Child Welfare Workforce Reform — Federal Policy Advocacy
Every day, child welfare workers across the country interact with abused and neglected children and their families and have a substantial impact on their lives.
Improving the effectiveness of public child welfare systems depends in large part on ensuring that the child welfare workforce is well-qualified, trained, supervised and supported.
With generous support from Cornerstones for Kids, Children’s Rights and the Children’s Defense Fund are working together to promote child welfare workforce improvements through federal policy changes.
- We have assembled a national Child Welfare Workforce Policy Group, including representatives from public and private child welfare agencies, advocacy organizations, research/think tanks, professional social work organizations, unions and schools of social work.
- We conducted an extensive review of the literature describing the workforce crisis in child welfare and strategies for addressing it. This review has been summarized in the report titled, Components of an Effective Child Welfare Workforce to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families (2006).
- We conducted a review of states’ Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) to identify workforce issues and challenges that states are facing and attempting to address. A PIP is the reform plan produced by each state to address deficiencies identified in the state’s Child and Family Service Review (CFSR), which is the federal mechanism for monitoring child welfare systems. We summarized our findings in a report titled, Supporting and Improving the Child Welfare Workforce: A Review of Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) and Recommendations for Strengthening Child and Family Services Reviews (2006).
- We developed a package of five federal policy options that, if implemented, would improve the child welfare workforce.
- We are now working to educate policymakers about the challenges facing child welfare systems, the evidence that improving the workforce will lead to better outcomes for children and families, and the federal policy-level changes that can be implemented to improve the workforce.