Understanding the Child Welfare System

Understanding the child welfare system and the children and families involved or at risk of entering the system

The Children’s Defense Fund advocates on behalf of America’s most vulnerable children — those who have been abused and neglected and too often removed from their homes and placed into foster care. We work to strengthen policies that prevent child maltreatment from occurring by supporting vulnerable children and families, and to improve the well-being and safety of children and youth who are involved in the child welfare system by connecting them to permanent and loving families.