Return to hompage
Supporting Youth in Transition: Importance of Caseworker Visits

Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 3:00-4:30 EST

This webinar was organized by the Children’s Bureau, National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC), and National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) as part of National Foster Care Month. It offered information about the importance of quality caseworker visits as a tool for supporting youth in foster care during times of transition. Gail Collins, Director of the Children’s Bureau’s Division of Program Implementation, and Sylvia Kim, Child Welfare Program Specialist, Children’s Bureau, provided a foundational overview of the importance of caseworker visits, discussing information on caseworker visit requirements based in Federal policy, as well as sharing available data on caseworker visits. Their presentation included an overview of caseworker data trends, as well as CFSR caseworker visit findings and implications. Ollie Hernandez and Richard DeMarko Brown from the YATTA (Young Adult Training and Technical Assistance) Network outlined concrete ways that caseworker visits can be an effective tool for supporting youth in transition, provided practice tips, and shared information about how caseworkers can establish a positive relationship with youth in care.  Matthew Hudson, NRCYD Program Development Specialist, discussed the development, implementation, and utilization of the “Preparing for Caseworker Visits Monthly Individual Contact Form and FAQs”.

Listening Time: 86 minutes


Gail Collins is the Director of the Children’s Bureau’s Division of Program Implementation.  The Division oversees implementation of the major Federal child welfare programs for States and Tribes, including the CAPTA State grant, title IV-B Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families Programs, the title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance and guardianship assistance programs and the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.  Previously, Ms. Collins served as Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and held positions in the ACF Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget, as well as the former National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.  Ms. Collins received her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree in History from Georgetown University. 

Sylvia Kim has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare policy, research, and practice. She currently is a Child Welfare Program Specialist with the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  In this position, she assists in administering the federally mandated Child and Family Services Reviews of State child welfare agencies nationally. Ms. Kim has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.

Matthew Z. Hudson is an alumni of the foster care system in Kansas. After transitioning out of care he was active, in Kansas and nationally, advocating for foster youth and positive youth development. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 2009 with his B.A. in Psychology and then from Washburn University School of Law in 2012 with his J.D. Mr. Hudson continues to advocate for youth as a Program Development Specialist with the NRCYD.

Ollie Hernandez entered the child welfare system when she was nine years old and remained in care until she “aged” out at eighteen. Like most foster children of the state, Ollie endured multiple foster homes, school changes, and sibling separation. Ollie serves as the secretary of her state youth advisory board and the editor-in-chief of the youth advisory board’s quarterly newsletter. In addition to serving on her local and state advisory board, she works full-time and attends school full-time with the goal of becoming a Child Advocacy Lawyer.

Richard DeMarko Brown entered the foster care system at the age of 12 years old and experienced eight different placements in his six years in care. After aging out, Richard worked with Clark County Nevada Department of Family Services representing youth voice and perspective at the table during their Independent Living Program Redesign. Currently, Richard is a Youth Support Worker with the Clark County Nevada Department of Family Services Independent Living Unit.

Resources and Materials
  • Preparing for Caseworker Visits – Monthly Individual Contact Form & FAQs
    The Kansas Youth Advisory Council developed these tools to help youth prepare for visits with their caseworkers. The Monthly Individual Contact Form (PPS 3061) and Monthly Individual Contact FAQs (PPS 3061A) are available in English and Spanish on the Kansas Department for Children and Families website

Monthly Individual Contact Form: English and Spanish
Monthly Individual Contact FAQs: English and Spanish