Child and Family Services Reviews: Tools and Processes
The Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) enable the Children's Bureau to ensure that State child welfare agency practice is in conformity with Federal child welfare requirements, determine what is happening to children and families engaged in child welfare services, and assist States in helping children and families achieve positive outcomes in safety, permanency, and well-being. Areas in which States are not achieving positive outcomes are identified so that States can develop plans for practice improvement. As part of the CFSR, a joint Federal-State team conducts an onsite review, which includes case record reviews, interviews with children and families engaged in services, and interviews with community stakeholders, such as the courts and community agencies, foster families, and caseworkers and service providers. This section contains resources that describe the processes and tools used by the review teams. State and local examples provide examples of State efforts to improve their performance on the Federal CFSR; some States conduct their own internal reviews, in addition to the Federal reviews.
Child Welfare Monitoring
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Provides detailed information and guidance on the CFSR process, including a procedures manual, planning documents, and training materials.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
Offers technical assistance, training, teleconferences, and publications to assist States and Tribes with the CFSRs, including strategic planning, quality improvement, evaluating outcomes, facilitating stakeholder involvement, and improving training and workforce development.
National Resource Center for Child Welfare and Data Technology
Provides tools and resources to support States in the CFSR process, including a data toolkit to help States understand the composite measures and supplemental factsheets, tips, and trends on the topic.
2007 CFSR Toolkit for Youth Engagement: Engaging Youth in the Child and Family Services Review (PDF - 3123 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement & the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development (2007)
Offers practical strategies for collaborating with youth in the CFSR process, including information on partnering with youth, sample survey instruments, and feedback forms. The importance of bringing youth into the process is emphasized.
Building Accountability in Child Welfare: The CFSRs
Children's Bureau Express, Vol. 11(2), 2010
Describes how the use of the CFSRs introduced the concept of conformity with specific desired outcomes for children and families, as well as a focus on practice and accounts, meaningful use of data, opportunities for States to improve, and inclusion of a wide variety of stakeholders in the review process.
Strategic Planning for Child Welfare Agencies (PDF - 346 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2004)
Describes a four-step process for strategic planning that encourages States to integrate a variety of different planning processes into one quality improvement effort. Federal requirements for Child and Family Services Plans and Program Improvement Plans are highlighted.
State and local examples
Children and Family Services Review: Making IT Work [PowerPoint]
Describes how Vermont works with data and information technology (IT) in the State's CFSR process.
Children and Family Services Review Training: Training Materials
Portland State University, Child Welfare Partnership (2006)
Provides materials for selecting and preparing reviewers to participate in Oregon's CFSR process.
Mini-CFSR Review Onsite Review Instrument and Instructions (PDF - 693 KB)
Wyoming Department of Family Services (2007)
Contains instructions for performing a State-run case review process based on the Federal CFSR.
Quality Improvement Practices and Tools
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2010)
Provides tools used in preparation for and during the Minnesota CFSR process. Also available: Safety, Permanency and Well-Being Quality Assurance (PDF - 240 KB)