NCSL can help state child welfare systems develop ways to safely reduce the number of children in foster care. We can make presentations, informal briefings and testimony before committees and hearings; offer written research and analyses; or conduct informal conference calls with state child welfare administrators, legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experiences with child welfare reform.
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The Administration for Children and Families released its 2019 Prevention Resource Guide aimed at strengthening individuals, families and communities in July. The bilingual guide (English and Spanish) highlights interventions that reduce risk factors and promote protective factors, including approaches and a framework for developing community partnerships legislators should consider when crafting legislation. In addition, the guide describes six protective factors for preventing abuse and maltreatment, and examples of how they can be effectively used when developing prevention programs. Check out the guide for ideas about how to enhance the effectiveness of your state’s child welfare system.
Childhood maltreatment has been linked to lifelong and even generational consequences that include negative physical, psychological and behavioral outcomes for those directly affected. Unfortunately, the impact of child abuse does not stop there. Society at large also pays a price in terms of preventable hospitalizations, foster care payments, lower productivity at school, and juvenile and criminal justice systems costs. A fact sheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway explains the consequences of child abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences, and how protective factors can be used to prevent maltreatment and mitigate its consequences when it does occur.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway released its annual report on foster care statistics in March. The report presents national estimates for (1) children in foster care on a given day, (2) child information on foster care entries during a given time frame, and (3) children exiting foster care information during a given time frame. The report also offers data regarding placement settings, case plan goals, outcomes, lengths of stay, age, race and ethnicity and gender. The Children’s Bureau has also recently updated the data collected in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System for a look at state specific data.
Child welfare agencies are encouraged to submit “home grown” prevention programs and services operating in their states for review by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. A new handbook of standards and practices will help state and community leaders understand how the clearinghouse reviews and ranks programs and services as promising, supported and well-supported practices.
By understanding the evidentiary requirements for the three levels eligible for reimbursement under Title IV-E, states can determine whether their programs or services are likely to qualify for reimbursement. Familiarity with the standards can also help child welfare systems develop new programs and services that respond to the specific needs of their communities. Legislators can commission their child welfare agencies to perform a preliminary assessment of the programs in their state, and the likely rating these programs would receive from the clearinghouse.
Navigating the child welfare system can be frustrating for adults and traumatic for children. To help create a more caring and empathetic environment for children and families in the child welfare system, the Quality Improvement Center for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams developed a set of principles for infant-toddler court teams to incorporate into their work. The center’s report offers 12 provisions for providing children and families with a more family-friendly environment as they navigate through the system.
Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies and the probation department reached a compromise on how to treat minors who have been picked up for prostitution.
Aug. 29, 2018, Continue
The Department of Children and Families has satisfied four more of the measures required by the federal government under the “Juan F.” consent decree, according to the latest Court Monitor’s Office report.
Aug. 22, 2018, Continue
The Kansas Department for Children and Families failed to meet 16 standards for keeping children safe and giving them a stable home over the past year.
Aug. 30, 2018, Continue
Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services is working on expanding foster care eligibility to age 21.
State prosecutors are investigating whether an ex-Baltimore Social Services chief properly placed foster babies.
Sept. 13, 2018, Continue
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) appointed the director of an agency that serves as a watchdog of the state's child welfare system to lead a review after a scathing audit of Children's Protective Services.
Sept. 11, 2018, Continue
The St. Louis Archdiocese is handing over its records to the state attorney general's office for an investigation into the Missouri church's handling of sexual abuse accusations against clergy members.
Aug. 24, 2018, Continue
The Missouri House Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced legislation that would bolster Missouri’s drug treatment courts.