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October 2020Vol. 21, No. 7National Partnership Aims to Redesign Child Welfare Into Child and Family Well-Being Systems

The Children's Bureau, in partnership with Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Prevent Child Abuse America, launched Thriving Families, Safer Children: A National Commitment to Well-Being, a first-of-its-kind, multiyear, national effort to rethink child welfare by creating the conditions for a just, equitable, and humane system and strong, thriving families where children are free from harm.

The Thriving Families effort will also include diverse community stakeholders—most importantly families with lived experience—to help discern and develop the supports, resources, services, and approaches to meet the unique needs of families and promote the conditions to help them thrive.

The initiative comprises three tiers of action:  

  • Tier one—Select jurisdictions will serve as demonstration sites, collaborating with the initiative's partners for intensive technical support and resources to help realize their goal of creating child and family well-being systems.
  • Tier two—The effort will partner with jurisdictions to focus on policy and systemic reforms at the state, tribal, or territorial level.
  • Tier three—The effort will share lessons learned to help inform and inspire other jurisdictions in launching their own initiatives for building child well-being systems.

Thriving Families is rooted in the belief that all families need help sometimes and that seeking help is a sign of strength and resiliency. It focuses on keeping children safe with their families as opposed to safe from their families. The challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic have underscored the urgency to make a change to a system that helps families to thrive.