***A few new funding announcements from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which may finally have a permanent boss soon.
-Family Connection Discretionary Grants: Support demonstration projects that try new approaches to keeping system-involved kids connected with their families. There's some freedom to advance a new idea, but it has to be within the context of these four priority areas: Kinship Navigator Programs; programs utilizing intensive family-finding efforts; programs utilizing family group decision-making meetings; and residential family treatment program.
ACF is going to make about 30 awards, and the range will be $450,000 to $1 million per year. It's mostly looking for state and local agencies, although a private entity can seek funding with the endorsement of the governing agency in its area. Deadline is July 6.
-Expansion of Head Start: This is $102 million from the stimulus package for existing Head Start programs to use to expand either the area it serves or the universe of low-income students eligible for enrollment. There is a high ceiling on awards ($5 million), but grantees have to bring 20 percent of the cost to the table from other sources. Deadline is June 23.
***For anyone who can make it Chicago in late July, the American Bar Association is offering free training on how effectively to represent child victims in criminal cases.
***The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption came out with its annual list of the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. The ranking is based on financial reimbursements and paid leave given to employees who choose to adopt.
The winner, for the second year in a row, was Wendy's, the well-known burger joint chain founded by Dave Thomas. View the top 100 here.
***Children's Rights, the nonprofit litigator, based in New York, has persuaded a U.S. district judge to grant class-action status to its lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Does CR ever lose a court hearing? It's doesn't seem like it. From the details reported here by Tulsa World reporter Ginnie Graham, this lawsuit will come down to the state agreeing to set some standards for caseloads for its frontline workers. CR also has an ongoing lawsuit in Rhode Island.
***Denver-based American Humane has received $250,000 from the Colorado Department of Human Services (via federal TANF dollars) to address racial disparities in the state's child welfare system. It will launch the Colorado Disparities Resource Center, and will partner in that venture with University of California-Berkeley's Child Welfare Resource Center and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (which has already taken steps to address racial disparity).
The center will be run by Donna Parrish, who will answer to John Fluke, head of American Humane's Child Protection Research Center.
***Al Zimmerman, the former spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison. Zimmerman pleaded guilty in January to producing and selling child pornography; one of his subjects was a foster child.