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September 2000Vol. 1, No. 6DHHS Report Takes First Close Look at Child Welfare Outcomes in States

How well are States meeting the needs of children and families who enter the child welfare system? As part of broad national efforts to answer this question, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August released the first annual report compiling data on how States perform on seven key outcomes for child welfare practice.

DHHS produced Child Welfare Outcomes 1998 under a mandate from the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. HHS will use the report, in combination with other monitoring activities, to evaluate how well States are meeting the needs of children who are abused and neglected, in foster care, and awaiting adoption.

DHHS consulted with States, local agencies, Tribes, courts, unions, child advocacy organizations and other interested parties to develop the measures. The key outcomes that States are expected to attain are to:

  • Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect
  • Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care
  • Increase permanency for children in foster care
  • Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing re-entry
  • Reduce time in foster care to adoption
  • Increase placement stability
  • Reduce placements of young children in group homes or institutions.

This report compiles available data for each State on all but the last outcome. The report also summarizes data for 30 States that provided the most comprehensive data. Most of the data in the report was drawn from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).

The report contains contextual data on each State's population, the number of children living in poverty, the number of children reported to child protective services, the number of children in foster care, the number of children waiting to be adopted, and the number of children adopted.

For an online copy of the report, visit

It is also available in PDF format at cwo98/ChildWelfare1998.PDF.

To obtain a free print copy of the report, contact:

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
330 C St., SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 800-394-3366 or 703-385-7565
Fax: 703-385-3206

Related Items

Read a CB Express item about the AFCARS website in this issue, "New Website Focuses on Adoption and Foster Care Data." Visit the AFCARS site at