National Center for Child Welfare Excellence
After a brief two week respite -- and we all know how important respite can be -- the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence (NCCWE) is proud to revive our NCCWE Weekly Update.  In the spirit of our previous Weekly Updates, each week the NCCWE staff will bring you six cutting edge happenings which we believe would interest child welfare professionals.  Weekly Update will be archived on our website ( It is our pleasure to be back to assist our colleagues in States, Tribes, and Territories. We look forward to continued collaboration with each of you.  If you have an announcement to suggest for NCCWE Weekly Update, please email us at

Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare
Executive Director, NCCWE

NCCWE Weekly Update 10/8/2014

Children’s Bureau Discretionary Grants Announced
This document provides a list of Children's Bureau discretionary grants awarded in fiscal year 2014.

National Adoption Month Website Launches
The Children's Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, is pleased to announce the launch of the 2014 National Adoption Month website, created in partnership with AdoptUSKids.
National Adoption Month (NAM) draws attention to the urgent need for permanent families for the more than 102,000 children and youth waiting for adoption in foster care. This year's NAM theme, "Promoting and Supporting Sibling Connections," emphasizes the critical role sibling relationships play in helping to promote permanency for children in care. The NAM website offers a variety of audience-specific resources.

  • Professionals can find information to help them promote and support sibling connections, recruit adoptive families, and see examples of how other States are promoting permanency for siblings and youth.
  • Adoptive parents can find information on adopting siblings from foster care, learn what permanency means, and view powerful videos from youth and other adoptive families.
  • Adopted people can find information on openness in adoption and search and reunion.
  • Birth parents can find information on kinship adoption/adoption by relatives, openness in adoption, and search and reunion.
  • Youth can learn about how to get involved in their permanency plans, stay connected with adults and other teens through social media, find out about the benefits of being safe online, and more.

New Law Passed:  H.R. 4980 Becomes Law
On September 29, 2014, President Obama signed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. Among other things, this bipartisan legislation will:

  • Require states to better track children at risk of being victims of sex trafficking (including children who run away from foster care) and report any children who are victims of trafficking;
  • Require states to develop a process by which foster parents and other caregivers have permission to grant children and youth in care the opportunity to participate in the normal activities of childhood;
  • Limit the use of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) for children under 16;
  • Provide children 14 and up the opportunity to participate in their case planning process;
  • Fund Family Connections Grants for one more year;
  • Renew and enhance the Adoption Incentive program, creating a guardianship incentive and, over time, transitioning to an incentive system based on the rate of adoptions, rather than a baseline number; and,
  • Require states to spend 30% of the funds they save as a result of the Fostering Connections Act's expansion of federal adoption assistance eligibility on post-adoption, post-guardianship, and other family support services.

Parental Health Literacy among Immigrants and Refugees and its Impact on Children
Hee Yun Lee, PhD, has created four modules addressing parental health and mental health literacy among immigrant and refugee families, highlighting its impact on children. The modules are accessible on the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare in Minnesota website.

UT: Same-Sex Marriage Decision Especially Sweet for Couples Hoping to Adopt
For some gay couples hoping to legally unite their families through adoption, the decision was especially sweet, because Monday's ruling also allows adoptions to take place if one of the parents is biologically related to their child.

The Most Recent Issue of RISE Magazine – Stories By and For Parents Affected by the Child Welfare System Healing Together
A resource guide to parent-child therapy in New York City.
Most parents whose children enter foster care are required to take parenting classes. Usually, that has meant going to a weekly class where an instructor talks with parents about children’s development, family routines, discipline and safety. However, another kind of parenting program is parent-child therapy, where a parent and her infant or toddler play together with the support of a therapist. The therapist gets to know the parent and the baby, helps them connect through play, and supports the parent in understanding and responding to the child’s emotional needs.  This issue explores a range of activities designed to promote healing in families.
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Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, LCSW

Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare
Executive Director
National Center for Child Welfare Excellence
Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
A Service of the Children's Bureau
2180 Third Avenue. 7th Floor
New York, NY 10035