CWLA is delighted to announce the publication of its most recent kinship care resource, Collaborating with Kinship Caregivers: A Research-to-Practice, Competency-Based Training Program for Child Welfare Workers and Their Supervisors. More than 20 years ago, CWLA advanced the term "kinship care" and called for specific policy, program, and practice innovations to address the special needs of increasing numbers of relatives—especially grandparents—raising their younger family members. This new, 12-hour curriculum, approved by CWLA's National Kinship Care Advisory Committee, presents a "Collaboration Model of Practice" to teach professionals how to facilitate collaboration with kinship caregivers to enhance child safety, well-being, and permanency outcomes for children in their care.
The collaboration model of practice addresses a range of issues identified by the research that informed this curriculum, with objectives that:
--Explain why kinship care became a policy and practice choice and challenge.
--Identify major issues of concern requiring collaboration between social workers and kinship caregivers, including: legal; financial; health/mental health; schooling; child behavior and trauma; family relationships and trauma; support services; fair and equal treatment; and general satisfaction/recommendations.
--Demonstrate collaboration competencies, including: respecting the knowledge, skills, and experiences of others; building trust by meeting needs; creating a relationship that addresses the dynamics of attachment versus authority, and demographic diversity; and using negotiation skills.
--Present how collaboration works in assessing kinship families, placing children, supporting families, and transitioning them to community-based support.
This curriculum, field-tested across the country, is designed for public, private, and faith-based child welfare professionals who work directly with kinship caregivers and want to learn the skills identified in the objectives listed above. Agency supervisors and managers are encouraged to participate. Community advocates and kinship care researchers also will find this program of value, as will agency and university-based trainers who want to teach this curriculum. Kinship caregivers who are co-faciliators for training would find this curriculum of value. Kinship caregivers are encouraged to learn this model of practice, as well; however CWLA is reissuing Traditions of Caring: A Collaboration Approach to Kinship Care, which is designed specifically for kinship caregivers.
If you need additional information about the curriculum or are interested in having CWLA come to your agency to demonstrate how to use it, please contact Donna Petras at firstname.lastname@example.org.