The Grantee Connection // April 2024

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The Grantee Connection. Sharing Knowledge. Building Evidence.

April 2024 | Issue 19

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

5 Professionals Smiling

New Center to Diversify the Child Welfare Workforce

Project Description: The Center for Workforce Equity and Leadership (CWEL) launched in October 2023 under a 5-year cooperative agreement between the Children's Bureau and Families Rising. The center also partners with the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association and Public Research and Evaluation Services. CWEL will provide site-specific technical assistance at 10 sites to advance race equity and social justice and improve the recruitment, retention, and well-being of the child welfare workforce.

Project Highlight: CWEL is dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable child welfare workforce, which emphasizes the Administration's continued focus and commitment to diversifying the workforce, by advancing race equity and social justice, and removing barriers to opportunities for underserved communities through comprehensive initiatives that include leadership development for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx[1] professionals; tribal cultural fellowships; and the creation of educational pathways to enhance the retention and recruitment of the child welfare workforce. Learn more about the comprehensive initiatives CWEL is creating to shape the workforce.

Learn More: CWEL will soon partner with sites to provide technical assistance opportunities. Visit the CWEL website to learn more about its mission, services, timelines, and site selection process.

Photo provided by CWEL

[1] The term "Latinx" is a gender-neutral alternative to the terms "Latino" and "Latina." While "Latinx" generally does not have widespread use among the Hispanic and Latino communities, it was used in this instance because CWEL refers to these populations as such.

C.N.C.F.R Logo with Bear in Circle

Reflecting and Embracing Tribal Cultural Values  

Project Description: The Center for Native Child and Family Resilience (CNCFR), funded in 2017 through a cooperative agreement, supports child welfare prevention and intervention practices and strategies designed by and for American Indian/Alaska Native populations. CNCFR has developed and disseminated knowledge of culturally relevant practice models, interventions, and services contributing to child maltreatment prevention. CNCFR also partnered with tribes and tribal communities to identify and enhance culturally based programs designed to strengthen community and family resilience.

Project Highlight: The Cultural Guide for the Development of Tribal Child Welfare Products provides organizations, teams, and individuals developing tribal child welfare products with guidance about how to develop those products in ways that reflect and embrace tribal culture and values. This guide helps product and tool developers to retrieve and incorporate cultural knowledge and serves as an instrument that helps ensure that products developed collaboratively with these communities include the acknowledgement and recognition of their contributions to child welfare, education, social services, research, and evaluation. The guide addresses 12 domains, such as historical trauma and historical strengths, cultural applicability and cultural tailoring, and the review of tools by community service providers.

Learn more: Visit the CNCFR resource webpage to find information and tools to support tribal communities in maintaining culturally based and resilience-enhancing programs.

Graphic provided by CNCFR


Green logo with orange star

Building Competency for Mental Health and Child Welfare Professionals  

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 and youth and their foster, adoptive, and guardianship families.

Project Highlight: Enhance the skill of your workforce while improving well-being and permanency outcomes for families by accessing the free, web-based NTI training. This training enables child welfare and mental health professionals to better address the mental health and developmental needs of children in foster, adoptive, or kinship families. The training is designed to support system change by providing aligned content for child welfare and mental health systems. Addressing the mental health needs of children and youth in foster, adoptive, and guardianship families makes a significant difference to their well-being and family stability. The NTI training can enhance your casework or clinical practice to improve well-being and permanency outcomes.

Learn More: To find more evidence-based and trauma-informed programs to support professionals, visit the training webpage.

Graphic provided by C.A.S.E.

QIC-EY Circle multiple colored logo



Authentic Engagement of Youth and Young Adults in System Change

Project Description: The Quality Improvement Center on Engaging Youth in Finding Permanency (QIC-EY) is a 5-year cooperative agreement funded in 2021 to bring about systemic culture shifts that result in intentional policy and practice changes directly related to the child welfare system's engagement and empowerment of and partnership with children and youth. The QIC-EY is informed by the lived experiences and professional expertise of youth who were formerly in foster care.

Project Highlight: The QIC-EY created a Lessons Learned series to highlight products and exclusive content that bring to life the fundamental insights and knowledge gained about child and youth engagement, with special attention to permanency decisions. Lessons Learned #5 focuses on discussing how professionals driving the transformation of the child welfare system need to thoughtfully consider approaches for authentically engaging youth and young adults who have lived expertise and include their valuable input in transformation efforts.

Authentic engagement with youth and young adults in system change efforts is most successful when expertise gained through personal experience is valued as much as knowledge gained in the classroom or through professional experience. Lessons Learned #5 provides key points for consideration when engaging with youth and young adults during system change efforts:

  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
  • Provide the support that youth and young adults need to participate successfully.
  • Be trauma aware.
  • Consider the structure and culture of meetings and activities.
  • Be aware of the power difference between young people and professionals.

Learn More: View the QIC-EY's Lessons Learned webpage to gain fundamental insights about engaging children and youth and for information on permanency. Be sure to check out QIC-EY NOW, a tool that offers real-life stories, examples, and quick tips for busy professionals and brings to life the competencies and characteristics that drive authentic engagement.

Photo provided by QIC-EY

Grantee Tools

Child Welfare Measures Library

In October 2023, James Bell Associates (JBA) created the Child Welfare Measures Library, a compendium of common measures that Children's Bureau discretionary grant recipients, their evaluators, and other child welfare professionals and researchers can use to measure changes in child and family outcomes. The 160 measures collect data at three levels (child, family, and system) across 10 domains (child development, family functioning, health and wellness, mental health and substance abuse, organizational change, parenting, resilience, social support, trauma, and well-being). The measures were selected for three primary reasons:

  • They address issues that may result in child welfare system involvement, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and domestic violence.
  • They relate to child-, family-, and systems-level domains that child welfare services attempt to address, such as behavioral health, access to social support, and parenting skills.
  • They are commonly used by Children's Bureau grantees and other child welfare organizations and researchers.

The resource includes tables organizing the measures by domain and links to more information. Some measures are copyrighted, while others are in the public domain. Some are available online, and others must be obtained from the publisher. Information on accessing the measures is included when available.

Resources From

Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Prevention Continuum   

Visit the webpage.

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Two-Generation Approaches to Supporting Family Well-Being

Read the publication.

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“Threading Equity Throughout Child Welfare” 

Listen to the podcast.

Grantee News & Updates