CA Family Impact Seminars Reports

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Helping Those Who Need It Most: Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of Youth
in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems

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By Nell Bernstein(CAFIS-05-01, June 2005)

Young people who are transitioning out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems often have serious mental health needs. They can have many strikes against them: families with histories of violence, mental illness, incarceration and/or substance abuse; learning disabilities or neurological conditions; and histories of abuse, neglect or trauma. Some have been driven into the juvenile justice system, or onto the streets, because of undiagnosed or inadequately treated psychiatric problems. These hard lives can result in mental health needs that the foster care and juvenile justice systems struggle to address, with limited success.

Why do efforts to provide mental health services to these young people so often fall short? What can be done to improve the system? This report, by author and journalist Nell Bernstein, explores these questions and proposes some answers from young people who have experienced the system from the inside, and from practitioners who work with them.

Evaluating Welfare Reform: Measuring Child and Family Well-Being;
California Welfare Reform Evaluations

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By Joyce Burris, Ph.D.
Chloe Bullard (CAFIS-98-03, September 1998)

The purpose of the CAFIS survey is to discover what is being done in California to evaluate the impact of welfare reform at the state and local level. Questionnaires were mailed to researchers and program officials located in state governments, county welfare agencies, and within private organizations, advocacy groups, academic units, or independent research centers. Additional responses were acquired by "snowball sampling" from word of mouth reports about research being conducted. Welfare reform evaluators and researchers were asked to generally describe their research, its purposes and its intended audience. In addition, researchers were asked to describe the research designs used in each study, data collection strategies adopted, target populations selected for study, variables identified for measurement, method of measurement and measurement tools utilized, etc. The information from the survey is compiled and analyzed in this report.

Evaluating Welfare Reform: Measuring Child and Family Well-Being

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By the generous contributions of these individuals: Introduction by M. Anne Powell, M.S. W.
Presentations By Sharon McGroder, Child Trends, Inc.
Narayan Sastry, RAND, Santa Monica, CA
Werner Schink & Lois Van Beers, CA Dept. of Social Services
Mary Summers, CA State University, Sacramento
Jerry Plummer, Sacramento County Dept. of Human Assistance (CAFIS-98-02, Seminar, September 1998)

The California Family Impact Seminar, as part of its yearlong Welfare Reform and Child and Family Well-Being program series held a seminar focusing on the question of how to measure the effects of welfare reform on child and family well-being. Evaluating Welfare Reform: Measuring Child and Family Well-Being presents that discussion. The presentations exemplify the need for creative evaluations that examine both quantitatively and qualitatively the effects of TANF-related changes on the individual, family, and community.

Appendix C: Background Research Materials Distributed at Seminar

  1. "Evaluating Welfare Reform: What Do We Know? How Can We Learn More?," The Forum, Vol. 1, No. 2, Research Forum on Children, Families, and the New Federalism, May 1998. Appendix C-1.pdf (229KB)
  2. "How to Evaluate Welfare Reform: Guidance for States," By Anne Gordon, Jonathan Jacobson, and Thomas Fraker, Mathmatica Policy Research, Inc. See: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/htmlreports/WELFEXEC.HTM
  3. "Tracking the Well-Being of Children within States: The Evolving Federal Role in the Age of Devolution," By Brett V. Brown, New Federalism: Issues and Options for States, Series A, No. A-21, The Urban Institute, June 1998. Appendix C-3.pdf (185KB)
  4. "Welfare Reform and Children: Potential Implications," By Martha Zaslow, Kathryn Tout, Christopher Botsko, and Kristin Moore, New Federalism: Issues and Options for States, Series A, No. A-23, The Urban Institute, June 1998. Appendix C-4.pdf (52KB)
  5. Using Performance Indicators to Improve the Effectiveness of Welfare-to-Work Programs, By Timothy J. Bartik, "Abstract," Upjohn Institute Staff Working Paper 95-36. Appendix C-5.htm (8KB)
  6. "Welfare Reform: How Will We Know if it Works?," Family Impact Seminar, Washington, D.C. Appendix C-6.htm (46KB)
  7. "Welfare Reform Research: A Resource Guide for Researchers and Advocates," Institute for Women's Policy Research. (Not available in PDF - See http://www.iwpr.org/)
  8. "Young Child Poverty in the States-Wide Variation and Significant Change," By Neil G. Bennett and Jiali Li, National Center for Children in Poverty, 1998. Appendix C-8.pdf (210KB)
  9. "Young Children in Poverty: A Statistical Update," Prepared by Jiali Li and Neil Bennett, National Center for Children in Poverty, March 1998. Appendix C-9.pdf (202KB)

Welfare Reform and Family and Child Well-Being:
Implications and Opportunities for Child Welfare

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By M. Anne Powell, M.S.W.
Leigh Maxwell
Kendra Crenshaw (CAFIS-98-01, August 1998)
This report is the beginning of a yearlong program of forums and reports to explore the relationship between welfare reform and child and family well-being, and in particular the implications for child welfare services. By examining the evolving relationship between welfare reform and child welfare, we hope to inspire the reader to think about whether child welfare might also require reform to better serve children and families.

Teen Pregnancy and Parenting

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By M. Anne Powell, M.S.W (CAFIS-96-05, October 1996)
Teen pregnancy and parenting are very significant issues in California. California has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, particularly within low income African American and Latino communities. Policymakers and program managers are challenged to develop and implement effective programs to counteract this trend. They are also in need of information that illuminates the complexities associated with teenage pregnancy so that they may be more successful in reducing teenage pregnancy.

Disconnected Dads in California

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By Theodora Oom, M.S.W.
M. Anne Powell, M.S.W. (CAFIS-96-04, August 1996)
This report provides an overview of the problem of fathers disconnecting with their children, the consequences of this disruption in the lives of the children, and reviews a variety of public and private efforts to rebuild fatherhood.

Understanding and Preventing Family Violence

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By John F. Hough, Dr.P.H. (CAFIS-96-03, June 1996)
This background briefing report presents an overview of family violence in communities throughout California and the United States. Family violence broadly refers to various forms of violent behavior among family members or intimate partners, including child abuse or neglect, domestic assault or dating violence, elder abuse, and intentional and unintentional injuries involving firearms that are in the home or accessible to children or violent persons.

Formerly, these problems were considered isolated events that occurred only among a fraction of the American population. Today, however, these problems are conceded to be widespread and occurring among families in every social and economic class. An awareness has developed to suggest that the very institution we revere as basic to people?s way of life?the family?no longer invariably provides the security and nurturing that is the foundation of its value in society.

Family Preservation and Support (Background Briefing)

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By M. Anne Powell, M.S.W (CAFIS-96-01, November 1995)
In November 1995 the California Family Impact Seminar (CAFIS) held two child welfare policy seminars for state policymakers and their staff. The seminars were made possible through the generous support of the S. H. Cowell Foundation. The purpose of these seminars was to provide policymakers information regarding the implications of child welfare family preservation and support services programs on child safety and foster care. A total of ten research, policy and program administration experts presented their work at these two seminars. This report contains their transcripts and referenced handouts.

Family Preservation and Support (Seminar Presentations)

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By Duncan Lindsey (CAFIS-96-02, November 1995)
In November 1995 the California Family Impact Seminar (CAFIS) held two child welfare policy seminars for state policymakers and their staff. The seminars were made possible through the generous support of the S. H. Cowell Foundation. The purpose of these seminars was to provide policymakers information regarding the implications of child welfare family preservation and support services programs on child safety and foster care. A total of ten research, policy and program administration experts presented their work at these two seminars. This report contains their transcripts and referenced handouts.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention in California

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By Anne Moses (CAFIS-95-01, January 1995)
Teenage pregnancy rates and trends in California essentially mirror those of the nation as a whole. In California, as around the nation, most teens who become parents are from lower socio-economic backgrounds, are more likely to be a member of an ethnic minority group, and are more likely to live in neighborhoods in which teen pregnancy and violence are prevalent.

Teen Pregnancy in California

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By M. Anne Powell, M.S.W. (CAFIS-94-03, December 1994)
Policymakers are increasingly concerned with the escalating incidence of teen pregnancy. There is a growing belief that teen pregnancy and childbearing is harmful for the individuals involved, for community in which they live, and for society in general. Teen pregnancy is perceived as having serious social and economic consequences at all these levels. There is compelling evidence that, for example, teen pregnancy leads to long term dependence on government programs like Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and that teen parenting generates a multi-generational legacy of poverty in a semi-permanent underclass. Teen pregnancy also raises health issues for both the mother and infant. Some view teen pregnancy as a moral issue which may jeopardize the traditional family as an institution.

Health Care Reform and California's Vulnerable Families

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By Dana Hughes, M.P.H., M.S.
Laurie A. Soman, M.S.W. (CAFIS-94-02, May 1994)
Unfortunately, vulnerable children far too often do not receive adequate health care either because they are uninsured, cannot afford the cost of care, and/or face other obstacles to the care they need. The national and state movements toward health care reform provide an opportunity to remedy these problems and maximize the level of health care given to vulnerable children. To achieve this goal, health care reform must contain certain features that address the specific needs of this group.

Child Maltreatment and the Family

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By M. Anne Powell, M.S.W. (CAFIS-94-01, April 1994)
This report summarizes what is currently known about child maltreatment and presents a basic overview of associated issues. The report is written to accompany the California Family Impact Seminar (CAFIS) seminar, Child Maltreatment and the Family, which was held on April 20, 1994.