The Roles of Legislation and Policy in System Reform
Legislation and policy often provide the stimulus for improving child welfare practices and services. The following resources give information on the legislation process and recommendations for providing effective child welfare practice and policy, including State and local examples.
A Brighter Future: Solutions to Policy Issues Affecting America's Children (PDF - 3000 KB)
Proposes policy changes and alternative practices to strengthen child development and family relationships in areas that include child welfare services related to permanency planning, family preservation, and home visitation.
Child Abuse and Neglect: Prevention and Treatment Policy Recommendations
National Child Abuse Coalition (2008)
Makes policy recommendations addressing funding for community-based prevention efforts and family strengthening and support programs; expanding evidence-based home visitation programs; improving the child protective services infrastructure; and providing health care to children.
Child Welfare Research: Advances for Practice and Policy
Lindsey & Shlonsky (2008)
Discusses the importance of using research and data to inform policy at the population level. Chapters address research on evidence-based practice, permanency, child welfare decision-making, and organizational innovations.
Creating a Latino Child Welfare Agenda: A Strategic Framework for Change (PDF - 676 KB)
Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (2003)
Explores the impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act on Latino families. The report recommends ways to improve the responsiveness of the child welfare system to Latino families' needs with personnel and practice improvements, evaluations, culturally competent policies, leadership opportunities for Latinos, and public awareness.
The Federal Legal Framework for Child Welfare (PDF - 24 KB)
Discusses major legislative developments in child welfare since 1980 that have improved outcomes for children, youth, and families and encouraged system improvements for foster care, permanency planning, courts, adoption assistance, and more.
|National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: A Summary Report|
|Author(s):||Fluke, Harper, Parry, Sedlak, et al.|
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|Year Published:||2003 - 32 pages|
|This paper summarizes key findings on practice and policy, as well as changes being undertaken, which were identified during the 2-year National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Topics include background, screening and triage, investigation, collaboration with law enforcement, alternatives to investigation, collaboration in providing services, and looking toward the future. These findings were discussed at a symposium of persons knowledgeable about child protective services policies and practices and their observations are included in this paper. (Author abstract modified)|
Policy Matters to Fathers and Families: A Tool for Community Foundations (PDF - 584 KB)
Social Policy Action Network & Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth (2004)
Helps organizations develop effective policies to improve outcomes for fathers and fragile families. It highlights efforts of community foundations that have influenced public policy successfully at all levels.
Transforming Mental Health Care in America: The Federal Action Agenda: "A Living Agenda" (PDF - 8790 KB)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2008)
Describes major accomplishments and progress on 70 action steps to promote collaborative models of mental health care, maximize existing resources, use research findings to influence service delivery, and promote innovation, flexibility, and accountability at the Federal, State, and local levels.
State and local examples
California Youth Connection 2008 Policy Conference Report: Riding the Waves of Change: Policy Into Practice (PDF - 4620 KB)
California Youth Connection (2009)
Presents recent legislative accomplishments and recommendations to reform higher education, transition support, and health care services for foster and emancipated youth.
Policy Matters: Twenty State Policies to Enhance States' Prosperity and Create Bright Futures for America's Children, Families and Communities (PDF - 580 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2008)
Helps policymakers, advocates, and researchers view State policy improvements affecting children and families, compare policy changes across States, consider opportunities for additional policy changes, and examine trends by policy area.
When Policy Meets Practice: The Untested Effects of Permanency Reforms in Child Welfare
D'Andrade & Berrick
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 33(1), 2006
Explores the challenges of implementing concurrent planning and reunification provisions of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in California. The report suggests there is a need for further research to examine the effectiveness of the reforms.