Measurable Success: Characteristics of Stronger Parent Representation that Improve Outcomes for Children
By Jaclyn Chambers, Eliza Patten, & Zabrina Aleguire

Executive Summary: 
Inadequate legal representation for parents presents a significant barrier to timely permanency for children in the child welfare system. Improved models of parent representation are arising across the country. These programs, which adhere to a core set of quality standards, are associated with improved permanency outcomes for children and reduce or eliminate the need for foster care in many cases. Policymakers, legislators, and funders should support the growth and continued evaluation of such models to determine the full measure of their potential to improve child well-being and to decrease overall system costs.

Full article attached. Thank you to Zabrina Aleguire and Mimi Laver for permission to post here.

Published in Parents' Attorneys

Evaluation of the Effects of a Mentoring Program for Youth in Foster Care on Their Criminal Justice Involvement as Young Adults

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - May 14, 2018

The evaluation of the "My Life" mentoring program for youth in foster care found less criminal offending in early adulthood among male participants.

Report: Extending A Randomized Trial of the My Life Mentoring Model for Youth in Foster Care to Evaluate Long-Term Effects on Offending in Young Adulthood: http://www.corrections.com/system/assets/0000/1319/NCJRS.pdf

http://www.corrections.com/news/article/48171-evaluation-of-the-effects-of-a-mentoring-program-for-youth-in-foster-care-on-their-criminal-justice-involvement-as-young-adults

Published in Data & Technology

The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education is pleased to release the latest edition of the Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care.

This publication provides a review of data and research, laws, and promising programs impacting the educational success of children in foster care. It consists of four sections that can individually or collectively inform advocates, policymakers, agency leaders, and other key stakeholders. These four sections are:

1) A brief data at a glance summary about the educational outcomes of students in foster care;

2) A summary of select federal policies that support educational stability and success and increased data collection and reporting;

3) A comprehensive review of the studies and research related to the education of students in foster care, with accompanying citations; and

4) An overview of some promising data-supported programs or interventions around the country designed to benefit students in foster care. 

This national factsheet reflects a shift in policy and practice around the country over the past decade. The first edition, released in 2006, included a limited, but consistent, group of research studies, all depicting the poor educational outcomes of students in foster care. The 2006 national factsheet raised awareness about the critical importance of prioritizing education for students in foster care. For more than a decade, through the leadership of the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education (National Working Group), with support from various foundations including Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Stuart Foundation, several revised editions of this factsheet have been released, including this 2018 version.

We now have a growing body of research that reflects the educational needs of this group of students, most of which still indicates that students in foster care face significant educational challenges. Fortunately, we also have a growing number of federal and state laws that provide rights and protections for students in foster care, and many promising programs and interventions designed to address a wide range of factors influencing the disparities in education outcomes. With cross-system collaboration and the implementation of improved federal and state policies, we are positioned to build on what is being learned, bring about change, and promote success for all children and youth in foster care. We are grateful to the National Work Group members who have provided information to make this resource a valuable compilation of data, research, and promising interventions. This publication was compiled by the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, a project of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, in partnership with the Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center.

We encourage you to share this resource with your networks.

Sneha Barve

Staff Attorney, Center on Children and the Law American Bar Association

1050 Connecticut Ave.

Suite 400

Washington, DC 20036

 

T:  202.442.3344

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New data: child abuse deaths rise, notably in Texas, Indiana

Associated Press - February 02, 2018

According to a report released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,700 fatalities resulting from child maltreatment reported in fiscal year 2016, compared to 1,589 the previous year - a 7 percent increase. The figures encompass data from every state but Maine, as well as from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Report: Child Maltreatment 2016: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2016

Also: Federal Report: Child Maltreatment Numbers Down, Child Deaths Up: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/federal-report-child-maltreatment-numbers-down-child-deaths-up

Also: United States: Report Reveals Sharp Increase in Child Abuse Deaths: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/United-States-Report-Reveals-Sharp-Increase-in-Child-Abuse-Deaths-20180203-0008.html

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/new-data-child-abuse-deaths-rise-notably-in-texas-indiana/article_4eb78a2d-c7d7-5bf7-914c-7720064c3461.html

Published in Data & Technology

This fact sheet summarizes the findings of an audit of the Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) oversight of Louisiana’s Foster Care Program. The evaluation generally included fiscal years 2012 through 2016 and identified the following issues: DCFS faces significant challenges in performing its required duties, including low staffing levels, high caseloads, frequent turnover of staff, retention of foster parents, and ineffective data systems; DCFS did not always ensure that non-certified foster care providers received required criminal background checks; DCFS allowed nine certified providers with prior valid cases of abuse or neglect to care for foster children during fiscal years 2012 to 2016 without obtaining the required waivers; DCFS management does not have a formal process to ensure that caseworkers assessed the safety of children placed with 68 non-certified providers, as required by policy; State regulations require DCFS to expunge certain valid cases of abuse or neglect from the State Central Registry, which means the cases are not available for caseworkers to consider prior to placing children with providers; DCFS did not always ensure that children in foster care received services to address their physical and behavioral health needs; during fiscal year 2016, 17.9% of foster children in care for less than 12 months had three or more placements, compared to the national median of 14.4%; and DCFS’s performance declined or the percentages of areas needing improvement increased statewide from fiscal years 2014 to 2016 in 7 out of 18 areas evaluated on the Continuous Quality Improvement that related to foster care.

Link to Factsheet

Louisiana Legislative Auditor 
https://www.lla.la.gov/ 
1600 North Third Street 
Post Office Box 94397 
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9397 

Published in Data & Technology

 The 20th in a series, this report presents a set of 41 key indicators that measure important aspects of children's lives. It draws on various overarching frameworks to identify seven major domains that characterize the well-being of a child and that influence the likelihood that a child will grow to be a well-educated, economically secure, productive, and healthy adult. The seven domains are family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. This year’s report contains a special feature that uses teacher- and student-reported data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011) 3rd-grade collection to describe student victimization of peers at school. Findings from the report indicate: there were 73.6 million children ages 0-17 in the United States in 2016, 1.2 million more than in 2000; in 2016, 69% of children lived with two parents, 23% lived with only their mothers, 4% lived only with their fathers, and 4% lived without a parent in the household; between 1980 and 2015, the percentage of all births to unmarried women increased by 22% to 40%; in 2016, 22% of children were native-born children with at least one foreign-born parent; between 1980 and 2015, the birth rate among adolescents declined from 22 per 1,000 to 10 per 1,000; there were 24.3 maltreated children per 1,000 children under age 1 in 2015, more than twice the rate of any other age group; 20% of children lived in poverty in 2015; only 5% of children in 2015 were without health insurance; and in the spring of 2014, about 6% of 3rd-graders were identified as perpetrators of peer victimization. 173 references and numerous tables and figures. 

Printable version (PDF): https://www.childstats.gov/pdf/ac2017/ac_17.pdf

Published in Data & Technology

2016 National Runaway Safeline Crisis Contacts Support.
National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY). Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, Family and Youth Services Bureau. National Runaway Safeline (NRS).
2017
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fysb/nrs_crisis_contacts_report_1.pdf

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.

 

Why Understanding Racial Bias is Crucial for the Responsible Use of Predictive Analytics

Chronicle of Social Change - June 09, 2017

As big data tools like predictive analytics become more prevalent, child-welfare agencies must grapple with implicit racial bias if they want to ensure that it does not cause harm, according to a new white paper published last month by the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University.

Foretelling the Future: A Critical Perspective on the Use of Predictive Analytics in Child Welfare: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ki-predictive-analytics.pdf

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/research-news/understanding-racial-bias-crucial-responsible-use-predictive-analytics/27179

Polaris released the 2016 data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline and Polaris's BeFree Textline. In 2016, 8,042 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Hotline and Polaris. Since 2007, 33,680 trafficking cases have been reported through the National Hotline and Polaris's BeFree Textline, comprising the largest available dataset on human trafficking in the U.S.

Download a summary of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree statistics here.

Reports of human trafficking to the National Hotline and BeFree Textline jumped by 35% in the last year -- an increase that many of you likely felt as you found shelter, investigated cases, provided legal services, or gave local support to thousands of victims across the country. Polaris has been especially encouraged by the fact that more victims and survivors are reaching out directly to the hotlines than ever. In 2016, 24% more survivors contacted the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline for help than in 2015, meaning that more survivors know that we can effectively identify their needs and connect them to you to receive the support they need.

Poloaris is releasing more detailed data about victims than in years past, such as their race and ethnicity. The data also spotlight factors that may have placed these victims at risk, as well as the variety of tactics used to recruit and trap them in a trafficking situation. The 2016 data better illuminate how survivors were most often recruited for sex trafficking (through intimate partners, family members, and those posing as a benefactor) and labor trafficking (through fraudulent job offers and false promises). Additionally, Polaris has stated they are gaining a better understanding of the different ways that victims access the outside world, which helps pinpoint systems where victims could find the support they need to leave their traffickers.

Download the Summary Sheet here. Or check out the updated National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics online, including state-based information, at www.humantraffickinghotline.org/statistics.

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