The Children's Bureau's information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, offers a number of publications related to encouraging parent and youth reunification, enhancing permanency, and promoting healthy families. Listed below are several bulletins for professionals, factsheets for families, and issue briefs that cover research and evidence-based or evidence-informed practices for supporting youth and families in foster care.
Foster care is not forever. Children and youth can and do return home to their families. In fact, this is the most common outcome. This factsheet for families provides a general overview of the reunification process, including what parents can expect while their children are in foster care, what they can do to help their children return home, and what to expect after children return home. Resources available to help families during and after reunification also are included.
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This issue brief provides a broad overview of the crossover between the child welfare field and the work currently being done to prevent and respond to human trafficking of children and youth in the United States. There is a particular focus on sex trafficking of children and youth, because that trafficking type is more likely to affect the child welfare population. This issue brief provides basic background information, including highlights of Federal legislation, and then discusses the needs of victims and the ways that child welfare agencies can address the problem of trafficking of children.
This bulletin provides an overview of the intersection of child welfare and parental incarceration; highlights practices to facilitate parent-child visits during incarceration, include parents in case planning, and work toward reunification; and points to resources to help caseworkers in their practice with these children and families.
This issue brief discusses the steps that may be necessary to create a child welfare system that is more sensitive and responsive to trauma. Every child welfare system is different, and each State or county child welfare system will need to conduct its own systematic process of assessment and planning, in collaboration with key partners, to determine the best approach. After providing a brief overview of trauma and its effects, this issue brief discusses some of the primary areas of consideration in that process, including workforce development, screening and assessment, data systems, evidence-based and evidence-informed treatments, and funding.
This issue brief reviews the eligibility pathways for children and youth in foster care to receive Medicaid or other health-care coverage and looks at some of the newer benefits now mandated through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially those for older youth in or formerly in foster care.
Immigrant families involved with child welfare may face a number of particular issues, such as legal barriers to accessing services, child trauma resulting from difficult immigration or refugee experiences, a parent's detention/deportation by immigration authorities, and acculturation and language issues. This issue brief addresses child welfare's work with immigrant children and families; examines current issues related to immigration and child welfare; provides examples of programs and promising practices; and points to resources for professionals, families, and youth.
Presents an overview of child welfare supervision and explores the dimensions of supervision that agencies may want to consider as they seek to strengthen the effectiveness of their services to children and families. This bulletin is designed to provide child welfare supervisors, managers, and related professionals with examples of States' efforts to strengthen supervisory capacity and with tools and resources to enhance supervisory skills.
This guide is intended to help caseworkers, foster parents, or other caring adults learn about trauma experienced by youth in foster care and treatment options, including approaches other than psychotropic medication. The guide presents strategies for seeking help for youth, identifying appropriate treatment, and supporting youth in making decisions about their mental health. Additionally, this guide serves as a companion guide to the 2012 Making Healthy Choices: A Guide on Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Foster Care.
This factsheet presents information from a review of current research linking protective factors to well-being for children and youth in and transitioning out of foster care. Topics include individual skills and capacities that can improve the well-being of children and youth in foster care, creating a community that supports the well-being of children and youth in care, strategies for practitioners, and resources for more information. This publication is part of a series of five factsheets for practitioners exploring the importance of protective factors in working with in-risk populations served by the Administration on Children Youth and Families.
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This bulletin addresses the specific challenges of permanency planning with youth and highlights successful models and strategies. After reviewing background statistics and research on outcomes for youth who leave foster care without a permanent family, the bulletin looks at Federal legislation enacted to improve these outcomes. Specific strategies for improving youth permanency are described, and examples of programs across the country using these strategies are provided.
Foster parents are the most important source of adoptive families for children in the child welfare system. In order to facilitate these types of adoption, professionals should be knowledgeable about the benefits, costs, and practice implications. This bulletin for professionals discusses the ways that professionals can help foster parents before, during, and after they adopt in order to ensure that the child and family experience a successful adoption outcome.
This bulletin discusses services for children and youth in foster care to address their readiness and preparation for adoption and other permanent relationships. It focuses on ways that child welfare workers and other adults can help to prepare those children and youth whose goal is adoption; however, much of the information on preparation is also applicable to children and youth with other permanency goals. The bulletin examines what has previously been considered adequate preparation as well as current practices and those in development to more effectively ensure that children and youth are better prepared for permanent family relationships, including both legal and relational permanency (permanent relationships with caring adults).
This bulletin explores research, intervention strategies, and resources to assist professionals in preserving connections among siblings when one or more are adopted or in foster care. The importance of the sibling bond is supported by Federal legislation and child welfare best practices that emphasize keeping siblings together whenever possible. Ways to maintain the sibling connections when brothers and sisters are living in different homes are also discussed.
This factsheet was written for foster parents to help them learn about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that foster parents can play in reducing those risks. The factsheet outlines specific actions that foster parents can take to create a welcoming home for all youth in their care and to promote youths' health and well-being in the community. Also included are links to many resources for more information and support.
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This guide presents valuable information for youth in foster care related to making decisions about their mental health, treatment options, and the use of psychotropic medications. Checklists and worksheets are included to help youth organize their thoughts.
This issue brief highlights the history of child welfare in relation to American Indian and Alaska Native children and families and looks at ways that States, Tribes, and related jurisdictions can work together more effectively. Relevant Federal legislation, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, is reviewed, and examples are presented of strategies and tools that can facilitate a smoother working relationship between Tribes and States.
This bulletin is designed to help child welfare professionals promote kinship care by providing information, referral, and support services to kinship caregivers to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in their care. Examples are included of successful child welfare programs around the country that provide services to kinship caregivers.
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Family reunification—the process of returning children in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin—is the most common goal and outcome for children in child welfare. This issue brief looks at the impact of meaningful family engagement, assessment and case planning, and service delivery on family reunification. These strategies are explored through findings from the Child and Family Services Reviews, the literature, and child welfare practice examples.
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A number of grandparents and other relatives care for children whose own parents are unable to care for them. Sometimes, the arrangement (referred to as "kinship care") is an informal, private arrangement between the parents and relative caregivers; in other situations, the local child welfare agency is involved. This factsheet is designed to help kinship caregivers--including grandparents, aunts and uncles, other relatives, and family friends caring for children--work effectively with the child welfare system. Resources, such as links to more detailed information or places to find help, are included.
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