Child Welfare Archives - National Wraparound Initiative (NWI)

Research Documents the Importance of “Enduring Relationships” for Foster Youth

December 1, 2023 | NWI

Enduring relationships have real consequences for foster youth, reducing the risk of negative outcomes in early adulthood, such as food insecurity, economic hardship, and homelessness. They were also more likely to experience positive outcomes, such as having greater earnings and finishing some college. Surprisingly, the number of individuals the youth said they had in their network was not a key factor. What mattered was the enduring quality of the relationships – people that stuck with them, through thick and thin, over a period of time.

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Kinship Navigator Programs in Child Welfare

October 30, 2023 | NWI

Kinship Navigator programs support the ongoing stabilization of kinship families by helping caregivers learn about and access resources that meet their evolving needs and those of the children they are raising. This report discusses the evidence for positive impacts from these programs, and envisions their future.

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Foster Care’s Disruptive Impact on Sibling Relationships

July 23, 2023 | NWI

This short article discusses a study from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being showing that foster youth that maintain quality sibling relationships while in foster care have lower depression symptoms.

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Bringing Kinship Care Out of the Shadows

July 23, 2023 | NWI

Kinship diversion care is sometimes described as “hidden foster care” because it is complex and often operates outside the boundaries of the foster care system. Despite the positive aspects of kinship care, the parameters of kinship diversion are vague and these kinship families are not eligible for the same benefits as foster families. This brief provides a list of recommendations for those who are deciding how to explore, make meaning of, and implement changes to child welfare agencies’ kinship diversion practices.

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Family First Reforms One Year Later

May 22, 2023 | NWI

The Family First Prevention Services Act contains a major child welfare policy allowing states to use federal funds to support the judicious use of congregate care. This report examines where states stand after one year, describes what was and was not working to date, and identifies early lessons learned to inform future implementation decisions and child welfare policy deliberations.

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Proposed Rules Support Kinship Care in Foster Care

April 21, 2023 | NWI

ACF is proposing a new rule that would allow child welfare agencies to adopt one set of licensing standards for family members and kin that acknowledges the kinship relationship and differs from the licensing standards used for non-relative foster family homes.

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Welfare Payments Keep Kids Out of Foster Care

December 11, 2022 | NWI

Researchers have discovered a link between access to welfare payments and foster care. As many as 29,000 fewer children may have entered the foster care system during the 12-year study if U.S. states had made it easier for poor families to receive cash through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

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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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