tv Helsinki Commission Discussion on Child Protection CSPAN December 17, 2018 4:15am-5:22am EST
things that still need to be worked on and i don't think we are working on those in the way that we should. and then there are holes. former chair tenant yellen and new times columnist talk about the 2008 financial crisis and current risks. tonight on c-span. on friday, the commission on security cooperation in europe, known as the helsinki commission, has brought together child protection experts to discuss factors that can make families vulnerable to crises. >> good morning. on behalf of the chairman and
cochairman i would like to welcome you to this briefing of the commission on security and cooperation in europe. also known as the helsinki commission. my name is allison parker. i am general counsel at the commission. bipartisan,ameral, independent federal commission devoted to the promotion of human rights, military security, and cooperation in the 57 participating states of the organization of security and cooperation in europe. these estates are composed of countries in north america, europe, and eurasia. the osce have commitments touching on our topic today. some of those commitments regard parental rights. the right of parents to direct of the moral and religious education of their children and to bring the children up in the culture of the parents. this comes from the vienna decoration -- declaration in
1989. osce commitments also generally reaffirmed the right, protection of private and family life, which will be subject only to such restrictions as our prescribed -- as are prescribed by law and are consistent with internationally recognized human rights standards. some international human rights which most of the osce participating states are broadt arguably allow state interventions and families based on the state's conception of the best interest of the trialed -- child. in sweden and germany, state education rather than home education by parents is believed to be in the best interest of the child. these states believe it is better to remove a child from its biological parent rather than let the child be educated at home. other participating states such as norway regularly remove children from their home because
the apparent lack parenting skills. norway has an extremely high level of children being removed from the parents. especially immigrant parents. even where there have been no evidence of violence or drug abuse in the family. at 2014, norway doubled the number of children being put into emergency care. the most common reason for such removals were lack of parenting skills. in 2016, the situation removed from the parents in norway was so dire that nearly 300 lawyers at colleges and social workers wrote a national notice of concern to the government of norway. they said that a long list of serious are exposed to failures of understanding and infringement of their rights by the low level of evidence
required for removing these children from their homes. several norwegian families have received asylum in poland. out of fear that their children will be taken away to norway. low thresholdy's for removal was influenced by a case in 2018 where a child should have been removed from his home but was not. and was subsequently killed. by an unsafe parent in the home. the united states has also grappled with where the threshold should be for the removal of children from their parents. one major consideration in the balancing of interests should be the potential lifelong suffering and abuse faced by children who are removed from their own families and who remain without permanent families in the foster care system. the statistics in the united states for the cash those not been removed permanently and not found new permanent families are sobering. while foster families can offer
critical and timely emergency care for children in need, studies show that children who stay at foster care without permanent parents suffer lifelong emotional harms and life skills under development. the extreme challenges faced by these children put them at a high risk for homelessness, unemployment, human trafficking, and incarceration. 20,000 young people aged out of foster care in the united states in 2016. deprived of the support of their own or adopted permanent families. these children in the united states and europe are perhaps saved from an immediate emergency by government and -- officials seeking to act in their best interests, but then exposed to the lifelong harm of not belonging to a functioning forever family. youths and their families of origin have been
given the support they needed to stay together. mental health services, substance use treatment. in-home parenting skill training. supportive community. today, commission is hosting a panel of experts on the front line of best practices to preserve families, safely together. our first speaker this morning is mary. she is the president and executive director of together for good. she has spent the last 36 years advocating for vulnerable children around the globe. protecting social orphans domestically. in her work, she has helped hundreds of families adopt children and many others fosters she is a founding board member of the christian alliance for orphans. in 2017, launched together for good, which grew out of a vision to better love neighbors based on isaiah 1:17. learn to do good your cheek justice. correct depression.
feed the windows cause. she is the mother of eight children. pages 15 through 38. a great joy is being called grandma by 16 grandchildren. six of them, adopted. >> thank you. a networkor good is of volunteers in the private sector and professional staff to come alongside parents that are facing crisis and stress. and provide ongoing social support. practical health so that families are not left alone in a time of crisis and children can be safe until stability is established. we come alongside families in a multitude of ways. we have crisis hosting of children. approved families.
posting children temporarily well parents have a safe option to clarify their issues. offer respite care, free plan at a time are overnight care. to alleviate that parental stress. pursue healthy relational development. we all know that everybody needs a next her friend. and also families that are hosting children that families are in crisis. our best work is done in collaboration with the community at large. parents are empowered to ask for help. parents are empowered to not worry about what -- when they will lose their children to foster care. parents voluntarily ask for help. we voluntarily provide that help. we have hope and honor and respect for the god-given role as a parent. we volunteer to help as they volunteer to ask for help.
we believe that becomes the power for change. this week, i met with a woman named uganda. at mcdonald'seet and play in the playground with the kids while we do paperwork. as i sat at mcdonald's, she said to me i have never done this before. i said what, she said i have never sat across the table with a mom at mcdonald's having a coke. i said what do you mean. she said i have a professional who comes in to make sure i take my medication. i have another professional who comes in to make my kids are getting to school. i have a mental health visit once a week with my therapist. i don't have a friend like this. that is where the community needs to make a difference. early intervention. child is prevention. believe in the power of relational support and the fundamental value of family preservation.
children belong with their parents whenever possible. sometimes, that is not possible. the fostere with care system and the child protection workers. early intervention, giving opportunity, we all do. this important work is going to be the change agent. we believe that people don't know about what is happening in child welfare. the outside world wants to help, but they don't know how. how do we provide a large web of engagement to safe community. you have a place at the table, be a good neighbor. love your neighbor. at school whoson notices the child in crisis and approaches the mother and offers support. we have host families that are approved in background checks. will temporarily hold -- host children, but also be a good friend. it is going to take a village.
the village is really large. we are all needed to play a part. thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate together for good. approach of standing in the gap between families in need and the legal aspects of the system speaking next, we have jessica foster, executive director -- director of the mission for youth villages. she works with their partnering initiative but is focused on building relationships and agreements with partners and pairs managing and operationalizing youth village programming. driving youth village life set growths and other services to partners and achieving the
organization federal policy goals. before joining youth villages in 2011 foster was at the boston consulting group where she supported the strategy and design of multiple site implementation plans for global corporate merger and acquisition projects. performance management of a large public school district and developed government advocacy strategies for a large number of consumer packaged goods companies. miss foster is also an alumna of the hill. she served here as a legislative aide for senator arlen specter on foster care, adoption, welfare and economic development, public housing and non-profit issues. she holds an mba in marketing from the wharton school and a bachelor's degree in public policy from brown university. miss foster. ms foster: thank you. okay. i'm going to stay here because i have some slides. good morning. thank you for having me and i think it's on. it's on right now. okay. i thank the helsinki commission
for inviting me and my colleagues here also speaking today. i'm going to share a little bit about what through the history of youth villages with children and families what are things we have learned to share with folks on the hill, to share with the field, about what types of interventions and approaches are effective at keeping children safe and stable in their families and in their communities. youth villages is a national organization in the u.s. and it's been -- i'm not very educated about what happens outside the united states. it was interesting to hear about norway and other countries. while we have a long way go in the united states, we have learned and evolved a lot in the child welfare and foster care system in the past several decades. the villages was founded in 1986 with the merger of two residential programs, programs where children were removed from their home, brought to a residential facility, treated and then returned to their home.
over the 32 year history of youth villages as an organization, through collecting data on the outcomes of how the children and families that we serve are doing, we learned that a lot of these kids didn't do very well when they went back home and that was because you really need to treat the whole family and serve children in their home family if you want to have sustainable and lasting change. with that over our history, the organization has evolved to have a much more significant focus on preventing children from being removed from their homes in the first place or if they're removed and taken into custody, providing them support when they return back to their home and into their communities so that they have a stable return and don't bounce back and forth into the system. they can't serve every child in america that is at risk of entering the foster care system,
but we do believe we have learned from our experience and through sharing what we have learned, we can have an impact on every child that is in the system in the united states. this is just a quick snapshot of where youth villages is, the states we operate in, and dominantly the services being provided by youth villages by us or other public and private agencies we train in best practices, in home family services and other youth services for young people aging out of foster care. i want to highlight five tenants of family restoration, a term we came up with at youth villages and it's in our effort to crystallize, what are the key elements of effective service provision for keeping children safe and stable at home in their communities. these are suggestions we would recommend to other organizations or other countries as they're thinking about how to protect and preserve families.
the first is treating children and families simultaneously. as i mentioned at the beginning, we started as an organization treating children separate from their parents in residential programs, but we learned very quickly through collecting data on outcomes that the most effective approach is to be treating children and families simultaneously. primarily youth villages has staff in the field in family homes, sitting on the sofa in the living room with a family, going to mcdonald's with the family, whatever is most convenient for the family, the time and location that works for them, to resolve whatever issues that they may be having. the next is requiring measurable, positive, long-term outcomes. there's a lot of organizations out there in the united states and i imagine internationally that care a lot about the fate of children. they don't necessarily know if what they're doing is actually making a difference and making a sustainable difference. we are
very committed to tracking the outcomes of kids and families we serve up to two years post when they complete receives services from us, and we encourage other organizations and government agencies to look at the data post completion of services to know if what we're investing public dollars in is making a difference. the third is sustaining treatment in the community. a lot of service providers require that families come to them, come to their office, public agencies require that too. we have a strong belief in having workers go out into the field in meeting children and families where it is most convenient for them or where they are comfortable in their community. the fourth is, using highly intensive clinical protocols. most of the children that are in the child welfare and foster care system are at risk of entering the system, have experienced some sort of trauma in their life, instability in
their life, leading to that involvement and it's really critical that staff that are working with children and families be trained clinically, be clinically informed, using evidence-based interventions and driving clinical practice and how they're serving kids and families. the last one is delivering accountability to the families being served and the funders paying for services. accountability is somethi we take seriously. one way through our service models that we achieve accountability is that we have one staff that is responsible for the success of the family. rather than saying there's this person working on school, this person is working on housing, this person is working on clinical support, we have one person that builds deep trust and engagement with a family and they are trained to address the range of issues that child and family is facing and to, as an individual, be responsible for
the success of that family. we believe that that type of program starts with organizational structure, drives lasting change and requires much less coordination and time spent sharing information between workers with one person who is really dedicated to the success of a child and a family. how am iing to on doing on time? this next is a quick snapshot and i took it to share the takeaway here isn't just what has to happen in a home with a family to be successful, it's also really how does an organization have to be structured to be capable of achieving results. not only do you have to have a good program model in place that is designed to make a difference with kids and families, you have to have a way of monitoring how that program is being implemented, if it's being implemented in different locations and also to to track
the outcomes of what is being achieved through those services. so not only do you have a defined program model of how we work with kids and families, we're measuring how that program is being implemented on a daily basis, our workers visiting families, are they using intervention, how timely are their sessions and then also tracking the outcome of the services and so try to build an infrastructure for good in-home family services in another country. not only looking at what is the program looking like, but what are the agencies implementing that program and how are they structuring to maintain quality and track outcomes over time. just to give you a quick sense of the challenges of the children that we work with, and these probably translate across country lines. a range from behavioral challenges to trauma from abandonment, different types of abuse, depression, self-esteem and running away and drug and
alcohol abuse, problem with sexual behavior and a range of issues come to us when working with children and families and it is that clinically informed and individualized model where workers providing very specific interventions to different children and families to support them that is critical because different kids come with different issues they need to work through. i'm going to skip through the next couple of slides. and what i really just want to end on is through all of this work that we have provided over the 32 years of the history, we've crystalized a number of key principles that we think need to be in place for an effective and well functioning child welfare system. the first, which is really the theme of this panel today, is that leaders are philosophically aligned with the need to keep children and families safely at home in their communities. and that philosophical alignment from the top around what is the
goal is essential. another is that children are systematically assessed when they are coming to the system or being raised aware in the system and that we're assessing what is really going on, what are the underlying drivers and challenges. you can't solve a problem until you understand what that problem is. and the next is very significant in the united states. it is collaboration among agencies. a lot of the children and families touch different agencies and touching the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system and the education system and the health care system. how do you share data across agencies and make sure there is coordination. the fourth is that community based providers, -- with public agencies to implement services, they are held accountable for high quality and they are also selected in contracts based on quality as opposed to just whoever has the lowest cost proposal.
the fifth is that public dollars are used wisely. the sixth is that services are clinically informed and effective. the seventh is that systems are in place to reunite children and families as quickly as possible so i know christina is going to be talking about the family first prevention services act with a strong focus on preventing kids from entering care. also very important to think about how you bring children back into the community if they have been brought into custody. and then the last is the importance of supporting young people who emancipate or age out of the system in the united states about 20,000 young people annually exit the foster care system having never achieved a permanent family placement and so it is the responsibility of us as a country to help those young people successfully transition to adulthood since we failed them in providing them a safe family in their childhood.
---- you >> thank you, miss foster. i so appreciate the focus on treating the whole family and serving the children within the family to have sustainable change. we want to see children reunited with families unless the programs help the families change complicated dynamics preventing the child from thriving. it might be a resolving door back into the foster care system. up next we have christine calpin from casey family programs where she heads the foundation efforts to inform and educate federal policymakers about the need for comprehensive child welfare finance reform. she also leads the efforts to improve the child welfare public policy in states across the united states. she has been working in public policy for ten years. most
recently she worked as an independent consultant on child welfare, childcare and family support programs for states and tribes. prior to that she worked for two years in the administration for children and families at the u.s. department of health and human services. she first served as an associate director for the childcare bureau and then as an associate commissioner for the children's bureau where she oversaw a $7.2 billion budget and 130 employees responsible for all child abuse prevention, foster care and adoption programs delivered by state, local and tribal authorities. cal pin is an alumni of the hill. she's served as a congressional staffer, the lead one for the income security and family support sub-committee of the house ways and means committee. she worked with members of congress there and with others on passing legislation effecting programs including child welfare, childcare and a temporary assistance for needy families,
known as tanf programs. >> thank you very much. good morning. i am the managing director of public policy. i am pleased to be here with my colleagues and introduce you to the family programs meant describe our vision across the united states. in 1966 with headquarters in seattle, washington. nations'sgrams is the largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building communities of hope for our children and families across america. we work directly with child welfare agencies and off -- in all 50 states, the district of columbia, puerto rico, the virgin islands, and with 16 american indian tribal nations.
we also work hand-in-hand with bird parents. foster parents. and with alumni of foster care. as we strongly believe their voice and their stories must be included to inform policy and practice change. this work, as well as a growing and theresearch significant impact of adverse childhood experiences has made clear that long-term foster care is not good for children and families. we need a robust system of support and services and a full continuum of care and for all of our communities and individuals to work together. unfortunately, for the past several decades, the federal child welfare funding that we have provided has not supported these efforts. dollarsy seven available for children in foster care, only one dollar was
available to invest in services that prevented the need for foster care. because of the national dialogue bill and all of the wonderful effort that has been done to date, congress debated and enacted a bipartisan and historic policy change regarding how federal funding can be used by states and tribes for foster care and child protection. known as the family first theention services act, president signed this into law in february of 2018. family first represents a fundamental shift in how the federal government partners with states and tribes in their efforts to support children and their families. key facets of this law include unlimited entitlement funding for states and tribes to support prevention services for those at risk children, their families, their parents, their kin caregiver, and evidence-based program that addresses a number
of challenges we have discussed today. substance abuse prevention and treatment, mental health services. in home parent skills training. the law also significantly increases the oversight and ensures placement of children and group care settings is both appropriate and necessary. we know children do best in family like settings. inldren who are raised congregate care are a must to put five times more likely to become delinquent than their peers in foster care. they have poorer educational outcomes, and test scores are that are less likely to graduate from high school. they are at greater risk of physical abuse when they are placed in group homes. fortunately, we have seen a shift in placements resulting in a reduction in congregate care. we must continue to do more. family first also provides for increased opportunities and
support for relatives who are the caregivers of their own family members. kinship foster care tells us that children who cannot remain with their birth parents are more likely to have stable and safe childhoods when raised by relatives. frequently, relative caregivers have told us that the supports they most often need to include respite care. treatment. financial support. mental health services. for them, for their individual family members. and for others to really help them cope. because of family first, federal funding can now support based on their efforts to allow children to remain with their families and with their family members. while at the same time, continuing to support foster care placements when children absolutely need this. family first makes it clear that our national child and family well-being response systems will
not operate as though it is childrensible to help without addressing the well-being of families in their communities. we have always known that it is vitally important that we intervene as early as possible. family first, through the funding, we will get space and tribes the ability to target existing federal resources in these important ways. is a monumental shift toward transforming the way we support families. we know there is more work that needs to be done. to theooking forward ongoing dialogue and opportunities to discuss these challenges ahead. thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you for programs work and villages work. it was a huge lift to write and give it a family first prevention services act through congress. we are eagerly awaiting its full
implementation. they'll be my first question. how are we doing it in mentation? thank you for the question. it has been almost a year. a couple of pieces i would point out that i have in my testimony, what we talked about family's first being such a money mental shift, the legislation did envision a timeline for supporting states thinking about the new investments. the prevention services that were identified in the law first become available to states and tribes on october 1 of 2019. we have been aggressively engaged with them and with the administration in terms of getting the guidance and direction that is necessary out to states. to really think about how this can be a tool in thinking about a new vision and system for supporting children and families. administration has put a lot of important direction and guidance out.
we do continue to encourage a stakeholdersity and a lot of other partners to really become involved in working with their states and helping vision and think about where this could go and what could happen. a lot of exciting and, a lot of exciting opportunity. challenges remain ahead. we are certainly looking for stakeholders and others to become engaged in helping to really educate on all these new opportunities. you mentioned in your comments that congregate care put children at double the risk for physical abuse and other forms of abuse. and double risk for being delinquent. this risk of low educational attainment, you move congregate care is a smaller fair -- smaller form of an orphanage. it operates parallel with foster care in the united states, which is family based.
we are talking about failures of foster care system and trying to keep children out of the foster care system. would it also be wise to fix the foster care system? i am happy to start and then welcomed my other colleagues. absolutely. the importance of maintaining the safety and protection of children is fundamental. a child protection system that is that in terms of allowing for appropriate foster care placement is absolutely necessary is one that we should support and continue to strive and expect the best quality, best care. the most appropriate settings for these children. the improvements in foster care to that end, do need to focus more on the upfront opportunities we have to do a much better job identifying family members and community members who can care for our children at risk of foster care.
and stabilities and movement of these children out of their schools and out of their communities just continues to exacerbate drama. to beis a lot that needs done to improve foster care. a piece of that needs to be a much better understanding and direction toward understanding about what it means for a child safety to be at risk. what it means for a child to need foster care. all of that would help us get to a better place of serving children in foster care. that, youjust add to provide a full continuum of care in a number of states from work in families and also residential programs that do provide care to children 24/7. when they are removed from their families. work in families and
i would echo christina in saying that there will always be a need for a foster care system. there will always be children who are at serious risk of harm. and the statement did in and provide immediate emergency support to them. so, we very much agree that there is room for improvement in supporting bio families. can families. preventing entry, making entry into care as short as possible. there is an opportunity and the family first act addressed this as well. in elevating the quality of those residential programs, ensuring high-quality clinical services are being provided while children are placed in those settings. that those settings are utilized only when that is really what is necessary for the child. behavioralental, health. when that type of setting is not necessary, children are returned to a family based setting. we certainly believe that this
continuum is necessary. be shifts ind to where kids are and how long they're staying in various placements and the federal legislation took a significant step at shifting how that looks across the country. but that elevating what is best practice in every single setting and trying to bring up the quality of care nationally and all these different types of settings and arrangements, we -- will lead to a big improvement in this system. how receptive has the state been this far? it is both.
there is a considerable excitement about this. we have spent decades in this country with leaders discussing the biggest shortcoming we have in partnering with states and the protection of children was at the federal level only starting the partnership once they were moved to family. and not really recognizing all of their effort in keeping children in their communities and supporting efforts to keep them with their families. said, doing that requires a robust package of services. every child and every family who comes to the attention of child a differents response p it should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. family first will be an incredible tool for these states. it will fund evidence-based mental health services. it will fund evidence-based substance abuse prevention. as well as evidence based in home parent skills training. some of the families will come to the attention of child
welfare will need other services. the excitement right now is in trying to figure out how best to leverage what family first will do. build that into the system of a know really helps all the families at the state level. that requires a lot of challenges. it requires a lot of framework and planning. states are very much engaged in this. time, family first took an important and direct approach to making a policy statement about the values in this country. and the importance of children being with families. the changes to the group policies and types of placements basically say that if you place these children in settings that are not high-quality and are not appropriate, you will do that at stake cost. that has created sort of a challenge. states who may not be as far along as others in having
children in family like settings and who still have a lot of children in these congregate care placements, are wondering financially what this means. so, seeing the value of prevention in a context of the ongoing investment they have right now in group home care, has limited, some of the engagement at some state levels. the excitement around this needs this isy focus on that the chance to put our dollars where our values are. and not to think about, the goal being trouble for operating as it currently does. family trip -- family first was about trying to stay business as usual. as you can imagine, not everyone is as receptive to that as you might like. i think everyone is really ,rying to learn and understand where the opportunities are and how best to take steps forward.
>> just to talk, practicalities. how much time are we talking about? in the experience at youth villages and together for good, how long to these families need? i would say that in our experience, you can -- you can childrenomically serve and families when you prevent them from entering care in the first place. in terms of how much, you know, taxpayer dollars are going and providing support. if we are able to intervene before a child is removed from their home and work with the whole family, anywhere from
three to six months or so of intensive work in the home can lead to a much more stable situation. once a child is removed from the home, typically, the placements that they are in cost more on a, you know, daily basis and if they -- you are working with family. they can cut up and system for years. if you want to return them to the biological family, which is the amount of time that family needs support to stabilize and return is a more time than if you had just provided services on the front and before bringing them into the system. to her point, if we are able to of better at a country identifying these young people who are at imminent risk of coming into care and intervening before they come into care, it will lead to better outcomes, it will also be a more economical
approach to services and intervention. is wherek that together for good, while we are a brand-new organization and trying to think outside the box in terms of what is best for children, that time is everything. in the context of a parent feeling empowered to do well in the kind of foster care to their head at all times, it changes the game in terms of their ability. no one changes with a gun being put to your head. in our work, the goal of building trust and trusting relationships has been phenomenal. we have had women who have been in drug and alcohol treatment. she voluntarily asks for help. we provide the hosting experience while she is intrigued treatment. parent-child relationship is in theed and growing services of a professional supervision of that case and or case management. working with the drug treatment
and our staff to come alongside that family over time trust is built. in a family feels empowered to move forward. once we have served kids who are child protection is no longer involved in the case is closed, we are dealing with the same sort of trauma. it just takes longer. in short, the beautiful thing we are doing is really, if the child does not have to go to foster care and can be hosted by and can be hosted by a private individual, that brings cost savings to society as well. , iif i can just add 2 -- think one of the lesser-known facts about our foster care system is that the most likely outcome for a child who enters foster care is to be reunified with their parents. the reunification's end to happen within about 11 months. some happen within two months. the familiesn are that we are trying to understand most about the opportunities in
family first. if you are bringing a child into the care for just a short window of time after which you are reunifying, did you really even need to remove the child from the family. i think the answer is also a lot more complicated because i think there's also this perception in our foster care system that children come into foster care for reasons of physical abuse, theal abuse, which they do, data actually tell us that the largest percentage of children who are removed are removed for reasons that are categorized as neglect. that spans the continuum of housing instability. truancy in school. those are much different responses that can be very quickly addressed. if we are talking about lack of world where housing is not so scarce, stabilizing housing is a much different response than addressing abuse challenges for a child.
the of this also relates to ability of understanding how long a family needs to formally be involved and what is a child protection system so the responsibility should be mitigating risk and safety for that child. versus the importance of making trouble every family and child is connected in the community. you know, we have talked a lot whot the number of children take their own lives everyday. what we absolutely do not want is for children to be safely reunified with their families at home, but in communities where that level of despair becomes such an issue. it is such a longer answer than just the notion of a program because it is specifically begins to think about how we as a country work with our states to design child protection programs that serve children as long as necessary. but make sure, as you said, when
you have, quote, closed case, you have not done that without making sure there is a connection or community partner or someone there to continue with that family. as we all know, we talked about the moms at mcdonald's. we all look for those support. those people who can help us. that is something that a child protection system can create. that is going to be so important. >> how does together for good get connected with parents and families that may need extra community support? did minnesota, 70% of the time when a college makes child protection it is screened out. which means there is opportunity at risk for a child to fall through the cracks. we have actions which public health services or social workers, sometimes a very first
to notice a child appeared to me, a town going through a temporary crisis, homelessness, and identify from there those referrals that come to us. then we do the intake process. match them with an approved family that would help their child. and build those community relationships for that family. an advocate cheerleader for a family in the private world. of opportunity. what we have found most exciting is that the community at large truly does want to help and serve in ways that aren't necessarily about the foster care system itself. and are giveneed the opportunities, they want to help. we recruit people just through local churches can we have teams, filled out by accountabilities. each church has its own coordinator of care. as well as our staff that oversees our cases. we have about, again, we are brand-new.
40 churches in the minnesota area. that are willing to help families in crisis. each church has its own court nader. we monitor and train as people. as we provide the professional oversight throughout mobilization of the community at large, connecting with resources, skill sets. professionally screen the volunteer families that come to you. >> yes ma'am. full background check. home study. variance. references. training. especially in the issues of trauma and work care. and the opportunities to have best practice in that. it is important. stayw long to the families connected with the communities? years. people build relationships that don't really go away. that has been the beautiful thing. primarily, the child system care with us an average of about 50 days.
parents able to get that appeared during that time, it is continued parent-child visits. parent-child communication everyday. there's not a system separation. to put the empowered oxygen mask on first. while their child is safely being cared for. then the relationship builds over the next adult in their life. what do i do if i run out of formula and have someone to call? mobilizing people to care has been a powerful experience. it is 10 families that are hosting children. there is 45 families wrapping around those families. being support to the host family. to the family in crisis. one of the cries in minnesota has been that foster parents feel unsupported. anderms of extra resources extra wraparound care. the respite becomes such a critical piece. while they grow this organization, we have the opportunity to intersect in
meaningful ways in that way as well. offering families to give respite to the family that has taken the children. >> absolutely. >> do you have enough families coming forward to do this? yes. people volunteer to help. no money exchange. another highlight for parents. theytruly can understand are not getting paid to take care of my child. so, that becomes an opportunity for girls and expansion. people want help. when you provide that extra resource and support, someone else is buying the diapers, bringing you a meal, you don't feel so weighted down by the experience of inviting another person into your home. there is some phenomenal families out there who truly just want to help. given the opportunity. and that they are actually building a hedge of protection around a family. >> how is it different from the
foster care system in the sense of the relationship between the child and the biological family during the time when the child is in care? >> it is really no different than me asking you to watch my child for two weeks while i am away. we're trying to do everyday conversations, meeting up for play dates. try the best possible at school system. those relationships are still in place. in the state of minnesota, this is allowed because we have a statute that allows for power of attorney. givee the opportunity to the power of maternity to my children for a temporary time. toch gives them the freedom act as parent when necessary. also to pick -- engage mom in meaningful ways. asking her questions about how she parents. for her think is best child. the relationship is very
critical and very important. the difference becomes when you and i meet and have a conversation and i am going to tell you about my child and you will -- he is allergic to peanut butter. a whole different experience than a stranger taking my child away from me and the fear that the stranger is not can for my child the way i want. that becomes a powerful source of hope and creates opportunities to say i will wake up, look for the housing. it has been a powerful story of hope. in the u.s. foster care system, what is a child goes into official foster care, how does that affect the parent-child relationship? as she was thinking about this, how it is different from foster care, as we have talked birth parents about their experiences with the system instead of what they found in -- challenging was, you know, i characterize it as in the child
protection system, we view our birth parents as a risk-averse as a string. what that does is really create a huge barrier for that child and that parent to continue to develop. every child expects the parents to care for them and to protect them. children can't understand when they are taken only from their parents while -- why their parents let it happen. it impactsally, what in terms of a relationship is so hard. as we have always a sad, for child protection reasons, there will be a number of children for whom that removal is necessary. the families and the children that together for good are serving those children where we are not, you know, the risk of safety for that child is not one that warns removal. that allows a child protection system to really working away that it can really think through his best for the child to remain with this pair appeared is this
truly a safety issue. and work with those children where we third strongly and safety concerns because we have not created a necessary trial, unnecessary removal of other children that could be served in a different way. havenk that is what we tried so much to talk about foster care astro-med take. a lot of these children have already suffered trauma. we are just continuing to exacerbate that. and recognizing that we are going to eventually reunify and create even more challenges has just allowed us to view that as a system we cannot continue to operate in this way. >> i would agree. there is a necessary place for child protection. our hope is that if we go up far enough, we catch, before it ever gets to that place. at the end of the day, numbers and everything in this game. we cannot have too many children coming that direction. we are already overloaded. our foster families are overloaded themselves.
social workers are extremely stressed. we are trying to tear some of that burden upstream in terms of prevention. >> also, this is what we talk about, every family, every child deserves a unique approach. how do we best determine what that approach should be? in a system where we are able to think and respond at different levels and different tiers, based on engaging with them earlier, i think that is exciting. a systemtection is driven by courts and lawyers. and judges. it is intended to be one that looks at the system differently than what you are doing in terms of trying to engage with families in a supportive way. the goal is to try to think about how we move our system to better work and build. >> you mentioned in your presentation that -- is a high
level of valuation for what is working at what is not working. how are you being connected with your family? what are some of the overall that you are seeing and how has it changed your approach? out or is finds connected with children primarily through child welfare agencies. the trouble our agency is refusing is about a child being at risk. agencies typically does an initial investigation and decides that you are on a higher level of intervention. countiesract with collect contracts intelligences. other community-based service providers and if a child needs a
high level of support intervention, it is beyond the basics education that the publication provides. to provide services. that is typically how we are working for the child. we also provide some through medical -- mental health medication. cases,e of those other you may prefer, services, there is some variety. what i described is typically how we are finding out about a child and in terms of how we track outcomes, impact the courts, early into the history, we started fleshing out data on completion of services as well. 24 months post completion of services. right through's. where our children, are they at home for their family,?
care?hey come back into through us or the child welfare system? how stable are they? what has been their involvement with the criminal justice system? some states have integrated the -- . separated. have it looks at something of a different person in the united states. how are they doing in school? we, as well as a lot of additional data. we capture that data. all the children and families with payments. that gives us feedback on how are the services going and when we initially made the transition from being -- to be primarily an in-home services provider, it can be found out that when we grind these services, that data looks a lot better. much more likely to be safely stable at home with their families two years after we work with them than if we provided residential and that was it. because get reunited
our family without any sort of additional support. we also work with our party research organization. we look at not just the data of how children supply us are faring, but how they are doing compared to a comparison group. what the family first act requires for prevention services, is that services that receive federal reimbursement have a proven that they are effective compared to what else that child might get. apically, that requires certain party research organization collecting that they have. we have the data on the kids to be served, we don't have the data on the kids we don't serve. the public agency has the data. one other thing that is important to take away related family first act in general is the public system, child protective system has a huge, robust, amount of data.
the research provided because how those are reviewing, how they're doing today, how they are doing years later. there is a huge opportunity now to harness the power of that data. to really know what is working and compare different interventions to each other and sellt is doing 1, 2, 3 or my wine. a lot of data is coming through. we don't always use that data. to capture the insights of what is really working for her to try to do it as best we can at the agency. and also work with our public agency partners. it's a full or picture of the data about what works. >> this has been a tremendously encouraging conversation. how best to care for children when it is been their best interest. and, what i am hearing from the panel is that they can be kept
with the family that is in the best interest. we have some new best practices that we have developed here to make that possible when the families are safe. remarks? any closing mention, this has been a theme today, families really are the solution. talkingnited states, about orphanages, also, talking about norway and other countries, it is very easy to pass judgment another families. it is easy to pass judgment on other families when you are a government entity. or a private service provider. almost all parents love their children and want to do well by their children. if they are given the resources and skills and training to raise children safely, that is what they want to do. finding a way to empower those families and do what they want
to do anyway, those kids want to be with the biological families. they don't want to be eking away even if they are -- how do we equip these families to do what they want to do anyway? instead of passing judgment on what is happening and immediately traumatizing kids and parents by ruining them. >> i would second set. the one we talk with youth in care, they would always say you can help my mom. you could have served her differently. we're also excited about what congress and the administration did with family first and why this really is the change for states and communities and how they serve children and families. working and educating yourself on this opportunity and becoming involved and sort of supporting child welfare in the state direction are going to be so critical. echo, as well,
families are everything. we are created to need each other and be relationship with each other. maccoll would be to the public at large and communities around the country, what is your part. this is not just a government solution. this is not a programmatic solution. how will we love our neighbors and come alongside them? this is not just for families everywhere in a crisis, not just the poor. maybe this will do us all some good to learn to love our neighbors better. >> thank you. incredibly well informed insights. this briefing will be posted on informationthinking website. there will be a transcript as well. thank you for joining us today. announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with
news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, former u.s. small business administrator talks about the bipartisan policy center's recommendations to bolster small businesses. the white house backed proposal to overhaul the u.s. postal service, a conversation with institutes kevin. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. announcer: this week on the communicators. federal communications commission chair on key issues before the fcc and what he foresees in the future including five g and spectrum sales that allow 5g innovation. plan, this our fast is facilitating america's superiority. a plan i wrote out a couple of months ago. there are three parts to it.
we are doing that with a auction right now. an auction which will start thereafter. auctions of the 37, 39 and 47 spectrums starts next year. six gigahertz span for the next generation of wi-fi. we recently finished some rules on earlier this year. spectrum is one part of it. the second part is wireless infrastructure. then it will look very much like -- unlike the 4g networks that of 200 footnstead salt hours, small cells that are relatively inconspicuous and operate at lower power. we want more wireless infrastructure to get into the marketplace. this is a critical part of 5g. getting the wireline infrastructure in place to carry all the internet traffic back into the core of the networks. if we get those three components right, america will and the race to 5g. announcer: watch tonight at eight -- 8:00 eastern.