Promoting well-being involves providing supportive environments for children, youth, and families. An emphasis on well-being should be integrated into all aspects of child welfare services, with a focus on engaging the whole family to reduce child abuse and neglect risk factors and increase safety and protective factors.
Well-being encompasses mental, behavioral, emotional, and social functioning as well as physical health and development. Because outcomes for children are closely related to the well-being of their families, child welfare professionals should employ two-generation approaches, working with children and their caregivers simultaneously to build protective factors, resiliency, and parental capacity.
Child welfare professionals should also understand social determinants of health and how factors such as economic stability, education, easy and equitable access to health care, transportation, and social connections impact child, family, and community well-being.
The Federal Family First Prevention Services Act prioritizes keeping children safely with their families to avoid the trauma that occurs when children are placed in foster care. A child and family well-being system that builds protective capacities can help address the overrepresentation of children of color in child welfare by preventing unnecessary entries into the foster care system.
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Mental and Behavioral Health
Addressing mental and behavioral health in a strengths-based, holistic way can help improve a family's well-being and reduce the risk of maltreatment.
Two-Generation Approaches to Supporting Family Well-Being
Read about two-generation approaches and why child welfare agencies should use them to improve outcomes for families. Learn how to build parental capacity and protective factors within families, often with the goal of interrupting cycles of poverty.
National Partnership Aims to Redesign Child Welfare Into Child and Family Well-Being Systems
Learn about a national effort to rethink child welfare by creating the conditions for an equitable system and thriving families where children are free from harm. The effort will include diverse community partners and families with lived experience.
Supporting Child, Caregiver, and Family Well-Being in Times of Crisis: Strategies to Promote Effective Virtual and Phone Engagement
Explore this bulletin for child-serving professionals outside of child protective services that discusses ways to support children and their caregivers and connect them with appropriate resources to mitigate risks for harm during crisis situations.
Child Welfare Practice That Supports the Well-Being of Children and Families
Explore resources that child welfare agencies can use to support children, youth, and families and address all aspects of well-being, including physical safety and social, educational, economic, behavioral, cognitive, and relational functionality.
Episode 61: Thriving Families, Safer Children - A National Commitment to Well-Being, Part 1
Learn about the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative and explore the characteristics that lead to successful partnerships. The podcast emphasizes the important role family voice has in shaping change and is the first in a two-part series.
Well-Being Outcome Measures and Instruments
Review a list of screening and assessment instruments to measure child and adolescent well-being and trauma. The instruments may be useful to title IV-E agencies looking to implement or expand the use of screening and assessment for ongoing practice.