The Grantee Connection / March 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

The Grantee Connection - Sharing Knowledge, Building Evidence

March 2021 | Issue 7

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 Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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


Project Highlight: NCWWI asked over 2,000 child welfare workers how they were doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this infographic summarizes what they said. The full report describes what was learned during the pandemic and the implications for improving the well-being and retention of the workforce.

Learn More: Read Critical Workforce Needs to learn about child welfare workforce needs beyond the pandemic. In this report, NCWWI compiled 12 years' worth of data to identify common themes and critical needs of the workforce across both public and Tribal child welfare programs.

Photo provided by NCWWI

Informing Child Welfare Court Cases Involving Prenatal Substance Exposure

Project Description: The National Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams (QIC-CCCT) is a 3-year grant to establish collaborative community court teams to design, implement, and test approaches to better meet the needs of infants and families affected by substance use disorders and prenatal substance exposure through demonstration sites.


Project Highlight: The case law summary Key Legal Issues in Civil Child Protection Cases Involving Prenatal Substance Exposure reviews appellate court decisions that shape the legal response to prenatal substance exposure throughout the country. This resource shares key legal questions courts have answered, relevant cases, key takeaways for the field, and practice tips for legal practitioners who represent clients in civil child protection cases.

Learn More: Not a legal professional? A primer by the QIC-CCCT provides a summary of case law and is intended for child welfare, health-care, and related nonlegal professionals serving mothers and families.

Photo provided by Children and Family Futures

Building Knowledge to Strengthen the Child Welfare Workforce

Project Description: The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) is a 5-year grant to conduct a multisite demonstration project to address pervasive child welfare workforce challenges and to test innovative and promising workforce improvement strategies.

QIC-WD Nebraska

Project Highlight: The QIC-WD recently created videos to provide an overview of workforce interventions from the perspective of child welfare workers. Frontline child welfare workers, supervisors, and administrators in the following locations shared their experiences:

  • Nebraska: Addressing secondary traumatic stress
  • Louisiana: Redesigning the child welfare worker position
  • Washington: Testing a telework intervention

Learn More: View the, which put relevant, easily digestible workforce research and findings into the hands of child welfare professionals. Each summary provides a synopsis of the published meta-analyses of a specific workforce topic in a straightforward question-and-answer format, followed by the key takeaways.

Photo provided by QIC-WD

Grantee Blog:

A Relational Poem From Youth With Foster Care Experience

Where to Land artwork

Where to Land
by Anita and Jane

Something I’m always asked is
“What supports do I need to thrive?”
Things take time, hold your head up high
It’s usually followed up with
“How long were you in care?”
Stay strong and I always respond “five”
What I needed was structure
A place I could reside to have a relationship with my sister
and brothers
Patience, always have patience
A mentor to vent to that shows they truly care
And a TRIBE of people
who understand that life sometimes isn’t fair
And never jump to the worse case

In 2018, the Children’s Bureau awarded the Strengthening Child Welfare Systems to Achieve Expected Child and Family Outcomes cooperative agreement to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies that focus on better adoption outcomes. One of the grantees, the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare developed the Kansas Strong for Children and Families collaborative with its partners to enhance agency and court/legal practice and reduce systemic barriers. The following article was written by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.

Youth Voices From Foster Care, an initiative of Kansas Strong for Children and Families, is an arts-based digital storytelling project. Our objectives for Youth Voices comes from the call to action from the Children’s Bureau to honor and prioritize the voices of youth and families and enhance the capacity of the workforce to hear and act on the voices of youth and families.

We partnered with the Kansas Youth Advisory Council (KYAC) to build knowledge around youths’ lived experiences in child welfare and better understand the needs, hopes, and aspirations of youth in foster care. This information will be used to inform the other strategies of Kansas Strong and will be disseminated broadly to professionals who are responsible for developing effective services that meet the needs of children, youth, and families in Kansas and across the country.

We are using participatory action research, a methodology that values lived experience as knowledge and positions community members as experts and peers within a research project, to guide this project. KYAC members designed the project as a versatile and inclusive art project where youth participants are invited to share their experiences in foster care through the creation of individual and/or collective artwork. Each participant can choose what kind of art project they want to make (i.e., drawing, photography, writing, or some other form of creative expression), and their artwork will be a response to the following prompts developed by KYAC members:

  • What supports do I need to thrive?
  • What did I appreciate about a caseworker who helped, impacted, or supported me?
  • What advice would I give to others about how to communicate with me?
  • What information is most helpful for me to have?
  • What insights do I wish my foster parents or placement provider had?

The relational poem and related artwork above were made in video chat sessions facilitated by a member of the research team. During these sessions, participants first wrote individual poems using one or more of the prompts listed above. Next, each person read their poem out loud, and then the group worked together to weave lines from each of their poems into one collective poem.

Resources From

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Link Icon

Virtual and Remote Workforce Needs

Visit the webpage.


Pub Icon

Supporting Child, Caregiver, and Family Well-Being in Times of Crisis

Read the publication.

RSS Icon

Episode 58: What Did Child Welfare Learn From 2020 - Caseworker Care

Listen to the podcast.

Grantee News & Updates

Are you a Children's Bureau grantee? SUBMIT YOUR UPDATES AND RESOURCES!