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Children and Youth Services Review   Volume: 24 (3) 2002

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Richard P. Barth               139     Adoption of American Indian Children:

Daniel Webster II                       Implications for Implementing the Indian

Seon Lee                                    Child Welfare and Adoption and Safe

                                                  Families Acts

 

Two significant federal child welfare policies, The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) are largely unreconciled as existing services under the ICWA do not appear to emphasize permanency to the extent that ASFA requires. This study describes the pre-ASFA adoption patterns of American Indian children in California and provides the first analysis of the likelihood, type, and timing of adoption for American Indian children. The cohort was comprised of children who were less than 6 years old (n = 38,430) when they entered foster care. Kinship adoption was higher for American Indian/Alaskan Native children than most other children and was especially likely to be done by aunts and uncles rather than grandparents. However, the rate at which American Indian/Alaskan Native children remain in non-kinship foster care is substantially higher for Caucasian or Latino children. Policy and program implications are considered.

 


James G. Barber               159     Competitive Tendering and Out-of-Home

                                                  Care for Children: The South Australian

                                                  Experience

 

Out-of-home care was the first children’s service in South Australia to be restructured along purchaser-provider lines. This paper reports on the forces behind the change and the process of contracting out the service. It is argued that the model of contestability adopted by Family and Community Services (FACS), while potentially a worthy idea, is flawed in at least two important respects: (a) it promotes monopolies by contracting out an entire service to one (or a few) providers, and (b) it restricts competition to the not-for-profit sector.

 


Carrie Jefferson Smith       175     Kinship Care: Issues in Permanency

Claire Rudolph                            Planning

Peter Swords

 Kinship care represents one of the newest paradigms in program options in public child welfare services and is one of the fastest growing segments in the child welfare system. This paper assesses the implementation of the goal of permanency planning articulated in the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), with a group of children placed with relatives by the child welfare system at one year of age or less. The paper compares the outcomes of permanency between infants placed with relatives and children placed in foster care in a middle sized urban/rural county in Upstate NY between April 1993 and April 1994, and followed until April 1996. The aim is to assess the viability of the outcome goal of permanency planning for these children, and identify barriers to the achievement of the permanency goal. The strategies used to address the permanency goal will also be discussed in light of the conditions of case closures and in view of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), that emphasizes the outcome of permanency and shortens the time span to achieve this for all children under care. The implications for service delivery are also discussed.


Barbara Rittner                 189     The Use of Risk Assessment Instruments

                                                  in Child Protective Services Case

                                                  Planning and Closures

 This exploratory study examined variables expected to predict which caretakers are most likely to reabuse children under child protective services (CPS) supervision. Caretaker variables related to poverty, mental health problems, history as a victim of abuse, substance abuse, and prior CPS reports were evaluated to determine their effectiveness in predicting which children remain at risk of maltreatment. Method:  Using a pretested instrument, data were collected from case records of 447 randomly selected children supervised by CPS while residing with parents or relatives for a minimum of six months. These children, in contrast to those in foster family care, were selected because of their more likely exposure to initial abusers. Results:  This study offered little support for using variables employed by risk assessment instruments to predict which caretakers were most likely to reabuse because reabusers and non-reabusers shared many features. Importantly, findings in this study indicate that children residing in kinship care are not at significant risk for future maltreatment.


Book Review

Diane Adams                    209     Does the Village Still Raise the Child?

                                                  By Beth Swadener, Margaret Kabiru, and

                                                  Anne Njenga


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