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How the Child Welfare System Works
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2013|
(PDF - 393 KB)
This factsheet provides a brief overview of the child welfare system and its purposes and functions. Child welfare systems typically receive and investigate reports of possible child abuse and neglect; provide services to families that need assistance in the protection and care of their children; arrange for children to live with kin or with foster families when they are not safe at home; and arrange for reunification, adoption, or other permanent family connections for children leaving foster care. A flowchart illustrates how cases may move through the child welfare system.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
What Happens When Possible Abuse or Neglect Is Reported
What Happens After a Report Is “Screened In”
What Happens in Substantiated (Founded) Cases
What Happens to Parents
What Happens to Children
Appendix: The Child Welfare System (flowchart)
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Suggested Citation: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). How the child welfare system works. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.
This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.