National Center for Child Welfare Excellence
NCCWE Weekly Update 5/7/2015

National Foster Care Month 2015
Get to Know the Many Faces of Foster Care
May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.

The 10 most surprising things about foster care
Dawn Teo, executive director of the Foster Children's Rights Coalition, writes: "Trust me when I tell you that there are foster families all around you. Foster families go to your church. Foster children go to school with your children. Foster children are on your children's sports teams. Your children are friends with them, but they don't know they are foster children. Foster children don't like to talk about it. Speaking of not liking to talk about it ..."

Testifying in Court about Trauma: The Court Hearing
Testifying in court can be a difficult and stressful experience for clinicians. But judges and lawyers are not experts in child development or the impact of trauma on children. The knowledge clinicians bring to bear is essential if the legal system is to have any hope of making sound decisions that will serve children’s interests. By educating the court through testifying, clinicians provide an invaluable service to the legal system and, most importantly, to children.

by Alan J. Dettlaff, PhD & Caitlin O’Grady, MSW
This brief focuses on policies that address the placement of dependent children with undocumented relatives living in the United States. Although research has found that placing children with relative caregivers can enhance emotional wellbeing, research also suggests that child welfare practitioners often encounter barriers when attempting to place children with undocumented relatives. The policies in this category attempt to reduce these barriers and make placement with undocumented relatives a viable option in cases where such placement is in the best interest of the child in custody.

Screening and Assessment for Substance Use, Mental Health and Co-Occurring Disorders in Adolescents
Screening and Assessment procedures are vital tools for gathering information in order to identify areas of service need; to aid in diagnosis; and to best design and match treatment. While this is true in general, it is especially important when working with adolescents since adolescence is known to be the time when mental health and substance abuse disorders are frequently first manifest.  Symptoms and problem areas can be unrecognized, hidden or periodic/situational during adolescence. Screenings therefore – and identified areas for assessment - are best incorporated periodically throughout treatment during adolescence. This also emphasizes the importance of obtaining comprehensive information and reports from collateral sources, which may include: parents and caregivers; teachers; pediatricians; previous treatment
providers and others.

Webinar — Birth Parent Trauma and What Child Welfare Workers Need to Know
May 14, 2015 3-4:30 p.m. (EST)
CWLA, in partnership with the NCTSN, is presenting the webinar series "Advancements in the Field: What's Working?" which addresses current advances in the field of trauma-informed child welfare practice. It will highlight the latest evidence-informed and evidence-based trauma practices in key areas relevant to the work of child welfare. To reserve your webinar seat for this presentation:

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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