The Grantee Connection / November 2020

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The Grantee Connection - Sharing Knowledge, Building Evidence

November 2020 | Issue 6

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

Reducing Homelessness Among Youth With Child Welfare Involvement

Project Description: The Children's Bureau (CB) developed a multiphase grant initiative to build the evidence base on what works to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults who have been involved in the child welfare system. This program is referred to as Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH). Starting in September 2013, CB awarded planning grants to 18 entities to form partnerships with local child welfare entities and define a comprehensive service model. In the second phase of YARH (YARH-2), starting in September 2015, CB awarded implementation grants to six entities from YARH-1 to (1) implement and refine the model developed in YARH-1; (2) conduct rapid-cycle testing of critical model components; (3) conduct a formative evaluation of the model to determine whether the model can achieve expected outcomes; and (4) prepare for full implementation and a summative evaluation of the model in a third phase (YARH-3).

YARH Grantee Sites

Project Highlight: The report Reducing Homelessness Among Youth With Child Welfare Involvement: Phase II Implementation Experiences in a Multi-Phase Grant details the process study of the YARH-2 grant to inform future efforts to implement interventions designed to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults with child welfare involvement. The study offers findings about the services and supports that grantees implemented as part of their models, the challenges the YARH-2 grantees and their partners faced, and the successful strategies used for implementation.

Learn More: View the recently released infographic that illustrates the multiple phases, focal populations, and outcomes of the YARH grant. Also, see project summaries of YARH-2 grantees under Featured Grantee Spotlights on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.

Graphic from Reducing Homelessness Among Youth With Child Welfare Involvement: Phase II Implementation Experiences in a Multi-Phase Grant, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation 

Addressing Racial Bias in Culturally and Racially Diverse Adoptions

Project Description: The National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) provides state-of-the-art, standardized, web-based trainings to build the capacity of child welfare and mental health professionals in all States, Tribes, and territories to effectively support children, youth, and their foster, adoptive, and guardianship families.

NTI Team

Project Highlight: NTI recently hosted a webinar focused on the Race, Diversity and Culture module of the NTI curriculum. The webinar, hosted by NTI Implementation Specialists Edna Davis-Brown and Lisa Maynard, was designed to increase professionals’ understanding of implicit and explicit bias and provide strategies and tools to better support children and families in transracial/transcultural adoption. NTI will host a second webinar on Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM EST. Join the NTI database or visit the NTI website to learn more.

Learn More: Read stories about how States and organizations around the country are hosting NTI trainings in their communities. You can also find a directory of mental health professionals who have already successfully completed NTI trainings.

Photo provided by NTI

Increasing Permanency and Stability for Adoptive and Guardianship Families

Project Description: The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) is a 5-year project that works with eight partner sites to implement evidence-based interventions or develop and test promising practices to achieve long-term, stable permanence in adoptive and guardianship homes for waiting children. QIC-AG also provides support to children and families after adoption or guardianship has been finalized.


Project Highlight: QIC-AG’s two latest papers bring together insights, lessons learned, and “QIC-tips" collected and compiled as teams in the eight partner sites worked to support adoptive and guardianship families. The first paper, Prioritizing and Planning Parent Outreach for Adoptive and Guardianship Families: QIC-Tips for Success, offers seven essential and practical lessons about parent outreach, an essential element of implementation that can sometimes be overlooked. A second paper, Insights Into Post-Adoption Service Programs for Private and Intercountry Adoptions, draws upon unique approaches from several QIC-AG interventions and highlights the importance of ensuring availability and access to services and supports for families who adopt via the intercountry or private domestic process. 

Learn More: After 5 years of implementation and evaluation, an implementation manual is now available for each of the seven QIC-AG interventions. Each manual provides a structured process to (1) help determine if an intervention is right for your site and (2) support the intervention with integrity. They also contain practical considerations for implementation as well as lessons learned from the pilot sites.

Graphic from Prioritizing and Planning Parent Outreach for Adoptive and Guardianship Families: QIC-Tips for Succes, QIC-AG 

Grantee Blog:

The Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) Program Welcomes the 2021 Cohort

MPLD 2021 Cohort

The MPLD program is part of the AdoptUSKids grant and is designed for emerging minority leaders working in direct service within the child welfare field. The structured program includes hands-on experiences, exposure to national experts, and mentorship opportunities. Fellows have the opportunity to design and implement an action research project for which they can receive expert, individualized guidance to help them complete their projects.

Each year, 16 emerging leaders are selected through a competitive process. The fellows for the 2021 MPLD cohort were selected in September 2020. This group of fellows had their virtual kick-off meeting during the first week of October. This initial meeting was filled with skill-building activities, featured national presenters, and provided opportunities to network with professionals from across the nation. Over the next 11 months, the fellows will learn about transformational leadership, practice, research, and policy in child welfare. They will also complete an action research project that addresses a challenge they are facing in their local child welfare system related to adoption or guardianship.

MPLD has created a YouTube channel to house all the presentations done by the fellows for their action research projects. These topics include transracial adoption, recruitment and retention of minority families, older youth adoption, among many others. The presentations include valuable information sites can use to improve their programming and practice. Currently, there are 15 presentations on this YouTube channel. An additional 16 presentations will be added to the channel in January when the second cohort of fellows graduates.



Child Welfare Information Gateway Resources

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Supporting Racially and Culturally Diverse Adoptive Families

View the webpage


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Episode 55: "National Adoption Month - Engage Youth, Listen and Learn"

Listen to the podcast


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Supporting Well-Being in Times of Crisis: Strategies to Promote Effective Virtual and Phone Engagement

Read the publication

Grantee News & Updates

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