The Grantee Connection // October 2019

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The Grantee Connection

October 2019 | Issue 2

The Grantee Connection is a quarterly digest featuring new and noteworthy products, information, and lessons learned from select Children's Bureau discretionary grants to inform research, capacity building, and program improvement efforts.

Featured Grantees

Supporting Child Welfare Professionals

Child Welfare Training: The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI): a 5-year cooperative agreement was awarded to build the capacity of child welfare professionals and improve the organizations that recruit, train, supervise, manage, and retain them.

National Workforce Institute

Watch new video from NCWWI on how child welfare programs can address trauma by creating a culture of resiliency through multiple, culturally responsive strategies, such as offering trauma education, building relationships, encouraging self-care, and creating restorative spaces.

Learn more about this project with the recently kicked off “We Are Child Welfare” Campaign. Find out more ways to support child welfare and help spread the word.

Photo provided by NCWWI

Responding to Human Trafficking

Grants to Address Trafficking Within the Child Welfare Population: Nine 5-year grants were awarded to organizations, universities, and programs across the nation in 2014 to develop their child welfare systems' response to human trafficking.

HP Serve / Louisiana

Read new briefs with lessons learned on how grantees are developing housing options, coordinating resources, and working with faith-based groups to address and respond to child and youth trafficking.

Learn more about this projectthe grant cluster, and grantees on Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Photo provided by Empower 225

Building Capacity of Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals

National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI): One 5-year grant, now extended to 2020, was awarded to strengthen the capacity of child welfare staff and mental health practitioners serving children/youth who are moving toward or maintaining permanency in adoptive or guardianship homes.

NTI Meeting

Access two state-of-the-art, standardized web-based trainings developed by NTI to build the capacity of child welfare and mental health professionals to understand and address the needs of children, youth, and families moving toward or having achieved permanency through adoption or guardianship. The trainings also aim to improve collaboration between service systems with shared language and aligned curricula.

Learn more about this project: Find out ways to access the web-based trainings as well as  evaluation outcomes from a pilot study, introduction videos, and communication tools.

Photo provided by NTI

Increasing Permanency and Stability for Adoptive Families

The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG): One 5-year grant, now extended to 2020, was awarded to develop supports and interventions to achieve permanency and stability in adoptive and guardianship homes.


Read new briefs on the insights and implementation of eight project sites around the country focused on increasing pre- and postpermanency stability for families.  

Learn more about this project: QIC- AG released a webinar on what staff learned related to recruitment and retention, cost/sustainability, stakeholder collaboration, and logistics throughout their grant period.

Photo provided by QIC-AG

The Legal Community's Role in Primary Prevention 


"It's a unique and rare moment," Vivek S. Sankaran said to the Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families grantees at the Children's Bureau Annual Discretionary Grantee Meetings in August. "So many constituencies talking about primary prevention at the same time," he explained. The grantees, whose work focuses on mobilizing communities to support families and preventing unnecessary removal of children into foster care, nodded in agreement. The buzz and excitement surrounding this shift in focus was heard from just about every presenter at the Grantee Meetings, from Jan Shafer, the director of the Division of Program Innovation at the Children's Bureau, to Lynn Johnson (pictured above with grantees), assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  

Mr. Sankaran, a clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, continued that the message is not just coming from all levels of the child welfare field, but the legal community is discussing the critical role it plays in keeping children and families together and preventing child abuse and neglect.  

In 2009, Mr. Sankaran founded the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, which was the first organization in the country to provide multidisciplinary legal assistance to families to prevent the unnecessary entry of children into foster care. The center focused on solving legal issues that could potentially destabilize families (special education, housing, etc.), while prioritizing relationship building with parents, the child welfare agency, the caseworker, and other related professionals. This collaborative approach paid offnone of the children from the families the center worked with (from 20092016) entered the foster care system.  

This is just one example of how providing families with legal assistance before a crisis occurs is a vital part of the prevention continuum. David Kelley, special assistant to the associate commissioner of the Children's Bureau, followed Mr. Sankaran and reiterated the call to action by urging those in the room to engage their local courts and legal community in their primary prevention efforts. 

Read the IM on primary prevention 


Resources From

Child Welfare Information Gateway
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View the web section

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Kinship Navigators Programs

 Read the publication

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Prevention: Reorganizing Community Collaboratives

 Listen to the podcast


Grantee News & Updates



The first cohort of the Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program graduated in August! The event was the culmination of the AdoptUSKids program that promotes professional leadership development of minorities in the adoption field. Congratulations to the 2019 MPLD fellowsLearn more about the program.


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