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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 3, 2009

UI wins $4.75 million to create National Resource Center for In-Home Services

The University of Iowa School of Social Work was selected for a $4.75 million federal cooperative agreement to establish a national center of child welfare expertise in in-home services. In-home services ensure the safety and well-being of children and youths in their homes, prevent placement or re-entry into foster care, and preserve, support and stabilize families.

The cooperative agreement between UI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children's Bureau, will provide $950,000 each year for five years to support the center's work as the nation's primary provider of technical assistance and training regarding effective and promising alternatives to out-of-home placement.

The new National Resource Center for In-Home Services will work with state child welfare agencies, tribes, and U.S. territories to build their capacity to provide effective in-home services. To begin this effort, the center will conduct a nationwide assessment of in-home services, examining programs that child welfare agencies currently use and evaluating the research base behind these and other models. 

The principal investigator is Miriam Landsman, an associate professor of social work and executive director of the school's National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice (NRCFCP). Lisa D'Aunno, director of training at the NRCFCP, will serve as the project director. The project evaluator will be Brad Richardson, director of research and evaluation at NRCFCP. Collaborating partners are ICF International, based in the Washington, D.C. area, and the National Indian Child Welfare Association in Portland, Ore.

"With half a million children living in out-of-home placements at any point in time and 25,000 youth leaving foster care at the age of 18 each year, there is much work to be done," Landsman said. "This new center represents a renewed national commitment to assist child welfare agencies in implementing effective services that will strengthen families and prevent family disruption while keeping children safe and healthy."

The UI has a 30-year history with in-home child welfare services. Beginning in 1978 as a small training project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NRCFCP was a pioneer in promoting home-based, family-centered services. The scope expanded to provide training, technical assistance, research and evaluation, and information across a broad range of human service areas including child welfare, juvenile justice, public health and education. The center has worked in every U.S. state, several U.S. Protectorates, and through international collaborations.

The School of Social Work is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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