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Related Topic: Human Services

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Topic Descriptions


Includes legislation relating to public adoption, adoption requirements and processes, related financial provisions, access to birth records and prohibitions regarding adoption re-homing or adoption sales.

Child Fatalities

Includes legislation related to child fatalities, near fatalities, investigations, child fatality review panels and access to records.

Child Protection

Includes legislation related to child abuse and neglect investigations, responses to child maltreatment reports and substantiations, reporting procedures, record keeping and definitions of abuse or neglect.

Child Sex Trafficking and Abuse

Includes legislation related to child sex trafficking and child prostitution, definitions of child sexual abuse and grooming behaviors, including the offenses or penalties of such abuse. Legislation broadly related to human trafficking can be found in the Human Trafficking Enactment Database.

Child Welfare Workforce

Includes legislation related to the child welfare workforce, such as caseload and workload standards, secondary trauma, certification or education requirements and safety issues.

Legal and Judiciary

Includes legislation related to judicial processes involving child welfare systems including court improvement programs, court processes, court hearings, court orders and legal representation, such as attorneys, court-appointed special advocates and guardians ad litem.


Includes legislation related to disproportionate reporting, investigation and involvement of children in child welfare systems including Black children, Latino children, American Indian or Alaska Native children and LGBTQ+ children.

Education for Foster Children/Youth

Includes legislation regarding the education of children in foster care, secondary and post-secondary supports for foster youth, transportation to schools, handling of education records for children in foster care, educational liaisons and advocates, educational passports, tuition waivers and scholarships.

Foster Care

Includes legislation related to foster care, out-of-home placements, system improvements, bills of rights for foster children or foster parents, and foster parent recruitment, training, support, respite and registries. Includes legislation related to the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018.

Fostering Connections

Includes legislation related to the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.


Includes legislation related to funding child welfare systems or child maltreatment prevention, such as budget appropriations, integrated and special funds, adoption and foster care tax credits, federal funding sources and public-private funding partnerships.

Governance and Administration

Includes legislation related to the administration of child welfare or child maltreatment prevention policy such as collaboration between agencies, public-private partnerships, citizen review boards, the establishment of statewide and/or inter-agency programs, children’s cabinets, central registries and case management system requirements.

Health Care for Foster Children/Youth

Includes legislation related to the physical, mental and behavioral health of children in foster care such as access to dental care, the administration and oversight of psychotropic medication, pregnant foster youth, medical consent and records, end-of-life care, substance use treatment and health passports.

Infant Abandonment

Includes legislation related to safe haven laws and infant safe surrender programs.

Kinship Care

Includes legislation related to kinship or relative caregivers, such as definitions of fictive kin and kin, kinship navigator programs, kinship care licensing, kinship assistance payment programs and informal kinship care.


Includes legislation related to preventing child maltreatment or unnecessary child welfare system involvement. Primary prevention strategies such as home visiting, child care assistance and economic and housing supports are included in other databases when the legislation does not include explicit mention of preventing child maltreatment.


Includes legislation related to child abuse and neglect reporting and mandatory reporters.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention

Includes legislation related to shaken baby syndrome prevention and treatment.

Siblings in Foster Care

Includes legislation related to siblings in foster care, such as sibling placement in foster care, sibling visitation rights and sibling bill of rights.

Termination of Parental Rights

Includes legislation related to the termination of parental rights.

Transition-Age Youth

Includes legislation related to services for older foster youth and young adults, such as tuition and scholarships, promoting normal adolescent development and related parenting standards, extended foster care, access to driver education, licenses, legal services and documents and vital records.

Tribal Relations and Jurisdiction

Includes legislation related to the Indian Child Welfare Act and child welfare system involvement of American Indian or Alaska Native children and families. 

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