Child Welfare Information Gateway-Updates November 2016

Child Welfare Information Gateway E-lert! November 2016


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Here’s what’s new from Child Welfare Information Gateway. Use the links below or contact us to request print copies. If print copies are available, we will ship them to you for free.

Raise Awareness for National Adoption Month 2016


This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the importance of identifying permanent families for thousands of 15–18 year olds in foster care who are currently less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and who all too often age out of the system without a stable place to call home.

The 2016 National Adoption Month website provides information and resources to help professionals with Developing and Supporting Families for older youth and Involving and Empowering Older Youth. This year, a new downloadable tip sheet, “Talking With Older Youth About Adoption,” was developed to support professionals in starting or re-engaging older youth in conversations about adoption.
Additionally, resources for families include, Preparing to Adopt and Finding Support After Adoption.

Finally, the Watch and Listen section offers sharable videos and podcasts featuring adoption stories of older youth in foster care.

Be sure to visit the 2016 National Adoption Month website and take the survey today! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation using #AdoptionMonth, #NAM2016, and #JustAskUs.

NEW Podcast: Washington, D.C., and the Local Child Welfare Professional


How does the Federal Government stay connected to the needs and issues of the frontlines of child welfare? How is the field changing its approach to protecting children and strengthening families?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new podcast, “Washington, D.C., and the Local Child Welfare Professional,” featuring a conversation with Rafael López, who was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate in 2015 as the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Commissioner López’s experience spans the local, State, and Federal levels of child welfare. Visit the podcast landing page for more information on this podcast and related resources.

Looking for more podcasts? Visit our growing collection on the Children’s Bureau website.

New & Updated Publications

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children
This factsheet summarizes State laws that mandate the type and frequency of court hearings that must be held to review the status of children placed in out-of-home care. At these hearings, the court reviews the efforts that have been made to address the family issues that necessitated the out-of-home placement as well as efforts to achieve permanency for the child. This document also lists the persons who may attend the hearings and permanency options.

Definitions of Human Trafficking
This factsheet presents State criminal laws that define human trafficking, including involuntary servitude, forced labor and services, and sex trafficking of minors. Federal definitions of human trafficking and the inclusion of trafficking in civil child abuse definitions also are discussed. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.

Determining the Best Interests of the Child
This factsheet discusses State laws that present the factors that courts need to consider when making decisions about a child’s appropriate custody and care. Factors to be considered include parental capacity to provide adequate care, sibling and other family relationships, and the child’s wishes. The factsheet also addresses the definition of best interests and guiding principles of best interest determinations. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Families involved with the child welfare system must often engage with the judicial system. This factsheet is designed to demystify the legal process and inform families of their rights and responsibilities. It includes frequently asked questions about the different stages of court proceedings, how parents and family members can prepare for court hearings, and who and what to expect in the courtroom and throughout the process.


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