This curriculum focuses on factors that may lead to differential placement outcomes for children who have become dependents of the court, as the result of abuse and neglect, and have been placed with kin rather than in traditional foster homes. It is intended for use by child welfare faculty in California’s schools of social work or social welfare in both BSW and MSW programs and may be used in direct practice or Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE) classes. In addition, the curriculum, or parts from it, may be used in workshops provided to line workers, supervisors, and/or managers by any of the public child welfare training academies in California or public child welfare agencies. The intent of this curriculum is to provide students and child welfare professionals with (a) background information on kinship care as an alternative to traditional foster care, (b) a brief review of the literature pertaining to the characteristics of dependent children in kinship care and their care providers, (c) opportunities to discuss beliefs about why kinship care is valuable (or not) and why it may or may not be successful, (d) demographic data pertaining to selected characteristics of children in kinship care and their care providers derived from a sample of California child welfare cases, (e) factors which may or may not be related to premature termination of kinship care placements, (f) caregiver perceptions of differential placement outcomes, (g) social worker perceptions of differential placement outcomes, and (h) opportunities to discuss how students and/or child welfare workers can decrease premature termination of kinship care placements. The curriculum is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation containing key points from each module followed by one or more slides presenting an “active learning experience.” (78 pages) Chang, J., Liles, R., & Hoang, T. (2006).
This curriculum introduces the Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) model of working with families in child welfare and is based on a core belief that within families lies the wisdom to find solutions to protect their own children and resolve other issues of concern. The six modules cover the historical perspective of FGDM; models of FGDM; cultural competency; micro, mezzo, and macro level skills utilized in FGDM; practice; and outcome measures. In addition to lecture content, modules include instructional guides and suggestions, interactive exercises, topics for discussion, video and other resource suggestions, and a pre- and posttest instrument with answer sheet. An appendix of handouts, workshop evaluation form, references, and list of information sources and resources is included. (128 pages)Okamura, A., Quinnett, E. (2000).
National, state, or local-level data are limited with respect to the characteristics of immigrant children in the child welfare system, the proportion of immigrant children who reunify, or the constellation of services that may be associated with family reunification among immigrant families. To fill these gaps in the literature, practice, and policy, this project examined family reunification among Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant and non-immigrant children and identified promising practices to improve service availability and effectiveness. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods and was conducted in two counties in Northern California. This curriculum has five overall goals: (a) to understand common characteristics among Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant families in the U.S. and California and connections among parenting and acculturation; (b) to understand distinctive characteristics of Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants in the child welfare system, compared to non-immigrants; (c) to understand factors that contribute to reunification among Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant families involved in family reunification services; (d) to understand how the work of a child welfare worker influences service availability for Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant families; and (e) to understand the basic components of cultural competence and how these relate to service effectiveness with immigrant families involved in the child welfare system. Video clip (coming) and PowerPoint Presentation (coming).Osterling, K. L., & Han, M. (2013).
This module explores the implementation, process, and outcomes of the Family Unity Meeting in San Diego County, which provides a case study for Family Group Decision Making. Module I covers factors that distinguish between families that accept or reject an invitation to a meeting, the meeting process, outcomes, family perspectives on family change, the use of social support, and family satisfaction with services. Module II includes a synopsis of Family Group Conferencing; legislation supportive of FGC; the history, definition, and philosophy of FGC; models of FGC; process of FGC; facilitator's role; trends and evaluation FGC; classroom exercises; videotape suggestions; and a bibliography. Module III is a proposed semester course syllabus that focuses on FGC and strength-based practice. Module IV is a handbook designed for field instructors and students who are engaged in FGC as part of the student's field practicum. (233 pages) Jones, L., & Daly, D. (2004).
The purpose of this curriculum is to heighten the awareness and increase knowledge of child welfare workers, foster care providers, and school staff regarding the educational needs of foster children and to develop specific skills to address those needs and smooth the transition to new school environments in order to avoid unnecessary absences from school caused by transferring to a new foster home. The process requires a three-way collaborative effort between the caseworker, foster care provider, and school staff, and this curriculum provides clear, concise, and practicable actions for all of the responsible professionals to enable them to operate effectively as part of a collaborative team. (209 pages)Berrick, J. D., Ayasse, R. H. (2005).
This module supports the guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act. It provides information on overcoming Indian families' fundamental mistrust and engaging families appropriately; how federal Indian policy affects Indian communities: Indian culture, traditions, family, and child rearing; the role of extended family systems and community networks for reservation and non-reservation Indians; the premise and guidelines of the ICWA and related federal and state laws that govern the implementation of the ICWA: the notion that the best interests of the Indian child are served by the tribes; collaborating with tribal workers; the role of cultural factors in risk assessment of Indian child welfare cases; community resources and skills in networking within the Indian community and within rural Indian community settings; skills in a variety of social work methods; and the differences between particular tribes. (236 pages)Becker, I., Daly, D., Gross, B., Robertson, G., Robinson, M., Casey, D., et al. (2000).
This project provides a comprehensive overview of interagency collaboration in child welfare practice: it's three modules address the what, where, why, when, who, and how of collaborative practice; define collaboration in this context; provide a sound rationale for developing collaborations; outline strategies for overcoming barriers; explain the various stakeholders and systems involved; and describe the skills needed to build effective collaborations. The curriculum can be used on its own, or to augment existing courses or training sessions, and incorporates newly developed competencies on interagency collaboration in addition to CalSWEC core competencies. (149 pages)Black, J. (1998).
This curriculum was designed to teach social workers how to convey their knowledge of human development to the professionals who work with them in the field of child welfare. The five modules teach the principles of interprofessional collaboration, team building, communication styles, working with families in interprofessional teams, and addressing the interdisciplinary problems with which families and children have to cope. (188 pages)Rector, C., Garcia, B., & Foster D. (1997).
This curriculum was developed as an empirical foundation for a practice model that facilitates collaboration toward providing the highest level of service for at-risk children and their families. It teaches collaboration in nine areas: legal issues, financial issues, health and mental health, education/school, family relationships, child management, support services, fair and equal treatment, and general satisfaction. It is organized around five competency areas: respecting the knowledge, skills, and experiences of others; building trust by meeting needs; facilitating communication; creating an atmosphere in which cultural tradition, values, and diversity are respected; and using negotiation skills. The curriculum is divided into five sections: Introduction to the Curriculum, Conducting the Training, Training Modules (two 3-hour modules for in-service training), Classroom Modules (for undergraduates and graduates), References and Annotated Bibliography. (345 pages)Pasztor, E. M., Goodman, C. C., Potts, M., Santana, M. I., & Runnels, R. A. (2002).
This curriculum, which may be used in whole or in part, offers an overview of kinship care including a brief historical context for this resource, funding associated with kinship care, and some of the legal issues that have shaped kinship care policy. Characteristics of kinship care providers and children are presented, along with a thorough examination of outcomes associated with kinship care. In addition, data on the number of children in foster care, kinship care in the context of the larger out-of-home care population, outcomes associated with kinship care versus non-kin care, and the discrepancy between AFDC and AFDC-FC payments in California and the role these differential payment rates may play in kinship care outcomes are provided. Last, child welfare workers' views about the primary differences between kinship foster parents and foster family parents, and changes in policy and practice are considered. (188 pages)Berrick, J. D., Needell, B., & Barth, R. P. (1995).
This curriculum on legal guardianship created by the permanency planning process can be used in whole or in part. It offers an overview of legal guardianship, including its history, role in the implementation of permanency planning, and some of the issues surrounding its use. In addition, it shares data collected from a focus group of California child welfare workers that candidly share the ways day-to-day practice differs from stated policy and discuss their views of how and why guardianship operates in the child welfare arena. A survey of county child welfare staff covers transracial placements, emancipation outcomes, and the details of the process in which the decision to recommend guardianship is made. (118 pages)Simmons, B., & Barth, R. P. (1995).
This curriculum addresses legislative, policy, and political analysis for child welfare issues; analysis of the impact of funding sources; content of legislation; policy decision-making processes; development of plans for advocating for legislation that will help people who receive child welfare services; strategies for social action; lobbying; political campaigning; and identifying opportunities for intervention. It includes material on federal and state child welfare policies and funding mechanisms with practice-related content, a list of websites that can be used to gather information on legislation, policy-making, and electoral campaigns, and class discussion topics and assignments. (194 pages)Hardina, D. (1997)
This curriculum was designed to improve the quality of care provided to children in out-of-home care. It highlights the importance of providing child welfare services that are more responsive to the voices of children in kin and non-kin foster care. Components include an overview of the child welfare system in California, a literature review of children's experiences in out-of-home care, children's experiences with kin and non-kin foster care in California, adolescents' perspectives of out-of-home care in California, practice tips for child welfare workers, case vignettes, and a bibliography of relevant child welfare texts and articles cited in the curriculum. (348 pages)Fox, A., Frasch, K., & Berrick, J. D. (2000).
This is the current revision of the CalSWEC MSW Curriculum Competencies (10 pages).
This curriculum focuses on issues related to mental health service utilization and outcomes among children in the child welfare system. In spite of the documented need for mental health services for these children, there is a lack of information on children involved with both the child welfare and mental health systems. In order to improve our understanding of the issues and needs of this population, this curriculum focuses on five areas: (a) demographic and system-related characteristics of children involved in both the child welfare and mental health systems; (b) clinical need for services, service utilization patterns, and association between mental health service utilization and child welfare outcomes; (c) policies affecting mental health service utilization by children in the child welfare system; (d) collaboration between child welfare and mental health systems; and (e) resources for collaboration and service provision for children and youth in both the child welfare and mental health systems. The curriculum will provide research highlights, conceptual frameworks, tools, and experiential opportunities to strengthen understanding of a wide range of issues related to mental health service utilization among children in the public child welfare system. (165 pages)Hines, A. M., Lee, P. A., Osterling, K. L., Tweed, M. (2007).
Conflict is inevitable and if unresolved, has negative impacts that reach far beyond the principal parties. Managing conflict in a non-violent manner can increase the ability of everyone involved to work more effectively with clients, staff, and other personnel. This module teaches conflict management through a combination of skill-building and philosophical discussion to enable participants to become invested in the idea that non-violent conflict management is better, more effective, and more efficacious in the long run than either conflict avoidance or an aggressive approach that produces "winners" and "losers." The material can be presented in training sessions of varying lengths from one class to an entire semester. The author recommends separating the three modules over time to allow time for integration of skills. (95 pages)Rice, S. (2000).
Research over the past decade has documented a strong relationship between substance abuse and problems of child abuse and neglect. Although many data collection systems do not gather accurate data on substance abuse and child welfare, most studies in the U.S. suggest parental substance abuse is a factor in one third to two-thirds of child involvement in the child welfare system. Parental substance abuse appears to be strongly associated with higher rates of physical abuse or neglect among families in community samples, higher rates of substantiated child maltreatment in cases referred into child welfare, higher rates of out-of-home placements, re-reports of abuse, and reentry into foster care. This study examined factors that help and hinder the process of collaboration based on in-depth interviews with respondents from substance abuse and child welfare fields working in five California counties with established formal collaborative policies and programs. This curriculum, which is grounded in the findings from the study, provides highlights of research and experiential activities in four primary areas that may be used independently or in combination: (a) overview of research on cross-systems collaboration, (b) promising models and elements for collaborative practice, (c) factors that help and hinder collaboration, and (d) facilitating communication and dealing with confidentiality issues across systems. (161 pages)Drabble, L., Osterling, K. L., Tweed, M., & Pearce, C. A. (2008).
Research over the last 20 years has documented a strong correlation between substance abuse and risk of involvement in the child welfare system. More recently, a growing body of research and policy analysis focused on addressing the needs of substance-abusing families in child welfare calls for “bridging the gap” in values and attitudes between child welfare and substance abuse treatment service delivery systems and developing collaborative models for intervention and case planning. This research-based curriculum increases awareness about how individual and professional values may impact interdisciplinary practice and is designed to develop skills for improved collaborative practice among child welfare workers, substance abuse treatment professionals, and other professionals working with substance abusing families involved in the child welfare system. This study examined similarities and differences in values and perceived capacity for collaboration between substance abuse and child welfare fields based on survey data from respondents in counties in California. The instruments used in this study, the Collaborative Values Inventory (CVI) and Collaborative Capacity Instrument (CCI), were developed by Children and Family Futures/National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. (123 pages)Drabble, L., Tweed, M., & Osterling, K. L., (with Navarrette, L., Pearce, C., Riberio, P., & Twomey, E.). (2006).
This curriculum, written for graduate social work students and child welfare workers, is designed to improve the quality of care and services provided to children in out-of-home care. It highlights the importance of providing child welfare services that are responsive to the needs of children who must prepare for emancipation and the responsibilities of adult life. While more research efforts are aimed at tracking youth emancipating from the foster care system, little is known about those who are currently enrolled in post-secondary education. Further, research on youth exiting the foster care system tends to highlight negative outcomes. Little is known of former foster youth who go on to lead healthy and productive lives and what the contributing factors were that enabled them to succeed. Understanding their pathways to college and identifying the factors related to educational achievement can help inform program and service delivery to youth currently in the foster care system. (186 pages)Merdinger, J. M., Hines, A. M., Lemon, K., Wyatt, P., & Tweed, M. (2002).
This curriculum offers an empirically based instruction tool for child welfare social workers or other related practitioners on family reunification services: the historical groundings and legal frameworks; the types of services that are offered to parents; factors associated with parents’ use of services; and information on the effectiveness of services. The curriculum blends a literature review of current knowledge with a study on family reunification services, with the intent to provide contextual information to aid social workers in the development of appropriate and responsible case plans for parents receiving reunification services in the child welfare system. (158 pages) Vugia, H., Osterling, K. L., D'Andrade, A. (2009).