• July/August 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 6

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Associate Commissioner's Page

The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current Children's Bureau Express Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work on the topic.

The Children's Bureau's primary mission is to partner with and support Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies in their continuous work to improve the health and well-being of all children in the United States. One of the most important ways the Bureau seeks to ensure improved outcomes for children and families is by supporting the continuous quality improvement (CQI) and capacity-building efforts of the agencies with which it partners. In order to provide the most effective services, it is vital that child welfare agencies have the capacity and flexibility to adapt and grow with the emerging needs of their field, current legislation and research, and changes in standards of best practice. By constantly striving to improve our own abilities and standards, we, as public-serving entities, can better provide the timely and high-quality services our customers deserve.

With this in mind, this year the Children's Bureau introduced a new technical assistance service delivery structure. The Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative (the Collaborative) builds on the excellent prior work of the National Child Welfare Resource Centers and Child Welfare Implementation Centers to serve jurisdictions that receive title IV-E or title IV-B funds. Its purpose is the promotion of an ongoing, evidence-informed process of capacity building among agencies and systems that aims to help them continuously improve their productivity and effectiveness.

The Collaborative comprises three centers that partner to support States and other jurisdictions:

  • The Capacity Building Center for States works to build the capacity and effectiveness of public child welfare agencies by offering expertise in child welfare and change management and helping States and jurisdictions initiate and sustain innovative change and improvement.
  • The Capacity Building Center for Tribes collaborates with American Indian and Alaska Native Nations to help strengthen Tribal child and family systems and services.
  • The Capacity Building Center for Courts works to create integrated capacity building plans that engage Court Improvement Programs (CIPs) in system improvement work, provide direct support to CIPs, and create learning opportunities and resources to elevate legal and judicial practice nationwide.

Together, the centers offer strategic services to assist child welfare professionals and organizations in the assessment and development of resources, infrastructure, knowledge and skills, climate and culture, and partnerships so that they may enhance their services and grow their ability to make a real and lasting positive impact on people's lives.

Child welfare services are an important safety net for children and families who may need extra support to achieve well-being. Each and every rope in that net must be strong and ready to provide the support different families need. By focusing on CQI, training, and capacity building, we can reinforce strengths, fortify gaps in the system and remove its weak points to make sure no child falls through, and explore new ways to ensure every child and family that comes into contact with child welfare consistently finds the supports they need, when they need them most.

Related Item

CBX featured the Collaborative and the Center for States in this May's "News From the Children's Bureau" section.

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