Federal Resources

With Thanksgiving approaching, the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) is sharing a list of federal resources for which we can all be grateful!

Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov):  This resource, a service of the Children’s Bureau, connects professionals and the public to print and electronic publications, websites, databases, and online learning tools for improving child welfare practice.

There are seven free subscriptions available at the Gateway, including a daily listing of news articles that are of interest to the child welfare field: https://www.childwelfare.gov/subscribe/.    Another useful resource is the issue briefs that provide information in a nutshell on a variety of topics including in-home services, reunification, trauma-informed practice, parent education, etc.: https://www.childwelfare.gov/catalog/serieslist/?CWIGFunctionsaction=publicationCatalog:main.dspSeriesDetail&publicationSeriesID=8.

Federal funding is critically important as a driver of philosophy, policies, and programs at the state and local level. For many years federal funding has been targeted primarily to services following removal of a child from the home.  In recent years the federal government has sought ways to target more dollars to keeping children safely in their own homes.  One way of moving more dollars to the front end of the system is temporary waivers that 29 states have been using to help families stay together.  A more comprehensive approach is legislation (S.1964, H.R. 3781) introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon which would be a permanent source of funding for front-end services.

The services would be time-limited (12 months), evidence-based, and include two nationwide performance measures: prevention of placement and permanent placement as measured by the number of children in foster care who are returned to their parents, adopted, or placed with kin.  The bill also provides for mandatory funding of Title IV-B (discretionary amounts currently determined by Congress) and increases the total amount to $1 billion annually which includes funding for family preservation programs. Thus, this legislation fits well with family preservation and reunification policies and programs.  For an excellent summary of the legislation prepared by the Children’s Defense Fund, visit: http://www.childrensdefense.org/library/data/summary-of-the-family.pdf.

Members of Congress will be home soon for the holiday break and you can let your senator and representatives know how this legislation would impact your agency and the families that you serve.

The Capacity Building Center for States has replaced the federal national resource centers.  Its purpose is to help public child welfare organizations and professionals build the capacity necessary to strengthen, implement, and sustain effective child welfare practice and achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families.  For more information visit https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/.

The final resource is an Implementation Guidebook whose stated purpose is to provide an easy-to-use tool for implementing a parenting intervention.  But it’s actually a tool for implementation of many kinds of programs as it’s one of the clearest and most detailed guides on implementation that has been published.  You can read it here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/implementing-parenting-interventions-in-early-care-and-education-settings-a-guidebook-for-implementation.

In closing Happy Thanksgiving to All and here is a link to the history of Thanksgiving that includes a nifty video: http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving.

Priscilla Martens, Executive Director

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