Child welfare advocates are uniquely positioned to influence debates that directly impact the safety and well-being of America’s children. First Focus is proud to coordinate SPARC, a project designed to help state child welfare advocates make an even bigger impact, and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

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This site offers a wide range of resources from SPARC and SPARC partner organizations. Search site-wide below, or use the categories at the left and the menu above to focus your search.

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You can also sign up for e-alerts as new resources are posted or contact Shadi Houshyar or Cara Baldari for more information.

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The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund: Opportunities to Expand Reinvestment of State Funds into Child Welfare Services

The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund_Page_1This fall Congress is likely to reauthorize the adoption incentives program, a federal fund that awards states annually if they succeed in increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. The original fund was created by the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) as part of a more global strategy to push states to move some of the 560,000 children in foster care into permanent families. Since its creation it has been successfully reauthorized every five years with Congress generally adjusting the adoption targets to continue to encourage states to keep up their efforts at foster care adoptions.

Before leaving for the August break, a bipartisan group of members from the House Subcommittee on Human Resources of the House Ways and Means committee released a draft version of the reauthorization. The draft text proposes some changes to the formulas for rewarding states based on finalized adoptions. It also touches on the need for post adoption services and, perhaps most importantly, attempts to implement requirements passed in 2008 as part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (PL110-351) that requires states to reinvest the dollars states are saving as a result of the expanded federal funding that was a major piece of that law.

This SPARC brief examines some of the issues raised by the reauthorization and the draft proposal including the award levels, reinvestments of state savings and post-adoption services.

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The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund

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Protected: How to Communicate Issues without Writing Reports: Use of Infographics and Social Media

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Upcoming Webinar: Improving Education Outcomes for Youth in Care: Implementing the Uninterrupted Scholars Act in the States

PLEASE REGISTER FOR OUR UPCOMING WEBINAR! 

 

Improving Education Outcomes for Youth in Care: 

Implementing the Uninterrupted Scholars Act in the States

August 7, 1-2:00pm EDT

 

Register now >>

SPARC and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, together with the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (a collaboration of the American Bar Association, Juvenile Law Center, and Education Law Center-PA) invite you to participate in our upcoming webinar, Improving Education Outcomes for Youth in Care:  Implementing the Uninterrupted Scholars Act in the States.  The webinar will feature reports from two states – Florida and Pennsylvania – on their implementation efforts to date, and will introduce the field to a model tool to support implementation efforts.

Speakers:

Mary Cagle, Florida Department of Children and Families

Gria Davison, Florida Department of Education

Mari Presley, Florida Department of Education

Cindi E. Horshaw, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

David Volkman, Pennsylvania Department of Education

Jessica Feierman, Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Law Center

This is the second in a series of three webinars about the new child welfare exceptions to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To review the first webinar, please click here:  http://bit.ly/1bvrcOh.

For more information on this topic area, see http://www.fostercareandeducation.org/AreasofFocus/DataInformationSharing.aspx

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New Policy Brief: Raising the Bar: Child Welfare’s Shift Towards Well-Being


Raising the Bar Child Welfares Shift Toward Well-Being 7.22_Page_01
We’re pleased to share with you the latest in a series of upcoming policy briefs, Raising the Bar: Child Welfare’s Shift Towards Well-Being

Over the last decade, there has been an increasing awareness about the poor developmental outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system. The recognition of the need to improve well-being as a central focus of child welfare’s work has grown from an understanding of the importance of early childhood and adolescence in shaping outcomes, and the impact of toxic stress on the development of children and youth.

This brief summarizes the research, policy and practice trends driving this increased focus on well-being, highlights promising federal, state, and local efforts from across the county, and outlines initial steps for policymakers and advocates to implement a policy and practice agenda in their community.

The brief can be accessed here.

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 Raising the Bar Child Welfares Shift Toward Well-Being 7.22 

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Webinar: The 50 State CHARTBOOK on Foster Care

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Therapeutic Foster Care: Exceptional Care for Complex, Trauma-Impacted Youth in Foster Care

Therapeutic Foster Care Exceptional Care for Complex Trauma-Impacted Youth in Foster Care_Page_01We’re pleased to share with you the latest in a series of upcoming policy briefs, Therapeutic Foster Care: Exceptional Care for Complex, Trauma-Impacted Youth in Foster Care. Authored by Laura Boyd, Ph.D, Public Policy and Government Relations Consultant for the Foster Family-based Treatment Association, it highlights the promising practice of therapeutic, or treatment foster care (TFC) and its success in delivering services to foster youth with severe mental, emotional, or behavioral health needs or for medically fragile or developmentally delayed youth whose physical and emotional health needs require more intensive clinical and medical intervention than can be accommodated in traditional foster care.

 

 

 

 

Therapeutic Foster Care Exceptional Care for Complex Trauma-Impacted Youth in Foster Care

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Upcoming Webinar: The 50 State Chartbook on Foster Care

Dear Colleagues,

SPARC and the Boston University School of Social Work invite you to join us for our upcoming webinar, The 50 State CHARTBOOK on Foster Care: A Web-Based Data Resource for Child Welfare Professionalson Tuesday, July 16th at 3:00pm EST.

 

The CHARTBOOK, with funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation, is an online resource on current foster care policies, practices and financing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with a particular emphasis on therapeutic or treatment foster care. The CHARTBOOK is a “tool” offering key stakeholders the ability to: (1) benchmark individual states on various key populations, programs and outcome indicators, and (2) learn about innovative programs being implemented by different states.

Using the online CHARTBOOK, you can access data for your own state and easily do a side-by-side comparison with other states’ data. Each State Profile has been organized into eight sections: State Child Agency Background Characteristics; Demographics of Children in Out-of-Home Placements, State’s Enhanced Models of Service Delivery in Foster Care; Child Welfare Revenues and Expenditures; Foster Care Permanency Outcomes; Children in Foster Care Well-being Outcomes; and State Key Initiatives and Innovative Programs in Foster Care. Click here to access the CHARTBOOK.

The upcoming webinar will walk through the many features of the CHARTBOOK, as well as include feedback from national and state advocates on how it can be utilized for advocacy work.

 

Speakers will include:

 

  • Judith Gonyea, Chair of Social Research, Boston University School of Social Work

 

  • Mary Bissell, Partner, ChildFocus

 

  • Laura Boyd, Public Policy & Government Relations Consultant, Foster Family-Based Treatment Association

 

To register for the webinar, click here.

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