E-Notes, the monthly newsletter from the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids.
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids / E-Notes

House IconStrategies to Recruit and Retain Families

National Foster Care MonthCelebrating National Foster Care Month
During May, the child welfare community pauses to recognize foster parents and thank them for their service to vulnerable children, youth, and families. Agencies across the country hold banquets, programs, and other creative events to honor foster parents. The Children's Bureau—together with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway; the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections; and the National Resource Center for Youth Development—has launched the 2013 National Foster Care Month website. This year's theme is "Supporting Youth in Transition," and the website provides resources that highlight a variety of practices and approaches you can use to support your work with youth. These include:

Additionally, the website from the National Foster Care Month campaign works to draw attention to the year-round needs of children and youth in foster care. For more information, access the Foster Care Month Toolkit that contains brochures, posters, promotional graphics, and other digital materials.

Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention Resources
We have many tools and publications available to assist your agency's efforts to recruit, retain, and support foster families. Use these free recruitment and retention resources to learn how to:

  • Develop a diverse pool of foster and adoptive families
  • Facilitate interstate and interjurisdictional placements
  • Enhance your retention efforts through good customer service principles and tools

NPR Hosts a Discussion on the Realities of Foster Parenting
In response to a blog post titled "What Foster Parents Wish Other People Knew," National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation recently aired a conversation about stereotypes and misconceptions that foster parents confront. With guests Michelle Burnette, a foster parent of more than 40 children over 15 years, and Dale Margolin Cecka, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, host Celeste Headlee talks about the realities of foster parenting. Listen or read the transcript of the broadcast, "The Foster Care System: What Parents Wish We Knew."

Tools IconTools You Can Use

The Roundtable coverNational Resource Center for Adoption Roundtable Focuses on Adoption Support and Preservation Services
The latest edition of The Roundtable (PDF–772 KB) newsletter, produced by the National Resource Center for Adoption, focuses on adoption support and preservation services. The articles offer an overview of current research and best practice information, and provide detailed program examples. A tip sheet for practitioners and supervisors is included.

Perspectives on the Fostering Connections Act
Perspectives on Fostering Connections: A Series of White Papers on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (PDF–1.4 MB) summarizes achievements and challenges associated with implementation of the federal Fostering Connections legislation. Organized as a series of white papers, the publication discusses each of the six main issue areas of the Act:

  1. Incentives and assistance for adoption
  2. Improved educational stability and opportunities
  3. Coordinated health services
  4. Support for kinship care and family connections
  5. Support for older youth
  6. Direct access to federal resources for Indian Tribes

Guidelines for Managing Information coverManaging Information Related to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression
Designed to guide agency practice, Guidelines for Managing Information Related to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression of Children in Child Welfare Systems (PDF–420 KB) outlines the recommendations of a group of experts convened to answer three questions:

  • Under what circumstances should child welfare personnel seek information about a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity if it is not otherwise disclosed?
  • Under what circumstances should child welfare personnel record information about a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity?
  • Under what circumstances should child welfare personnel disclose information about a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

This new publication was developed by several partner organizations in conjunction with the Putting Pride into Practice Project (P4) of Family Builders by Adoption in Oakland, California. P4 is a partnership with the California Department of Social Services to implement the Child Welfare League of America’s best practice guidelines for serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in out-of-home care in several county child welfare systems in California.

Study on Adoptions and Guardianships Cases Returning to Family Court
A study on the legal breakdown of adoptions and guardianships in New York City includes the results of a survey of family court judges and attorney groups and contains an examination of case-specific information. The Revolving Door of Family Court: Confronting Broken Adoptions (PDF–512 KB) was authored by Dawn Post and Brian Zimmerman of the Children’s Law Center New York. Writing from the perspective of legal practitioners, the authors describe their effort to determine the frequency with which children and youth return to out out-of-home care and the reasons for these placements. The article includes recommendations for legal and child welfare practitioners to ensure more stable and secure adoptive placements, and to collect more accurate data on the rate of children returning to Family Court jurisdiction after adoption or legal guardianship. Originally published by Capital University Law Review, the article is now available from the Children’s Law Center New York.

Newspaper IconNews and Announcements

Tips from Youth for Foster and Adoptive Parents

Tips and Suggestions - Foster and Adoptive Parents to Help Youth Thrive coverRamsey County (Minnesota) Community Human Services has produced a tip sheet for foster and adoptive parents based on advice from youth who are in foster care, waiting to be adopted, or have been adopted. The recommendations captured in Tips and Suggestions: Foster and Adoptive Parents to Help Youth Thrive (PDF - 2.5MB) were gathered in youth focus groups organized by the Ramsey County Permanent Families Recruitment Project, a five-year diligent recruitment project funded by the U.S. Children's Bureau.

New Child Welfare Information Gateway Publications on Openness in Adoption

Child Welfare Information Gateway has two new fact sheets that can inform and guide child welfare practice related to openness in adoption. Openness in Adoption: Building Relationships Between Adoptive and Birth Families describes various levels of openness, potential benefits, important considerations, and tips for building and strengthening open relationships. The companion publication, Working with Birth and Adoptive Families to Support Open Adoption, provides information for professionals to help them guide birth and adoptive families who are contemplating open adoption or who are already having post-adoption contact.

College Financial Aid Options for Foster and Adopted Youth

Voice for Adoption has a new resource, College Financial Aid Resources for Former Foster Youth (PDF–340 KB) that lists possible sources for scholarships and other financial assistance for college-bound youth who were in foster care.

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AdoptUSKids is operated by the Adoption Exchange Association and is made possible by grant number 90CQ0003 from the Children’s Bureau. The contents of this email are solely the responsibility of the Adoption Exchange Association and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau, ACYF, ACF, or HHS. The Children’s Bureau funds AdoptUSKids as part of a network of National Resource Centers established by the Children’s Bureau. Find out more about us.

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