CYFD News: Nov. 23, 2009


SANTA FE -- News items of interest regarding CYFD this week:




  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Unification Program (FUP) provides federal funding for qualified youth aging out of care and families associated with the child welfare system. FUP funding supports affordable housing and supportive services. Successful bids for FUP monies require partnerships between public housing authorities and child welfare agencies, along with evidence for need of housing from the child welfare agency. CYFD provided support to three public housing authority locations (Bernalillo County, Dona Ana County, and Santa Fe County) that have a need for FUP funds. CYFD provided required data on the need and specified the number of slots currently required for each applicant location. If successful, resources will be acquired that will provide housing assistance in the form of Section 8 vouchers for up to 144 children and families associated with CYFD across the three locations. Successful applications will potentially prevent the separation of children from families, assist with transition into adulthood for youth aging out of care, and strengthen CYFD-involved families.
  • CYFD staff are working with Janie McGuigan, Supportive Housing Coordinator for the BH Collaborative and Catherine Hummel, Mortgage Finance Authority to develop and implement a training regarding new housing related assistance from the Homelessness Prevention Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) stimulus efforts. The training will be tailored for CYFD field staff on how to identify the available housing resources in their respective communities as well as to assist identified clients in completing the pre-screening application for the housing resources. The target populations for the HPRP resources are those impacted by domestic violence, those with behavioral health issues, transition age youth (foster care and juvenile justice) and those with HIV/AIDS.
  • The federal government recently named the University of Michigan the National Quality Improvement Center on Child Representation. As part of this effort, University of Michigan is to have a National Advisory Committee of 12 people. These individuals are intended to represent a number of perspectives and views from across the nation. The National Advisory Committee is to be engaged in an ongoing fashion throughout the project to provide input into the process and feedback on plans and draft documents. The Advisory Committee will: 1) Help build consensus on the role of the child’s legal representative and how legal advocacy for children is best delivered; 2) Provide input on the parameters, approach, and expected outcomes of the research and demonstration projects; 3) Provide feedback on proposed research/evaluation approach and methodology, including both qualitative information collection and analysis on the implementation process and quantitative outcome data collection and comparative analysis; and 4) Help interpret evaluation findings and assist in dissemination. With the support and recommendation of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau, the University of Michigan contacted Maryellen Bearzi, administrative deputy director of the Protective Services Division of Children, Youth & Families to serve on the National Advisory Committee.
  • Early Childhood Services sponsored an Infant Mental Health Summit on Friday, November 13, 2009 in collaboration with the UNM Corrine Wolf Law Center. Although the Summit brought together many individuals who work with infants and toddlers from a broad range of disciplines, the Summit was primarily for family court judges, citizen review board members, Court Appointed Special Advocates, children’s court attorneys, respondent attorneys, and Protective Services staff. Presentations were made by national experts, including Judge Pamela Abernathy from Salem, Oregon and Dr. Charles Zeanah from Tulane University. The purpose of the summit was to provide cutting-edge information regarding best practices that courts and others in child welfare and the judicial systems could implement to have better outcomes for children and families. There were approximately 125 attendees, nine of whom were judges and 44 were attorneys.