Fall Resources

The fall season brings a new fiscal year for the federal government and many states. This means agencies are starting new programs and looking for information and resources. Let’s get started!

Assessment Tools

At the beginning and end of the fiscal and calendar years, NFPN sees an increase in customers wanting the assessment tools.  That’s a good indicator agencies are using the tools with new and expanded programs.  Here is some information to consider when looking for an assessment tool:

  • Choose only reliable and valid assessment tools that have a proven track record and that include training, technical assistance, and ongoing research. Otherwise your agency is not only wasting time and money but the families you want to help will have poor outcomes.
  • Policy makers, administrators, and funders want to see reports that show how quality assessments are helping families. The new web database for the NCFAS tools provides report features that can be quickly generated and shared and that include data on both individual and aggregate families.
  • All federal programs and many state programs require trauma-informed practice. NFPN’s Trauma/Post-Trauma Well-Being scale fits the bill as an assessment tool that measures trauma indicators and post-trauma healing.  It’s a comprehensive yet inexpensive tool for initiating trauma-informed practice.
  • There has been a growing increase in the use of assessment tools by home visiting programs and schools. The NCFAS-G is the recommended tool for this use, and NFPN has a new training case example for school-based programs.

For information on all of the assessment tools visit http://www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools

NFPN has arranged for onsite training on the assessment tools for our customers in Australia and Chile.  Contact NFPN for more details. 

Onsite Training

NFPN is now offering an array of onsite training on a variety of topics including Motivational Interviewing, Assessment/Treatment of substance use disorders, Relapse Prevention, Clinical Supervision, Trauma-Informed Care, and many more.

Please contact NFPN to see how we can meet your training needs: director@nfpn.org, 888-498-9047.

Father Involvement

The Fathers and Families Center in Indianapolis celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The Center provides services for fathers on parenting, education, and work skills as well as co-parenting classes and couples counseling for both moms and dads.  For more information on this high-quality center visit https://www.fatherhood.gov/sites/default/files/Resource%20Files/approved_spotlight_fathers_and_families_center_8-17-18_508.pdf

The Safe and Together Institute has a paper on being father-inclusive in child welfare cases that involve domestic violence.  The Institute is a national leader in balancing the need to work with fathers involved in domestic violence while protecting mothers and children.  Anyone working with these families should read this article: https://safeandtogetherinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/OH_FYLAW_Working-with-Men-as-Parents-Brief_July-2018.pdf

James McHale, University of South Florida, is conducting research on father involvement and domestic violence.  In a current study, only 15% of the families were considered unsafe for participation.  For more information visit http://www.usfsp.edu/family-study-center/

Teen Drug Use

Teens are becoming addicted to a non-opioid drug, see file:///C:/Users/User/Documents/Opioids–Xanax.html

Free classroom lessons/resources for K-12 to prevent drug misuse are available here: https://www.operationprevention.com/classroom

Posted by Priscilla Martens

NFPN Executive Director

Kinship Policies and Resources

With the increase in the number of children placed in foster care, kinship placement has become a critical factor.  Placement with kin results in better outcomes for children with greater placement stability and safety. About 32% of children in the child welfare system are living with a relative.  Placement with relatives has increased by approximately one percentage point each year from 2009-2017.

In order to create a “kin first culture” several organizations developed a wikiHow for kinship care with the following seven steps:

Step 1 – Lead with a kin first philosophy

Step 2 – Develop written policies and protocols that reflect equity for children with kin and recognize their unique circumstances

Step 3 – Identify and engage kin for children at every step

Step 4 – Create a sense of urgency for making the first placement a kin placement​

Step 5 – Make licensing kin a priority​

Step 6 – Support permanent families for children

Step 7 – Create a strong community network to support kin families

Each step includes examples from states that have implemented them.  To view the wikiHow visit http://www.grandfamilies.org/wikiHow-for-Kinship-Foster-Care.

Children whose families are involved in abuse and neglect often experience trauma. Although this trauma affects both the child and kin family, the kin placement also provides the best antidote to trauma: a positive, supporting relationship with a loving adult. Children placed with relatives have fewer school changes, better behavioral and mental health outcomes, and are more likely to report that they “always feel loved.”

Generations United has prepared an excellent report on trauma and the positive effects of kin placement: https://www.gu.org/app/uploads/2018/05/Grandfamilies-Report-SOGF-2017.pdf

Kin caregivers provide better outcomes for children along with a priceless relationship but there is a cost.  Kin often have lower income, less access to resources, and poorer health than non-kin caregivers.  The federal government has funded kinship navigator programs to connect grandparents and other relatives who take primary responsibility for the care of children with resources.  In the past, these navigator programs were funded through grants and about half the states had navigator programs.  The Family First Prevention Services Act provided seed funding, effective October 1, for all states to develop a navigator program. The dollar amount ranges from $206,630 for Wyoming to just over $1 million for California. Almost all states have submitted a request form to receive the funding.

There is additional funding available for kin and kinship navigator programs through other portions of the Family First legislation. To help unravel the complicated guidelines for funding, Jennifer Miller, an expert on kin care from Child Focus, provided the following information:

To receive ongoing funding for kinship navigator programs, states will need to establish their program as evidence-based practice.  However, the challenge is that there are few navigator programs currently meeting EBP standards.  Efforts are underway to identify and establish such programs.

Kin are also eligible to receive direct services through Family First funding.  The most likely services they will receive are parenting skills training and mental health prevention and treatment services.

For more information on kinship navigator programs and resources visit http://www.grandfamilies.org/Resources/Kinship-Navigator-Programs.

For information on Kinship Care—Best Practice, visit the Preserving Families Blog at https://preservingfamiliesblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/kinship-care-best-practice/

Posted by Priscilla Martens

NFPN Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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