Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities image of kids

Child Welfare Financing

News accounts from across the country report the challenges faced by agencies responsible for protecting abused and neglected children. Many believe the child welfare system must do more to:

  • prevent child abuse and neglect
  • provide specialized treatment to families struggling with problems of mental health, substance abuse or domestic violence
  • support grandparents and other relatives who have stepped in to raise children when their parents cannot, offer them and others who raise these children the support they need and the necessary post-permanency services
  • provide adequate numbers of child welfare workers who are trained to deal with the complex needs of families in crisis

At the heart of the debate lie questions about how to best increase capacity in each of these areas to improve the outcomes for children and families and hold federal, state and local governments more accountable for improved outcomes. The current recession has hurt agencies and programs that serve vulnerable children and families; they have faced substantial budget cuts and sometimes complete termination of services. It is especially important to support these services and strengthen the fiscal structure of child welfare services to ensure our nation's child welfare system protects children, accurately assesses and addresses their needs and helps all children grow up in safe and loving families.