The Grantee Connection // September 2022

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The Grantee Connection - Sharing Knowledge, Building Evidence

September 2022 | Issue 13

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

Sustaining and Empowering Professionals During Challenging Times

Project Description: The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline’s Prevent Abuse of Children Text & Chat (PACTECH) project was funded in 2018 to develop and disseminate knowledge on utilizing text and chat-based capabilities for child maltreatment reporting and resource sharing.

Graphic depicting two people from Childhelp Child Abuse Crisis Counselors: Professional Quality of Life and Vicarious Resilience

Project Highlight: Crisis counselor work is challenging and intense. The newly released brief, Childhelp Child Abuse Crisis Counselors: Professional Quality of Life and Vicarious Resilience, provides insight into the lived experiences of Childhelp hotline counselors responding to help seekers during the pandemic. The counselors explored how they identify and build resiliency and provided insight into a newer concept called vicarious resiliency (VR). Presenting the counselors’ stories can help advance the concept of VR as well as show how VR can help to promote sustaining and empowering helping professionals during challenging times.

Learn More: View the brief to learn about qualitative and quantitative research findings from the PACTECH project over the past 3 years.

Graphic from Childhelp Child Abuse Crisis Counselors: Professional Quality of Life and Vicarious Resilience

Equipping Foster and Adoptive Parents With Flexible Trainings and Tools

Project Description: The National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (NTDC) project, funded in 2016, is a state-of-the-art, interactive training program and curriculum based upon research and input from experts, tribal leaders, families who have experience with fostering or adopting children, and adults with lived experience in the child welfare system. NTDC provides potential foster, kinship, and adoptive parents with the information and tools needed to parent children who have experienced trauma, separation, or loss.

NTDC Available Now Video Still

Project Highlight: In a newly released video, hear directly from parents and professionals about how they are being educated and empowered with these trauma-informed, culturally relevant, and flexible training and tools. The NTDC curriculum is packaged for various adult learning styles and includes a combination of classroom-based training, podcasts, and videos, which are available “on demand” for parents who may need a quick refresher on a subject as well as for parents who want a more detailed explanation. You can also hear from NTDC facilitators about their experience with using these trainings and tools with parents.

Learn More: Find additional information and resources about the curriculum, including information on the three curriculum components; implementation manuals for child welfare-involved families, private and intercountry adoptive families, and American Indian/Alaskan Native families who are involved with the tribal child welfare system; tools to administer the self-assessment; slide decks; handouts; and more.

Video still from "NTDC Available Now"

Organizing the Knowledge Base Around Children and Youth Engagement

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

Map representing the 24 states respondents in the State Survey Analysis

Project Highlight: To better understand the current landscape of engaging children and youth in child welfare, QIC-EY completed an environmental scan. The environmental scan organized the knowledge base surrounding youth engagement and contains three components:

  • The systematic literature review summarizes numerous peer-reviewed articles and gray literature to determine what system and staff changes are needed to ensure authentic children and youth engagement, including core competencies and characteristics of professionals and a detailed discussion of workforce support and court engagement.
  • The state survey analysis summarizes the responses from 24 states on how child and youth engagement is supported by child welfare systems across the country. Barriers to engagement are identified.
  • Expert interviews were conducted with people with lived expertise in the child welfare system, child welfare professionals, legal experts, and American Indian/Alaska Native stakeholders.

Learn More: Watch the QIC-EY overview webinar to learn more about the goals of the project and project sites.

Graphic from QIC-EY's State Survey Analysis

Affirmative Interventions for LBGTQ+ Children, Youth, and Their Caregivers

Project Description: The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC- LGBTQ2S) is a 5-year grant established in 2016 to develop, integrate, and sustain best practices and programs that improve outcomes for children and youth in foster care with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions (SOGIE). QIC-LGBTQ2S materials are now housed on the National SOGIE Center website, which operates as a hub for providers seeking information on serving LGBTQ2S children and youth and their families.

QIC-LGBTQ2S selected four local implementation sites—Allegheny County (PA), Cuyahoga County (OH), the state of Michigan, and Prince George’s County (MD)—to identify, select, adapt, implement, and evaluate evidence-based, evidence-informed, and/or promising programs and interventions that address the unique needs of children and youth with diverse SOGIE in foster care.

Graphic from Youth Affirm Implementation Guide stating "Challenges, What worked well, Lessons learned"

Project Highlight: QIC-LGBTQ2S recently published implementation guides for Youth AFFIRM and AFFIRM Caregiver. Youth AFFIRM is an evidence-based, eight-module manualized coping-skills training intervention focused on reducing mental health issues and behavioral risks experienced by LGBTQ+ populations. Developed specifically for LGBTQ+ youth, Youth AFFIRM has been found to be efficacious with this vulnerable population across a range of settings (e.g., schools, health-care centers, behavioral health clinics) and recently with young adult and middle-aged adult populations. For guidance on implementation, download the implementation guide created by the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services, a selected pilot site for Youth AFFIRM in child welfare settings.

The AFFIRM Caregiver model emerged from Youth AFFIRM and is designed for any caregiver of LGBTQ+ children and youth. AFFIRM Caregiver is an evidence-informed, seven-session manualized intervention to enhance affirmative parenting practices that promote the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. The Allegheny County Department of Human Services, a selected pilot site for AFFIRM Caregiver in child welfare settings, created an implementation guide for the model.

Learn More: Find more information on the Youth AFFIRM and AFFIRM Caregiver models, as well as tip sheets for working with LGBTQ+ youth and their families, on the National SOGIE Center’s website.

Graphic from Youth AFFIRM Implementation Guide 

Recognizing and Supporting the Child Welfare Workforce

September is Child Welfare Workforce Development Month. During this month, we focus on how to better support and recognize child welfare’s most important asset—its workforce. Children’s Bureau discretionary grants provide information and resources and hold events in September—and year-round— to recognize and support the child welfare workforce. Keep reading below to find out how to celebrate and stay connected.

National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI)  

NCWWI’s purpose is to develop and support a child welfare workforce that can equitably meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. NCWWI promotes organizational interventions focused on developing and retaining a diverse and effective workforce by supporting partnerships among public and tribal child welfare programs and schools of social work.

Graphic stating "Child Welfare Workforce Development Month. How Will You Celebrate?"

Graphic provided by NCWWI

For Child Welfare Workforce Development Month, get no-cost tips on how to recognize and appreciate child welfare employees in the 2022 Recognition Event Kit  and promote all the opportunities to celebrate, practice self-care, and develop a growth mindset for child welfare professionals.

NCWWI Child Welfare Workforce Month Events

  • Child Welfare Worker Recognition Event: Speakers and emcees help you reflect, connect, and recharge. View Recording from 09/13.
  • Learning & Living Leadership Tool Kit:  Leadership can happen from “every seat,” and you’ll need to be at your very best to lead into the future. Join us to reflect on your leadership and explore how NCWWI's Learning & Living Leadership Tool Kit can help you develop new skills. View Recording from 09/21.
  • Building Resilience for Child Welfare Professionals: This interactive, collaborative workshop will be hosted on 09/23 with the Florida Institute for Child Welfare. Learn about the tools and resources available to help yourself and your clients respond with resilience in the face of challenges. Register now!
  • Supporting a Culture of Wellness for Emerging Leaders: Join NCWWI and the Child Welfare League of America on 09/29 to hear from a panel of public and private agencies implementing multifaceted strategies that support employee wellness and well-being. Register now!

Visit to learn more about NCWWI and find additional resources—including webinars, online trainings, and one-page summaries and infographics—to support the child welfare workforce. Sign up today to receive two emails per month featuring new NCWWI products and resources, trending posts from our social media channels, and select webinars from NCWWI and colleagues across the nation.

Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)

Child welfare leaders from across the country have expressed concern for their workforce. State and local child welfare and human resources (HR) leaders interested in creating change often ask, “What works?” when it comes to identifying qualified candidates, exploring best practices in training, managing remote workers, and using HR data to better understand workforce issues.

QIC-WD was developed to implement and evaluate strategies to strengthen the child welfare workforce. From selection to retention, QIC-WD’s interdisciplinary team wants to answer your specific questions. QIC-WD will be hosting a webinar series that draws from research and our experience to respond to questions from the field. We invite you to submit your questions to inform webinar planning.

QIC-WD word cloud listing popular workforce questions

Word cloud provided by QIC-WD

Can’t wait to get answers to your pertinent workforce questions? Check out the following existing QIC-WD resources:

  • Umbrella Summaries provide a synopsis of the published meta-analyses of a specific workforce topic. The research is summarized in a straightforward question-and-answer format. Each summary highlights the implications of the research for child welfare professionals.
  • QIC-Takes summarize key workforce issues, document what we're seeing in the field, and include recommendations for future action by child welfare decision makers.
  • QIC-Tips provide succinct, evidence-informed guidance on workforce-related topics.

In addition, you can review the work we’ve recently done with eight public child welfare agencies to identify, implement, and evaluate workforce interventions that address resiliency, onboarding, job design, selection, technology, agency culture and climate, supportive supervision, and telework.

Resources From

Child Welfare Information Gateway

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Prioritizing Youth Voice: The Importance of Authentic Youth Engagement in Case Planning

Read the publication.

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Appreciating, Celebrating, & Honoring the Workforce

Visit the webpage.


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Episode 74: "Threading Equity Throughout Child Welfare"

Listen to the podcast.

Grantee News & Updates

  • The Minority Professional Leadership Development Program (MPLD) at AdoptUSKids is accepting applications for the upcoming cohort through September 26. The cohort is expected to start in January 2023. To learn more about how to apply for the MPLD program, visit
  • QIC-EY is excited to announce the selection of the following pilot sites: Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Oklahoma Southern Plains (CPT) Consortium, and Yakama Nation. Stay tuned; More sites coming soon!
  • Interested in supporting the Children’s Bureau discretionary grant process? Apply today to be a grant reviewer!
  • Looking for information on applying for Children’s Bureau grants? Visit the How to Apply for a Grant web section to learn about the complete process—from finding notices of funding opportunities to writing and submitting a strong application.
  • Want to learn about other grants and/or grant recipients? Visit the Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Awards page to find grant awards by fiscal year. Additionally, you can search the Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants Library for formation, products, and tools from a specific grant or view grantee resources by topic, document type, or state.

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