Upgrading Training in Child Welfare Agencies – Five Steps to Creating a Learning Organization

After the hiring process, training is the most important aspect in the development of a good case manager. Training is understood to be an important first step by management of administration in understanding the philosophy of child welfare and child protection, the policies and practices of the agency, and the functions necessary to become an effective and efficient case manager.
There are many moving parts to consider when implementing a successful training program. Child protection, child welfare, the clients, the agency’s operation, the laws, technology, paperwork, and stakeholders are not just complicated individually, but collectively such considerations can be overwhelming.
After the hiring process, training is the most important aspect in the development of a good case manager. Training is understood to be an important first step by management of administration in understanding the philosophy of child welfare and child protection, the policies and practices of the agency, and the functions necessary to become an effective and efficient case manager.
There are many moving parts to consider when implementing a successful training program. Child protection, child welfare, the clients, the agency’s operation, the laws, technology, paperwork, and stakeholders are not just complicated individually, but collectively such considerations can be overwhelming. [More]

Stability and Child Protection Leadership

Every organization, regardless of focus or sector, needs good, solid leadership to thrive. Why? Leadership not only provides the organization’s vision and guidance so that the executive management team can implement the direction of the organization, but also serves as the role model and principal image of the work of the organization. Two of the most important elements of effective leadership are continuity and stability. Because change is an inevitable part of every organization, leadership that prepares for, addresses, and adapts to change will be more successful with organizational transformation. [More]

Federal Leadership -- It Does Matter

More and more, leadership is talked about and addressed through issues such as appointment, training, and mentoring. Leadership is particularly important and timely when considering child protection and child welfare issues over the last several years. Every election cycle is an opportunity for a local jurisdiction or state to be confronted with the challenges of appointing new leadership. Conflict or controversy often cause a change in leadership, which presents additional challenges, given the requirements of addressing an agency or system in crisis. Finally, there is need to address leadership transition upon retirement, or the decision to leave after a limited time in office. The need for stability and length of leadership is more important than ever to ensure continuity of progress and strength of improvement. [More]

Administration for Children and Families releases 2015 Maltreatment Report

Each year, the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) Children’s Bureau releases a report with the latest data available on an analysis of child abuse and neglect information collected from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories. Known as the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), this data and analysis program was established by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1988. The first NCANDS report was based on data for 1990 and since then NCANDS has been reported annually, with the Children’s Bureau collecting and analyzing the data in its “Child Maltreatment” report submitted to Congress each year. The 2015 Child Maltreatment Report was released at the end of January 2017 and reflects data reported for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015. [More]

Foster Care Crisis - What’s an Agency to Do? Part 2

Increasing demands for licensed foster homes have led many jurisdictions across the country to review their foster care services for children coming into their care. Though critical, these reviews are only one piece of a very complex puzzle. Child welfare agencies must also review the foster care system in the context of the current increasing demand, challenging family circumstances, and trauma children coming into the system. [More]

Foster Care Crisis - What’s an Agency to Do? Part 1

Child welfare agencies in jurisdictions across the country face a growing foster care crisis: decreasing numbers of licensed foster homes can’t support the increasing demand for licensed out of home placement, fueled, in part, by the opioid and prescription drug crisis. What is causing this shift in the demand for traditional licensed foster homes? While the recent increase in agency referrals has exacerbated the crisis of too few licensed foster homes, several other factors are at play... [More]

Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act goes to the President

To address national concerns and issues related to the education, health and safety of Native children, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act. Congress recently passed the Act, eight years after the Fostering Connections legislation was passed in 2008 to allow Native American tribes to develop and operate their own child welfare systems. [More]

GAO releases report on efforts to keep children in family-based care

On November 9, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an in-depth report addressing the use of congregate care for children in the foster care system. Defined differently in most states, congregate care, in its simplest form (when referring to the foster care system), is care that is not family-based (e.g. group homes, residential treatment facilities, etc.). [More]

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing On Reducing Congregate Care

On May 19, 2015 the Senate Finance Committee Chair, Orin Hatch (R-UT) held a hearing to address concerns about the number of children living and growing up in congregate care. Sen. Hatch has demonstrated interest in recent years in the need for children to live with families and not in group or congregate settings. He previously introduced legislation (S.B. 1518) that called for the elimination of Title IV-E reimbursement for foster children in congregate care settings. [More]