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May 2004Vol. 5, No. 4A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System

Families entering the child welfare system have a new resource to help them navigate its often bewildering complexities. A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System uses a question and answer format and personal stories to describe the experiences, processes, laws, and people who are part of the child welfare system.

Topics include:

  • Basics of the child welfare system
  • Child Protective Services
  • The service planning process
  • Available services in the home and community
  • Out-of-home placement, including foster care and the court hearing process
  • Placements made to obtain treatment that is not otherwise affordable
  • Choices for permanent placement
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Rights and responsibilities of parents
  • Approaches used by agencies and communities to improve the system

In addition, the Guide offers information on terminology, relevant laws and policies, and resources for more information.

A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System is the result of a collaborative effort among child welfare professionals, organizations, and families, including the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health at American Institutes for Research, Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, Child Welfare League of America, and the National Indian Child Welfare Association. The 140-page Guide is available at or by contacting:

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
3307 M Street, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20007
Attention: Mary Moreland
202-687-5000 (voice)
202-687-1954 (fax)