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September 2023Vol. 24, No. 7Advancing Equity and Inclusion Through the Child and Family Services Reviews

A new resource from the Children's Bureau provides a framework for using the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) to advance racial equity. Round 4 of the CFSRs will focus on using data and evidence to identify disparities in services and outcomes, understanding the child welfare system's role in those disparities, and using those data to develop systemic improvements. Advancing Equity and Inclusion Through the Child Family Services Reviews recommends applying an equity lens to CFSRs to accurately assess, identify, and address systemwide improvements.

This publication emphasizes the importance of engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds and with lived experience in the design and operation of the child welfare system. It also calls out the need for awareness of potential evidence of disparities in programs and policies that can contribute to outcome inequities for historically underserved and marginalized populations.

Because states are at different stages of applying equity and inclusion frameworks and action plans, this publication provides questions centered on equity and inclusion that states can ask during different phases of the CFSR. These questions focus on several areas, including the following:

  • Who is and is not at the discussion table
  • Who is selecting individuals and the process for selection
  • How collected data and findings affect populations
  • Selecting sites that are challenged by overrepresentation and outcome disparities
  • How findings are presented and shared
  • Including those most affected by a problem in developing program improvement plans

Access Advancing Equity and Inclusion Through the Child Family Services Reviews for more detail on the framework.