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October 2002Vol. 3, No. 8Results of 2001 Child and Family Services Reviews Released

Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) are designed to enable the Federal Government to ensure that State child welfare agency practice is in conformity with Federal child welfare requirements, to determine what is actually happening to children and families as they are engaged in State child welfare services, and to assist States to enhance their capacity to help children and families achieve positive outcomes.

The Federal Government conducts CFSRs in participation with State child welfare staff and peer consultants. Reviews are structured to help States identify strengths and areas for improvement within their agencies and programs.

During Federal fiscal year 2001, CFSRs were conducted in the following 17 States:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. Delaware
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Indiana
  8. Kansas
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Minnesota
  11. New Mexico
  12. New York
  13. North Carolina
  14. North Dakota
  15. Oregon
  16. South Dakota
  17. Vermont

States were assessed on seven outcomes for children and families and seven systemic factors. None of the Sates reviewed were in substantial conformity with the seven outcomes in the CFSRs. Below are those outcomes and the number of States not in conformity:

  • Safety Outcome 1: Children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect—14 States.
  • Safety Outcome 2: Children are safely maintained in their own homes whenever possible and appropriate—13 States.
  • Permanency Outcome 1: Children have permanency and stability in their living situation—17 States.
  • Permanency Outcome 2: The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for children—13 States.
  • Well Being Outcome 1: Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children's needs—17 States.
  • Well Being Outcome 2: Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs—13 States.
  • Well Being Outcome 3: Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs—16 States.

Fewer than half the States met the national standards for the six aggregated data indicators used in the CFSRs. The list below shows the indicators, the national standards associated with each indicator (shown in parentheses), and the number of states that met the national standards:

  • Recurrence of maltreatment (6.1% or less): 7 States.
  • Child abuse and neglect in foster care (.57% or less): 9 States.
  • Foster care re-entries (8.6% or less): 8 States.
  • Length of time to reunification (76.2% or more): 6 States.
  • Length of time to adoption (32% or more): 5 States.
  • Stability of placement (86.7% or more): 4 States.

The majority of States were found to be in substantial conformity on each of the seven systemic factors in the CFSRs. Below are those systemic factors and the number of States in conformity:

  • Statewide information system: 14 States.
  • Case review system: 11 States.
  • Quality assurance system: 15 States.
  • Staff and provider training: 12 States.
  • Service array: 12 States.
  • Agency responsiveness to community: 17 States.
  • Foster and adoptive parent licensing, recruitment, and retention: 15 States.

Each State participating in the CFSRs must prepare a Statewide assessment before the onsite component of the review. Following the onsite review, the Children's Bureau prepares a final report containing the review outcomes. These reports can be found on the Children's Bureau website at