Displaying items by tag: Foster parents - CLARO

Toolkit to Support Child Welfare Agencies in Serving LGBTQ Children, Youth, and Families

As the culture and laws related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals have become more inclusive in recent years, an increasing number of LGBTQ people are self-disclosing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (i.e., “coming out”) during childhood or adolescence. Additionally, the number of LGBTQ individuals coming forward to serve as temporary or permanent caregivers to children and youth in foster care has increased.

This toolkit is designed to help States and territories adapt their policies and practices to meet the growing needs of LGBTQ children, youth, and families. It provides links to knowledge and skill building resources, including articles, videos, tools, training curricula, tip sheets, information briefs, websites, and other products. Resources are divided into the five categories. 

Access the website with resources, click here.

Published in Best Practices

Creating LGBTQ Affirming Agencies Video and Guide

The Creating LGBTQ Affirming Agencies video and guide builds State and territorial capacity to create culturally inclusive environments within child welfare agencies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Creating a culturally inclusive environment means developing a welcoming, culturally sensitive, supportive, and affirming agency for all people—regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Culturally inclusive child welfare agencies provide children, youth, and families with opportunities to: 

  • See themselves mirrored in the agency’s art and photos
  • Feel visible instead of invisible
  • Fill out forms inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Receive respectful treatment from support staff, frontline staff, training staff, and supervisory staff

The Creating LGBTQ Affirming Agencies Video Guide (PDF - 219 KB) helps public child welfare agencies understand the purpose of and context for the Creating LGBTQ Affirming Agencies video and how the video can be used to support LGBTQ children, youth, and families who are involved in the child welfare system. It also includes additional resources as well as discussion questions that agencies may use to facilitate presentation of the video.

This video illustrates two versions of one couple's experience with an agency: The first version shows an agency that does not demonstrate a culturally-inclusive environment, while the second version shows an agency that does.

Video Link

Published in Best Practices
An Inclusive Approach to Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities
To move toward national policies that will, by extension, lead to better outcomes for youth with disabilities and others, the Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) Workgroup aims to embed equality, diversity, inclusion, and opportunity into its policy work. Doing so ensures our federal interagency strategy “removes disability from the special shelf ” and reflects the underlying spirit of civil rights laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 2014 (WIOA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which promote the full inclusion, integration, and participation of youth and adults with disabilities. Transition provisions recently enacted by WIOA are consistent with the principles, goals and policy priorities identified in The 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy (2020 Plan).
 
To read the full report, click here.
Published in Children's Justice Act
Friday, 17 February 2017 16:38

Positive Parenting Tips

As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. These links will help you learn more about your child’s development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child’s life. The following links are from the Child Welfare Information Gateway:

Published in Children's Justice Act
 
This year’s Resource Guide continues to reflect the theme of the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect’s 20th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, "Building Community, Building Hope," which was held in Washington, DC, in August 2016. Going forward, the Resource Guide will be produced biannually to align with OCAN’s biannual national conference.
 
This guide is a joint product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. This annual Resource Guide is one of the Children’s Bureau’s most anticipated publications, offering trusted information, strategies, and resources to help communities support and strengthen families and promote the well-being of children and youth. Its contents are informed by input from some of our National Child Abuse Prevention Partners, as well as our colleagues on the Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect. Child abuse and neglect is a national issue that affects us all. The consequences of child abuse and neglect ripple across the lifespan, negatively impacting a child’s chances to succeed in school, work, and relationships. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families supports the promotion of meaningful and measurable results in social and emotional well-being, and we continue to support evidence-based and trauma-informed services and practices to achieve positive outcomes for the children, families, and communities we serve.
 
The 2016/2017 Resource Guide plays an important role in these efforts—offering support to service providers as they work with parents, caregivers, and children to prevent child maltreatment and promote social and emotional well-being. To do so, the Resource Guide focuses on protective factors that build on family strengths and promote optimal child and youth development. Information about protective factors is augmented with tools and strategies that help providers integrate the factors into community programs and systems. Agencies, policymakers, advocates, service providers, and parents alike will find resources in this guide to help them promote these important elements within their families and communities. 
 
Effective early prevention efforts are less costly to our nation and to individuals than trying to fix the adverse effects of child maltreatment. We hope this Resource Guide is helpful to you in your efforts to prevent child abuse and promote well-being. We thank you for participating in this important effort and for the work you do each day to build promising futures for our nation’s children and families.
 
Elaine Voces Stedt, M.S.W.
Director
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect
Children’s Bureau
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Administration for Children and Families,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
 
 
 

Protecting Children with Disabilities from Sexual Assault - A Parent's Guide

Written by
Marcie Davis and Scott J. Modell, Ph.D.
Published by
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Inc.

Individuals with disabilities experience victimization of violent crimes at greater rates than those without disabilities. Sorensen (2002) reported that major crimes against people with disabilities are underreported when compared to the general population and estimated that individuals with disabilities are over four times more likely to be victims of crime than are people without disabilities. The risk of being a victim of crime, especially a victim of sexual assault, is 4 to 10 times higher for someone with a disability. Research studies (Powers, 2004; Nosek, 2001; Sobsey, 1994; Petersilia, 1998; Waxman, 1991) consistently report that there is a very high rate of sexual violence against people with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as, those with significant speech/communication disabilities.


Furthermore, the risk of sexual violence appears to increase with the degree of disability (Sobsey & Varnhagen, 1988). Compounding the physical and mental trauma of violence, crime victims with disabilities are less likely to seek medical attention and report the victimization to law enforcement due to limited access to the criminal justice system.

 

Read the full document - click on the attached file. 

Violence Against Children with Disabilities: What Foster Parents Need to Know

Authors

  • Scott J. Modell, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee
  • Marcie Davis, M.S., Project Director, New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
  • Carla Aaron, M.S.S.W., Executive Director, Office of Child Safety, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee
  • Amy Coble, M.S., Director of Investigations, Office of Child Safety, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee

Children with disabilities are often targeted for abuse. The risk of abuse is even greater for children with disabilities in foster care. As a foster parent of a child with a disability, this guide is designed to help you have the information necessary to keep your child safe.
While child abuse, neglect, exploitation and sexual assault can affect any child, children with disabilities are at greater risk of maltreatment than children without disabilities. Child maltreatment is generally defined using the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): “The term ‘child abuse and neglect’ means, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g). Each State provides definitions of child maltreatment in law, most commonly in four categories: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment.

To read the full content, click on the attached file. 

The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (http://www.fostercareandeducation.org) would like to share important news regarding the issuance of final federal regulations by the U.S. Department of Education implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This link will guide you to the regulations released on November 28, 2016: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essaaccountstplans1129.pdf.

There are several key provisions in these regulations important to children in foster care, but the language addressing transportation is most timely given impending deadlines.  The regulations clarify the obligation of education and child welfare agencies to provide transportation during disputes over payment of any "additional costs" of transportation to maintain children's school stability.  Specifically, the regulations reinforce the responsibility of the State Education Agencies (SEAs) to:

  • Ensure that children in foster care promptly receive transportation, as necessary, to and from their schools of origin when in the children's best interest.
  • Ensure that LEAs that receive funding under Title I collaborate with child welfare agencies to develop and implement clear written transportation procedures that describe how school stability will be ensured in the event of a dispute over which agency or agencies will pay for any additional costs incurred.
  • Ensure that LEAs' local transportation procedures describe which agency or agencies will initially pay the additional costs so that transportation is provided to children in foster care during the pendency of any funding disputes.

These regulations send a clear message that providing transportation to achieve school stability for children in foster care is of paramount importance and that SEAs as well as LEAs, in collaboration with local child welfare agencies, have a clear duty to ensure that transportation is promptly provided.  Neither ESSA nor this regulation specifically allocate the responsibility to fund additional costs to either LEAs or local child welfare agencies.  Rather, this new regulation clarifies that state and local educational agencies have bottom line responsibility for developing and implementing procedures that guarantee school stability transportation for all children in foster care when disputes arise - and during the pendency of disputes - over which agency or agencies will fund any additional costs incurred.

These regulations go into effect January 30, 2017. However, it is important to remember that the provisions in ESSA relating to school stability, prompt school enrollment, and transportation to ensure school stability for children in foster care go into effect on December 10, 2016. State and local child welfare and education agencies must immediately begin or continue conversations about their shared responsibility to support the school stability and the success of students in foster care.  In order to ensure consistency across all districts within a state, the U.S. Department of Education has encouraged SEAs to issue uniform statewide guidance on how disputes should be resolved regarding which agency or agencies will fund transportation (including funding for transportation pending those disputes) and to establish a common dispute resolution process at the state level.

We look forward to continuing to support this work in your state, and encourage you to please contact us with questions or updates.

Kristin Kelly, Esq.

American Bar Association

Center on Children and the Law

1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 662-1733

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 09:40

Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents

Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents

Psychology Today - November 21, 2016

None of the outcome measures showed any difference between families headed by gay versus straight parents. Children's behavior problems were no different between these groups, whether behavior was rated by parents or teachers. Parental stress and family functioning were no different between these groups. In sum, there was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that children generally fared better or worse depending on the sexual orientation of their parents.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adopting-reason/201611/kids-can-thrive-gay-parents

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:30

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Families involved with the child welfare system must often engage with the judicial system. This factsheet is designed to demystify the legal process and inform families of their rights and responsibilities. It includes frequently asked questions about the different stages of court proceedings, how parents and family members can prepare for court hearings, and who and what to expect in the courtroom and throughout the process.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/cwandcourts/

Compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Published in Children's Justice Act
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