Establishing and strengthening prevention-focused family-serving systems requires agencies, communities, policymakers, and others to root themselves in a new way of thinking, decision-making, and planning. It also necessitates the active involvement of individuals with lived expertise and those from diverse cultures and backgrounds. This page offers resources that family well-being systems and organizations can use to reimagine what a prevention-focused system should look like, determine steps to shift in that direction, and learn about examples of systems that instituted this strategy successfully.
Becoming a Family-Focused System
Capacity Building Center for States
Presents resources to help agencies assess and amplify positive culture and climate, identify areas that need attention, and implement strategies to bring about meaningful and sustainable improvements.
Building Your “UnSystem:” The Phases of Change to Primary Prevention
Guides child welfare agencies on how to change their system to one that seems primarily to keep families together through the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
How Can Child Welfare Leaders and Providers Reimagine Support for Children and Families?
Casey Family Programs (2021)
Discusses how data, public perception, and policy changes can be used to pivot the child welfare system to increasingly provide child maltreatment prevention and family support services.
Leading With Prevention
American Public Human Services Association and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (2021)
Presents resources for State and local leaders to help advance prevention strategies to better build child and family well-being.
National Partnership to Reinvent Child Welfare Expands to Additional States; Now in 22 Locales
Prevent Child Abuse America (2021)
Describes the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative and how it has expanded its reach to include child welfare jurisdictions in 22 States.
Status of Submitted Title IV-E Prevention Program Five-Year Plans
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2023)
Provides ongoing updates on the status of States’ submissions of their title IV-E prevention plans.
Transforming Child Welfare: Prioritizing Prevention, Racial Equity, and Advancing Child and Family Well-Being
Thomas & Halbert (2021)
National Council on Family Relations
Explains how primary prevention and race equity should be prioritized in the child welfare system. The brief outlines how prevention programs should be expanded so they are accessible before families are at serious risk of experiencing maltreatment and instructs child welfare leaders to confront and dismantle racist policies and programs and partner with communities of color to enact change.
What Is a Population-Based Approach to Child Welfare?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Describes what a population-based approach is in terms of preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting family well-being.