Dept. of Health and Human Services

The Crisis of Connection for Adolescent Boys: A TAG Talk

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health, in collaboration with the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs and New York University Professor of Developmental Psychology Niobe Way developed a video and two discussion guides about the crisis of connection, its impact on the health and well-being of adolescent boys, and the implications for their work with teens.

HHS and DOJ host listening session with youth who have an incarcerated parent

The effects of incarceration are felt far beyond prison walls: children, families, and communities also experience the consequences of incarceration.

New Brief Highlights the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth in Child Welfare Settings

A recent brief from the Permanency Innovations Initiative highlights how research is helping us to better understand the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in child welfare settings. The brief presents findings from qualitative interviews conducted with youth participating in the Recognize, Intervene,

Connecting Partners and Resources to Prepare Youth for Careers: A Federal Partners in Transition Webinar

In November 2015, the Federal Partners in Transition, a workgroup with representatives of several federal agencies, including the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and the Social Security Administration, hosted their inaugural joint transition webinar.

Round 1 Pilot Site Announcement

The following is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Education's blog, published October 29, 2015. See the original blog post here.

We all share the goal of improving education, employment, and other key outcomes for youth, especially those who are disconnected from Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youthwork, school, or other social supports. Today, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs is pleased to join with the interagency Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3) initiative in announcing nine pilots to improve outcomes for this underserved population. These pilots give state, local, and tribal governments an opportunity to test innovative new strategies to improve such outcomes for low-income disconnected youth ages 14 to 24, including youth who are in foster care, homeless, young parents, involved in the justice system, unemployed, or who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school.

The idea is simple: P3 gives communities greater flexibility to use the federal dollars they already have more effectively, and they agree to be more accountable for concrete outcomes. This first set of pilots will test flexibility with federal youth-serving funds in diverse environments across America, including urban, rural, and tribal communities. Pilot sites include:

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Broward County, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Los Angeles, California
  • The State of Oklahoma
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Southeastern Kentucky, including Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, and Perry Counties
  • Ysleta del Sur Pueblo

Pilots will implement solutions that include, for example, helping low-income moms acquire the skills to become better parents while gaining valuable job experience through childcare internships, helping foster youth successfully transition from high school to college or employment, and intervening with the highest-risk youth before they drop out of high school. In the coming weeks, Federal agencies and these sites will finalize performance agreements that will support the pilot’s work and outline the outcomes these solutions will be measured against.

Led by the Department of Education, P3 brings together six federal agencies including the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Justice as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Services to help communities address common barriers. For example, practitioners and advocates on the front lines of service delivery have let agencies know that better outcomes are hindered sometimes by programmatic and administrative obstacles, such as fragmented data systems and program stovepipes resulting in poor coordination. P3 pilots can tackle these challenges more effectively by blending together certain federal funds that they already receive from the participating agencies and by acquiring new waivers and flexibility under federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements.

The P3 model emphasizes evidence and learning, both within communities and at a national level. The P3 competition asked sites to match existing evidence of what works with community challenges identified through a needs assessment and to demonstrate how they will use reliable data to guide decision-making and be accountable for better outcomes. All nine pilots responded to the competition’s incentive to rigorously evaluate the impact of at least one component of their on-site approach. Federal agencies will also conduct a national cross-site evaluation of how pilots implement the P3 model, their strategies, challenges, and outcomes. Findings will help strengthen how agencies and the field address disconnected youth needs in the future.

The zipcode a young person is born in should never determine his or her outcomes in life. To help prepare for the second P3 competition, which will be held this winter, the Department of Education has released a Notice of Proposed Priorities on behalf of participating agencies to seek ideas from the field on strengthening this important initiative and empowering communities to think big about reconnecting youth.

>> Click here for the U.S. Department of Education's press release on this announcement.

Update: Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) Notice of Proposed Priorities

Group of YouthIt’s an exciting time for Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3)! The participating federal agencies have two major updates to share with stakeholders on this initiative in partnership with state, local, and tribal governments to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for low-income youth who are disconnected from work, school, or other social supports.

  • We’re inviting your feedback on how to strengthen our work. On behalf of the six participating agencies, the Department of Education has released a Notice of Proposed Priorities (NPP) that lays out priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for our second round of P3 pilots as well as competitions that may be held in later years. The NPP tries to build on lessons learned in our first round of pilot selection. Because P3 is meant to support states, tribes, and localities in improving outcomes for disconnected youth, we need your input to improve the process for reviewing and selecting pilots. Please provide comments by November 23rd.
  • We’re getting close to announcing the first round of pilots. Participating agencies are currently working to finalize P3 performance agreements with nine sites. We look forward to making an official announcement and sharing more information about the pilots in the coming weeks.

» Click here to learn more about Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth

Guide for Incarcerated Parents Who Have Children in the Child Welfare System

A new guide helps parents involved in the criminal justice system work with the child welfare system to stay involved with their children and understand the reunification process.

Children of Incarcerated Parents: Presentations

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents: Implementing the Model Arrest Policy

On May 15, 2019, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the American Institutes for Research hosted the webinar, Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents: Implementing the Model Arrest Policy. This 90-minute live webinar highlighted the Model Arrest Policy implementation and is recommended for law enforcement staff, probation officers, social services staff, youth serving organizations, and researchers. The purpose of this webinar was:

  1. To highlight how a locality has instituted the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) model arrest policy through collaborations (e.g., between non-profit organizations and government agencies) to protect children of arrested parents.
  2. To share the experiences of a youth who has witnessed the arrest of her parent.
  3. To highlight research on the impact a parent’s arrest has on children, especially those who have witnessed the arrest.

Watch the webinar recording:

Listen to a follow-up interview with the youth presenter:

 

Educators are Critical Partners in Making A Difference in the Lives of Children of Incarcerated Parents

On September 24, 2015, the Federal Interagency Reentry Council (FIRC) Subcommittee on Children of Incarcerated Parents and the American Institutes for Research hosted the webinar, Educators are Critical Partners in Making A Difference in the Lives of Children of Incarcerated Parents. This presentation and Q&A session provided the audience with statistics on the prevalence of children with incarcerated parents, practical tips for addressing the needs of these children and youth, and how to use collaboration, focused assistance, and advocacy to contribute to positive outcomes for children who have an incarcerated parent. Presenters included nationally-recognized experts, educators who are currently addressing the needs of children of incarcerate parents, and a youth whose parent is incarcerated:

  • Ann Adalist-Estrin — Director, National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated
  • David Osher — Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
  • Dwight Davis — Assistant Principal, Turnaround for Children Partner School
  • Kendall T. — U.S. Dream Academy Graduate
  • Download the speaker biographies (PDF, 5 pages).

Watch the webinar recording:

  • Download the presentation slides (PDF, 60 pages).
  • Download the transcript (PDF, 20 pages).

 

» Learn more about Children of Incarcerated Parents at youth.gov/COIP.

» Join the Children of Incarcerated Parents listserv.

Family Engagement

Meaningful Family Engagement

Family engagement is essential in promoting healthy physical, cognitive and social-emotional development and academic achievement of children and youth from pre-K to high school. Research shows that when families are meaningfully and continuously engaged in their children’s learning and development, they can positively impact their child’s health, development, academic, and well-being outcomes into adulthood.1,2

Description of Family Engagement

Strong family engagement happens when families have a primary and meaningful role in all decision-making that impacts every young person and their families. Meaningful family engagement is about improving outcomes for all youth and families and happens at the system level and at the service level.

At the system level, family engagement is evident when families routinely engage as equal partners with state and local leaders in planning, designing, and evaluating services, programs and policies that impact the lives of children, youth and families served.

Family engagement also happens at the individual service level where agency partners and a single family collaborate in making decisions that address their child’s unique strengths and needs and considers the family’s ideas of success. Meaningful family engagement requires that state and local leaders model and champion family partnership anchored by mutual respect, shared authority, two-way communication, and a commitment to a common vision and shared goals to improve outcomes for every young person and their family.3,4

Definition of “Family” in Family Engagement

Child and youth serving systems broadly define “family” in family engagement as including parents and other adult caregivers, acknowledging today’s varied family units and their needs for extended supports. For example, early childhood education and juvenile justice programming describe family engagement as including biological, adoptive, and foster parents; grandparents; legal and informal guardians; and adult siblings.5,6

Some agencies have broadened this definition of family to include related and non-related members. As an example, transition-aged and foster youth work with their providers to identify and name their personal family system that includes peers, mentors, and service providers who they trust and can count on for support. Key service sectors that are implementing family engagement plans and strategies to increase and improve the engagement of families in their systems and services include education, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, and primary health care providers.

References

1 Weiss, Lopez, & Caspe, 2016
2 Henderson & Mapp, 2002
3 U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, 2016
4 Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2016
5 U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, 2016
6 Development Services Group, Inc., 2018

Strengthening Incarcerated Individuals and Their Families

This webinar explored innovative strategies to improve reentry success by offering programs that help strengthen family relationships as a strategic support network beginning at incarceration.