WRMA Presents at Summit on Improving Safety and Preventing Child Fatalities

Liz Oppenheim, a senior research manager at WRMA, presented findings from the study of child death review teams at a recent meeting hosted by the Casey Family Programs. The Examining Child Fatality Review Teams and Cross-System Fatality Reviews to Promote the Safety of Children and Youth At Risk study was conducted for the Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, ACF, DHHS.

The study examined the recommendations of child death review teams and related fatality review entities—citizen review panel fatality reviews, fetal and infant mortality review, and domestic violence fatality review. The purpose of the study was to identify emerging best practices for improving collaboration among fatality review teams and implementing cross-cutting injury and fatality prevention strategies. Ms. Oppenheim presented findings on the key components for writing effective recommendations, enhancing collaboration, and taking recommendations to action. The report will be posted by the Children’s Bureau in the spring of 2013.

Downward Trend in Child Abuse and Neglect Continues

Child Maltreatment 2011, the annual report of child abuse and neglect statistics, was released during December by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. The national trend of a decrease in the number and rate of child victims continued during 2011. Data from the States continue to indicate the greatest proportion of children suffered from neglect. The 50 States, District of Columbia, and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico voluntarily submit data for the report to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. has been involved in NCANDS since the project’s inception in 1988. Each year WRMA staff compile, validate, and analyze the data submitted by the States and U.S. territories. The most recent report, Child Maltreatment 2011, and previous versions of the report can be found here.

WRMA Studies Funding Streams in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinical Settings

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HIV/AIDS Bureau has awarded a 15-month contract to Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. to study the funding streams in Part C and Part D clinical settings. It will also design a survey to collect the quantitative and descriptive information on the dynamics of health care coverage and the interactions among funding streams including Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and HRSA Ryan White funding. The team will design a methodology and tracking tool to help Ryan White grantees to monitor and analyze patterns of funding. A prototype tracking tool will be tested. Mission Analytics Group is a partner on this project.

WRMA to Conduct a Study of Diet Quality among Participants of SNAP, WIC, and NLSP Programs for FNS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has awarded WRMA a two-year contract to study the diet quality and weight status of participants in three FNS supplemental nutrition programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). WRMA and its subcontractor, Mathematica Policy Research, are analyzing data collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team is comparing nutrient intake, diet quality, weight status, and food choices of participants of the three nutrition assistance programs with two comparison groups based on program eligibility and family income. In addition to preparing a report of descriptive findings for all three programs, the team is also assessing the feasibility of: (1) conducting a multivariate analysis of NHANES data to measure the impact of SNAP, WIC, or NSLP program participation on nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight status, and (2) determining the impact on nutritional outcomes of participation in one program compared to participation in more than one program. The study team will conduct these analyses if they appear feasible.

WRMA Staff Publishes Article on Class Action Litigation and Systems of Care

WRMA staff has contributed to a paper published in the October-December volume of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. The article, “Reforming Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: The Role of Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuits and Systems of Care”, examines the intersection of systems of care and child welfare class action litigation as common, often parallel, strategies used to improve the provision of mental health services for children. The authors—including Elizabeth Oppenheim, Carolyn Lichtenstein, and Rashelle Lee of WRMA—discuss the findings from their examination of 10 consent decrees for key indicators of the key principles of systems of care and the implications for policy and practice. A more detailed abstract of the article can be found here.

WRMA to Evaluate the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded WRMA a two-year year contract to design and implement a national evaluation of the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training (PHCAST) Program. In 2010, the PHCAST Program awarded demonstration grants to six States: California, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina. These grants allow the States to develop core competency training programs that afford advancing to certification for personal and/or home care aides to help meet the needs of, and provide quality care to, the geriatric, mentally ill, and disabled populations.

WRMA and its partner LeadingAge will work with HRSA to conduct a national evaluation designed to identify the impact of these State’s core competencies trainings on key outcomes, assess the impact of training on existing training infrastructure and resources, assess the minimum number of hours of initial training required to provide the skills needed, and offer legislative and administrative recommendations, taking into account the State environments within which the programs operate. This will enable HRSA to assess whether different approaches to PHCAST Program implementation seem to work better within particular environments. Recommendations derived from the findings and their implications for advancing and improving the PHCA workforce will be shared with HRSA, participating States, and the wider field.

WRMA Participating in Children’s Bureau RPG Evaluation

WRMA is participating in the 5-year cross site evaluation of the Regional Partnership Grants (RPG) funded by the Children’s Bureau. WRMA is a subcontractor to Mathematica Policy Research. The RPG program is authorized under the Child and Family Services Improvement Act (Pub.L. 112-34) and funds 17 grantees to improve the well-being of children affected by parental substance abuse. The grantees are using evidenced-based practices to achieve improved outcomes for children and their families in the areas of family functioning, safety, permanency, child wellbeing and recovery. The core study will address the outcomes of the programs, and substudies will examine the impact of selected programs. WRMA is responsible for developing the key indicators to be used throughout the initiative, as well as the data system to collect the key indicator data.

WRMA’s Evaluation of First 5 Sacramento Services to be Presented at Upcoming National Conference

This year, WRMA will attend the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco, CA to present findings from its evaluation of First 5 Sacramento services. The paper, titled “Estimated cases of child neglect and abuse averted, and related cost benefit, from a three-year program to promote breastfeeding duration”, will be presented in the Maternal and Child Health section’s Economic Impacts of Breastfeeding session on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. More information about the conference—which will take place October 27-31, 2012—can be found here.

ASPE/HHS Releases Report to Congress on Feasibility of a National Child Abuse Registry

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) recently released a Report to the Congress which responds to a requirement in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 that directs HHS to study the feasibility of creating a national registry of child maltreatment perpetrators, also known as a national child abuse registry. This Report to the Congress, which can be found here, uses research conducted by WRMA. In assessing the feasibility of such a registry, WRMA conducted two main studies: a Key Informant Survey and a Prevalence Study. The Key Informant Survey involved 38 States, and included instruments covering three areas: legal policy issues, current practice, and technical information on State data repositories. The Prevalence Study, with 22 State participants, developed national estimates of interstate child maltreatment perpetrators. In addition to its final report, WRMA also produced a research brief reporting the results of the Prevalence Study, which is available here.

WRMA Wins NCANDS Recompete

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children’s Bureau has awarded WRMA a new contract for the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) Development, Implementation, and Technical Support Program. NCANDS is the leading source for child maltreatment data from all States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These jurisdictions voluntarily submit data about children who have been the subjects of an investigation or assessment by the local or State child protective services (CPS) agencies. Each year, NCANDS data are publically released in the Child Maltreatment report. The most recent report, Child Maltreatment 2010, is the 21st report in the series and is available on the Children’s Bureau website. NCANDS data also are a critical source for many publications, reports, and activities of the Federal Government, child welfare personnel, researchers, and others. WRMA has had a leading role in all aspects of the program since it began in 1988.