News and Information from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association

Child Welfare News

New Report on Child Well-Being

America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009 presents important indicators affecting children's lives. Developed by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the user-friendly report presents data from 2007 gathered by federal agencies on 40 key indicators that characterize the well-being of children and their likelihood of growing to be productive and healthy adults. The indicators are divided among seven categories: family and social environment; economic circumstances; health care; physical environment and safety; behavior; education; and health.

Issue Brief Weighs Benefits and Costs of Extending Foster Care to Age 21

This Chapin Hall issue brief provides preliminary estimates of the potential costs to government and benefits to young people for states that extend foster care to age 21. Researchers project increases in postsecondary educational attainment associated with allowing youth to remain in foster care until they are 21 years old, resulting in greater lifetime earnings. They estimate that lifetime earnings would increase an average of two dollars for every dollar spent on keeping youth in care beyond age 18. This information can be useful for policymakers in light of the passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Read Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Weighing the Costs to Government Against the Benefits to Youth by Clark M. Peters, Amy Dworsky, Mark E. Courtney and Harold Pollack.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency in the Child Welfare System

Because children of color continue to be overrepresented in child welfare systems, cultural and linguistic competency is an essential guiding principle to support the needs of families. As part of its A Closer Look report series, the National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center recently published an issue dedicated to cultural competency. The report provides examples of strategies for achieving culturally and linguistically proficient child welfare systems by grantees of the Children's Bureau's initiative Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Through Systems of Care.

Child Maltreatment Report Released

The Future of Children, a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, has released its latest issue of Preventing Child Maltreatment (vol. 19, no. 2). Contributors examine a gradual shift in the field of child maltreatment toward prevention and explore how insights into risk factors for maltreatment can help target prevention efforts. They assessed whether programs such as community-wide interventions, parenting programs, home-visiting, drug and alcohol treatment and school-based educational programs on sexual abuse can prevent maltreatment. The report also explores how the child protective system might take a more active role in prevention.

Child Policy Forums Now Available on ResearchChannel

Video recordings of three Thursday's Child public policy panel discussions are now available on the ResearchChannel. Cosponsored by the Chapin Hall Center for Children and the Urban Institute, this series focuses on timely issues affecting America's children and youth, their families and communities:

Study Presents Framework for Monitoring Local Child Welfare Agencies

In this Chapin Hall report, researchers present a framework that state and local child welfare agencies might use to monitor their return on investments in child welfare services. The study examines the complexities associated with understanding system performance and determining whether the improvements are connected to changes in how resources are invested. Read Finding the Return on Investment: A Framework for Monitoring Local Child Welfare Agencies by Fred Wulczyn, Britany Orlebeke and Jennifer Haight.


Children’s Rights Studies New York City Foster Care System

The Long Road Home: A Study of Children Stranded in New York City Foster Care details the problems that delay the progress of children in New York City foster care toward either reunification with their parents, adoption or permanency through legal guardianship. This new Children’s Rights report also makes concrete recommendations about how these problems can be solved. With the participation of 28 private foster agencies and input and support from many other organizations and individuals, researchers examined the case records of 153 children who have remained in foster care for two years or more despite being slated for reunification with their parents or for adoption. This report’s findings and recommendations provide a roadmap for overcoming the barriers that keep too many children stranded in foster care and speeding progress toward permanency.

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