Child Welfare

Child Welfare

Ensure each child can grow up in a home where they are safe and protected from abuse and neglect. For children who are victims of trauma, the system should ensure that services heal and preserve the family. If out-of-home care is necessary, ensure placement is in a family-based setting, preferably with kin. Community-based interventions can prevent unnecessary out-of-home removal, expedite reunification and ensure permanency for every child and youth. 

Child Welfare Policy Goals

  • Strengthen the response to child abuse and neglect by building a robust community prevention model.
  • Improve policies that increase the identification and utilization of kin resources.
  • Reduce the use of group care unless it is necessary to meet the time-limited treatment needs of youth.
  • Improve outcomes for transition age youth in foster care or exiting to adulthood.
  • Ensure that biological parents, caregivers, and children and youth receive adequate mental and behavioral health services to avoid the need for formal child welfare intervention and foster care placement.
  • Monitor policy reform to ensure the child welfare system is adequately supported from financial and staffing perspectives at the federal, state and county levels.
  • Continue to partner with the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) on the federal and local needs for system improvement.

Child Welfare Publications

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Child Welfare Fast Facts:

  • The top 5 reasons for placement are for non-abuse factors, including neglect, inability to cope, and substance use.
  • General protective services reports outpace reports of child abuse by more than 4x.
  • Black children, Hispanic children, and children of multiple races have disproportionately higher rates of CPS referrals, including substantiations and valid GPS allegations.
  • 3 in 10 transition age youth are placed in congregate care and only 29.9% are placed with kin.
  • 20,490 children were served in the foster care system in 2021, with over 5,000 children experiencing a first-time entry.
  • Black children and children of multiple races are disproportionately represented in foster care at more than 2x their rate in the general population.
  • Black children are 4.5x more likely to re-enter care and more than 4x more likely to remain in care than White children.