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 Vision for a Better Child Welfare System: Birth Parent Advisory Committee Recommendations Report (PDF - 1,810 KB)
Casey Family Programs and the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention (2014)
Presents recommendations for improvements to the child welfare system in several areas. Recommendations are supported by literature reviews, research, and feedback from parents, child welfare professionals, community-based providers, and other stakeholders.
State and Federal Policy Reform
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Describes the Annie E. Casey Foundation approach to effective policy reform and provides a video and articles on policy reform and advocacy to improve the lives of America’s children.
Can States Improve Children's Health by Preventing Abuse and Neglect? (PDF - 303 KB)
Haskins, Currie, & Berger (2015)
The Future of Children
Summarizes evidence the Federal government should consider when undertaking proposals to reform the system of child welfare financing and provide more funding toward prevention and service programs for abuse and neglect.
CW360: Child Welfare Reform (PDF - 2,360 KB)
University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare Reform (2016)
Examines the complex issue of child welfare reform, including an overview of several reforms and information on child welfare practice and policy and reform from a range of perspectives. The report features information and tools to help apply to the research, practice, and perspective to various settings.
New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research: Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
National Academy of Sciences (2014)
Describes changes to the laws and policies over time that have led to the current policies around child abuse and neglect at the State and Federal levels. The article also focuses on the evaluation and analysis of those laws and policies and related research needs.
Perspectives on Fostering Connections: A Series of White Papers on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (PDF - 1,430 KB)
Fostering Connections Project (2013)
Highlights the achievements and challenges of implementing the Fostering Connections Act throughout the child welfare system, including incentives for adoption, improved educational stability and opportunities, coordinated health services, support for kinship care and family connections, support for older youth, and direct access to Federal resources for Indian Tribes.
The State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center
Provides information about policies and resources to strengthen connections among State advocates and across State lines. The site highlights success stories to provide models for replication and discussion of emerging challenges.
Alliance for Children's Rights (2017)
Provides information about programs, initiatives, and engagement opportunities for responding to practices that include legislative advocacy and other reform efforts meant to protect the rights of impoverished, abused, and neglected children and youth.
California Youth Connection
Gives information on a youth-driven organization in California that strives to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy, and practice change. Publications include policy reports, annual reports, and a 2017 Continuum of Care Reform Toolkit.
Children's Law Center of Minnesota (2017)
Provides articles and information about programs and other resources for youth in foster care and legal advocates dedicated to policy change and long-term effort toward child welfare system reform.
Federal Child Welfare Finance Reform: A Toolkit for California (PDF - 1,410 KB)
California Child Welfare Council, Prevention and Early Intervention Committee (2014)
Provides a toolkit for California child welfare finance reform to help educate the community, stakeholders, and the legislature about Federal child welfare finance reform. The toolkit includes a factsheet, a framework for the State, and a call to action that suggest steps anyone can take to support children and families.
The Influence of Federal Law on State Child Welfare Proceedings
Huber & Meyer (2014)
University of Washington Court Improvement Training Academy
Examines Federal funding statutes since the 1970s that shaped the public policy of the child welfare system, including child protective services, family support services, foster care, kinship care, dependency and termination proceedings, guardianships, adoptions, and more.