The NGA Center, in partnership with Casey Family Programs, conducted a series of webcasts on improving outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system.


December 17, 2007
Supporting Kinship Families: What State Policymakers Can Do

View the archived webcast!

This webcast brought together national experts and state officials to discuss the benefits that kinship care affords children as well as examples of how leaders in the states are supporting kinship families.

More than 2.5 million children are living with grandparents or other relatives without their parents in the home. Many of these families have resulted from the child's involvement in the child welfare system. Some have been diverted from the child welfare system, while others have been placed with their kin after being removed from their homes by the child welfare agency. A number of studies have shown that children in kinship care within the foster care system have fewer placement disruptions, are more likely to live with their siblings, and are more likely to have positive perceptions of their placements.

This webcast featured:

Resources:

Reports and Papers


November 2, 2007
Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Foster Care: What States Can Do

View the archived webcast!

This webcast brought together experts to discuss the problem of poor educational outcomes for children in foster care and what states, and governors in particular, can do to improve these outcomes.

Children in foster care must confront numerous barriers to their success in school. They must deal with the emotional consequences of the initial abuse and neglect as well as the removal from their homes, separation from their siblings and often multiple moves between placements resulting in multiple school transfers. A number of studies have shown that children in foster care have higher absenteeism, truancy, grade retention and dropout rates; lower scores on standardized tests and lower reading abilities. 

This webcast provided an overview of the issue and examples of how leaders in states are responding to this important and complex issue and will feature:

  • Kathleen McNaught, Assistant Director at the ABA Center on Children and the Law, will provide an overview of the issue and give examples of what a number of states have done in this area.
  • Jakki Hillis, Deputy Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Economic Security, will discuss Arizona's efforts to improve educational outcomes for children in foster care.
  • Virginia D'Amico, Project Specialist for Sacramento County Office of Education Foster Youth Services, will discuss Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Services program and how they are addressing data issues between the child welfare and education agencies.

Resources:

Reports and Papers

Fact Sheets

Helpful Websites


September 19, 2007
Addressing Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System: What State Policymakers Should Know

View the archived webcast!

This webcast brought together experts to discuss the problem of the disproportional representation of minorities in the child welfare system and what states can do to so that all children and their families receive the appropriate level of supports and services needed to improve outcomes.

Despite making up approximately one-third of the child population, minority children represent well over half of the children in foster care. According to the recently released GAO report on this topic, the proportion of African-American children in foster care was more than twice their proportion in the overall child population. Despite the research findings that minority families are not any more likely to abuse or neglect their children than their white counterparts, minority families and children are disproportionally represented at every decision point within the child welfare system. Research has shown that the disproportionality increases at each point—more minority children come into foster care, remain there longer and are less likely to return to their families than white children. Many child welfare experts agree that states must address this issue if they are to succeed in improving outcomes for children.

This webcast provided an overview of the issue and examples of how leaders in states are responding to this important and complex issue and will feature:

  • Khatib Waheed, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), will provide an overview of the process and types of strategies states and localities can take to address the issue using examples from the sites that CSSP is working with.
  • Robert Hill, Senior Researcher at Westat, will discuss important research findings on the disproportionality and disparity in treatment of minority children and families within the child welfare system.
  • Elizabeth Kromrei, Texas State Director of Staff Services, will discuss her state’s experience in addressing disproportionality within the child welfare system.

Resources:

Presentations

Reports and Papers

Legislation