The NCSL Blog


By Meghan McCann

NCSL’s Children and Families program covers many issues typically grouped under the human services umbrella, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, home visiting, welfare and poverty.

NCSL’s Legislative Summit

Child with blocksNCSL’s Legislative Summit is the biggest and best gathering of legislators and legislative staff in the country! Join NCSL in Chicago, Aug. 8 – 11, for a chance to exchange ideas, hear fresh perspectives and develop solutions to pressing issues.

Publications from Children and Families

Early Care and Education Legislative Tracker

NCSL’s Early Care and Education Project provides a look at enacted legislation between May 10, 2016 & May 31, 2016. With all but four states convened or adjourned by the end of May, this legislative summary provides a look at how states have address early care and education issues in 2016.

Adult Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates

About 1.8 million children in the United States are adopted. In response to requests from adult adoptees who want to know more about their birth families, some states are enacting laws to allow them easier access to their original birth certificates.

Child Support Digest, Volume 4, Number 2

NCSL's Quarterly Newsletter featuring information about child support and parenting time orders, child support and incarceration, economic security and behavioral interventions, in addition to news from across the country. For more,

Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter

This issue of NCSL's Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter provides information on the social and emotional well-being of children in foster care, adult adoptee access to original birth records, the educational outcomes and stability of children in foster care, trauma-informed care and the child welfare workforce, in addition to news from across the country. For more,

Webinar ׀ Equity Starts Early: Strategies to Consider in Promoting High-Quality Early Education

An archived webinar from Thursday, June 30 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT, is now available. The webinar examined the recent Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) report Equity Starts Early: How Chiefs Will Build High-Quality Early Education and five identified key policy areas to consider that can help close the achievement gap. 

Social Impact Bonds Brief

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) provide a new way to pay for social programs and have the potential to save money and improve accountability. Here is an overview including state legislation, a description of how they work, and considerations for lawmakers.

What’s New Nationally?

Research Brief: Measuring Financial Support Provided by Fathers in Fatherhood Programs

Fatherhood programs in all 50 states assist non-custodial fathers with parenting and co-parenting education as well as eliminating barriers to employment and establishing child support and parenting time orders. This report looks at how those fatherhood programs can measure both formal and informal (in-kind) child support paid by participants.

Why Workforce Matters Infographic

The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute released an infographic, Why the Workforce Matters, describing the difficulties with caseworker turnover, the difficulty of the caseworker position and the importance of workforce development.

Research Brief: Differential Response

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a research brief on Differential Response and the Safety of Children Reported to Child Protective Services: A Tale of Six States. The brief analyzes the differential response systems in the six states that used differential response from 2004-2013 and looked at the various ways that DR was used and the outcomes of children affected.

For more about the issues covered by NCSL’s Children and Families Program, and for staff contact information, check out the Children and Families Program Profile.

Meghan McCann is a policy specialist with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers child support, child welfare and family law issues.

Email Meghan.


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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.