Spirituality & Faith-Based Initiatives

Resources from the T/TA Network & Children’s Bureau


  • Finding Common Ground: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies Working with Communities of Faith
    Developed by AdoptUSKids and the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption at Spaulding for Children, both services of the Children’s Bureau, this publication presents information and suggestions to public and private child welfare agencies on building effective partnerships with communities of faith.  The purpose of these collaborations is to recruit and support foster and adoptive families in out-of-home care.

NRCPFC Digital Stories

  • Digital Stories from the Field: Fushvkte Van Woundenberg 
    This digital story, created in collaboration with the National Resource Center for Youth Development, a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the T/TA Network, presents the importance of spirituality from the perspective of a foster care youth.

Research & Reports

  • Adolescent Heart & Soul: Achieving Spiritual Competence in Youth-Serving Agencies
    This report from the New England Network for Child, Youth & Family Services was prepared for the University of Oklahoma National Resource Center for Youth Development.  It describes how spirituality programs - both secular and religious - look in seven agencies conducting promising work.  These 'spiritually competent' agencies recognize spirituality as an important component of a holistic therapeutic approach and deliver their spiritual programs in conformance with widely accepted standards of clinical care and the principles of youth development. (2005)
  • Untapped Anchor
    This monograph is the research report of a project conducted by Dr. Vivian Nix-Early and Paul DiLorenzo to discover attitudes and interests of spirituality among foster care youth. Funded by Philadelphia's Department of Human Resources, the report gives interesting and relevant information about how youth define spirituality and the role spirituality plays in their lives.  The monograph also presents research on youth and spirituality, as well as reasons for why spiritual development is important for children in foster care and suggestions for how foster parents can nurture spiritual development. (2004)


  • A Guide to Resources and Funding for Community & Faith-Based Organizations 
    This resource guide from the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) provides community and faith-based organizations with an overview of ACF, basic information about finding and applying for federal grants, details on ACF’s grant opportunities, and a variety of resources and toolkits. (February 2012)
  • Faith-Based Adoptive/Foster Services: Faith Communities' Roles in Child Welfare
    Prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California, this publication offers a global scan of the historical involvement of faith communities in child welfare services.  It describes trends in faith-based child welfare services, provides case examples of innovative practices and leadership in the field, and concludes with recommendations for involvement in the area of faith-based child welfare services. (March 2004)

Resources from the States


  • Child Welfare Information Gateway- Cultural Competence: Religious Issues
    This area of the Child Welfare Information Gateway website explores issues related to working with families from different religious or spiritual backgrounds.  The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a service of the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • The Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives
    This site compiles resources from across the Department of Health & Human Services to begin to provide one-stop-shopping for faith-based and community organizations looking for information about HHS programs and opportunities.


Last updated 1/14/13