State Child Welfare Legislation 2009

State Child Welfare Legislation: 2009

State legislatures are responsible for oversight of child welfare systems that involve thousands of children and families throughout the nation. This report aims to assist legislators and legislative staff in their efforts to craft policy for those children and families by highlighting significant child welfare-related legislation enacted during the 2009 calendar year.

The legislation described here reflects emerging issues and key legislative trends related to child welfare. The report also includes new laws that address important issues in the child welfare field or institute substantial changes in child welfare practice or administration. The report is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of all new state child welfare laws. Further, inclusion of the enactments herein should not be construed to mean that such laws represent “best practice” or are in accord with federal law.
During 2009, state legislatures paid particular attention to enacting provisions of the new federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. States also worked to improve oversight, courts, child protection and the education of children in care.


  • Adoption
  • Child Fatality
  • Child Protection
  • Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Courts and Legal Representation
  • Education of Children in Care
  • Finance
  • Foster Care
  • Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
  • Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
  • Investigations
  • Kinship Care
  • Oversight/Administration
  • Prescription/Medication
  • Prevention, Treatment of Abuse, and Training
  • Reporting
  • Residential Treatment/Behavioral Health
  • Safe Havens for Infants
  • Siblings
  • Substance Abuse
  • Transition from Foster Care
  • Tribes
  • Workforce
  • Appendix. Citations and Summaries of State Child Welfare Legislation 2009

Download the full report in PDF version, 44 pages.

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