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Broward’s Infrastructure Design to Guide and Sustain Permanency for Young Foster Children (BRIDGES)

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Presentation on theme: "Broward’s Infrastructure Design to Guide and Sustain Permanency for Young Foster Children (BRIDGES)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Broward’s Infrastructure Design to Guide and Sustain Permanency for Young Foster Children (BRIDGES)

2 Grantee  Nonprofit agency founded in 1971  Supporting low-income and at-risk children and their families in South Florida  Services include childcare resource and referral, subsidized child care, training and technical assistance and family support programs including BRIDGES Lead Agency

3 GOAL To create early learning environments that meet the needs of young children in foster care and to promote and sustain permanency of their placement.

4 Target Population: Foster children (birth to five) enrolled in child care programs in Broward County, Florida.

5 Partner Agencies/Governance

6 Creating a BRIDGE Early Learning & Education Child Welfare

7 Why is this needed

8 Effect of abuse/neglect on developing brains The prolonged, severe, unpredictable stress caused by abuse and neglect can alter brain development. Toxic stress in young children causes negative impacts on the child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth. The first five years are crucial to a child’s brain development and lay the foundation for all future learning

9 Foster children come with challenging behaviors Difficultly transitioning to new home and child care center due to trauma of removal from parents and change in placement Challenging or withdrawn behavior due to stress of suffering experienced by abuse and/or neglect

10 Common child care issues for foster children Child care providers lack of knowledge and experience in handling challenging behaviors of foster children Trend in children being expelled from child care centers due to behaviors Foster children often move from center to center further exacerbating their instability and stress

11 aims to create an early learning environment that is stable and high quality for young foster children to heal their trauma and provide a place of protection BRIDGES

12 Create system to identify programs with the capacity to provide quality child care for foster children. Provide resources and support for child care programs to address complex needs of foster children in their care. Develop and strengthen infrastructure for communication and collaboration between key systems serving foster children, including child welfare and early learning systems. Build system capacity for child advocates, parents, guardians, and foster parents to make informed child care choices to meet needs of foster children. How?

13 BRIDGES Structure Governance Training Early Screening and Identification Quality Child Care Centers

14 Training of Child Welfare and Child Care Professionals Curriculum Development aimed at child advocates, parents, guardians, and foster parents to build competencies in making informed choices in selecting childcare programs that are “places of protection” and meet the needs of foster children Curriculum Development targeted to professionals to build capacity of agencies to meet the complex social, emotional, behavioral, and family support needs of foster children Develop policy and procedures recommendations as it pertains to future training, such as MAPP, and training to foster parents and early childhood professionals.

15 Early Screening and Identification Eliminate barriers to early identification and screening of young foster children by facilitating communication and data sharing between key players Refine the referral process for screening to ensure it is seamless

16 Quality Child Care Settings Develop certification process to create and identify those early learning centers that are equipped to handle the complex needs of foster children Provide supports outside of training to equip early learning centers to meet the complex needs of foster children Implementation of transdisciplinary staffings and Positive Behavioral Support

17 Positive Behavioral Support Program PBS is funded by coaches and supports directors, teachers, parents and children in the acquisition of the skills needed for successful social/emotional development. building nurturing relationships and creating safe environment for the children; providing social emotional support to targeted students, providing intensive individual intervention including home visiting reflects a very strong foundation of evidence-based knowledge at the early childhood staffing level.


19 Expected Short-Term Outcomes Foster children receiving school readiness funding will be placed in child care programs identified as being high quality and responsive to the needs of foster children. Transdisciplinary meetings will set goals for children and families. Foster parents, child welfare case managers and the dependency court system will be able to identify quality child care programs with the capacity to meet the needs of foster children.

20 Expected Long-Term Outcomes: Foster children in program will have permanent home placement. Foster children receiving school readiness funding will be placed in certified child care programs. Foster children in program will be stable in child care placement. Foster children who need additional community resources and support will have a staffing with a child care program. Placement and developmental screening data on foster children will be reviewed monthly. Data sharing and electronic communication process will be more effective and efficient.

21 Evaluation Approach Quantitative and qualitative design to evaluate short- and long-term outcomes will use: Document review Meeting recordings and minutes Online surveys Semi-structured interviews Case file reviews Analysis of client data in Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) Pre and post tests

22 Key Evaluation Questions 1.Was a certification process with set standards for child care centers developed to identify community child care centers that provide quality care for foster children? 2.Were procedures for transdisciplinary meetings implemented for foster children who required coordinated community resources? 3.Was a data management system developed and implemented to facilitate the tracking and sharing of information on foster children across systems? 4.Was a cross-system training program developed and implemented to meet the objectives specified in this project?

23 Expected Opportunities Create criteria and certification to identify child care programs able to respond to foster children. Help parents/guardians, child advocates, court system identify child care centers certified as able to provide appropriate services and support for foster children. Train child care providers to understand the social/emotional needs of foster children and learn how to implement trauma-informed care. Track foster children through all child care placements in early learning system. Design new data management system that promotes inter-organizational sharing on child’s attendance in child care program, placement, developmental screening results, and services received.

24 Expected Challenges System changes are difficult Developing a shared vision and shared expectations

25 Sustainability Plans At end of project, BRIDGE’s steering committee, will fold into Foster Care Steering Committee, a well-established committee that includes all key stakeholders in foster care system. Certification of child care programs responsive to foster children will be linked to community’s Child Care Quality Rating System. Strategic plan will be developed to identify ways that programs like PBS that address social/emotional development can be expanded to other child care sites.

26 Sustainability Plans WPB2-TV, public television, will produce a short video that will be used at board meetings to engage board discussions; and with providers to encourage them to participate in transdisciplinary meetings. To follow long-term outcomes after the project period, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) School of Social Work will assign FAU interns working with ChildNet to projects that will collect and analyze BRIDGES data after the project’s grant period is over.

27 Dissemination Plans BRIDGES will make regular reports of project progress to the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) and ChildNet boards. In partnership with its evaluators, it will present project results through statewide ELC, Children’s Services Council, Head Start, and Child Welfare networks; and present its findings at the state’s One Goal Summer conference.

28 It will use the micro-video developed by WPBT2-TV to present project process and outcomes. WPBT2-TV is also very interested in pursuing opportunities to make a full documentary of the BRIDGES process and the impact it has had on transforming both systems and children’s lives.

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