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U.S. Foster Family System of Support Services. Viviane Ngwa Licensed Clinical Social Worker Academy of Certified Social Worker.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Foster Family System of Support Services. Viviane Ngwa Licensed Clinical Social Worker Academy of Certified Social Worker."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Foster Family System of Support Services. Viviane Ngwa Licensed Clinical Social Worker Academy of Certified Social Worker

2 Historical Perspective The role of Charitable organizations, church groups, Catholic Charities, Children Home and Aid Society in the care of abandoned children. 1850s to early 1930s: About 200,000 orphans abandoned in the Eastern cities (NY) were transported by train orphan trains to live and work with families in other parts of the U.S. 1889: Jane Addams Hull House: Settlement house that provided neighborhood social services to families. 1899: Illinois Assembly; Establishment of the first Juvenile court. 1903: The Idea of a Federal Child Bureau is conceived. 1904: The plight of working children: National Child Labor Committee was organized. 1909: The 1 St of a series of conference s on children and youth.

3 Interface of advocacy and governmental processes 1910 census report: 29 million children under the age of 14. (32% of the population). 1912: Childrens Bureau was founded charged with looking at issues of infant mortality, orphanages, dangerous occupations, diseases etc. 1913: The Bureau administers the 1 st child labor laws. 1918: Childrens Year began 1919: White House Conference on Child Welfare Standards – minimum standards for the health, education and work of children.

4 Historical Perspective 1921: The maternity and Infancy Act: Provides States with the 1 St Federal grants for human Services. 1926: The Childrens Bureau publishes public aid to mothers with dependent children. 1927: 1 St standardize juvenile statistics are collected; Lack of consistency across court systems : The Great Depression: The Bureaus role in designing relief to families. 1935: Social Security Act is signed; 3 key components – Maternal and child health services, medical care for crippled children, and child welfare services.

5 Historical timeline 1938: Passage of the Fair Labor Act; Federal regulation of child labor : WWII: Large-scale entry of women into the workforce, relaxation of child labor standards, increase juvenile delinquency. 1941: Standard of care for refugee children published. 1950: 5 th White House Conference on Children focuses on the emotional well-being of children. 1952: Funding supports professional development of child welfare workers.

6 Historical Perspective 1954: Senate Hearings on Adoption practices. 1963: Maternal and Child Health & Mental Retardation Planning Amendments. 1965: War on Poverty: Medicaid, Medicare and Head Start are created. 1967: From % increase in the number of children receiving child welfare services. 1972: President Nixon proclaims the 1 St National Action for Foster Children Week. 1974: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.

7 Recent Development 1978: Concern about increase number of children in foster care; from in 1961 to in : National Child Welfare Training Center established. 1980: Adoption Assistance Act: focus on Permanence for children in care. 1986: Creation of independent living programs. 1988: 1st National Foster Care month proclamation. 1919: Addressing Boarder Babies issues.

8 More Recent Development 1993: Family Preservation and Support Services Program Act. 1994: Child Welfare Waivers (Title IV E) 1994: Multi-ethnic Placement Act. 1995: 1 St National Adoption Month 1997: Adoption and Safe Families Act; safety, well-being, permanency. 2000: Publication of Child Welfare Outcomes: 1 St of a series of annual reports to Congress. 2001: CFSR: 1 St Child and Family Services Review of States. Evidence-based knowledge development and practice. 2009: Child Welfare Evaluation Summit. 2012: Launch of Child Welfare Information Gateway.

9 De-Institutionalization of Care. The move from congregate care to community based service delivery systems. Since the 14 th century, religious orders and municipalities established care for abandoned children. Late 1800s – Orphanages, about 100,000 children in U.S lived in orphanages. 1900s – Residential Treatment Centers (ex Boys Town) Facilities where treatment is the focus – 1 St White House conference focused on the care of dependent children, establishment of foster care program. 20 th Century version: cottage model: small number of children stay in each cottage staffed with house parents.

10 Rationale for Community-based Care Accordingly to UNICEF, there are 163 million orphans in the world today. 8 million live in institutional care – orphanages, group homes, childrens homes. Rationale behind de-institutionalization: - keeping siblings together - consistent caring adult - emotional bond/attachment development - development of a sense of belonging /community - replicating natural family setting in substitute care - cost management

11 Community placements Models of Care; Variance within States Classification of children based on level of needs Linkage with the community – foster parent recruitment /marketing Premise of keeping children in their community of origin. Foster Care as a temporal / transitional intervention – goal identification: Reunification, adoption, emancipation/independent living: educational outcomes. Working with families of origin. Federal benchmarks: Safety, Well-being, permanency. Funding structures: Room and Board, clinical services. Social Workers as Mandated Reporters.

12 Foster Care/ Resource Family Recruitment for resource families / foster parents – Campaigns. Who becomes a foster parent? – The need to help /give back – The empty nester – Religious reasons – Revenue/reimbursement – Fertility difficulties – Others: professionals

13 Process of Becoming a Foster Parent. Recruitment Application process Background check Check of the physical space of the home Home-study process: A psycho-social assessment. Mandated pre-service training hours of training (PRIDE and other models) Focus areas of training: child development, disciplinary protocols, First Aid and more) Recommendation for certification/licensure Maintenance of licensure expectations; on-going training Training around the childs special needs.

14 The Matching Process: Matching the child with the foster family. The best interest of the child Considering the special needs of the child Inter-Ethnic placement Act /Multi-ethnic Placement Act The foster parents competencies. Pre-placement visitation protocol The placement decision.

15 The Role of the Social Worker Specialty positions (recruiter, case managers, licensing representatives, clinicians, adoption workers/permanency specialists, education advocates). Functions: – Completing home-study assessments. – Home visits (weekly) – visitation supervision – Data collection and client file management – Electronic documentation /case notes. Assessments.

16 Services to Biological Families Services to address the specific condition that lead to the removal of the child. Parental rights – residual rights. The right to visitation/contacts with the child Referral services to other community resources to help address other related issues. Reunification process Strengthening family services.

17 The Role of Juvenile Courts Making a Legal determination of the fitness of the parents to fulfill their as parents of the child. Granting custody of the child to the state. Periodic monitoring of the parents compliance with services offered. Diligent search expectations of the worker. The process of termination of parental rights. Functioning as the primary decision making entity in the process.

18 Support Services to Foster Parents Home Visits Foster parent support groups Mentoring by experienced foster parents Respite services Transportation services for the child. foster parent meetings; monthly, quarterly May is Foster Parent Appreciation month. Foster Parent of the month Monthly Stipend Referral to other community support systems Foster parents as recruiters. Advocacy NFPA: National Foster Parent Association.

19 Outcome measures Performance-based contracting: Contract based on the agencys proven abilities. Service goals: – Return to biological families: providing services to the biological family to correct the situation that brought the child into care. – Guardianship: Working with relatives to take guardianship of the child. With Kinship guardianship the rights of the biological parents may not have been terminated. – Adoption: Foster care conversation adoption. Foster parent commitment to adopt. – Independence: Preparing the youth to be able to live independently in the community.

20 Outcome Measures Cost saving measures and incentives to providers. Reduction in the length of stay (LOS). Federal benchmarks – Safety: ensuring the safety of the child while the child is in foster care. – Wellbeing: ensuring that the medical, physical, emotional needs of the child is meet. Making sure that the educational needs of the child is effectively responded to. – Permanency: Finding a permanent solution for the child (guardianship or adoption). – Placement stability: Reduction in the number of placement per child in foster care.

21 Strength Based Models of Care Stronger prevention and family reunification services: Strengthening family services. Cultural awareness in service delivery: Cultivating a sense of belonging in the child. Strengthening partnerships between child welfare agencies and community-based organizations. Empowering families to self-advocate. Risk Factor identification Wrap-around Services and strategic planning methods. (Child and Family Teams) Customization of care to fit the needs of the specific family. Funding flexibility. Diversity management issues.

22 Public – Private Partnership Federal/State Government Defines the framework Defines the legal structure the governs care. Passes laws and Acts Funding appropriation Defines funding guidelines Defines provider qualifications Defines broad standards of practice. Defines performance standards and benchmarks Accreditation expectations. NGO – Private Agencies Represents the communitys need. Interprets the laws in response to the needs of the community. Advocates for specific segments of the population. Develop programs in response to community needs. Implements the tenets of the Rule. Service provision to the community.

23 Public – Private Partnership Funding structure and challenges Impact of cut backs on the provider community and continuity of services. Fund-raising as a funding gap-filler process. Engagement of the business community – what is in it for them? Demonstrable outcomes.

24 NGOs that influence the system Religious groups The Role of Catholic Charities Jewish Children Bureau Children Home and Aids Society Boys Town: the Model Non-profit v. For-profit Providers State Child Care Associations Professional Associations (NASW –National Association of Social Workers) Provider Associations (FFTA - Foster Family Based Treatment Association) (NFPA : National Foster Parent Association). Multi-State agencies. University-based research institutions (Chapin Hall Institute - Chicago, IL) Single issue focused Advocacy Groups Accrediting Bodies (COA – Council on Accreditation)

25 Financial viability: Aspects of Fundraising Supplementing funding from the government and municipality. Fund-raising is a MUST for NGOs – private agencies The role of the Board of Directors and Exec Director in fundraising Goal-setting and identification of targeted givers. Types of fund raising – the use of products Engaging the community in the process. The role of the agencys mission. In-kind versus financial donations. The Ask: Single donors v. grassroots. Business budgeting and financial management. Closing the loop: using outcomes in the cultivation of volunteers and donors.

26 Next Steps Advocacy as a crucial role for NGOs. Using business management principles to engage the business community in understanding the role of NGOs. Strategic planning (short and long term) as an essential management tool – delivering measurable outcomes. NGO Networking and collaboration in meeting the needs of clients and communities.

27 Q & A Questions & Answers THANK YOU Viviane Ngwa


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