Child Welfare in the 21st Century: The Need for a Pre-Post Permanency Services Continuum

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Click here to download the Webinar Presentation.

Meeting Description:

According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than two children in IV-E funded adoptive or guardianship homes for every one child in IV-E funded foster care. The child welfare system of the 21st century requires that we redefine our systems of care to address the needs of children and families while they are in foster care, and after legal permanence has been achieved.

As knowledge of the life-long impacts of trauma on children evolves, child welfare systems are finding themselves increasingly aware of the needs of children and families, post-permanence. To meet this need, child welfare systems have to redefine their continuum of services so that programming continues, post-legal permanence. Public Law 113-183 requires states to spend a designated portion of their Title IV-E adoption assistance de-link savings on post-adoption and guardianship services. However, with limited funds and a growing number of children and families in this pool, it is critical that child welfare systems identify and implement evidence based interventions that have proven to be effective.

The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption/Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) is a 5-year project that aims to promote permanence for children when reunification is no longer the goal, and improve adoption and guardianship preservation and support. The QIC-AG will work with 8 sites to develop evidence-based interventions that can be replicated or adapted by child welfare systems across the country.

This webinar provided an overview of child welfare in the 21st century, highlighted research regarding discontinuity, and reviewed a continuum framework that the QIC-AG has developed which begins at entry and continues post-legal permanence. A demonstration of how this framework can be applied to a child welfare system and be used to assess the strengths and limitations of a service system was also demonstrated.