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Child Welfare Reform and Advocacy

When child welfare systems fail to protect children from abuse and neglect, Children’s Rights takes action.

We are dedicated to protecting victims of child abuse and neglect by holding public child welfare systems accountable to their constitutional and legal obligation to ensure children’s safety, well-being, and opportunity to grow up in stable, permanent homes.

We launch comprehensive reform campaigns designed to secure federal court orders mandating that child welfare systems:

  • Investigate reports of abuse and neglect thoroughly and quickly.
  • Provide adequate services — including programs related to family preservation, substance abuse, mental health, housing, and other issues — to prevent children from being removed from their families and placed in foster care when possible.
  • Grant priority access to preventive services to children who are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect.
  • Institute caseload limits for social workers, giving them ample time to monitor the children whose well-being they are charged with protecting.
  • Expand and improve training for social workers to help them adequately assess risks to children — and their safety both at home and in foster care.
  • Streamline their management for maximum efficiency and accountability and improve or implement systems for data collection and analysis so they can pinpoint internal problems and fix them before they get out of hand.

And we complement our legal efforts with research and policy advocacy at the state and national level to improve the public policy that guides child welfare systems — and to produce better results for the abused and neglected children in their care.

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