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.
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.
State and local examples
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.