Information from Child Welfare Information Gateway about all aspects of domestic and intercountry adoption, with a focus on adoption from the U.S. foster care system. Includes information on assessing, developing, and evaluating adoption programs and services; recruiting adoptive families; preparing children and youth; supporting birth parents; postadoption services; the adoption process; and search and reunion. Click here to access.
Advocacy, Bills and Laws
HHS Issues Program Instruction (PI) on Public Law 113-183
The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) released Program Instructions (ACYF-CB-IM-14-06) on Public Law 113-183, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. The PI outlines some of the changes to the title IV-E plan requirements as a result of the new law. All title IV-E agencies must submit an agency plan amendment that incorporates the relative notification provision and sibling definition that became effective September 29, 2014. Title IV-E agencies that have taken up the option for the title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program are required to submit the attached agency plan amendment that incorporates the successor guardian provision that become effective September 29, 2014. Click here to access.
Guide for States Implementing the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act
The Center for the Study of Social Policy recently released A Guide for States Implementing the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, which is designed to help states meet the “reasonable and prudent parent standard.” This standard will allow foster parents to grant children and youth in their care permission to participate in the normal activities of childhood, such as clubs, sports, and sleepovers. Click here to access.
Report to Congress: Child Welfare Outcomes 2009-2012
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the report, Child Welfare Outcomes 2009-2012: Report to Congress, the thirteenth publication in a series of that is designed to inform Congress and professionals related to the child welfare field about national and state performance on several measures of outcomes for children served by child welfare systems throughout the country. The outcomes address the safety, permanency, and well-being of the children, and focus on widely accepted performance objectives for child welfare practice. Click here to access.
Every Kid Needs A Family: Giving Children In The Child Welfare System The Best Chance For Success
This KIDS COUNT policy report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights state data that point to the urgent need to ensure, through sound policies and proven practices, that everything possible is being done to find loving, nurturing and supported families to children in foster care. The report highlights the promising ways leaders, policymakers, and child welfare advocates can work together to help the 57,000 children who are living in group placements – and overall, the more than 400,000 children in the care of child welfare systems.Every Kid Needs a Family recommends how communities can widen the array of services available to help parents and children under stress within their own homes, so that children have a better chance of reuniting with their birth families. And it shows ways in which residential treatment — a vital option for the small percentage of young people who cannot safely live with family during treatment — can help those young people return to families more quickly and prepare them to thrive there. Click here to access the report.
Foster Care Information and Resources
Information and resources about becoming a foster parent, family foster care, treatment foster care, OPPLA/APPLA, achieving a continuum of care, and statistics from Child Welfare Information Gateway. Click here to access.
Foster Care Toolkit
The Arizona Department of Economic Security created this toolkit for prospective foster parents that explains the process of becoming a foster parent and provides resrources. Click here to access the toolkit.
Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care
This report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlines the high health care needs of children entering, in, or aging out of the foster care system and the government financing in place to meet their health care needs. Click here to download the report.
Map of Waiting Children (Downloadable)
This map shows the number of children in foster care waiting to be adopted in each state. It was created by Voice for Adoption using the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data. The data represents preliminary fiscal year 2013 data, estimates as of July 2014. Click here to access this resource.
Methods to Reduce Medication Use in Nursing Home Can Be Used in Foster Care Setting
Child welfare advocates are following an NPR series about reducing antipsychotic medication in nursing home residents. Similar efforts can be used for the foster care population where youth are prescribed psychotropic medications — medications with alarming side effects — at much higher rates than their peers. Click here to learn more.
Normalcy for Children and Youth in Foster Care
Foster youth are often denied the chance to participate in everyday activities—going to a friend’s house, taking a school trip, working an after-school job, or attending the prom. These “normal” experiences help youth develop interests, acquire skills, and build lasting, supportive relationships. The recently-enacted federal statute (PL 113-183— the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act ) creates the opportunity for state child welfare systems to facilitate age-appropriate experiences for youth in foster care. This May 2015 report by the Juvenile Law Center urges states to opt for a comprehensive implementation of the federal provisions, because promoting normalcy is critical to improving permanency and well-being for foster youth. Click here to access the report.
Kinship Care Information and Resources
Resources from Child Welfare Information Gateway for both caseworkers and for kinship caregivers, on the support kinship families need to be successful. Includes kinship navigator programs, handbooks, and information about issues common to kinship families as well as information on support groups, training, and supporting kinship caregivers who adopt. Click here to access.
The Kinship Treatment Foster Care Initiative Toolkit
Great new resource for supporting kinship placements from Foster Family-based Treatment Association. Download the toolkit.
Permanency and Post-Adoption Support
New Effort Underway to Promote and Support Guardianship and Adoption
The Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG), funded by the Children’s Bureau, is a five-year national project designed to promote permanency when reunification is no longer a goal, and improve adoption and guardianship preservation and support. QIC-AG is built on the premise that child welfare agencies need to provide a continuum of services to increase permanency stability, beginning when children first enter the child welfare system and continuing after adoption or guardianship has been finalized. The center will be selecting six to eight sites to implement and evaluate services. Click here to learn more.
Youth in Foster Care
Trauma and Resilience: A new look at legal advocacy for youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems
A publication from the Juvenile Law Center, written by Jessica Feierman and Lauren Fine. Access a summary click here or the full report click here.
AYPF Issue Brief: Creating Access to Opportunities for Youth in Transition from Foster Care
Each year approximately 26,000 young people in foster care will turn 18 and “age out” of the system. These youth face numerous obstacles as they transition to adulthood such as homelessness, unemployment, difficulty accessing postsecondary education, and financial instability. In this issue brief, AYPF has highlighted best practices and policies and made recommendations to support youth in transition from foster care in three critical areas of need – sustainable social capital, permanency supports, and access to postsecondary opportunities. Access the policy brief here: http://www.aypf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/FOSTER-CARE-BRIEF-12.10-2nd-Draft.pdf
Consensus Statement on Group Care for Children and Adolescents
Released by the American Orthopsychiatric Association, this statement on group care affirms that children and adolescents have the need and right to grow up in a family with at least one committed, stable, and loving adult caregiver. In principle, group care should never be favored over family care and should be used only when it is the least detrimental alternative, when necessary therapeutic mental health services cannot be delivered in a less restrictive setting. Click here to access the report.
White House Releases Fact Sheet Outlining Efforts to Support U. S. Foster Youth
On December 8, 2014, the White House announced steps the administration and child welfare partners are taking to help support the development of foster youth. The fact sheet addresses access to school lunch programs, improving education and employment opportunities, efforts to protect Native youth, and work to build foster youth’s financial security. Click here to learn more.