CWSG helps child welfare agencies, practitioners and policymakers do better by children and families who experience foster care. Our team of consultants:

Learn how three child welfare agencies use Team Decision Making to improve the quality of placement decision making for children who come to their attention.

Connecticut placed more children with family members and decreased the number of children in unnecessary group placements.

An improved service array can reduce child removals, as Hampton, Virginia, has proven.

Virginia cut the number of children in group care, provided 60% more local intervention services and decreased child welfare costs by 5.8%.

Reforming practice was crucial to Indiana’s child welfare transformation.

Learning to engage family members helped improve outcomes for Maine’s children.

Four states use a Casey-developed approach to reduce group placements and spark larger system transformations.

View all CWSG Case Studies

High-performing child welfare agencies have something in common. An urgent attention to how children in their care are doing—and continuously measuring their outcomes.

Based on our public agency consulting experience and input from leaders nationwide, Casey has compiled 10 key child welfare practices, providing detailed recommendations and standards.

A Child Welfare Leader’s Desk Guide to Building a High-Performing Agency describes these 10 critical practices and provides metrics to help agencies, advocates, governors, legislators and others take a snapshot of how they are doing and chart a course for improvement.

Part one describes 10 practices and outcomes for measuring where an agency stands compared to others in the field.

Part two links to research and tools agency staff members can use to make the case for change and implement new approaches. Appendices provide information on related topics, such as how to upgrade agency data collection and how to measure racial and other disparities.

Frontline practice improvements and family teaming solutions. We help agencies work more effectively with children and familieskeep teens from entering care because of conflict with their parents and make sure that teens leaving foster care have family support.

Assessing child well-being. Are children’s needs being met by child welfare agencies and providers? We are testing a new tool to find out.

Rethinking child welfare placementsWe work with agencies to care for most children in families instead of group settings.

Kinship policy, practice and data tools. We promote revising licensing requirements so more relatives can care for children when their parents cannot.

Foster family recruitment and support. We help agencies implement child-specific and targeted recruitment strategies, strengthen foster family training and support and encourage positive relationships between birth and foster parents.

Provider partnerships. Public and private child welfare providers can work together to get good results for children and families.

Outcomes performance management. We help child welfare agencies establish performance and qualitative standards; we also provide training and coaching on using data to improve services designed to help children and families.

Financial reinvestment. We help child welfare leaders maximize federal, state and local funding, shifting funds from high-cost crisis interventions to effective, prevention-focused services.

How many children were adopted from foster care in 2011? Check out the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Learn about which kids are in foster care, how long they stay, how they leave and more in this KIDS COUNT data snapshot on foster care placement.

What do we know about child maltreatment? Child Trends provides a snapshot.

Ranking states on child well-being since 2000: KIDS COUNT looks at the results of state efforts to aid children in the child welfare system.

The federal government provides sources for learning more about child maltreatment and foster care: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway and Childstats.gov.

From the Blog

CaseyCast Podcast Highlights Delaware’s Child Welfare System Successes

In this episode of CaseyCast, the Foundation’s Lisa Hamilton and Delaware’s Division of Family Services director, Shirley Roberts, strike up an inspiring conversation about the state’s evolving child welfare system.

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The most effective child welfare agencies establish practice models that describe how they partner with families and the community and keep them focused on their goals. In its child welfare leader's desk guide, the Casey Foundation outlines how these practice models create high-performing agencies. 

CWSG: Advancing the Field

video: applying research to placement practices

Joan Kaufman, Ph.D., of Yale University School of Medicine, on applying research on child development to child welfare placement practices

presentation: what's best for kids

The Foundation's Tracey Feild says that what's best for kids — living with families — is also good for state budgets. Download her presentation to the National Governors Association.

recommendations to make child welfare work

When Child Welfare Works outlines a policy framework and recommendations to align federal child welfare financing with best practices.