Data collection and analysis can yield essential information to guide child welfare decision-making and practice improvements. Data and statistics provide a foundation for agencies to respond to Federal and State reporting requirements, such as for the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, and requests from agency leadership, policymakers, and funders, which can support sustainability. They also may support agencies’ continuous quality improvement efforts.  

Data can help child welfare professionals, policymakers, and others better recognize the extent of racial, ethnic, and other disproportionality and disparity in their systems and across the country. These data can assist us in having transparent, objective discussions, and we can only measure our success moving forward if we know the full magnitude of the problem. Similarly, we need to address how bias is infused in existing data and seek ways to remove bias in future efforts.

When looking for the most current data, remember that statistical publications often are released several years after the period being analyzed due to the time needed to collect and analyze the data.

Explore these resources to learn how to use data to improve child welfare practice. Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources. 

Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.