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Competency & Learning Objectives

  • Competency:

    • 207-4: The Child Welfare Professional can use assessment data to collaboratively develop an appropriate, culturally competent case plan with the family, and can develop and link supportive family and community resources.

  • Participants will be able to:

    • Identify how the Family Finding model supports casework best practice and child welfare legislation and guidance.

    • Put into action the Family Finding model and related techniques.


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Family Finding in Pennsylvania

  • The First of Kevin Campbell’s six-day sessions occurred in October 2008. The sessions started with Phase 1 Permanency Practice Initiative counties, including:

    • Allegheny, Blair, Butler, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Snyder, Venango, Washington, and York

  • In the combined situations, there were 40 cases involving:

    • 43 children/youth

    • 26 Males and 17 Females

  • The average age was 13.68-years-old


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Family Finding in Pennsylvania (cont’d)

  • Parental involvement took the form of:

    • Mothers – 31 (out of 40 cases)

    • Fathers – 27 (out of 40 cases)

    • Neither Parent – 6 (out of 40 cases)

  • At the beginning of the Family Finding process, there were:

    • 241 known connections

  • At the end of the process, there were:

    • 1767 connections known, with 250 new lasting resources in place

      Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, (March 2009).


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Federal and State Legislation/Guidance

  • Federal:

    • The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-272)

    • The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193)

    • The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) (P.L. 105-89)

    • The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008


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Federal and State Legislation/Guidance (cont’d)

  • State:

    • 62 P.S., Chapter 5. Institution Districts, § 2305 (relating to powers and duties of local authorities as to children)

    • 42 Pa. C.S., Chapter 63, The Juvenile Act

    • 55 Pa. Code: includes but is not necessarily limited to 3130 (relating to administration of county children and youth social service programs); 3350 (relating to adoption services); and, 3490 (relating to child protective services – child abuse); and, 3700 (relating to foster family care agency)


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Federal and State Legislation/Guidance (cont’d)

  • State (cont’d):

    • Bulletin: 00-03-03 Kinship Care Policy

    • Special Transmittal: The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008


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Minimum Expectations for Family Finding Use

  • The Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth and Families strongly recommends, at a minimum, that Family Finding be used for cases where:

    • a child/youth is not in placement but the case is opened for services, a Family Service Plan (FSP) is being developed, and supportive familial connections are needed;

    • when the child/youth is placed with familial caregivers but the agency and other child and family serving entities believe that the child/youth and/or caregiver(s) would benefit from supportive familial connections


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Minimum Expectations for Family Finding Use (cont’d)

  • The Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth and Families strongly recommends, at a minimum, that Family Finding be used for cases where:

    • when the child/youth is in a non-familial placement and supportive familial connections are needed; and/or,

    • when the child/youth is in a non-permanent placement.


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Elements of Connectedness

  • Heart Connectedness – Who do you love? Who loves you?Who do you want to love you? Who do you want to be loved by?

  • Mind Connectedness – Who do you teach? Who do you learn from? What are you learning? What do you think about?

  • Body Connectedness– Who shares your blood? Does anybody share your body? Who provides you with food and shelter?

  • Soul Connectedness– What are your passions? Who shares those with you? Who has similar values as yours?


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Elements of Connectedness (cont’d)

  • In Connectedness Mapping:

    • Red is for the heart that loves

    • Greenis for the fertile and creative mind

    • Blue is for the blood that runs in the veins (body)

    • Yellowis for the light of the soul

    • Dotted Lines – Represent relationships known but refer to individuals with whom the child/youth feels no connection.

      Source: Campbell, Kevin, Connectedness Mapping Training.


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Connectedness vs. Attachment

Being connected to someone implies a physical connection,

Being attached with someone refers to a connection much deeper than a physical connection.


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Rationales for Connectedness

By understanding a person’s past and present relationships a sense of their strengths and needs emerge.

From a focus on connectedness, a shared vision of future possibilities can evolve.


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Rationales for Connectedness (cont’d)

A person’s relationship network provides a good starting place for understanding that individual.

Connectedness implies a caring relationship with a person.

Children in out-of-home placement have many losses.

Source: Campbell, Kevin. Connectedness Mapping Training.


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Private Arrangements vs. Foster Care

Private Arrangements

The agency is not involved– family identified concerns on their own and developed a plan internally to address those concerns.

Nationally, private (non-agency-involved) arrangements consist of 76% of familial care arrangements. (Urban Institute., (October 09, 2003))

This means that 76% of the time,

families successfully resolve

situations on their own.


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Private Arrangements vs. Foster Care (cont’d)

Nationally:

  • As of October 9, 2009, fiscal year 2008 AFCARS data reports an estimated 463,000 children in foster care. Of those:

    •  24% (112,643) were in relative foster homes

    • 63% (293,530) were in care with non-relatives and non-kin.

      (Child Welfare Information Gateway, (2009).


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Private Arrangements vs. Foster Care (cont’d)

In Pennsylvania:

 In 2007, there were 20,858 children in foster care. Of those:

22.6% (4713) were in relative foster homes (Child Welfare League of America, 2010)

77.4% (14,747) were in care with non-relatives and non-kin.


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Private Arrangements vs. Foster Care (cont’d)

It is important to note that:

  • The majority of families successfully deal privately with issues.

  • Once child welfare becomes involved, success rates for family arrangements reverse

    • In private arrangements, families resolve their own situation 76% of the time – young people are placed with family

    • When agencies becomes involved, plans tend to be agency-led, as seen in young people being placed with non-relatives and non-kin 77% of the time.


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The Myths

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“It’s their moral responsibility.”

“There aren’t that many family members to locate anyway.”

“Kin caregivers only do it for the money.”

“Kin care is not as stable as adoption.”


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The Myths (cont’d)

“Kin placements are not as safe.”

“Termination of Parental Rights occurred; so, it’s not worth locating family.”


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Accurint

  • Not an acronym

  • Is a product of the LexisNexis Corporation purchased by Pennsylvania for government county Children and Youth Service agencies

  • The state purchased two extra packages to expand the abilities of the tool, including:

    • Phone Plus: searches cell and unlisted numbers; and, Person Alert: alerts counties when people move and to where they move


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Accurint (cont’d)

Pennsylvania decided to use this tool because of its comprehensiveness – has accesses to numerous databases to retrieve information needed to locate family

The expectation is that counties will use the tool in many points of the casework process


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Connectogram Comparisons

Without

Engagement and Accurint


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Connectogram Comparisons (cont’d)

With

Engagement

and

Accurint


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By Focusing on Strengths…

  • Feelings of hope and positive expectations are cultivated that then lead to self-fulfilling prophecies and favorable outcomes.

  • The stage is set for cooperating and collaborating.

  • Potential resources are identified (e.g. individual, caregiver and social supports) that lead to the development of interventions that are better informed.

  • Solutions can be sustained over time because they are built on natural resources.


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By Focusing on Strengths… (cont’d)

  • Relationship building and trust are promoted.

  • Family and transition team frustration is decreased because there is an emphasis on problem solving.

  • Family confidence is reinforced and thereby increases empowerment that is more sustainable.

    Source: Campbell, Kevin. Connectedness Mapping Training.


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Step One: Discovery

  • Goal:

    • Create more options for support and planning.

  • Practice:

    • Identify at least 40 family members for the child or young person. Include efforts to identify other adults who can or have in the past been a key supporter of the child or parents. Success is achieved when the family is extensively known. In many situations, you can expect to learn about a hundred or more relatives and others connected to the child or young person.

      Source: Campbell, Kevin, Family Finding: Workshop Presented by Kevin Campbell.


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The Myths (revisited)

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“It’s their moral responsibility.”

“There aren’t that many family members to locate anyway.”

“Kin caregivers only do it for the money.”

“Kin care is not as stable as adoption.”


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The Myths (revisited) (cont’d)

“Kin placements are not as safe.”

“Termination of Parental Rights occurred; so, it’s not worth locating family.”


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Step Two: Engagement

  • Goal:

    • Engage those who know the child best and have an historic and/or inherent connection in helping the child by sharing information and helping.

  • Practice:

    • Through the use of a unique and individualized engagement strategy, enlist the support of as many family members and others important to the child or family to participate in providing important information helpful to the child. Begin preparing family members and others to assist the social worker with decision-making and participate in supporting the young person through committed relationships.

      Source: Campbell, Kevin. Family Finding: Workshop Presented by Kevin Campbell.


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Strengths-Based Questions

  • How has the family managed to overcome/survived the challenges they faced?

  • Who are the people that they could rely on? Who made them feel understood, supported, or encouraged?

  • When things were going well in their life, what was different?

  • What do they want to accomplish in their life? What are their hopes for the future, or the future of their family?


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Strengths-Based Questions (cont’d)

  • What makes them proud of themselves? What positive things do people say about them?

  • What are their ideas to resolve their current situation?

  • What do they think is necessary for things to change? What could they do to make that happen?

    Source: Saleebey, D., (2006).


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Elements of Connectedness (revisited)

  • Heart Connectedness – Who do you love? Who loves you?Who do you want to love you? Who do you want to be loved by?

  • Mind Connectedness – Who do you teach? Who do you learn from? What are you learning? What do you think about?

  • Body Connectedness– Who shares your blood? Does anybody share your body? Who provides you with food and shelter?

  • Soul Connectedness– What are your passions? Who shares those with you? Who has similar values as yours?


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Elements of Connectedness (revisited) (cont’d)

  • In Connectedness Mapping:

    • Red is for the heart that loves

    • Greenis for the fertile and creative mind

    • Blue is for the blood that runs in the veins (body)

    • Yellowis for the light of the soul

    • Dotted Lines – Represent relationships known but refer to individuals with whom the child/youth feels no connection.

      Source: Campbell, Kevin, Connectedness Mapping Training.


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Benefits of Mapping and Diagramming Tools

They offer a historical narrative concerning biological connections and a view of family and personal connections.

They offer a current worldview concerning existing connections and strengths and supports.

They offer a look into possible dreams and aspirations, as they cause the young person and others to consider desired connections as well as potential strengths and supports.


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Key Question

A key question regarding whether a person should be on the Network for Life is:

  • Do you truly believe that the individual would stick with you and support you through thick and thin to the very best of his/her ability if there was no money involved?


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Summary and Wrap-Up

Thanks for attending!We look forward to seeingyou at Family Finding: Planning!


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