The Children's Bureau created the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Assessment Review process to ensure the accuracy and reliability of foster care and adoption data. During these reviews, the Federal review team assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of States' data collection, extraction, and reporting processes and provides intensive technical assistance to State staff responsible for those processes. The following resources contain materials related to the review process as well as guidance for States in collecting and reporting compliant data.
Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Contains general information and Federal guidance on AFCARS, information on the AFCARS Review process, guidelines for the States, and technical resources.
National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (2004)
Compiles available Federal guidance and technical assistance materials to support States' efforts to collect and report quality data. The toolkit links to key materials and documents that can be used to address policy development and program management issues at the State and Federal level.
State AFCARS Assessment Review (AAR) Reports by Fiscal Year
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010)
Provides links to each State's AAR, including review findings, case file findings, reports, and improvement plans.
Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS): State Guide to an AFCARS Assessment Review: 4th Ed
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau (2009)
Provide guidance to State child welfare program and technology staff regarding the AFCARS Assessment Review process. This guide includes an overview of the process, composition, roles and responsibilities of the review team, and details on the presite visit, onsite visit, postsite visit, and improvement phases.
Can AFCARS Be Rescued?: Fixing the Statistical Yardstick That Measures State Child Welfare Performance (PDF - 428 KB)
Testa, Koh, & Poertner (2008)
Suggests retooling AFCARS to measure child welfare outcomes by analyzing longitudinal data and improving comparability of data across States. The authors suggest that changes in AFCARS would present a clearer picture of States' ability to meet national outcome standards.