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February 2008Vol. 9, No. 1Funding Innovations Improve Child Welfare Outcomes

A new publication by the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) profiles several States and counties that are using innovative approaches to better align child welfare funding with improved outcomes for children and families. By using Federal title IV-B funds more flexibly and by reallocating State and local funding, many States have developed promising practices in child welfare that better meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

The programs are varied in their approaches, focusing on every aspect of the child welfare system, from prevention to permanency. Some examples of approaches used include:

  • Differential response
  • Rapid response in-home services to stabilize families in crisis
  • A collaborative TANF/child welfare program to prevent child abuse and neglect among families involved with both systems
  • A public/private partnership to find permanent families for older children and youth in out-of-home care
  • Long-term services and supports for adoptive families

For each highlighted program, an overview of the model and services, funding structure, and demonstrated outcomes is provided. Common themes from the programs include:

  • Tailoring services to meet the child and family's strengths and needs
  • Maintaining children's extended family and community ties
  • Developing more effective community partnerships to deliver services
  • Blending and integrating funding sources
  • Using data to track results and make programs accountable for allocated resources

The full report, Successes for Children and Families: It's Time to Build on What Works in Child Welfare, can be downloaded from the NACAC website: (PDF - 449 KB)