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February 2022

Getting Good Ideas to Work in Project Management

Benchmarks’ Center for Quality Integration (CQI) staff members are always learning new skills and honing current ones as they go about their daily project work. Over the years, staff have been enhancing their knowledge in child and adolescent brain development and further developing competencies in trauma-informed and resilience-focused work. These specific knowledge and skill sets are consistently applied across our project work within our child welfare and mental health systems. Though CQI...

Spotlight on Chatham County DSS for Supporting Kinship Caregivers

Placing youth with relatives should be the first choice considered for children in custody, but we know that does not mean it is the easiest choice. Kinship providers are asked to take youth with very little notice, and they do not have the same amount of time to prepare as foster parents. Chatham County Department of Social Services has found that engaging relatives with a little different approach from traditional foster parents has been successful. One approach that has significantly...

Opportunities for Healing: Exploring Strategies to Improve Racial Disproportionalities & Disparities in Child Welfare

Research shows that due to substantial histories of abuse, neglect, and increased exposure to trauma, youth in foster care have exceptional concerns regarding their mental health needs. “Rates of psychiatric symptoms and disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and reactive attachment disorder, are much higher in children in foster care” (Lohr & Jones, 2016). When we couple this knowledge with data on racial disproportionality and...

Human Trafficking Risk Screening Project in Children’s Homes in North Carolina

Human trafficking and child sex trafficking are topics being more widely discussed across the state of North Carolina than ever before. Human service agencies are beginning to shift their focus to better understand and address this issue. Following changes within the child welfare system’s utilization of congregate care and the implementation of the Families First Prevention Services Act, one major implication that has become known are the risk factors that heighten a child’s likelihood of...

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