Volume II | March 17, 2021

The Good Stuff in Child Welfare
Welcome to The Good Stuff in Child Welfare!
Our team at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, & Research recognizes that between the all too frequent and grim child welfare stories that make us teary-eyed, clenched-fisted, and faint-hearted, there are inspiring accomplishments and heartening endeavors taking place all over this country at every level of practice. To elevate and promote these encouraging stories, we are pleased to bring you this monthly newsletter emphasizing news stories only about “The Good Stuff” from the broad field of child welfare. This month, the stories we highlight from around the nation show us various innovations and interventions to positively impact people whose lives are touched by the child welfare system. We hope this read gives you a few moments of hopefulness and a sense of possibility.
If there's something you'd like to see here, shoot us an email. Know someone who could use a little Good Stuff in Child Welfare? Send them a copy! We hope you love it as much as we do.
New York’s Homeless, Foster and Jailed Teens Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine
Last month, the New York State government announced that older teens in congregate care facilities are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. About 636 eligible teens are currently in NY foster care facilities and about the same number of eligible teens are in youth homeless shelters. The vaccine is a critical step to preventing the spread of the virus for homeless, foster and detained teens, and advocates cheer the news that youth can now benefit from this vaccine distribution. 

Parent-Child Care Program Promotes Importance of Children’s Mental Health and Positive Relationships While Teaching Behavior Management Strategies
Parent-Child Care (PC-CARE) is a therapeutic program that helps caregivers and children improve their relationships by teaching them positive communication skills instead of focusing on negative behaviors. Recently, the co-developers of PC-CARE noticed that youth in foster care in Sacramento, CA were moving foster placements due to displaying difficult behaviors more often than youth in the rest of California. They have partnered with the Sacramento Department of Child, Family and Adult Services in order to provide this program to youth in foster care. This student-run newspaper at UC Davis highlights the work PC-CARE has been doing in Sacramento to preserve placements and provide stability for children in foster care. 

ACF Allocations Released for Chafee and Kinship Navigator Funds
On Monday February 22, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) disbursed $344 million in additional Chafee program awards to states, as designated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December 2020. The Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, or the Chafee Program, provides federal funding for supplemental services to help current and former youth in foster care achieve self-sufficiency. The Consolidated Appropriations Act also reserves an additional $50 million for states to expand their Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) programs.

‘Black Foster Youth Handbook’ Author Nominated for NAACP Image Award 
In this interview, Ángela Quijada-Banks, author of The Black Foster Youth Handbook, reflects on the urgency she felt to finish the book due to the coronavirus pandemic, knowing first-hand the barriers that youth aging out of care face and concerned about the additional upheaval created by both the pandemic and George Floyd’s violent death. More than just a collection of lessons learned while aging out, The Handbook chronicles the thoughts, heartaches, and soulful longings of a young woman who has experienced, gotten past, and learned from immense trauma. Ms. Quijada-Bank’s work has been nominated for the NAACP’s Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional. Her message is one of resiliency for any young person confronting challenges: “Success is possible regardless of where you come from, you just have to know where to look, who to trust, and believe in the one person that can get you to the other side of pain and trauma, you.”

A Philly High School for Students in the Child Welfare System
C.B. Community Schools in Philadelphia, a small high school for youth who are involved in the foster care system, works to meet the needs of every student with healing-centered curricula and trained support staff. Their efforts address the gaps in educational success outcomes and opportunities for these vulnerable youth. During the pandemic, C.B. has provided “24/7 Social and Emotional Learning support and medical support to over 100 students and alumni, including a food pantry and an emergency fund.” They have recently celebrated their 2020 high school graduates, maintaining a 90% graduation rate for their students. Read more here on their work supporting foster youth in Philadelphia.

The Field Center team would like to thank the staff and students who brought this newsletter together. Specifically, we recognize our Spring 2021 students Sirui Chen, Daphne Chimbel, Jennifer Kwon, Jessi Nguyen, and Amanda Silberstein for providing readers with this uplifting content. Many thanks to our Program Manager Sarah Wasch for editing and our Administrative Coordinator Felicia Saunders for handling design and distribution. Special thanks to our Managing Faculty Director, Dr. Johanna Greeson for her idea to curate the “good news stories” happening in child welfare!