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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