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Child Welfare / Permanence

Every child needs and deserves to grow up in a safe, loving, and nurturing family – a family whose support is unconditional and will last a lifetime. Yet for the half million children in foster care on any given day, these necessary family connections are too often lost. We are committed to ensuring that every child has a safe and lifelong connection to a caring, nurturing family.

The Child Welfare/Permanence section of the Casey Foundation Knowledge Center offers resources that are either published or funded by the Casey Foundation. See also:

Featured Publications

Publication thumbnail for When a Parent Is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers

When a Parent Is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers

2011

The goal of this publication is to provide relevant and practical information for public child welfare agencies and social workers when working with incarcerated parents and their children, including a chapter on immigration. This primer also outlines the many compelling reasons why child welfare agencies should develop programs and policies specifically to address the needs of this subset of children in the child welfare system.

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Publication thumbnail for Advice to a New Child Services Leader

Advice to a New Child Services Leader

2011

This paper by the Honorable James Payne, a retired judge and currently director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, offers personal insights for top leaders new to posts in public child-serving systems.

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Publication thumbnail for The Adolescent Brain: New Research and its Implications for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care, Executive Summary

The Adolescent Brain: New Research and its Implications for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care, Executive Summary

2011

This executive summary of a new study by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative looks at mounting evidence that the human brain is still a work in progress and can be successfully “rewired” during and even beyond the teenage years, making the case for reforming the nation’s foster-care system stronger than ever.

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Publication thumbnail for Counting is Not Enough: Investing in Qualitative Case Reviews for Practice Improvement in Child Welfare

Counting is Not Enough: Investing in Qualitative Case Reviews for Practice Improvement in Child Welfare

2011

Can qualitative case reviews improve child welfare practice? This publication finds that the answer is "Yes." It examines the practices of more than 20 jurisdictions, gathers insight from national experts, and presents recommendations for improving this approach to child welfare practice. The report details key factors in implementing case review systems, including federal Child and Family Service Reviews, Quality Service Reviews, and ChildStat reviews.

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Publication thumbnail for The Cost of Doing Nothing [Infographic]

The Cost of Doing Nothing [Infographic]

2014

Over the past decade, two key federal funding sources for child welfare agencies have been shrinking. Without legislative change, these sources will continue to decline precipitously over the next ten years, providing states even less support for the needs of vulnerable children and families than they do today. Learn more about the current state of Title IV-E and Title IV-B funding.

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Publication thumbnail for Team Decision Making: Engaging Families in Placement Decisions

Team Decision Making: Engaging Families in Placement Decisions

2014

In the past 30 years, a growing number of human services leaders and experts have concluded that the single-person decision-making model is an inherently flawed way of making quality placement decisions for children who come to the attention of the public child welfare agency. This case study examines how three have woven a practice known as Team Decision Making (TDM) into standard child welfare practice.

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Publication thumbnail for When Child Welfare Works: A Working Paper

When Child Welfare Works: A Working Paper

2013

Research and analysis, combined with lessons learned from public systems, have led to widespread recognition that the federal child welfare financing system needs to support best practices to ensure that all children have the opportunity to grow up in strong families. This paper outlines a policy framework and recommendations to encourage best practices in four areas: permanence and well-being; quality family foster care; a capable, supported child welfare workforce; and, better access to services.

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Publication thumbnail for Reconnecting Child Development and Child Welfare: A Summary

Reconnecting Child Development and Child Welfare: A Summary

2013

Nearly one in five children involved in the child welfare system spends time in a residential facility. Yet, research indicates that these residential settings do not prepare kids to develop needed family relationships to guide their social and emotional development. To support better outcomes for kids, experts propose limiting the use of residential placements to short-term therapeutic treatment that engages families and targets kids’ specific needs. The following research-based recommendations resulted from an August 2012 conference of international child development experts convened by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Youth Law Center.

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Publication thumbnail for Reconnecting Child Development and Child Welfare: Evolving Perspectives on Residential Placement

Reconnecting Child Development and Child Welfare: Evolving Perspectives on Residential Placement

2013

Nearly one in five kids involved in the child welfare system spends time in a residential facility. Yet, child development and child welfare experts confirm that these group settings do not allow kids to develop the family relationships they need to guide their social and emotional development. This paper summarizes a 2012 convening of researchers in the fields of child development and child welfare who propose limiting residential placements to short-term therapeutic treatment that engages families and targets children’s specific needs.

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