Trainings & Events
2019 New Laws & Budget Allocations – Supporting Youth in Foster Care
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 10AM - 12PM
Join us for a summary of the major child welfare budget allocations and bills that were signed into law this year. Panelists will share information about how these laws will impact recruitment and retention of foster caregivers, the services and supports available to families and youth in the child welfare system, and more.
Preparing Families for Permanency in the Context of Resource Family Approval
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
This webinar will bring together experts from across the state to discuss best practices in approaching and achieving permanency at each stage of a child welfare case, from the point of recruitment or initial engagement of a family member through creation and execution of a permanent plan. Panelists will discuss how Resource Family Approval has shifted practice by allowing families to be approved to both foster and adopt at the point they are approved as a Resource Family. In addition, panelists will focus on how to best approach discussions of permanency with kinship families and discuss the distinction between ”relational permanency” and ”legal permanency” in order to explore the different ways that permanency can be achieved for children and youth in foster care. Finally, panelists will share ways that local jurisdictions have worked to improve permanency for older foster youth, including adoption.
Back to School: Preparing Foster Youth for School Year Success
Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
This webinar provided timely and critical information on foster youth students’ rights and important considerations for educational rights holders and resource families about school transportation plans, individualized education programs (IEPs) and other resources to support the educational progress of children in foster care. Our panelists highlighted best practices to promote student success.
Family First: Responding to the Shifting Landscape of Child Welfare
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2019
This webinar provided an overview of the major components of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) as well as implications and considerations for child welfare practitioners and administrators. Our panelists are from different states across the country and shared how their state is approaching implementation, highlighted the opportunities offered by FFPSA, and described what they are doing in their states to mitigate gaps in the law.
School and Placement Stability: Determining Best Interest for Children in Foster Care
Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2019
This webinar provided the definition of ‘best interest’ and ‘school of origin.’ Our discussion also addressed questions including: Why is a best interest determination so important?; when is a best interest determination made and by whom?, and what are the key elements of an effective determination? Panelists also shared sample facilitation forms and tools and talk about best practices statewide.
Latest Updates to the Continuum of Care Reform
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
This webinar highlighted the successes of CCR in improving child well-being and promoting stability, as well as ongoing challenges and best practices for addressing those challenges. Panelists detailed the latest changes in laws and policies that impact CCR and how those policy changes will bring us closer to the goal of ensuring all children are connected to families.
Understanding and Accessing Benefits to Support Children and Youth in Foster Care
Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2019
This webinar provided an overview of foster care benefits detailing the different types and sources of funding and their associated eligibility requirements and rates, including the Emergency Caregiver program, home-based family care rates, the Approved Relative Caregiver program, specialized care increments, and intensive services foster care. Our panelists also discussed benefits to support permanency and for youth transitioning out of foster care.
Increasing Access to Emergency Child Care Bridge Program
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
This webinar provided an overview of the bridge program, including the main components of time-limited child care vouchers and child care navigators. Panelists shared outcomes and lessons learned from a recent child care pilot and local implementation of the bridge program. We also discussed current legislative proposals to augment the bridge program and hear from a caregiver about his experiences with the child care program.
Promoting Educational Rights and Ensuring School Stability for Foster Youth
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
This webinar included an overview of the educational rights of students in foster care, including their right to remain in their school of origin. Panelists discussed how caregivers, administrators, providers, judges, attorneys and social workers can help youth achieve stability and success in school. We also highlighted recent policy proposals intended to promote school stability and hear directly from school-based foster youth liaisons and caregivers as well as youth themselves.
Caregiver Friendly Courtrooms – Understanding the Juvenile Court Process and Making it More Accessible for Families
Date: January 30, 2019
This webinar is intended to make the juvenile court process more accessible to caregivers, who often struggle to understand the timelines, orders and various players involved in a child’s dependency case. This webinar is aimed at both caregivers and child welfare professionals. This webinar included an overview of juvenile dependency court, including various types of hearings, court personnel and typical timelines. Our panelists also provided tips for communication, collaboration and engagement with the dependency court process and the multiple parties involved in a child’s dependency case.
Interstate Compact on Placement of Children: Ensuring Adequate Protection & Support Services Across State Lines
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
This webinar provided an overview of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) – the law establishing procedures for the placement of children out-of-state for adoption or foster care. Panelists shared information on the history of ICPC, implementation, funding implications and more.
New Child Welfare Laws: 2018 Policy Reforms
Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
We provided a summary of the major child welfare bills that were signed into law this year. Panelists shared information about how these laws will impact recruitment and retention of foster caregivers, the services and supports available to families and youth in the child welfare system, and more.
Supplemental Security Income for Transition Age Youth with Special Needs
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Too often, transition age youth with disabilities experience substandard medical care, homelessness, or incarceration after “aging out.” For these vulnerable young adults, federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits often help them gain stability, housing, and proper care, and protect them from adverse outcomes. The webinar covers the legal responsibilities around screening foster youth for SSI eligibility, best practices modeled by Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Alameda counties for obtaining and maintaining SSI benefits for non-minor dependents, and solutions to common barriers to accessing SSI benefits.
Supporting Youth and Families through Child and Family Teams
Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2018
This webinar provided attendees with a basic understanding of the purpose and goals of child and family teams (CFTs) in implementing the Continuum of Care Reform. Attendees heard from families, youth and other team members who have participated in CFTs to learn what makes a successful CFT. Our panelists overviewed best practices on how to better engage and support children, youth and families through this process to ensure that each CFT enhances the support system for youth and families.
Understanding Emergency Caregiver Funding
Date: July 19, 2018
Until recently, families completing the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process were not eligible for foster care funding until approved. AB 110 provided interim financial assistance from March 30, 2018 through June 30, 2018 for emergency caregivers who accepted placement of a child prior to RFA approval. The passage of AB 1811 extends the funding into the current fiscal year (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019). This webinar provided an in-depth explanation of both types of emergency caregiver funding and how they interact. The panelists provided important guidance to families regarding how to access emergency funding.
Alphabet Soup – Funding and Benefits Available for Youth in Foster Care
Date: Friday, June 29, 2018
This webinar provided attendees with practical knowledge regarding the public benefits available to children throughout the foster care system. Specifically, the panelists discussed how to identify and help youth obtain appropriate benefits and supports including a focus on how Continuum of Care Reform impacts our system of foster care rates.
Indian Child Welfare Act & Resource Family Approval: Family Placement Focus
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
This webinar focused on the shared goals of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Resource Family Approval (RFA) on family placement detailing how and where ICWA and RFA intersect with the intention of supporting Tribal children and their families. We highlighted the critical components of ICWA and the RFA process. In addition, we explored the implementation of the Child and Family Team in assessment, placement, and services planning to help achieve positive outcomes for safety, permanency, and well-being.
Family First Prevention Services Act: Impacts on Transition Age Youth
Date: Friday, June 22, 2018
Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
In addition to fundamentally shifting how children in and out of foster care are supported, the recently-passed Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) includes a number of provisions which directly impact Transition Aged Youth, including limitations on the use of congregate care and changes to the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.
This webinar continued our exploration of FFPSA, delving into Title II of FFPSA, specifically focusing on the impact on providers of congregate care and residential services that are often targeted at older youth, as well as other provisions of the new law that most impact our transition aged youth. As we discuss each topic, we highlighted the opportunities offered by FFPSA, gaps in the law that might present challenges in implementation, and changes that should be considered to ensure the law achieves its intended goals.
2018 California Child Welfare Budget Requests
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
This webinar discussed the major budget requests that have been made for the upcoming fiscal year intended to support children served by our child welfare system. Panelists representing the sponsoring organizations discussed the purpose of each budget proposal and walk through its provisions. We also discussed crucial next steps you can take to support these budget proposals.
Interim Support to Emergency Caregivers Prior to Resource Family Approval
Date: Monday, April 9, 2018
On March 13, 2018, Governor Brown signed AB 110 which will provide financial relief for families who accept placement prior to Resource Family Approval (RFA). The bill provides for immediate funding for relatives and non-related extended family members who accept placement of a child prior to being approved as a resource family through June 30, 2018. A long-term solution is being discussed in order to ensure that families can continue to be supported at the time of placement beyond June 30, 2018.
The State Department of Social Services issued an All County Letter (ACL) on March 30 to advise counties on how to implement the interim funding enacted by AB 110. This webinar provided an in-depth explanation of the changes enacted by AB 110 and how to access the financial relief now available. We also discussed crucial next steps including AB 2183 and a California budget ask to ensure a long-term solution to funding at the time of placement beyond June 30, 2018.
Implications of Passage of Family First Prevention Services Act
Date: Wednesday, April 24 2018
This webinar provided an overview of the changes in the law as well as the concerns raised by advocates, counties and state agencies about certain components of FFPSA. We focused on the potential impacts of the law on both our child welfare system and broader safety net programs, including the barriers children and families may face in accessing benefits and services. As we discuss each topic, we focused on implementation strategies to utilize in California in order to improve access to necessary supports and services and minimize adverse impacts on our children and families. Finally, we discussed ongoing efforts to secure needed legislative fixes to the law to make it more workable in California and beyond before its implementation.
Supporting Transition Age Foster Youth in the Child Welfare and Probation Systems
Date: Wednesday, March 21 2018
This webinar provided an overview of the legal duties of child welfare to provide appropriate placements and best practices for identifying the most appropriate placements for nonminor dependents. We also gave an in-depth analysis of housing rights for nonminor dependents living in group homes and transitional housing. Finally, we discussed proposed California legislation that would ensure that youth are able to enter or re-enter extended foster care to access the supports they need to successfully transition into adulthood.
SB 1083 & AB 2183: New Legislation to Improve California’s Continuum of Care Reform
Date: March 2018
Two bills intended to facilitate payment at the time of placement and streamline the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process have been introduced in the California State Legislature. AB 2183 (Rubio) and SB 1083 (Mitchell) will ensure that the approval process is done in a timely manner, relatives are financially supported through the approval process and children are connected to relatives and extended family members in a child-centered and family-friendly way. This webinar discussed the most recent developments in state law around the Continuum of Care Reform and Resource Family Approval, the motivation behind the two pieces of legislation and the steps you can take to help support these RFA bills.
Foster and Probation Youth Education Needs and How to Address Them
Date: February 2018
This webinar shared the most recent statewide data on foster youth education outcomes, and discussed how that data helps determine starting points for improvement. We reviewed foster youth education rights and highlighted the most recent developments in state and federal law meant to help bridge the gaps that foster youth experience. Finally, we provided participants access to comprehensive toolkits and model policies designed to address these issues. Each topic focused in on best practices and challenges, as well as the impact of the changing child welfare options under the Continuum of Care Reform.
Resource Family Approval and Level of Care
Date: January 2018
This webinar covered delays, barriers, and challenges that have emerged since Continuum of Care Reform implementation began in January 2017. In addition, an expert panel highlighted challenges with the new Resource Family Approval process and new efforts underway to ensure that children and families receive the supports and services they need from the moment of placement. The webinar also addressed next steps in the new rate structure.
Emergency Child Care Bridge Program: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Make Sure Your County Doesn’t Miss Out
Date: November 2017
Counties have an exciting opportunity to address a pervasive problem with foster parent recruitment and retention through the recent adoption of the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program. With passage of SB 89, California has allocated $15.5 million for the second half of fiscal year 2017-18 and $31 million ongoing for counties to utilize to provide emergency child care vouchers to families who would otherwise be unable to accept placement of a child in their home.
The webinar explains how the bridge program works and why counties should not pass it up. We also covered what a county must do in order to take advantage of the bridge program.
Caregivers at the Capitol
Date: January 30, 2018
Help bring attention to the needs of families caring for children in foster care!
Children recovering from abuse and neglect can’t do it without loving, attentive families. Each year, thousands of relatives, extended family members, and other foster and adoptive families step up to take in children who can no longer safely remain with their birth parents. These families are doing the day to day work of our child welfare system, but their voices are rarely heard by the policy makers that shape the laws that impact their daily lives and experiences as caregivers.
Please join us in educating legislators in the California capitol about the realities facing families caring for children in foster care. Your voice is vitally important to the betterment of policy and child welfare practice. Please join us and share your experience and learn about pending policy decisions that affect our community.
Contact Jenn Rexroad: email@example.com or 530-312-0480
All in the Family: Recruiting, Engaging and Supporting Kin
Date: November 15, 2017
This was a webinar to learn about the policies and practices to increase the number of kinship placements and better support families. We were joined by individuals from Los Angeles County who have been engaged in a successful pilot to recruit family to care for relatives. In addition, we heard from experts in Pennsylvania who have reformed their foster care system to be kin-first. These programs are on the cutting edge of transforming child welfare to be child-centered and family-friendly. Our panelists shared how their innovative programs can be replicated across the country.
We were joined by Judge Michael Nash (Ret.), Director of Los Angeles County’s Office of Child Protection, Jay Kadash, Stacy Johnson, and Yakiciwey Mitchell from A Second Chance, Inc., and Tiffany Collins and Jennifer Lopez with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
New Child Welfare Laws: 2017 Policy Reforms
Date: October 25
This webinar summarized the key bills that were signed into law this year. These reforms will impact recruitment and retention of caregivers, the services and supports available to families in the child welfare system, and more. We were joined by experts from the Children’s Law Center, Children Now, Tipping Point Community, and John Burton Advocates for Youth. View Webinar | View Slides | Download Attendance Certificate
Why you need to understand child welfare funding and federal safety net programs
Date: Wednesday, September 27
This webinar highlighted model state laws, policies, and court orders that have improved access to needed supports and services for children and families. We discussed current and pending threats at the federal, state, and local levels that imperil the child welfare system and related safety net programs—and how participants can preserve and strengthen these essential programs. View Webinar | View Slides | Download Attendance Certificate
17th Annual Grandparents As Parents Conference
Time: November 3, 2017
Location: Omni Hotel 251 S Olive St Los Angeles, CA 90012
- This event is for caregivers, professionals, advocates, policymakers,
- CEU’s will be provided
- Continental breakfast and lunch will be served
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding Child and Family Teams and Best Practices for Using CFTs to Engage and Support Children, Youth and Families
Date: August 23, 2017
We discussed the requirements and best practices for creating and utilizing Child and Family Teams. Specifically, panelists discussed what is required in the formation and facilitation of Child and Family Teams, and delved deeper into how to ensure that CFTs are a key support system for the children, youth and families. We heard from caregivers and youth that have been part of CFTs to understand what works.
Mary Sheppard, CA Department of Social Services
Madeline Roachell, LA County Department of Children and Family Services
Regina Goree, LA County Department of Children and Family Services
Tim Halbur, Caregiver and Teaming Participant
Vanessa Hernandez, California Youth Connection
Mental Health Care for Young People in Foster Care
Date: June 28, 2017
We discussed new means of meeting the mental health needs of youth involved in the child welfare system. Specifically, we examined how the Continuum of Care Reform is changing how mental health services are delivered and focused on how to best provide support and services to youth and family-based settings.
Dr. Robert Byrd, County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health
Dr. Kaliah Salas, County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health
Brian Blalock, Tipping Point Community
Kevin Jervik, Ph.D., Children’s Law Center of California
View Webinar | View Slides | Download Attendance Certificate
Comprehensive, community-based services for delinquency-involved youth
Date: May 24, 2017
We discussed the importance of supporting delinquency-involved youth—including foster youth and nonminor dependents on juvenile probation—in community-based settings. Topics included: ensuring medical and mental health services, housing and placement needs, education, employment training, and other supportive services.
Attendees learned about funding streams, dispositional options, and how Continuum of Care Reform impacts delinquency-involved youth. We also discussed replicable models in counties that have maximized funding streams. Finally, we looked at the Juvenile Justice Practitioners Toolkit, which provides practitioners with information about how to best access resources for youth.
From Placement to Permanence: Understanding Options and Valuing Kin
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
When a child enters the child welfare system for their own safety and well-being, the law requires that preference be given to placing that child with a relative. Beyond that, the first goal of the child welfare system is reunification; if that is not possible, the next goal is to ensure the child has a permanent and stable home. This webinar will help to unravel various permanency options including adoption, guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative. We will also hear directly from kinship families who have made these decisions and are willing to share their stories.
Please join the Alliance for Children’s Rights, the Children’s Law Center, and kinship caregivers for this special webinar that gave an overview of the law and policy around permanence and explore the personal experiences of kinship foster families. View Webinar | View Slides | Download Attendance Certificate
Confidentiality & Foster Care: Policy and practice regarding foster care records
Date: Wednesday, February 22
Implementation of Resource Family Approval
Date: January 25, 2017
Time: 10am - noon
Informing the National Debate on Child Welfare Reforms
View Webinar | View Slides | Download Attendance Certificate | Child Welfare Financing Reform:The Limits of Flexibility and the Need for New Resources | Are There Too Many Children in Foster Care? | Developing a Robust Continuum of Care to Support Foster Youth in Family-Based Settings
Understanding Family Finding, Relative Assessment and Approval
Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
On August 17th we were joined by experts to discuss current and model laws and policies for family finding, relative assessment and approval. We provided an overview of current law and practice around family finding and engagement. We also discussed model laws and best practices to improve family finding, relative engagement and approval of kinship families.
From Research to Practice
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The Voices of Kinship Caregivers
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Focus on 2016 Policy Reforms
Date: February 17th, 2016
Date: January 20th, 2016
Probation Youth and Kinship Care
Date: December 9th, 2015
Continuum of Care Reform and What it Means for Kinship Families
Date: November 18th, 2015
Relative Caregiver Summit
Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Location: Seneca Center, 6925 Chabot Rd., Oakland, CA
Join us for an invigorating day of education, support and reflection. This event brings together relatives who are raising their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and cousins to learn about important issues that impact caregivers as well as provide some much needed support and respite. Topics will include:
-Funding and benefits available to support relative caregivers
-Understanding your child’s education rights
-Understanding the differences between adoption vs guardianship
There will also be a resource fair that will include a wide range of resources from legal services to mental health information.
Recruiting, Retaining and Supporting Kinship Caregivers
Date: October 21st, 2015
Understanding the Plight of Kinship Caregivers
Date: September 16th, 2015
16th National Conference on Children and the Law
Date: July 24 - 25, 2015
Location: Washington, D.C.
The 16th National Conference on Children and the Law will address a range of child welfare issues that emphasize family well-being and improving the skills of attorneys, judges and other advocates. It will also feature emerging child welfare policy and systemic reform issues and their effects on practice, children and families. The conference will be preceeded by a full-day pre-conference on Kinship Care.
Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program Webinar
Date: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The Alliance for Children’s Rights, the County Welfare Directors Association and the California State Association of Counties hosted an informative webinar on the new Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program.
A primary goal of our child welfare system is to keep children safe and, whenever possible, with family where they are more likely to be comfortable and thrive. Another goal is to meet children’s individualized needs with appropriate services and supports. Historically, when these children were placed with relatives, they received less assistance than they would if placed with a non-relative. But now, for the first time, there is funding available to counties to ensure that these children receive additional support.
The Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program allows counties to receive funding to support foster children placed with relative caregivers. Counties have to opt into the program by October 1, 2014 in order to get the funding from the state for the upcoming year (counties can opt in on an annual basis).
The program specifies that the state will cover 100% of the cost of the program for the existing population of foster children placed with relatives. Join us on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 from 10:30 AM – noon to learn everything you need to know about the new program and to participate in a question-and-answer session with representatives of the State and County associations.
To learn more about the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program, download this flyer.