Child welfare interventions that target adoptive/guardianship homes on the brink of disruption are often provided too late and therefore do not serve the best interests of children and families. These families need appropriate, culturally responsive supports and services to address the unique behavioral, mental-health, and medical issues that threaten stability and long-term permanence.
This is the focus of the new grant that Dr. Rowena Fong, Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor in Services to Children and Families at the UT School of Social Work, is working on in conjunction with Spaulding for Children in Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The grant creates the National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation whose mission is to 1) increased post-permanency stability; 2) improved behavioral health for children/youth and 3) improved child and family well-being.
Six to eight states, including a tribal group, will be selected based on a rigorous, non-biased, multi-step process to address the needs of two target populations: 1) waiting children/youth and 2) children/ youth and their families who have finalized adoption/guardianship. The Center will build evidence for effective models of permanency planning and post-permanency services/support, and disseminate knowledge about effective evidence-supported intervention models to achieve long-term, stable permanence.