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September 2023Vol. 24, No. 7Policy Tool on Economic Supports as a Maltreatment Prevention Strategy

Lack of equitable access to concrete resources and support is a major contributor to child welfare system involvement. In response to this challenge, many child welfare prevention efforts are focused on providing these resources and services to families so they can get help before child welfare system intervention becomes necessary.

With the goal of reducing child welfare system involvement, Chapin Hall and the American Public Human Services Association created a new tool featuring both research and potential policy options. The tool, Evidence to Impact: State Policy Options to Increase Access to Economic & Concrete Supports as a Child Welfare Prevention Strategy, was released in June 2023.

The tool features state policy options and findings from peer-reviewed research for the following forms of support, which are organized by type (macroeconomic supports, concrete supports, and public assistance programs):

  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Minimum wage
  • Paid family leave
  • Employment and job creation
  • Child care
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Flexible funds
  • Direct cash transfers
  • Public assistance programs
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Jurisdictions can use the tool to assess current policies and consider future opportunities to expand access to economic and concrete supports as a primary prevention strategy.