National Center for Child Welfare Excellence
NCCWE Weekly Update 4/8/2015

Strengthening the Parent-Child Attachment in Families Affected by Substance Use
Karen Gould, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. and Beth Marron, M.Ed., L.I.C.S.W.
May 12, 10:00-11:30 am (Pacific)

This webinar will explore how young children are impacted by prenatal substance exposure.  In this exploration, providers will learn how to work with the parent-child dyad to forge a strong attachment and mitigate symptoms of parental substance use.  The principles of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) will be examined. Additionally, this webinar will provide information on the use of Reflective Function (RF) in the treatment of young children and their families. RF supports the caregiver in managing emotions effectively so that the (s)he is better attuned to his or her own needs and can increase attentiveness to the child’s needs and physical and emotional safety.
For information, visit

New Williams Institute Analysis Shows Negative Impacts to Florida Budget of “Conscience Protection” Law
About 2,460 adopted children and 160 foster children are being raised by lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals or same-sex couples in Florida, according to a memo released today by Williams Institute Research Director and Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar Gary Gates and Policy Analyst Taylor Brown. If those 160 foster children were to be adopted by their foster families next year, the state could save more than $1 million by not keeping them in the foster care system.
A proposed bill, titled “Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies,” HB 7111, currently under debate in the Florida House of Representatives would allow private adoption agencies licensed in Florida to refuse to place children with LGBT individuals and same-sex couples.

The proposed bill would allow agencies to make foster care or adoption placement decisions in accordance with their “religious or moral convictions.” Agencies could refuse to place a child with a potential parent because of the parent’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The state would not be able to deny or revoke the agency’s license if the agency cites a religious or moral objection.

Sex Trafficking in Schools
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) published a brief for educators and school personnel on recognizing and preventing sex trafficking of students. The brief offers suggestions, resources, statistics, definitions, reporting information, and a general overview on trafficking.

Recognizing signs that a youth may be a target of sex trafficking is the first step in identifying a victim. The brief emphasizes the importance of school personnel recognizing signs of trafficking and knowing how to effectively respond to the situation. Some of the indicators that a child may be a victim of trafficking can include unexplained truancy, sudden change of behavior, homelessness, psychological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and/or an overly submissive attitude), and evidence of physical trauma. The brief also outlines the following recommendations by NCHE for schools to set in place in order help school personnel effectively respond to trafficking of students:

Trauma in Dual-Status Youth
The Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Children's Action Corps and the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice published a brief outlining the significance of identifying and treating trauma in children and youth with both child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement—also known as dual-status youth. The brief begins by examining the prevalence of exposure to potentially traumatic events among dual-status youth, as well as the prevalence of trauma-based behavior among this population. The importance of creating "best practices" to identifying these trauma-based behavioral or psychological problems is discussed, including practices for screening and assessment methods. The brief pinpoints five core needs in making first steps to supporting dual-status youth experiencing trauma: defined objectives regarding what needs to be identified, a best-practice screening and assessment protocol, guidelines for information collected and shared, a response protocol to screening and assessment, and staff training.

This brief is designed to be the first in a series that will provide indepth information and tools for recognizing and responding to trauma-based issues affecting dual-status youth. Trauma in Dual Status Youth: Putting Things in Perspective, by T. Grisso and G. Vincent, is available on the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice website at

Safety Resources and Kinship Placements
In a 2014 survey of its State's child welfare professionals, the North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) learned that professionals were keenly interested in accessing quality and consistent information on the topic of safety resources and kinship care. In an effort to create some consistency among child welfare agencies on the use of safety resources and kinship placements, DSS and the Family and Children's Resource Program developed an issue ofPractice Notes that addresses some of these concerns. Some of the topics discussed in the issue include the following:
  • "Safety Resources: Definition, Benefits, and Challenges"
  • "Use of Safety Resources and Title IV-E Funding"
  • "Using Temporary Safety Resource Placements: Best Practices"
  • "Sample Safety Resource Placement Memo of Agreement"
  • "Research on Kinship Care: Implications for Practice"
  • "Reaching Out to Relatives When Children Enter Foster Care"
  • "Kinship Caregiver Benefits Checklist"

Access Practice Notes: Safety Resources and Kinship Care, 20(1), 2014, at

LA: A New Orleans High School Adapts To Unaccompanied Minors (Includes audio)
For the past year now, many Americans have been hearing and reading about the 68,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed illegally into the U.S. Nearly all of these minors come from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras, and since their arrival, immigration officials have released most of them to their parents or relatives who already live in this country. A number of these children and teenagers are in deportation proceedings, but while they wait, they have been allowed to attend public schools. In Louisiana, schools have enrolled nearly 2,000 of them. Information Gateway Resource: Client Rights:
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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
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New York, NY 10035