Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants

The Children's Bureau uses a competitive peer review process to award discretionary grants to State, Tribal, and local agencies; universities; faith- and community-based organizations; and other nonprofit and for-profit groups to support innovation and progress in research, capacity building, and program improvement efforts.

For more information about the Children’s Bureau’s discretionary grants programs, visit the Children's Bureau website.

Discretionary Grants Library

Visit the Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants Library for information, products, and tools from a specific grant or view resources by document type or location. 

Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants Tools and Information

Featured Grantee Spotlights

Updates and resources from select Children’s Bureau discretionary grantees are highlighted below. Subscribe to The Grantee Connection newsletter for quarterly features sent right to your inbox.

The Children's Bureau issued awards in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to develop, implement, and evaluate primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability, and well-being of all families through a continuum of community-based services and supports.

IM-18-05: Strengthening Families Through Primary Prevention of Child Maltreatment and Unnecessary Parent-Child Separation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2018)
Provides a call-to-action for the child welfare field and Children's Bureau grantees to focus on primary prevention to improve outcomes for children and their families. The Information Memorandum identifies key partners in primary prevention, major components of prevention and family strengthening programs, and State and local examples of promising programs.

Jerry Milner: Time to Ask Tough Questions About Child Welfare 
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (2019)
Presents a brief discussion by Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, about the need for child welfare agencies, communities, and service providers to refocus on preventing child maltreatment.

Primary Prevention: Themes From Fiscal Year 2018 Grantee Site Visits
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2020)
Highlights common themes and unique examples gathered by Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families grantees during Children's Bureau-led site visits to other jurisdictions with promising approaches to community-based primary prevention.

What If? 21st NCCAN Opening Video 
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (2019)
Shows an informational video on the call-to-action to refocus the child welfare system from one that responds to child abuse and neglect to one that prevents maltreatment in order to strengthen and preserve families.

In fiscal year 2014, the Children's Bureau awarded one 5-year grant, which was extended to fiscal year 2020, to strengthen the capacity of child welfare staff and mental health practitioners serving children and youth moving toward or maintaining permanency in adoptive or guardianship homes.

The National Training Institute (NTI) provides standardized web-based trainings developed by NTI to build the capacity of child welfare and mental health professionals to understand and address the needs of children, youth, and families moving toward or having achieved permanency through adoption or guardianship. The trainings also aim to improve collaboration between service systems with shared language and aligned curricula. The following are the training videos for each audience:

Child Welfare Professionals

Mental Health Professionals

The Children's Bureau awarded a 5-year cooperative agreement to build the capacity of child welfare professionals and improve the organizations that recruit, train, supervise, manage, and retain them.

The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) provides information, resources, and webinars to help develop and support the child welfare workforce.

We Are Child Welfare Campaign
Presents information on a campaign to raise awareness of the important role child welfare professionals play in children's and family’s lives, as well as how others can support their work.

Workforce Excellence Overview
Describes NCWWI's selection of four jurisdictions and three Tribal child welfare programs across the country to evaluate and improve the outcomes of their child welfare workforce. View the seven workforce excellence sites on a map of the United States.

The Children's Bureau awarded a 5-year grant, to develop, implement, and evaluate programs and initiatives to help improve stability, permanency, and well-being for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) children and youth in foster care. The resulting National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC-LGBTQ2S) received a funding extension to disseminate findings and lessons learned to the field.

The QIC-LGBTQ2S' materials are housed on the National SOGIE Center website, which operates as a hub for providers seeking information on serving LGBTQ2S children and youth and their families. QIC-LGBTQ2S resources offer information on collecting SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression) data in systems, free workforce training, and youth and family programs designed and evaluated under the QIC-LGBTQ2S.

The QIC-LGBTQ2S also developed several tip sheets to help child welfare implementers and leaders scale up LGBTQ2S practices in their jurisdictions. The following tip sheets were created in partnership with people with lived experience who helped implement the work of the QIC-LGBTQ2S within their local implementation sites:

The Children's Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, developed a multiphase grant initiative to build the evidence base on what works to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults who have been involved in the child welfare system. This program is referred to as Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH). Eighteen organizations received funding for the first phase (phase I), a 2-year planning grant (2013–2015). 

Grantees used the planning period to conduct data analyses to help them understand their local population and develop a comprehensive service model to improve youth outcomes related to housing, education and training, social well-being, and permanent connections. Six of those organizations received additional funding to refine and test their comprehensive service models during the second phase (phase II).

View a graphic describing each phase of the multiphase grant initiative. 

Beginning in early February of 2021 and continuing through May of 2021, Information Gateway hosted national webinars focused on the YARH 2 grantees. These webinars featured lessons learned and shared additional resources and tools from each project.

For more information about the planning and implementation period of the phase I and phase II grantees, visit the YARH evaluation technical assistance provider Mathematica and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.

The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD), a 5-year cooperative agreement funded in 2016, is dedicated to understanding how to improve child welfare workforce outcomes. Through evaluation, the QIC-WD is enhancing what is known about evidence-informed workforce interventions and how they are related to outcomes for children, including interventions related to job redesign, telework, supportive supervision, hiring, organizational culture and climate, and job-related secondary traumatic stress.

The QIC-WD partnered with eight public and Tribal child welfare agencies interested in being on the cutting edge of reform as it relates to workforce issues. Learn more about the eight Title IV-B funded sites

Visit the project profiles below for an overview of the site’s workforce and its challenges retaining child welfare workers. Each site profile highlights the intervention selected and implemented to strengthen the workforce and the evaluation that is being conducted to increase the collective understanding of how to improve child welfare workforce outcomes. Each profile also includes a jurisdictional needs assessment and each site’s theory of change and logic model.

Additional QIC-WD Resources

Summarizes key issues, documents what we're seeing in the field, and makes recommendations for future action by child welfare decision makers.

Summarizes child welfare workforce-related recommendations made by the QIC-WD. These tips are derived from research or the experience(s) of the QIC and project sites. Most QIC-Tips are written for child welfare leaders, policymakers, and decision makers and are intended to highlight key workforce strategies and provide links to additional, more detailed, resources.

Umbrella Summaries
Highlights findings from the workforce literature to address pertinent child welfare workforce challenges. These summaries provide a synopsis of the published meta-analyses of a specific workforce topic. The research is summarized in a straightforward question-and-answer format.