisis in the Development of the Adoptive Family 

The Normative Crisis in the Development of the Adoptive Family - Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao  

Life Long Issues in Adoption  

Clinical Core Issues in Adoption  

Lifelong Impact of Adoption

A Child's Journey Through Placement - Dr. Vera Fahlberg

Core Adoption Issue Case Vignettes

Definitions of Adoption

Books on or by Birthparents  

Impact of Adoption on Birthparents

Birthparents Frequently Asked Questions  

The Girls Who Went Away  

Adopted Person Personal Stories

Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons

NJ.com     March 25, 2012
Pam is also an advocate. Much of her energy, her passion, her belief in “the right cause,” has been devoted to adoption, specifically the right of adoptees to have access to their birth records. (In many states, including New Jersey, that access is denied.) That Pam is adopted herself is central to this advocacy; it is at the core of her being. Her search for her own birth parents, for the information on her birth, led her to support the right of all others to have the same kind of information she was seeking.

The Long Shadow of Foster Care

Is College for Me?
(YCteen: Story of the Week)

Understanding the Hague Convention of Intercountry Adoption

The Hague Adoption Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the Convention establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States in April 2008. Read the full text of the Hague Adoption Convention.

Great Books on Adoption Constellation Issues

Session 10 – April 24, 2011
Resources and Readings:
Please listen to this teleconference on Guardianship Issues:Permanency through Guardianship: Formulas for Successful Programs On January 25, 2005 the NRCPFC and CWLA hosted a teleconference for state foster care and adoption managers.
These PowerPoint presentations wer e provided to participants:
Kinship Care:


Kinship Adoption: Meeting the Unique Needs of a Growing Population.

ChildFocus. North American Council on Adoptable Children.
This issue brief draws attention to the unique needs of children who are adopted by their relatives. Specifically, it addresses the following questions: Why is kinship adoption on the rise? How does kinship adoption differ from other adoptions? What policies and practices can agencies consider to achieve successful kinship adoptions? (Author abstract)

Session 11 – May 1, 2012– In Person Class
- The Array of Residential Programs
Resources and Readings:
  • Improving Residential Care for Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care
    This NRCPFC document collects available guidelines, models, research, articles, and state and local examples that deal with improving residential care for children and youth in the foster care system.

  • Licensing Standards for Residential Placement Facilities
    We have collected links to state licensing standards for residential placement facilities in this document.

  • Institutions vs. Foster Homes: The Empirical Base for a Century of Action
    This report from the Jordan Institute for Families, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds that institutional care is not an essential component of the child welfare system for the majority of children. The review considers four outcome measures for children in institutional care, including child abuse and neglect rates, reunification, success of young adults leaving care, and financial costs of care.

  • Practicing Restraint
    This article from the Child Welfare League of America's "Children's Voice" discusses the use of restraint and seclusion in residential group homes.

  • Residential Group Care Quarterly
    This Child Welfare League of America publication is available online. Sign up to receive e-mail alerts when the newest issue of Residential Group Care Quarterly is available.

  • Update: Latest Findings in Children's Mental Health, Vol. 2, No. 1
    According to findings of a 1997 survey, conducted by the U.S. Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), many teenagers with severe and complex emotional disturbances are found in residential care programs rather than psychiatric hospitals. Often, these are "system kids" who are shuttled in and out of temporary placements in various child-serving agencies. This publication is the result of a collaboration among Rutgers University, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

  • Residential Treatment Programs: Concerns Regarding Abuse and Death in Certain Programs for Troubled Youth
    Residential treatment programs provide a range of services, including drug and alcohol treatment, confidence building, military-style discipline, and psychological counseling for troubled boys and girls with a variety of addiction, behavioral, and emotional problems. This testimony from the Government Accountability Office concerns programs across the country referring to themselves as wilderness therapy programs, boot camps, and academies, among other names. GAO found thousands of allegations of abuse, some of which involved death, at residential treatment programs across the country and in American-owned and American-operated facilities abroad between the years 1990 and 2007.

  • Residential Facilities: State and Federal Oversight Gaps May Increase Risk to Youth Well-Being
    This Government Accountability Report discusses findings of a survey to examine youth well-being in residential facilities as well as the ability of states and the Federal government to provide oversight.

  • Residential Facilities: Improved Data and Enhanced Oversight Would Help Safeguard the Well-Being of Youth with Behavioral and Emotional Challenges
    This Government Accountability Report provides national information about (1) the nature of the incidents that adversely affect the well-being of youth in government and private residential facilities, (2) how state licensing and monitoring requirements address the well-being of youth in residential facilities, and (3) what factors affect federal agencies’ ability to hold states accountable for youth well-being in residential facilities. It also provides information on options that states, federal agencies, and Congress may use to better promote youth well-being in residential facilities.

  • Residential Transitions Project: Phase One Final Report
    This report from the Child Welfare League of America was undertaken to inform the development of a model for residential group care that reflects current research findings and the appropriate place of residential group services in the child welfare service continuum. The report includes: a review of data on the utilization of residential group placements in child welfare; a review of the literature on residential group care; a survey of state child welfare agencies; a survey of state child and family services provider associations; and asurvey of California DSS, Children, Youth, & Families county offices
  • Restraint and Seclusion
    This NRCPFC teleconference for state foster care and adoption managers provides an overview of legislation impacting restraint and seclusion, promising practices that successfully reduce the use of these techniques and a movement from use of restraint to trauma-informed care.
NRCPFC Information Packet

Session 12 – May 8, 2012 – synchronous Class
- Youth Permanency
Resources and Readings:

Please review these resources and references 

Please watch these digital stories about young people and permanency - look at those marked new first and then look at Leslie's story

Please watch these digital stories about youth permanency workers - these are from a worker's perspective and very compelling too.

From Place to Place has been released!

Also please read this article from AHA on Reinstating Parental Rights: Another Path to Permanency? 
This article by Susan Getman and Steve Christian examines an innovative approach to permanency for youth in foster care: reinstatement of parental rights. To demonstrate the rationale for this policy, trends are highlighted regarding youth with the goal of alternate planned permanent living arrangements and those who age out of care with no permanent legal connections to adults. The article also looks at data regarding youth who maintain or seek out connections with birth families after emancipation from foster care. The statutes that authorize reinstatement of parental rights are then analyzed. The article concludes with some brief thoughts about what child welfare agencies and courts should consider as they prepare to implement these new statutes. This article is from “Love and Belonging for a Lifetime: Youth Permanency in Child Welfare”, a special issue of Protecting Children, a professional publication of American Humane Association. (Volume 26, Number 1, 2011)

Please review this power point on Unpacking the No of Permanency for Adolescents

Annenberg Digital - May 7, 2012
Children’s rights experts estimate that somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of foster youth become homeless within 18 months of aging out of the system.

Elizabeth Calvin, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, criticized the foster care model for failing to prepare children for adulthood.

US: Helping foster kids transition to adulthood
Governing     May 9, 2012
With the support of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MDRC is working with University of Chicago researcher Mark Courtney to evaluate transitional living programs launched by Youth Villages, a nonprofit established in 1986 that currently serves 18,000 kids and young adults in 11 states.

Session 13 – May 15, 2012 - In Person Class – LAST CLASS
- Systemic Issues in Child Welfare
Resources and Readings: