Tag Archives: reunification

Drug Court Programs Factsheet

A new factsheet from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs describes drug courts, in which court-directed programs aim to reduce drug use relapse. The factsheet highlights an array of multidisciplinary services, including risk and needs assessment, judicial monitoring and supervision, and treatment and rehabilitation services. Drug courts are tailored to address the specific needs of different populations. For example, family drug courts apply the drug court model to child welfare cases in which substance abuse is identified as a contributing factor to child abuse or neglect. These programs emphasize treatment to aid in the reunification and stabilization of families. The factsheet goes on to describe available DOJ programs that provide financial grants and other assistance to help States build drug court capacity and increase participation among the targeted populations. Link to pdf Factsheet

Icebreaker Meetings: Building Relationships Between Birth and Foster Parents

Annie E. Casey Foundation: Building working relationships between birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers can be extremely important for foster children, and using Icebreaker meetings can be an effective mechanism for doing that. However, to be successful, an agency seeking to introduce Icebreakers must understand how the practice works. This publication is designed to:

  • Give agencies an overview of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Describe a work group process for planning and implementing Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify common barriers and roadblocks to successful implementation of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify implementation steps that are often overlooked or missed;
  • Share successes and examples of agencies using Icebreaker meetings;
  • Share samples of Icebreaker documents and materials developed by agencies from across the country; and
  • Provide a self-assessment tool to guide your planning and implementation.

Link to Web Page Guide

Building Successful Resource Families: A Guide for Public Agencies

Annie E. Casey Foundation: The Foundation recognizes the critical role played by resource families who often function as a bridge to reunification, kinship care or adoption. In many instances, resource families have not received the institutional support needed to ensure that a pool of appropriate families is available to serve children in need in a given community. We have worked with jurisdictions in which 25 percent of resource families discontinue providing foster care each year, and estimates indicate that 40 percent of the families who leave foster parenting do so primarily because of inadequate agency support. We have partnered with national experts in designing systems to recruit, develop and support resource families. The goal of this guide is to leverage our experience with different jurisdictions by sharing information and encouraging the use of best practices in working with resource families. Link to pdf Guide; Link to AECF Web Page Guide

Final Evaluation Report Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Waiver Demonstration

Alcohol and other drug abuse are major problems for the children and families involved with public child welfare. Substance abuse compromises appropriate parenting practices and increases the risk of child maltreatment. It is estimated that one-half of children taken into foster care in Illinois are removed from families with serious drug problems. Because substance abuse delays reunification, children removed from such families tend to remain in care for significantly longer periods of time. Since 2000, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been engaged in developing, implementing and modifying a coaching intervention to speed up parental recovery from substance abuse and in turn improve child and family outcomes. This report serves as the independent evaluation of efforts. Link to Report

Implementing a Post-Care Service System in Child Welfare

The last decade has seen a growing recognition of the need for post-permanency services as a means of achieving the wellbeing of children and youth who were in foster care. Ensuring the availability and sustainability of an array of post-permanency services to support former foster children and their permanent families—whether birth, kinship, or adoptive—can be viewed as the next challenge for child welfare agencies. The development of the Child Wellbeing Project in Catawba County is an example of a local community rising to meet this important new challenge. Comprises three separate Briefs. Link to pdf Brief 1 Link to pdf Brief 2 Link to pdf Brief 3

Neighbor to Family Sibling Foster Care Model

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare: The Neighbor To Family Sibling Foster Care Model is a child-centered, family-focused foster care model is designed to keep sibling groups, including large sibling groups, together in stable foster care placements while working intensively on reunification or permanency plans that keep the siblings together. The program uses a community-based, team-oriented approach, including foster caregivers and birth parents as part of the treatment team. Trained and supported foster caregivers are key to the model’s success. Neighbor To Neighbor professionalized this key role by placing these trained foster caregivers on the payroll with salaries and benefits. Foster families, birth families, and children receive comprehensive and intensive services including individualized case management, advocacy, and clinical services on a weekly basis. Link to Program Description