Child Welfare System Research

Resources on this page include the latest research findings related to the child welfare system from leading child welfare scholars.

Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies

By | Child Welfare System Research, Federal Policy, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Law & Policy, Practice, Research, Social Workers, State Policy

Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies

Mark Greenberg, Randy Capps, Andrew Kalweit, Jennifer Grishkin, and Ann Flagg, Migration Policy Institute (April 2019)

Some states and localities have developed specialized policies and practices for working with children in immigrant families, though these vary considerably. This report explores this diversity of approaches, drawing on interviews with child welfare officials from 14 states, six counties, and New York City. For each of nine key issues—ranging from agency staffing and training, to language access policies and cooperation with foreign consulates—the researchers identify a recommended approach and discuss relevant policies and practices.

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A Vision for Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

By | Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Early Childhood, Research Highlight

A Vision for Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

Foundation for Child Development (July 2018)

A new 2018 report, Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), outlines a funding strategy that will provide reliable, accessible high-quality ECE for young children from birth to kindergarten entry. The report estimates that the total annual cost of providing high-quality ECE from both public and private funding is $140 billion, and provides a phased-in approach to a transition towards a fully implemented new financing structure.

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The 2018 Edition of the Early Childhood Workforce Index

By | Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Early Childhood, Research Highlight

The 2018 Edition of the Early Childhood Workforce Index: Tracking Changes in State Workforce Conditions and Policies since 2016

Foundation for Child Development (July 2018)

In 2016, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at University of California at Berkeley created the Early Childhood Workforce Index to shed light on the status of the workforce and to establish a baseline understanding of State early childhood employment conditions and policies in order to strengthen support for the early care and education  (ECE) workforce.  CSCCE recently released the second edition of this biennial report, which provides a comprehensive update on the progress, or lack thereof, made by States to improve ECE workforce conditions and policies since the inaugural edition in 2016.

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Language competence in forensic interviews for suspected child sexual abuse.

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Maltreatment, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Culture: Issues and Competencies, Language Issues, Research, Research Highlight, Trauma

Language competence in forensic interviews for suspected child sexual abuse.

Lisa A. Fontes and Amy C. Tishelman, Child Abuse and Neglect (June 2016)

Forensic interviews with children for suspected child sexual abuse require meeting children “where they are” in terms of their developmental level, readiness to disclose, culture, and language. In this qualitative study, 39 U.S. child forensic interviewers and child advocacy center directors discussed their experiences, practices, and opinions regarding interviews with children and families who are not native speakers of English. Recommendations for practice and further research are included.

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The Nebraska Foster Care Review Office Quarterly Report

By | Child Welfare System Research, Foster Care, Highlighted Resources, Research, Research Highlight, State Policies

The Nebraska Foster Care Review Office Quarterly Report

Nebraska Foster Care Review Office (March 1, 2018)

The latest report from Nebraska’s state Foster Care Review Office (FCRO) shows that nearly one in four children who exit the system are brought back into it a second time.

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Child Maltreatment 2016

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Maltreatment, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Violence, Foster Care, Research, Social Work, State Policies

Child Maltreatment 2016

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Children’s Bureau (Feb 1, 2018)

This report presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States during federal fiscal year 2016.

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The New Importance of Children in America: A Wake-up Call for Policymakers

By | Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Legal/Law, Research Highlight | No Comments

The New Importance of Children in America: A Wake-up Call for Policymakers

Dowell Myers, Children’s Hospital Association, Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, & USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (Oct 12, 2017)

This study finds that two trends, related to significant demographic changes, are creating challenges, elevating the economic role of next generations, and converging to make investing in the health and well-being of children more important than ever.

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A Birth Cohort Study of Asian and Pacific Islander Children Reported for Abuse and Neglect

By | Child Maltreatment, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Culture: Issues and Competencies, Research Highlight | No Comments

A Birth Cohort Study of Asian and Pacific Islander Children Reported for Abuse and Neglect by Maternal Nativity and Ethnic origin

Megan Finno-Velasquez, Lindsey Palmer, John Prindle, Christina Tam, Emily Putnam-Hornstein; Child Abuse and Neglect (Oct 2017)

This study’s findings show disparities in CPS involvement for children of Asian origin that have implications for health and well-being across the life course. (Link provides abstract only without institutional or paid access.)

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Advocacy Highlights How Medicaid Strengthens Child Welfare System

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Separation, Foster Care, Parenting, Research Highlight | No Comments

Advocacy Highlights How Medicaid Strengthens Child Welfare System

Devin Miller, AAP News and Journals Gateway (Sept 20, 2017)

The recent efforts by the Academy and pediatricians to protect Medicaid as Congress debated health care reform shed light on an often untold story — the program’s important role in the child welfare system, especially its emphasis on keeping families together as they heal.

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The Road to Adulthood: Aligning Child Welfare Practice With Adolescent Brain Development

By | Adoption, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Foster Care, Parenting, Research Highlight, Social Work | No Comments

The Road to Adulthood: Aligning Child Welfare Practice With Adolescent Brain Development

Annie E. Casey Foundation (July 22, 2017)

This report provides insight into how gender, race, ethnicity and more affect formative developmental experiences in young people. It also provides recommendations for child welfare professionals on how to best support both parents and children through this process.

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Needs Assessments: Trauma-Informed Services for Refugee/Immigrant Children and Families

By | Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Culture: Issues and Competencies, Research Highlight, Trauma | No Comments

Needs Assessments: Trauma-Informed Services for Refugee/Immigrant Children and Families

Ad-Hoc Committee on Refugee and Immigrant Children and Trauma, The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition (May 2017)

This report presents findings on mental health services, cultural competency and quality of staff training related to language, cultural, time and institutional barriers. It highlights the gaps in training, areas for development and recommends future training materials.

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Characteristics of Risk, Maltreatment, and Mental Health Needs Among Latino Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Culture: Issues and Competencies, Immigrant Families Research, Presentations, Research, Resources, Training & Tools

Characteristics of Risk, Maltreatment, and Mental Health Needs Among Latino Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System

Alan J. Dettlaff, PhD, MSW; Jane Addams College of Social Work; University of Illinois at Chicago (March 2013)

A presentation from the 23rd Annual Latino Family Institute, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services describing research and findings about the characteristics of risk, maltreatment, and mental health needs among Latino children of immigrants in the child welfare system.

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Falling Through the Cracks: The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children Caught Up in the Child Welfare System

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Foster Care, ICE, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Resources, Trauma

Falling Through the Cracks: The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children Caught Up in the Child Welfare System

American Immigration Council (December 2012)

This article highlights the unique challenges that federal and state immigration enforcement actions pose to child well-being and family unity, including the repercussions for children and families involved in the child welfare system.

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Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

By | Child Maltreatment, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Family Violence, Foster Care, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Resources, Spanish Resources

Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation (formerly the Applied Research Center) (November 2011)

This extensive report is the first national investigation on threats to families when immigration enforcement and the child welfare system intersect. It explores the extent to which children in foster care are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents and the failures of the child welfare system to adequately work to reunify these families.

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Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

By | Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Foster Care, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Resources

Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

Southwest Institute for Research on Women & Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, University of Arizona (2011)

This report describes families entangled in two vast bureaucracies – the federal immigration enforcement system and the state child welfare system. The report is based on over a year of research, including over fifty surveys and twenty interviews with juvenile court judges, attorneys representing children and parents in juvenile court, and case workers in Child Protective Services.

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Undocumented and Abused: A Texas Case Study of Children in the Child Protective Services System

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Violence, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Relief, Research, Resources, Social Work, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), State Policies, Trauma

Undocumented and Abused: A Texas Case Study of Children in the Child Protective Services System

Center for Public Policy Priorities (September 2010)

Using Texas as a case study, this report examines undocumented children in the child welfare system and discusses why a blanket policy to send them home will not work. It also discusses how to improve the process through which these children can obtain legal residency. Finally, the article explains how federal immigration and child welfare law should be aligned to ensure that the federal government provides states the necessary financial support to care for this vulnerable population.

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Children of Immigrants in the U.S. Child Welfare System

By | Adoption, Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Foster Care, Immigrant Families Research, Immigrant Youth, Research, Resources, Social Work

Children of Immigrants in the U.S. Child Welfare System

Yali Lincroft & Alan Dettalff, First Focus (June 8, 2010)

A research brief on the current reality of child of immigrants in the U.S. child welfare system, including risk and protective factors and recommendations for future research.

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Foster Care Placement Settings and Permanency Planning: Patterns by Child Generation and Ethnicity

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Separation, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Research, Resources, Social Work, Trauma

Foster Care Placement Settings and Permanency Planning: Patterns by Child Generation and Ethnicity

Tracy Vericker, Daniel Kuehn, Randolph Capps, Urban Institute (May 7, 2007)

A brief from a series of studies which provide estimates of first- and second-generation immigrant children in out-of-home care and the experiences of those children in the Texas child welfare system.

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Child Sexual Abuse: Removals by Child Generation and Ethnicity

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Maltreatment, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Violence, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Research, Resources, Safety, State Policies, Trauma

Child Sexual Abuse: Removals by Child Generation and Ethnicity

Daniel Kuehn, Tracy Vericker, Randolph Capps, Urban Institute (May 7, 2007)

These briefs are from a series of studies which provide estimates of first- and second-generation immigrant children in out-of-home care and the experiences of those children in the Texas child welfare system.

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Title IV-E Funding : Funded Foster Care Placements by Child Generation and Ethnicity

By | Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Child Welfare System Research, Child Well-Being, Family Violence, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Research, Resources, Safety, Social Work, State Policies

Title IV-E Funding: Funded Foster Care Placements by Child Generation and Ethnicity

Tracy Vericker, Daniel Kuehn, and Randolph Capps, Urban Institute (May 2007)

This brief is from a series of studies which provide estimates of first- and second-generation immigrant children in out-of-home care and the experiences of those children in the Texas child welfare system. This brief discusses findings related to the share of children eligible for Title IV-E by generation and ethnicity.

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