Kansas Child Welfare Training Program
Assessor Module Descriptions and Resources
Module 7: Child Development Implications for Family-Centered Protective Services
This workshop examines the developmental consequences of child abuse and neglect from birth through adolescence; establishes a framework for the early recognition of developmental problems; and stresses the importance of including developmental and remedial services in child welfare case plans.
Module 8: Separation, Placement and Reunification in Family-Centered Child Protective Services
This module addresses the knowledge and skills required for child welfare workers to provide services related to child placement. The workshop focuses on the traumatic effects of separation on children and their families; placement prevention; the proper way to place children to prevent trauma, involving children in the placement process, choosing the “right” placement, working with foster caregivers as part of the service team, strategies to promote timely reunification, and the importance of permanence.
ADOPTION ASSESSOR TIER I
Tier I has six modules: Birth Parent, Preparing the Child, Family and Child Assessment, Placement Strategies, Post-Finalization and Pre-Finalization.
Birth Parent: This module includes information regarding counseling issues and strategies in permanency planning with birth parents and their families in both voluntary and involuntary cases. The module will help define the importance of grief work for all birth parents, the phases of grieving and how to best support birth parents and their families as they cope with their losses. It will also acquaint trainees with methods to gather and record social and medical histories of birth parents, information regarding open records and open adoptions. Finally, information is presented regarding permission messaging, entrustment ceremonies and closure to empower birth parents experiencing termination of parental rights.
Preparing the Child: This module will present a framework for preparation work with children who are going to be adopted. The framework will outline goals, tasks and principles of child preparation work. Specific strategies to talk with children about adoption and about their birth histories will be given. These strategies will be relevant to work with children between the ages of three and eighteen. Finally, techniques for working with children who resist adoption will be offered.
Family and Child Assessment: This module will provide workers with strategies to engage prospective adoptive or foster families in a mutual assessment process. The workshop will present information to assist trainees in the identification of families who will have a high probability of long-term success in parenting children who are adopted or in foster care. Assessment criteria needed to complete a thorough assessment for child placement will be presented. The Family and Child Assessment module will provide workers with strategies to assess the social and emotional functioning of children, their developmental needs and readiness for adoptive placement.
Placement Strategies: This module will present trainees with placement strategies to maximize success and minimize trauma to the child, foster family and adoptive family. Trainees will learn pre-placement visitation rationale and methodology as well as information that should be shared with families making an adoptive commitment to a child.
Post Finalization Adoption Services: This module provides an overview of the need for post-adoption services, the components of such services and strategies for implementation of post adoption services. It will also explore issues related to search and reunion.
Pre-Finalization Services: This module prepares staff to assess the adjustment and attachment of the child and family prior to finalization, to recognize stages of adoption disruption, and to implement strategies to avoid disruption. It also focuses on specific techniques that strengthen adoptive placements.
ADOPTION ASSESSOR TIER II
Tier II has four modules: Openness, Collaboration, Cultural Issues and Gathering
Openness in Adoption: This two-day module will examine the continuum of openness and the various styles of adoption occurring along that continuum. The historical perspective of openness in adoption will be presented, and ethical dilemmas within openness planning are explored. Trainees will learn about the advantages and liabilities of openness and will learn strategies to maximize the advantages while minimizing the liabilities. Participants will also learn techniques to open a closed adoption. Finally, techniques to manage conflict within open-adoption relationships will be presented.
Achieving Permanency through Interagency Collaboration: This module is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of workers who engage in collaboration to facilitate permanency for children and youth. The module presents elements of interagency, intra-agency and interpersonal collaboration, and highlights federal standards for permanency. Barriers to achieving best outcomes for children and youth will be discussed, and issues of culture and diversity on personal and organizational levels will be examined. Finally, trainees will gain knowledge about stages of successful collaboration and will be given strategies to enhance their skills in navigating these stages to ensure permanence for children and youth.
Cultural Issues in Permanency Planning: This module will identify the role culture can play in permanency planning and will enhance the worker’s cultural competence in serving both children and prospective families. Finally, the module will outline the tenets of both the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Multiethnic Placement Act, ensuring workers can make placement decisions that meet the needs of children while complying with federal law and State statutes and regulations.This module will identify the role culture can play in permanency planning and will enhance the worker’s cultural competence in serving both children and prospective families. Finally, the module will outline the tenets of both the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Multiethnic Placement Act, ensuring workers can make placement decisions that meet the needs of children while complying with federal law and State statutes and regulations.
Gathering and Documenting Background Information: This module will examine the importance of honesty in disclosure of information to adoptive and foster families as well as the ethical and legal consequences of withholding information. Trainees will learn why adoptive and foster families and children need information as well as what information they need. Trainees will also learn creative, effective strategies of family search and engagement to gather complete information. Some guidelines regarding documentation of collected information will be shared. Finally, techniques to help adoptive and foster parents communicate information in a helpful way to their children will be presented.