Back on Track

Transforming Virginia's Child Welfare System

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2010

Summary

This report tells how Virginia’s leaders and the Annie E. Casey Foundation worked together to pull off the near impossible: They won over jaded frontline workers to build a new child welfare system from scratch—and make it stick. Today, this family-focused system is driven by data, teeming with best practices and serves as a magnet for collaboration and local innovation (Another bonus? It’s saved Virginians $100 million in just two years). 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Virginia and the Foundation hashed out a broad, two-pronged approach to reform.

In 2006, Virginia’s inefficient and expensive child welfare system led the nation in aging youths out of foster care without a network of support. By partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Child Welfare Strategy Group, the state turned this statistic around while instituting sweeping system-wide changes aimed at fostering stable, supportive families with no expiration date. Virginia and the Foundation hashed out a broad, two-pronged approach to reform: Part 1: Review state policies and practices; Part 2: Go local.  

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