Building Connections With Community
These resources showcase examples of maintaining and/or building connections with community members to support and encourage youth and families who have contact with the child welfare system as well as to achieve permanent lifelong connections for youth. Resources include State and local examples.
Aims to connect the foster care alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care. FCAA has launched a multimedia "I Am Here" campaign to raise awareness about the needs of foster youth and to let the 450,000 youth in care know that their alumni family is here for them. View the I Am Here video.
Children and Family Research Center, Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic of the Emory University School of Law, Fostering Results, & American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law's National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues
Helps States open collaborative dialog among all stakeholders in their child welfare systems through the use of data and data analysis. Fostering Court Improvement uses existing data sources, available in every State, as a platform for quantitative discussions of juvenile courts, their performance, and their contributions to the overall health report of child welfare in the State.
(PDF – 261 KB)
Moore & Hamilton (2010)
Examines the association between out-of-school time (OST) program quality and adolescent outcomes. Research is sparse on what constitutes a quality program. However, several elements of program quality are frequently identified. The results suggest the importance of high-quality OST programs that promote a sense of physical and emotional safety, enable youth to build positive relationships, allow youth a role in decisions, and support development of social skills.
Mentoring for Young People Leaving Foster Care: Promise and Potential Pitfalls
Spencer, Collins, Ward, & Smashnaya
Social Work, 55(3), 2010
Reviews the literature on the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs and on the psychosocial outcomes and needs of youths leaving foster care. A set of considerations for maximizing the potential benefits of mentoring for transitioning youths is also provided.
(PDF – 1198 KB)
Casey Family Services (2009)
Explores the use of permanency teaming to ensure youth have lasting family relationships and preparation for responsible adulthood. The permanency teaming approach brings together all the adults identified as important to a young person to work with the youth to plan and prepare for adulthood and strengthen or build family connections.
(PDF – 165 KB)
Cavell, DuBois, Karcher, Keller, & Rhodes (2009)
Summarizes the latest research on youth mentoring and outlines several new directions for programs and policies aimed at connecting young people with caring adults that build on current knowledge.
State and local examples
Caring Communities Demonstration Project, Clark County, Nevada: Final Report 2003–2009
Clark County Department of Family Services (2010)
Describes the activities of a federally funded project, which aimed to use a community-based systems of care approach to improve safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and placed with kin caregivers in Clark County, Nevada. Results indicate that kinship family placements increased because of the project, as did child safety, permanency, and well-being.
Courts Consulting with Children: Insuring Meaningful Participation of Children in Juvenile Court Permanency Hearings(PDF – 66 KB)
Oregon Judicial Department, Juvenile Court Improvement Program (2010)
Lists recommendations that resulted from a 2008 meeting facilitated by Oregon's Juvenile Court Improvement Program to identify considerations and priorities related to the development of best practices for courts as they implement a Federal mandate to consult with children in permanency hearings.
Fostering a New Future for California's Children: Ensuring Every Child a Safe, Secure, and Permanent Home: Final Report and Action Plan(PDF - 3252 KB)
California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, & Center for Families, Children and the Courts (2009)
Presents the recommendations of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, which was charged with providing recommendations to the Judicial Council of California on ways courts and their partners can improve safety, permanency, well-being, and fairness for children and families in the child welfare system.