The Grantee Connection // September 2021

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The Grantee Connection - Sharing Knowledge, Building Evidence

September 2021 | Issue 9

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 practice and program improvement efforts.

Featured Grantees

Understanding Intersectionality in Child Welfare

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.

NCWWI Intersectionality Infographic

Project Highlight: Coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectionality is a “framework for understanding how social identities overlap across systems of discrimination and privilege”. NCWWI’s infographic focuses on how Intersectionality in child welfare has contributed to inequality, injustice, and discrimination for workers, children, and the families they serve. By understanding and applying a lens of intersectionality, child welfare professionals and agencies are better able to make informed and equitable decisions and policies.

Learn More: View additional resources to support child welfare professionals, including webinars, infographics, resource lists, and more. These resources contain tools, guides, assessments, and curricula that are used to increase understanding, facilitate dialogue, deliver training, analyze current policies, and implement sustainable strategies.

Graphic from NCWWI's Intersectionality in Child Welfare

Informing Child Welfare Court Cases Involving Prenatal Substance

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 brief, Child Welfare Court Cases Involving Prenatal Substance Use: Policy Considerations, is part of a series that reviews appellate court decisions that shape the legal response to prenatal substance exposure throughout the country. This brief will help policymakers and others in the field identify potential negative consequences and harm from punitive responses to prenatal substance use and offer evidence and strength-based approaches to working with mothers and families that support healthier outcomes.

Learn More: Register for the "Earlier the Better: How Court Teams are Supporting Infants and Parents Affected by Prenatal Substance Exposure" webinar on Tuesday, September 28th, from 2–3:30 p.m. EDT. This webinar will share key lessons and outcomes from the QIC-CCCT engagement with 14 demonstration sites.

Photo provided by Children and Family Futures

Improving Support for Guardianship and Adoption Families

Project Description: The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) is a 5-year project working 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 as well as with children and families after adoption or guardianship has been finalized.

Still from the QIC-AG Virtual Tour

Project Highlight: Launched in 2014 to help systems meet the unmet needs of adoption and guardianship families, the QIC-AG has amassed a huge array of practical tools, materials, and content useful for members of the child welfare community as well as related professionals. New to the work of the QIC-AG or wanting to learn more? Take a quick "virtual tour" to find information and materials for offering quality postadoption or permanency services and support for families.

Learn More: View the Annual Lessons Learned series to learn about practical considerations and lessons learned from the QIC-AG pilot sites over the past 5 years, including the latest in the series on assessing systems to support adoption and guardianship families.

Video still from QIC-AG's "QIC-AG Virtual Tour"

Grantee Blog:

Programs That Are Revolutionizing Adoption:

Lessons Learned From Children's Bureau Grantees

NAM 2021

National Adoption Month has come a long way in the last 50 years. What began as Adoption Week in one state has since blossomed into a month-long, nationwide effort to bring awareness to the thousands of children and youth in foster care looking for a permanent home.

This year, National Adoption Month will focus on teen adoption and engaging youth in their permanency planning. The theme for the 2021 initiative, "Every Conversation Matters," recognizes that authentic youth engagement depends on building authentic relationships, which can begin with a single conversation.

Children's Bureau grantees understand the importance of authentic youth engagement and are revolutionizing the child welfare field by encouraging inclusivity and challenging stigmas to better serving the youth involved in the system.

Below are examples of the innovative programs that are transforming the child welfare system:

Want to learn more? 

  • Visit National Adoption Month's Youth Engagement Practice Examples webpage for more information about the innovative programs developed by grantees.
  • Attend the "Every Conversation Matters" Webinar on Thursday, September 30th, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. The 90-minute webinar will provide child welfare professionals with tips to incorporate youth engagement in daily practice. This National is a collaboration of AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway, held on behalf of the Children's Bureau.
  • Get involved in the #AskYouthChallenge. This National Adoption Month, we challenge you to commit to better engaging youth in conversations about adoption and permanency by asking thoughtful questions and embracing tough topics. Show your commitment to youth engagement by using the hashtag #AskYouthChallenge on social media and sharing how you are making sure youths' voices are heard.

Resources From

Child Welfare Information Gateway

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Partnering With Youth for Permanency Planning

Visit the webpage.

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In-Home Services to Strengthen Children and Families

Read the publication.

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Episode 64: " Reunification"

Listen to the podcast.


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