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We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. Please review your cart. The judges keep everyone focused on achieving timely permanency and resolving the issues that brought families into the system.
This approach reduces the stress level of both families and professionals in the court. Local judges in SBCT communities are the catalysts for change because of their unique position of authority in the processing of child welfare cases. In addition, the community coordinator is responsible for staffing the stakeholder team see 3 , recruiting new members to the stakeholder team, entering data about the families served into the SBCT database see 12 , and representing the Court Team in various community efforts as well as the national SBCT learning community.
Experience has taught us that the community coordinator should be employed full-time. Because of the multiple responsibilities of the position that include developing the community team and resources, the Court Team should adhere to a caseload limit of no more than 20 open cases at any one time. Saturating the work with more than 20 families per coordinator dilutes the quality of work done with each family. The Court Team is made up of key community stakeholders who commit to restructuring the way the community responds to the needs of maltreated infants and toddlers.
The Court Team meets monthly to learn about the services available in the community, review data, identify gaps in services, and discuss issues and patterns raised by the cases that members of the Court Team are monitoring See 8 below. Participation in the Court Team is by open invitation.
It is anticipated that the diversity of agencies represented will expand over time. Comprehensive services are offered to each child including screening for developmental delays and disabilities, medical care delivered in a medical home, and mental health services that focus on the parent-child relationship. The families served by SBCTs face an overwhelming number of risk factors in comparison to the general population. Almost all of the parents of young children who enter the child welfare system have suffered their own history of trauma. People of color bear the brunt of this oppression.
Very young children make sense of their world within the context of their relationships with a few cherished caregivers. All too often the transition into foster care carries with it a number of transfers between foster homes.
Concurrent planning places equal emphasis on supporting a second permanent family in the event that reunification is ruled out. It needs to begin at removal. To be successful, the team must support a mindset about fostering that values birth parents, understands the importance of placement stability, and the complicated dynamics that can come into play between birth and foster parents. Regardless of the final permanency outcome for the child — reunification, guardianship, or adoption — a relationship would ideally continue between the birth and foster parents after the child welfare case closes.
Referred to by some experts as the primary intervention for children in foster care 4 , foster parents play a pivotal role in determining how safe and nurtured young foster children feel. Their role is multifaceted: 5 a To provide loving care for children placed with them.
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Balancing these roles requires training and support from the child welfare agency prior to and —just as importantly—while foster parents are engaged with a child and his or her family. They should be regarded as respected members of the Safe Babies Court Team who participate in family team meetings, court hearings, and community training. Structured in much the same way family team meetings FTM are organized, the parents are invited and asked to bring with them anyone they consider to be members of their support network.
The meeting is facilitated by a trained mediator, either someone engaged by the child welfare agency or the community coordinator. Parents and their chosen circle of support are key participants in these meetings. The Safe Babies Court Team Project sees parent-child contact as a critical way to help the child and parents experience one another as loving partners in their relationship. Each family has their own strengths and challenges when it comes to spending time together, and plans for supporting their relationship must be formed on an individualized basis.
Very young children become attached to their parents whether the parents are able to provide consistent loving care or not. While the quality of that attachment may be insecure or even disorganized, separating a young child from his parents is still painful. Research has found a correlation between the frequency of parent-child visits and the length of time it takes for the child to reach permanency: more planned visiting days each week was linked to the likelihood that children will achieve permanency within a year; each additional visit tripled the odds.
In order of intensity, recommended interventions include:. ZERO TO THREE staff and consultants provide training and technical assistance to the SBCT community on topics such as: infant and toddler development; parenting interventions; services available to foster children in the community; children and trauma; and parental substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, and poverty.
Through weekly team meetings and individual supervisory calls, SBCT Project leadership staff provide support and direction to each of the community coordinators. Each Court Team evaluates its work.
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The approach is focused on bringing key participants into continuous quality improvement CQI and evaluation planning. CQI is a process for identifying areas of strength to build on in future work and challenges to address through deliberate action.