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April 2005Vol. 6, No. 3Clearinghouses to Merge!

The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse are pleased to announce that the two Clearinghouses will be coming together under a single, easy-to-access identity. The goal in merging the Clearinghouses is to offer child welfare and adoption professionals one place to quickly get valuable information. The new consolidated Clearinghouse will continue to provide the same high-quality information and services; the most noticeable changes for users will be in the single point of entry and in the name and logo.

Since 1999, the two Clearinghouses have operated under one contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau. Since that time, all operations have been internally consolidated to more efficiently deliver services and information. The Children's Bureau is now working with the Clearinghouses to finalize external consolidation, so the public will recognize one Clearinghouse representing a full continuum of child welfare services and issues, rather than two distinct and separate Clearinghouses for different audiences. A single name for the Clearinghouses that better connects with the child welfare community and provides greater visibility to child welfare information available from the Clearinghouses will more closely align with the Children's Bureau goals of promoting safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families.

Currently, the Clearinghouses are working with a subcontractor to conduct market research and propose a name and logo for the new consolidated Clearinghouse. This new identity will convey the full topical scope of information currently provided by two Clearinghouses—child abuse and neglect prevention; service delivery for children and families in the child welfare system, foster care, or other out-of-home placement; and services for children and families who are working toward adoption. Once the new name and logo have been identified and approved by the Federal Government, the marketing firm will assist the Clearinghouse in developing a plan for raising public awareness and recognition of its new identity.

How can child welfare professionals help? The Clearinghouses are holding focus groups at a number of national conferences over the next few months to market-test possible names and logos for the new Clearinghouse. These conferences include the ODS Adoption Community of New England, April 1 to 2, in Milford, MA, and the 15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect Information in Boston, April 18 to 23.