Free Training Materials & Tools You Can Use



The Video Project:
Seeing the Voices of Children & Youth
Setting the Record Straight
By Robert G. Lewis & colleagues
This exciting new project has developed a tool for incointrorporating the voices of children and youth into their own child welfare records through the use of video captured in regular monthly visits. We have developed both the protocol to use within regular worker visits and sets of questions that can help a child to tell, own and claim his/her story. For each child, the video is about strengths; putting ones best foot forward, telling his/her own true story, what he/she remembers, experience(d), what he/she was told and what each of them thinks of it now and what he/she hopes for the future. It is also a record of strengths, hopes and plans that can represent the young person more completely than current records and referrals. It's about hope, healing and self determination. and of course it is always about permanence. More than a video project, it's a social work tool.
Click here to see sample videos and the latest iteration of the questions and protocol document "The Video Project"

Reaching out to Missing Children and Youth
By Robert G. Lewis, developed with contributions from NYC public and private agencies.
Reaching out to Missing Children - One of he most vexing challenges we face in trying to achieve permanence for some children/youth is our inability to hold onto them. Click on the link below for a protocol to use both for finding missing children and working on permanence at the same time. The second link will take you to additional comments, input and questions from around the country when I asked our colleagues "What Do You Think?" I welcome your thoughts on all of the material and links on this site, email me:

Click here to download the PDF document "Reaching Out to Missing Children"
Comments and Introduction to Reaching Out to Missing Children
Comments - Here is a summary of comments and additional suggestions and questions when reaching out to missing children from worker, supervisors, lawyers and managers. Some of your comments I have incorporated and some will have to wait for another time. Thank you.
Click here to download the PDF document "Comments and Introduction to Reaching Out to Missing Children"

Finding, Discovering and Making Connections for Children and Youth in Care
By Robert G. Lewis
Recruitment is Everyone's Business - Every agency, public or private, has staff who identify with the mission of the agency, but are not considered part of the "family connections" work of the agency. To make "permanence as intuitive as safety" I developed Recruitment is Everyone's Business for a residential treatment center that offered it to all of their staff from maintenance to executive staff and from child care to clinical consultants.To get a PowerPoint copy that you (or I) can modify for your own use, please email me at

Tools for Asking Connection Questions
By Robert G. Lewis
Questions That Engage: A Conversation Generator to Discover Connections- The best way to discover connections That children or youth have is often in conversation that is not in a Q-A format. This one page tool is a set of questions adapted from recommendation by The Search Institute for enganging young people in the community. The questions I developed can be useful for starting conversations with children and young adults that lead to discovering their connections.
Click here to download the PDF file
"Questions That Engage: Leading to Connections"

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Asking Key Questions - Written with Alexandra Lowe, LLD, including materilal from Virginia Sturgeon this tool includes questions and checklists for professionals about their work on permanency for adolescent clients including the following.
What are your attitudes and feelings about this client,
Have I identified all the resources for this teen?
Have I prepared the youth to consider adoption?
Have I prepared the birth parents?
What is the youth’s input in my planning?
Have I prepared the permanency resources for getting involved in this youth’s life?
Click here to download the PDF file "Asking Key Questions"

Ask Teens - A one page list of suggested questions to ask teens about their connectionsfrom "Who loves you?" to a list of all their relatives.
Click here to download the PDF file "Ask Teens"

Asking Parents - A one page list of questions to ask parents "Who else loves your children?" to discover children's connections.
Click here to download the PDF file
"Asking Parents"

Lets Talk: A Program for Engaging Youth in the Pemanence Process
By Robert G. Lewis
Lets Talk - This Keynote presentation is a presentation that you can view and perhaps a tool you can use for talking with teens, their needs for competence, self-esteem, behavior management, usefulness, power, belonging; thier challenges of loyalty, their losses (grief and mourning), and their developmental tasks. The presentation is regularly being modified "Let's Talk"

Engaging Youth & Those Around Them In the Process of Permanence

By Robert G. Lewis and Susan Badeau
A training program you can download and use immediately
Talking With Youth - An interactive workshop of PowerPoint with notes for discussion.  Developed with support from New York City Administration for Children's Services and the Freddie Mac Foundation.  How do we talk to teens about permanency?  What are the issues?  Why are permanent family connections important?  What are the legal options?  What do we say?  How do we listen? The workshop itself has exercises and handouts.
Preparing Everyone -
Also a PowerPoint presentation with exercises, a trainers guide and notes for discussion. Developed with support from New York City Administration for Children's Services and the Freddie Mac Foundation.  Who needs to be prepared?  What does shared parenting mean for youth and parents?  We've all got issues professionals, parents, caretakers.  How do we run a meeting?  What do we say?
Email for a copy or call (857)222-3060