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 IconDeveloping and Supporting Families for Children with Special Needs

This issue of E-Notes focuses on developing and supporting families for children affected by complex trauma, medical needs, or other special needs. In addition to connecting you with resources such as those found below, the NRCDR is available to provide technical assistance to support States, Tribes, and Territories in implementing system changes that facilitate improved approaches to recruiting, developing, and supporting a diverse group of families that can meet the varied needs of children in care.

In this issue of E-Notes, we highlight:

  • An upcoming NRCDR webinar on data-driven diligent recruitment, an approach that can help in strategically recruiting, developing, and supporting families to meet the diverse needs of all children and youth in care, including those with special needs
  • Resources developed by the Children’s Bureau’s 2010 Diligent Recruitment grantees, nearly all of which have target populations that include children with some type of special need
  • Tools You Can Use that relate to system change work to recruit, develop, and support families to meet the diverse needs of children in care, along with resources that can be used when working directly with families caring for children with special needs
  • A brief survey about E-Notes that we hope you will complete to help us make this newsletter even more useful to you

Webinar IconRegister for the NRCDR Webinar on Data-driven Diligent Recruitment

The January issue of E-Notes highlighted two new NRCDR resources to help systems build their capacity to use data – particularly on foster and adoptive families – effectively. This month, the NRCDR continues to provide the field with support related to this topic by offering a free webinar.

Data-driven Diligent Recruitment: Partnering and Prioritizing to Strengthen Your System’s Use of Data

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (3:00-4:00 p.m. EST / 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST / 1:00-2:00 p.m. MST / 12:00-1:00 p.m. PST)

This free webinar will help child welfare systems explore ways to build your capacity to use data effectively to inform your recruitment, development, and support of foster, adoptive, and kinship families to meet the needs of children and youth in care. Many child welfare systems have extensive data on the children in foster care but lack data on how prospective families move through the process from recruitment to licensure or approval and beyond. This webinar will provide strategies for advancing cross-unit collaboration and prioritizing data needed to strengthen your system’s use of data. Child welfare program staff and data/IT staff are both encouraged to attend this webinar. Register for this webinar.

News IconNews from Diligent Recruitment Grantees

We hear a great deal of interest from the field in learning about what other child welfare systems are doing to implement comprehensive diligent recruitment and to achieve improved placement stability and permanency for children and youth. In response, we are highlighting select documents from two of the Children’s Bureau’s 2010 Diligent Recruitment grantees so that they may be used as examples or templates. On the recently updated 2010 Diligent Recruitment Grantees section of the NRCDR website, you can learn more about all of the 2010 grantee projects and find a variety of materials that they have developed that may be useful in your diligent recruitment work.

Diligent Recruitment and Retention Grant (Mississippi)


Step Up! Diligent Recruitment Project (New Mexico)

Tools IconTools You Can Use

In addition to the tools below that can assist you in your work to develop and support families for children affected by complex trauma or other special needs, we encourage you to visit the NRCDR website sections: Develop and Support Families and Diverse Populations. As you read the information presented, it may be useful to consider the following questions: How family friendly is our system? Are there ways in which we could improve our response to diverse families and better recognize their strengths? How well are we preparing families to meet the specific needs of children and youth in care? What ongoing support do families need?

  • Moving Toward Cultural Competence: Key Considerations to Explore (PDF – 227 KB): This resource from the NRCDR assists child welfare staff in building their capacity for effective, culturally competent recruitment and retention efforts with diverse communities.
  • Creating and Sustaining Effective Respite Services: Lessons from the Field (PDF – 1 MB) / En Espanol (PDF – 1.6 MB): This guide from AdoptUSKids is intended to help states, tribes, and parent support organizations understand the value of respite care in achieving improved outcomes for parents and youth and build their capacity to sustain such programs after time-limited grants have ended.
  • Special Needs Adoption: What Does It Mean? (PDF – 227 KB): In adoption, the phrase "special needs" can apply to almost any child or youth adopted from foster care. The term is used in state laws to indicate eligibility for federal financial assistance and, depending on the state, may mean that a child is a member of a minority or a sibling group or is older or has a disability or the risk for a disability. This 2010 factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway presents some common questions about adopting a child or youth designated as having “special needs” and provides resources that give detailed answers.
  • Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Abuse or Neglect (PDF – 439 KB): Children who have been abused or neglected need safe and nurturing relationships that address the effects of child maltreatment. This 2013 factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is intended to help parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) and other caregivers better understand the challenges of caring for a child who has experienced maltreatment and learn about the resources available for support.
  • Supporting Brain Development in Traumatized Children and Youth (PDF – 532 KB): This 2011 bulletin from the Child Welfare Information Gateway summarizes what child welfare professionals can do to support the identification and assessment of the impact of maltreatment and trauma on brain development; how to work effectively with children, youth, and families to support healthy brain development; and how to improve services through cross-system collaboration and trauma-informed practice.
  • Complex Trauma: Facts for Caregivers (PDF – 176 KB): This 2014 fact sheet from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network presents information that can help caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of complex trauma in their children and offers recommendations for what caregivers can do to help children heal.

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Please note: This is the same survey that was sent directly to E-Notes subscribers from the AdoptUSKids Evaluation Team with the subject line “NRCDR at AdoptUSKids E-Notes Feedback Survey.” Please do not take this survey again if you have already responded to the link and completed the survey.

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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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