The intersection of the child welfare and criminal justice systems is as complex as the relationships entangled in it. The prison system wasn't designed for families, but it nonetheless holds hundreds of thousands of parents including many who were their children's main caregivers. Likewise, the child welfare bureaucracy wasn't designed to deal with crime, but the many of children in its care are refugees from their parents' clashes with police, courts and prisons.
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Tullberg, E., Kerker, B., Muradwij, N., & Saxe, G. (2017). The Atlas Project: Integrating Trauma-Informed Practice into Child Welfare and Mental Health Settings. Child Welfare, 95(6), 107–125. Retrieved from https://login.ezproxy.pratt.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=130544590&site=eds-live
Although children in foster care are disproportionately affected by trauma, few child welfare agencies fully integrate trauma knowledge into their practices or have trauma-specific interventions available for children who could benefit from them, either internally or through partnerships with mental health providers. The Atlas Project has built on foster care - mental health partnerships to integrate trauma-informed practices into New York City Treatment Family foster care programs. This paper provides detail on the elements of the Atlas Project model, their implementation, and implications for traumainformed child welfare practice.
McGuire, A., Cho, B., Huffhines, L., Gusler, S., Brown, S., & Jackson, Y. (2018). The relation between dimensions of maltreatment, placement instability, and mental health among youth in foster care. Child Abuse & Neglect, 86, 10–21. https://doi-org.ezproxy.pratt.edu/10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.08.012
Youth in foster care with maltreatment experiences often demonstrate higher rates of mental and behavioral health problems compared to youth in the general population as well as maltreated youth who remain at home. Previous research has demonstrated that dimensions of maltreatment (type, frequency, and severity) and placement instability are two prominent factors that account for high rates of psychopathology (e.g., depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders). The present study sought to clarify the relation between maltreatment and mental health among youth in foster care by studying both the isolated dimensions of maltreatment and cumulative maltreatment, and to determine whether the effects of maltreatment on mental health operated indirectly through placement instability.
Signe Hald Andersen, & Christopher Wildeman. (2014). The Effect of Paternal Incarceration on Children’s Risk of Foster Care Placement. Social Forces, (1), 269. Retrieved from https://login.ezproxy.pratt.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.43287825&site=eds-live
Research on the relationship between parental incarceration and foster care placement is limited in three ways: (1) it focuses solely on maternal imprisonment and provides neither (2) strong causal tests nor (3) tests of mediation. In this article, we address these gaps by providing a rationale for how paternal imprisonment may increase children's risk of foster care placement and by using Danish registry data to conduct a strong causal test of this relationship (using a recent policy change) and to test relevant mechanisms. The results provide compelling evidence of a causal effect of paternal imprisonment on children's risk of foster care placement in Denmark and imply that changes in family finances and family structure do little to explain these effects.
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