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Kinship Care Practice Curriculum Materials are intended to prepare child welfare caseworkers to engage family members of children in the custody of the child welfare system in development of a permanent plan for the child. The materials may also be useful tools for child welfare practice and policy, generalist practice, family intervention, and human behavior courses.

The Training Curriculum is comprised of an introduction and six learning units. Each unit contains learning goals, a discussion section that can be used as a lecture guide or distributed as a reading assignment, a reference list, learning activities and resources, and full-page handouts that can also be duplicated as overhead transparencies.

The learning units cover a range of topics which are listed in more detail below:

  • Introduction
  • Unit 1: The Context of Practice in Kinship Foster Care: Formal and Informal System Constraints and Opportunities
  • Unit 2: The Sociocultural Contexts of Kinship Care
  • Unit 3: Substance Abuse and Its Impact on Family Systems
  • Unit 4: Convening the Kinship Network
  • Unit 5: Decision-Making & Family Empowerment
  • Unit 6: Supporting Permanent Plans

Click on the unit icons below to view and print the curriculum sections. To view the curriculum, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader often comes installed in your computer. However, when you try to open the curriculum sections and receive an error message stating that the Reader program is missing, download it for FREE by clicking on the Adobe icon below.

introduction unit icon    unit 2 icon   unit 3 icon   unit 4 icon   unit 5 icon   unit 6 icon  

[click on icon below to download Adobe Acrobat Reader]

The Training Videos that accompany the manual include four segments, all involving the same family. The segmentsrange in length from 25 to 40 minutes. In segment one, the caseworker interviews the biological mother of a child who has been taken into the custody of the child welfare system and placed in kinship foster carewith the maternal grandmother. The caseworker demonstrates the use of the genogram and ecomap as assessment and engagement tools. In segment two, the caseworker discusses with the maternal grandmother the likelihood that the child will not return to live with the mother and the possibility of adoption or transfer of legal guardianship to the grandmother. In segments three and four, the caseworker meets with the maternal grandmother, biological mother, a maternal aunt and uncle, and a paternal aunt to determine the permanent living arrangement for the child. The training materials reflect the reality of pressures placed on child welfare practitioners and families to shorten the length of time children remain in state custody and to facilitate exit of children from the child welfare system through adoption or transfer of legal guardianship when children cannot swiftly and safely be reunified with their parents.

To watch these video segements you will need to download the FREE RealPlayer 8 Basic with basic features. If you already have RealPlayer 8 you can view the videos simply be clicking on the Segments below. You can only view the videos while you are connected to the internet; they are not viewable offline.

[click on video segement below to view]

I. Developing a Broad View of Family
II. Discussing Permanency & Assessing Social Support
III. Facilitating Family Decision Making
IV. Supporting Permanent Plans

[click on icon below to download RealPlayer 8]

RealPlayer icon

The training manual and videotapes were developed by Faith Johnson Bonecutter and James P. Gleeson, with the assistance of many others, through the Kinship Care Practice Project at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. The project has been supported by grants 90COO595 and 05CT5037 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families, contracts with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and additional in-kind contributions from the Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research, and a number of participating private and community agencies.

Fax or mail your request to:
Dr. Jim Gleeson
The Kinship Care Practice Project
Jane Addams College of Social Work
University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 W. Harrison Street (M/C 309)
Chicago, IL 60607-7134
Phone: 312-996-0042 fax: 312-996-2770