Child Welfare Archives - National Wraparound Initiative (NWI)

Why Youth Run from Foster Care

October 24, 2022 | NWI

Teens who run from foster care want to connect with their families and be “normal,” according to a new study. While this is not the only reason that teens choose to leave foster care without anyone’s knowledge, it is a driving factor. And because of this, finding ways to keep foster kids in connection with their families or even in placement with siblings, may go a long way toward decreasing the number of foster kids who ultimately become at risk by making the decision to run away.

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Connecticut Reduces Foster Care by a Third

October 24, 2022 | NWI

Connecticut has shrunk its foster care population by nearly a third in the past three years, signaling a shift toward keeping families together whenever possible – a strategy implemented by Vannessa Dorantes, the first African American commissioner in the agency’s history.

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New Program Successfully Supports Foster Youth in College

September 23, 2022 | NWI

This study is the first identified randomized experiment to evaluate a post-secondary support program for enrolled college students with foster care backgrounds and mental health challenges. Analysis showed evidence of intervention impact on important targeted outcomes at post-intervention and/or 6-month follow-up, including self-determination, career-related self-efficacy and career exploration activities, and mental health self-efficacy and empowerment.

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Challenges for Families of Special-Needs Children Adopted from Overseas

August 7, 2022 | NWI

For years, evangelical Christians were enthusiastic supporters of adoption by sponsoring conferences, targeting adoption-friendly Sundays and staging adoption fairs in parish halls. Thousands of overseas children got new homes. Leading the way were evangelical luminaries such as recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman (three daughters from China) and then-Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore (two sons from Russia). Enthusiastic parents took up the challenge, traveling overseas for one or more children, even adopting special needs kids whose home countries were not interested in their care. More than a decade after this movement peaked, many families who went overseas are in crisis mode.

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New Study of Wraparound with Homeless Youth

August 7, 2022 | NWI

A newly-published study, Watch Me Rise: An Evaluation of Wraparound With Homeless Youth With a Child Welfare History presents findings from a formative evaluation of youth outcomes. Results indicate youth housing stability improved within the first six months of youth enrolling in WMR. Youth also demonstrated improvements in life domain functioning and employment and/or employment readiness. Although several other outcomes were not achieved or the results were inconclusive, the study highlights important insights for working with and studying this important population.

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Best Practices in Child Welfare: Resources

June 13, 2022 | NWI

The Children’s Bureau has selected a series of resources on best practices in child welfare. These resources demonstrate how prioritizing the placement of children and youth in foster care with biological family, or kin can help transform the child welfare system into one that truly supports families and maintains connections. This includes an emphasis on family finding and other child-specific recruitment strategies, best practices for family engagement, and licensing relative caregivers who understand their unique ability to partner with parents to support reunification. These resources also highlight the positive impact that culturally appropriate trainings and services and equitable supports to kin caregivers can have on placement stability and permanency outcomes for children and families.

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Child Welfare Publications in Spanish

April 4, 2022 | NWI

The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides an index of its Spanish-language publications. Most of these are factsheets for families.

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Shadow Foster Care

January 21, 2022 | NWI

Over the past decade, states have increasingly institutionalized “hidden” foster care, when caseworkers persuade parents to send their children to live with someone they know, often by threatening a foster placement if they refuse. Unlike the foster system, this shadow system is not designed to protect children or to support caregivers.

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Parents Billed for Costs of Foster Care

January 21, 2022 | NWI

A recent investigation found that it’s common in every state for parents to get a bill for the cost of foster care. Those bills can bury parents in debt and make it harder to create the stable home they need to get their children back – and to keep them from being taken again.

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Evidence for Culturally Specific/Responsive Programs in Child Welfare

January 21, 2022 | NWI

Children and families of color are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. This brief provides an overview of 10 culturally specific and two culturally responsive programs and services designed by tribal communities and communities of color and the evidence for each.

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