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Eighty-three percent of foster youth will be held back by the 3rd grade.

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Free Reports and Educational Materials

All files are downloadable as PDF files.

Parents' Expectations of Caseworkers

Children and Family Research Center
Based on research conducted by John Poertner, D.S.W.,
Children and Family Research Center,
School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The study is an assessment of service satisfaction of parents with children in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). It is designed to highlight the 24 caseworker behaviors identified as important to parents, the clinical implications of these behaviors, and specific casework interventions which can be implemented to address each identified issue.

Parents who have really bad caseworkers, might want to make copies of this document and share them with social workers, and various court officers.

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights: Summary of State Laws

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Special thanks to Terry L. Clark for submitting this document.

Every State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statutes providing for the termination of parental rights by a court. Termination of parental rights ends the legal parent-child relationship. Once the relationship has been terminated, the child is legally free to be placed for adoption.

Free Reports and Educational Materials

Nothing to Hide: The Danger of One Wrong Provider

Stephanie Crist (Autism Support)

Like many of you, I've read articles and heard lectures on the importance of carefully choosing providers and selecting services for our children with autism. I've walked away from doctors, and even a school because of what I'd learned. I took charge of my children's care and actively led every team involved. Then, I learned how much damage one wrong provider could do.

D.C. Case Transfers from Child Protective Services (CPS) Mandate

Government of the District of Columbia

This administrative issuance provides the following procedural guidelines for CPS workers to transfer case responsibility to a private agency or to CFSA IHR workers. Attchment D contains the Fair Hearing Request Form and instructions for filing the document, as well as appellants rights, under D.C. law.

Washington: Parent's Guide to Child Protective Services

Children's Administration, Division of Children and Family Services

In an emergent situation, where it appears that the child is at risk of imminent harm, or has already been seriously abused or neglected, a police officer can place the child in "protective custody" for no more than 72-hours. A court hearing must be held within 72-hours. Outlines complaint process and resources.

Causal Effects of Foster Care

Joseph J. Doyle Jr., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Bureau of Economic Research

This paper uses the randomization of families to child protection investigators to estimate causal effects of foster care on adult crime. Foster care affects the lives of a large number of children who are at high risk for later criminal activity. Each year in the United States, states spend $20 billion on child protection services, including the investigation of over 2 million children. Approximately 800,000 children spend some time in foster care in any given year.

Making Reasonable Efforts

Developed with support from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

In 1980, Congress passed the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act. The Adoption Assistance Act requires, in part, that states receiving federal monies under the Act make "reasonable efforts" to prevent the removal of children from their homes and, whenever possible, to reunify children placed in foster care with their families. In 1997, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), which modifies the reasonable efforts requirement by allowing exceptions to the requirement in certain situations.

Return of "The Cruelty"

Why Kansas Child Welfare is Broken - and Ten Ways to Fix It
Kansas 2007 By Richard Wexler, NCCPR

"Even when one looks only at removals the state Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services admits to, Kansas takes children at a rate above the national average and nearly double or triple the rate of systems widely viewed as, relatively speaking, models," Wexler said.

"Add in these 'off-the-books' removals and the figure soars. If Kansas reported the real number of children torn from their parents in 2006, the Wichita area would be a contender for the dubious distinction of child removal capital of America."

Michigan Children's Protective Services

2006 Trends Report

The number of children's protective services (CPS) complaints decreased from 128,854 in fiscal year 2005 to 126,690 in fiscal year 2006. Even though slightly fewer cases were assigned for investigation, a higher percentage of investigated cases was confirmed (i.e., a preponderance of evidence of abuse and/or neglect was found). The largest non-mandated reporting source is "anonymous."

Kinship Care Resource Kit

Helping Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children - Kinship care families are everywhere. Across the country, millions of grandparents and other relatives have stepped forward to care for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to raise them. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, more than 2.4 million grandparents reported that they were responsible for meeting the basic needs of their grandchildren.

Is There Justice in Children's Rights?

The Critique of Federal Family Preservation Policy. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), enacted in November 1997, represents a shift in federal child welfare philosophy from an emphasis on reunification of children in foster care with their biological families toward an emphasis on adoption. This paper uses the perceived antagonism between children's rights and family preservation policies to explore the politics of children's rights.

Helping Children in the Child Welfare System Heal from Trauma

From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Systems Integration Working Group - Numerous organizations touch the lives of children and their families following incidents of maltreatment. These agencies include the family/dependency courts, child welfare agencies, foster parent associations, foster care agencies or substitute care facilities, mental health agencies, and others. Unfortunately, their actions may worsen the traumatic experience for children and their families.

Burden of Proof Begone

The Pernicious Effect of Emergency Removal in Child Protectice Proceedings - By Paul Chill. This article examines the tendency of emergency child-removal decisions — by social workers, police officers and judges - to become self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating in subsequent child protective proceedings. The existence of this procedural phenomenon is widely acknowledged by legal practitioners, but its causes and consequences have rarely been explored.

Placement of Children With Relatives

A Summary of State Laws - In order for States to receive Federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance, Federal law requires that they "consider giving preference to an adult relative over a nonrelated caregiver when determining placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant State child protection standards."

Florida DCF Training Bulletin - January 2008

Residents of Florida may want to give this bulletin a read through. This document just might give you some insight into the workings of DCF and help you in your fight to regain or keep your children at home. Do, pay special attention to pages 6-8. [Read more current issues] This issue contains:

    • Best Practices Found in Florida's Statewide Assessment
    • Disproportionality — What is it and what can we do? (African American Children)
    • Ten Elements of Quality, Common Sense Documentation
    • Finding Parents in All the Rights Places! Adoption
    • Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Crossword Puzzle!