The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recently passed resolutions and policy statements on how to improve the lives of youth and families involved with juvenile or family courts. The resolutions address the needs of homeless youth and families, support a developmental approach to juvenile probation, and recognize the need for independent oversight of youth confinement facilities. The Council also released two bench cards: one with guidance on working with youth regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and one on applying principles of adolescent development in delinquency proceedings. In addition, the Council released a guide of principles and practices addressing custody and visitation.

Published in Judges

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recently passed resolutions and policy statements on how to improve the lives of youth and families involved with juvenile or family courts. The resolutions address the needs of homeless youth and families, support a developmental approach to juvenile probation, and recognize the need for independent oversight of youth confinement facilities. The Council also released two bench cards: one with guidance on working with youth regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and one on applying principles of adolescent development in delinquency proceedings. In addition, the Council released a guide of principles and practices addressing custody and visitation.

Published in Home Page

The US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office for Civil Rights have compiled documents that provide guidance to ensure that child welfare agencies and state court systems are aware of their responsibilities to protect the civil rights of children and families in the child welfare system. The attached documents will address policy for Title VI, Disabilities, and Disproportionality issues.

Thursday, 17 August 2017 15:26

Dads Rock! Nurturing Father Engagement

Information Gateway recently added a new video to the Building Community, Building Hope collection called "Dad's Rock! Nurturing Father Engagement." "Dad's Rock!" follows fathers on the journey to deepen their bonds with their children and the professionals working to improve father engagement. Research indicates children have increased positive outcomes when dads are involved, and yet all too often, agencies struggle to attract fathers to their services, and fathers face unconscious bias that keeps them at arms' length. Highlighting the work of the Children's Trust of Massachusetts Fatherhood Initiative, this film takes viewers into home visits with dads, father support groups, and professional men's family service providers' groups. The 11-minute video provides insights into working differently with dads and addressing existing biases. Watch this and other videos in the Building Community, Building Hope collection at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/communities/bcbh/.

Published in Families

The growing awareness of human trafficking in the United States and abroad requires government and human services agencies to reevaluate old policies and develop new ones for identifying and serving victims. Due to their potentially unstable living situations, physical distance from friends and family, traumatic experiences, and emotional vulnerability, children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers who are actively seeking children1 to exploit. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare agencies be at the forefront of the response to and prevention of human trafficking. Additionally, recent Federal legislation established new requirements for child welfare agencies related to identifying and serving minor victims of human trafficking.

1 For the purposes of this report, the term “children” includes youth. The term “youth” is used when source materials specifically reference that population.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE (in attached file)

Child welfare caseworkers can be an invaluable resource in helping communities respond to the human trafficking of children. Children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers because of their potentially unstable living situations, physical distance from friends and family, traumatic experiences, and emotional vulnerability. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare caseworkers be at the forefront of efforts to identify, respond to, and prevent human trafficking. This bulletin explores how caseworkers can identify and support children who have been victimized as well as children that are at greater risk for future victimization. It provides background information about the issue, strategies caseworkers can use to identify and support victims and potential victims, and tools and resources that can assist caseworkers.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT

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

Announcing the electronic version of the FRIENDS Summer 2017 Parent and Practitioner Newsletter.  This newsletter is created by members of the FRIENDS Parent Advisory Council (PAC).  The FRIENDS PAC is excited to announce that starting with this edition, the Parent and Practitioner Newsletter will be simultaneously available in English and Spanish!  As always, feel free to disseminate the electronic version widely among your networks of parents and practitioners.  Don’t forget to check out our website www.friendsnrc.org for the web link to this newsletter and previous editions as well as other great information and resources.

 

MaryJo Alimena Caruso, M.Ed., Training / Technical Assistance Coordinator - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FRIENDS National Center For Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention

 

FRIENDS is a service of the Children’s Bureau

Published in Home Page
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 10:28

2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book

2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book (Press release)

Annie E. Casey Foundation - June 13, 2017

The Annie E. Casey Foundation urged policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help U.S. children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation's economy as adults. The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book also shows the child poverty rate in 2015 continued its drop, landing at 21%. In addition, children experienced gains in reading proficiency and a significant increase in the number of kids with health insurance. However, the data indicate that unacceptable levels of children living in poverty and in high-poverty neighborhoods persist.

2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book: http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-2017kidscountdatabook.pdf

http://www.aecf.org/resources/2017-kids-count-data-book/

Published in Data & Technology

Kinship care families: New policy can guide pediatricians to address needs

Sarah H. Springer, M.D., FAAP
 
 

A growing body of evidence suggests that children who cannot live with their biological parents fare better overall when living with extended family than with nonrelated foster parents. Acknowledging the benefits of kinship care arrangements, federal laws and public policies increasingly favor placing children with family members rather than in nonrelative foster care.

Despite overall better outcomes, families providing kinship care endure many hardships, and the children experience many of the same adversities as children in traditional foster care.

A new AAP policy statement from the Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care outlines the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of these children and families, and offers strategies for pediatricians to help them to thrive. The policy, Needs of Kinship Care Families and Pediatric Practice, is available at https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-0099 and will be published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

As many as 3% of U.S. children live in kinship care arrangements.

Because placement with a kinship caregiver often is sudden and unplanned, caregivers frequently are unprepared to meet the needs of the children and are unaware of available supports. Furthermore, caregivers may not have legal authority to advocate or make decisions for a child, complicating health care and educational decisions. Caregivers frequently have their own financial and health burdens, and often are asked to care for sibling groups, multiplying the stresses.

Pediatricians can help by recognizing these families in the office setting and addressing their needs.

Among the recommendations in the policy are the following:

  • Children may need more frequent visits to address mental health, developmental and educational needs, similar to children in traditional nonrelative foster care. These needs are more common and often more complicated than for children who live with their biologic parents.
  • Families may need information about supports and help accessing legal, health insurance and financial assistance programs.
  • Consent and confidentiality roles may need to be specifically defined.

The policy statement provides information to help pediatricians learn more about resources available in their own states and communities, and how to connect families to those resources.

Advocacy opportunities also are reviewed in the policy, such as working with policymakers and others to eliminate barriers so children can be placed with kin, when appropriate, and ensuring funding to support provision of care and health and social services.

The pediatrician’s role in meeting the health needs of children in kinship care is especially important because most of the families are not connected to child welfare or other formal services.

Dr. Springer, a lead author of the policy, is a member and former chair of the AAP Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care. She also chaired the former Task Force on Foster Care.

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