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Leading with Prevention

A Resource Hub for State and Local Leaders Committed to Advancing Prevention Strategies that Build Child and Family Well-Being

Welcome & About
Home: About

Policy and Practice Resources

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Resources from the Field

About – A Population-Based Approach to Child Well-being

Starting in 2020, The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) partnered together support states and counties in seizing the monumental opportunity to shift the paradigm so that prevention of downstream child welfare involvement is a core priority for all family and community-serving entities. The window of opportunity toward shifting the public discourse and understanding to a collective vision rest on building a foundational family well-being roadmap based on known protective factors, strength-based approaches, and necessary universal support for all families.

The resources available in this hub can help support state and local leaders to advance the use of population-based health programs and services to establish a better cross-programmatic partnership between child welfare agencies and other essential agencies and community partners.

Should we seize the opportunity in front of us, the promise of successful transformative reform will fulfill a legacy of family and child well-being. Child and family well-being belongs to all of us. 

Learn More

Agency & Community Collaborations

This resource from Casey Family Programs emphasizes the benefit of participation in early care and education (ECE) and partnership with child protection agencies. Many of the recommendations are informed by findings from federal projects and initiatives.

This announcement describes a nationwide initiative for cross sector collaboration to create equitable systems and address intergenerational cycles of trauma and poverty.

A brief on the important work of collaboration between CBCAP and Child Welfare highlighting various examples from around the country.

This report from APHSA and ASTHO shares details on prevention programs focusing on the reduction of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and includes details of child welfare and public health partnering in incorporating evidence-based and promising practices, with examples from Baltimore, MD, Alabama, and Kentucky.

This systematic review summarizes the effects of interagency and cross-system collaboration aimed to improve child welfare-involved children and family outcomes related to safety, permanency, and well-being. 

This brief highlights federal funding streams that can support a continuum of services to prevent children from entering the child welfare system. It also shares examples of how communities are leveraging such funding streams at the local level.

This study examines new cross system collaboration strategies to advance public health framework on prevention interventions and policies. It identifies systemic reforms while promoting proactive, empowering and strength based strategies 

This brief addresses findings of LifeSet,  an intensive, evidence based youth center model to support young people in foster care. It discusses the implementation and evaluation on youh outcomes.  

This study addresses interagencies collaboration can be sustained . Through a mixed method approach, this study uncovers both the drivers and barriers of cross sector parnterships while also exploring the effects of the pandemic on serving children and families in child welfare.

This study discusses the importance of incorporating people with lived experiences in re-designing the child welfare stem and improve programs. 

This report explores a new approach of engaging families by uplifting the expertise of people with lived experiences. It provides video collections highlighting examples of family engagment in the child welfare system. 

Agency & Community Collaborations
Public Health Approach

Public Health Approach

This presentation by Dr. Deborah Daro, senior research fellow at Chapin Hall, describes a public health model of presentation for child welfare agencies to utilize that would be better suited to effective community response. A public health approach employs population-level data to provide universal prevention interventions. Dr. Daro presented this approach at a two-day convening hosted by Casey Family Programs in May 2018.

Casey Family Programs proposes a population-based approach to child welfare cases to create a shared vision of promoting child and family well-being. A population-based approach is argued to provide all families access to supports necessary to reach their full potential.

In this podcast episode from ASTHO, APHSA CEO Tracy Wareing Evans and ASTHO CEO Michael Fraser discuss the importance of incorporating a prevention first model in the child welfare system.

This article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details how in partnership with the state of North Carolina they implemented the Essentials for Childhood Initiative. This paper describes North Carolina's approach to the initiative, how the initiative identified stakeholders and developed a shared agenda, how the workgroups operated and what they achieved, communication strategies implemented, and other accomplishments achieved.

This paper discusses the public health model and social-ecology framework as ways to understand and address child maltreatment prevention and discusses the critical role health departments can have in preventing abuse and neglect. 

Data & Technology

This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses the best available evidence to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with six strategies drawn from the CDC Technical Packages to Prevent Violence.

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY2020 on demographic, case related and service information on all children in foster care and children.

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY2019 on demographic, case related and service information on all children in foster care and children.

This study shares findings from the National Child Welfare Information Study between January and March 2009, assessing how child welfare professionals use mobile technology and social media. This technology provided access to child welfare information, improved family and community outreach strategies, and disseminated information on resources and events to colleagues. Findings reveal that while information technology and social media gained prominence in child welfare, their usage is more prevalent among younger professionals than older workers.

This report assesses innovative technologies affecting child welfare services. These tools include using cloud/web-based information systems and case management tools, mobile technologies, and interagency data sharing and integration efforts. Also, this report explores other emerging technologies like data visualization, the internet of things (IoT), location-based services or geo fencing, and intelligent automation technologies. Lastly, this report discusses the benefits and challenges of implementing and using these mobile technologies.

This study depicts five dimensions--resources, infrastrucures, knowledge , skills, culture and climate and engagement and partnerships  to improve outcomes for children and families. It leverages survey data and service delivery tracking system to build organizational capacity of child welfare agencies. 

This study discusses the utility of predictive risk models (PRM) analytics with 35 stakeholders who have been impacted by the the child welfare system. It addresses their concerns regarding PRM and suggestions on developing new data collection mechanisms and alleviate systemic inequalities in child welfare. 

This study assesses the effect of child welfare policies on child maltreatments. Using negative binomial models, this study evaluates how variations in common policies changes such as mandated reporters, centralized intake, and staff affect child outcomes. 

Data & Technology

Economic Supports

This study from Casey Family Programs provides insight into the use of child care subsidies to reduce rates of child maltreatment. The data was collected from a collection of 655 mothers in the state of Illinois.

This study examines the impact of income stability--measured by one-time wage shocks, cumulative wage shocks, and stable earnings duration—on child maltreatment risk.

This study examines TANF impact on African Americans and White mothers' perpetration of child maltreatment. The study reveals that increase in TANF benefits reduces physical events.

This slide deck summarizes Chapin Halls's work on leveraging economic supports to prevent child maltreatment and promote family well-being.

If you want to know if a program is working, it’s important to ask the people it is designed to serve. Chapin Hall recently released a qualitative study based on interviews with young people who participated in LifeSet, a program to help young people in foster care acquire the skills needed to make a successful transition into adulthood.

The Economic & Concrete Supports as a Core Component slide deck addresses the intersection of family economic insecurity and likelihood of child welfare involvement, the impact of racial economic disparities, the effect of reducing and increasing economic and concrete supports, and federal and state policies that promote a child and family well-being system.

Cash transfers—or payments, typically from the government, made directly to individuals or households—can support the heathy development and well-being of young children and address ongoing needs for families with low incomes. A new Child Trends brief from Emily Maxfield and Dana Thomson provides recommendations for policymakers to craft new, and strengthen existing, cash transfer initiatives

This brief advances a new framing  relating to child welfare system and addresses the impact of poverty in child welfare decision making and implications on communiities of color. 

This study explores public health approaches to preventing child maltreatment and increasing safety and well being of children and young people. It identifies six core components such as targetting strategies for addressing families needs , timing of intervention, leveraging evidence based strategies, delivery systems, and service delivery sustainability  

This study assesses the effect of economic insecurity on child maltreament. Using 26 longitudinal studies, this work explores how debt, material hardhip, income, unemployment and income transfers influence child physical abuse, neglect, and psychological maltreatment 

This brief examines the effect of economic and concrete supports with child welfare involvement. It explores how services such refundable EITC, expanded medicaid, subsidized child care, TANF and child support  and minimum wage affect child and families well being.

This brief the effect of cash transfers on infant and toddler development and makes recommendations for policymakers on improving those policies and narrowing the income gaps in early childhood experiences.

This brief examines the impact of policy proposals such as child allowances and expansions to the earned income tax credit, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and the federal minimun wage  on child poverty. 

This study assesses the connection between household income and child maltreatment and out of home placements. It examines the impact of three child poverty reduction policies such as work based and universal support, mean tested support and minimum wage expansions. 

This study examines the cross cuting experiences of families living in poverty and those who are involved in the child welfare system. Also, it uncovers promising strategies for poverty alleviation that hinge on partnerships with the broader social services system. 

This publication examines the impact of income suport on child matreatment and child welfare involvement. Also, this report explores the harmful consequences of TANF sactions on child welfare involvement  

Economic Supports


This Q&A session hosted by Casey Family Programs provides insight in Broward County, Florida’s community convenings on racial equity. The meetings provided a platform for galvanizing and growing community-wide attention to the racism embedded in the child welfare system.

This report explores the implicit bias and the disparate entry of African Americans in the child welfare system and assesses the role racism in the equitable provision of child welfare services.

This policy brief advances several recommendations for policymakers to transform child welfare system through prevention lens and address institutional racism. Those recommendations focus on mandatory reporting systems, investing in evidence-based interventions, and increasing funding for kinship care

This study uncovers the causes of racial disproportionality in the child welfare system and address the structural and institutional racism that contribute to the separation of children from their families.

This article highlights the policies, law, and regulations that contribute or reinforce the racial disparities in the child welfare system including mandated reporting, substantiation decisions, decision making processes, background checks, and conservative interpretations of confidentiality statutes.

This study examines the effect of new reform "blind removals", designed to eliminate bias in the removal decisions of investigator, on reducing the racial disparities in the child welfare system. 

This brief explores a new transformative approach to tackle poverty and child neglect and institutionalized racism by investing in communities and moving human services upstream.

This articles discusses the current state of the literature on racial bias ,  and racail disparities and disproportionality within the child welfare space. 

This study examines the interplay between Child Welfare Workers individual characteristics including race and experiences of workplace racism. Through a mixed methods design, this analysis address the lingering effects of racism on employees well being 

Federal Resources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a collection of concrete supports to promote child and family wellbeing. The resource contains state and local examples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a collection of resources, publications, and fact sheets on the prevention of violence, effects of ACES and broadly effects of childhood trauma

This report from the Administration for Children and Families describes financial information on a quarterly basis for the title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, Guardianship Assistance, Prevention Services, and Kinship Navigator programs.

The Children's Bureau Data Analytics and Reporting Team released the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data from FY 2019 that represent the county-level distribution of child abuse and neglect reports that are screened-in by CPS agencies. The second source contains maps showing the county-level distribution of child victimization, abuse, and neglect. The NCANDS is a federally-sponsored national data collection effort created for the purpose of tracking the volume and nature of child maltreatment reporting each year within the United States.

Federal data tool to search for all 50 states statutes in child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption.

Visit the multimedia gallery to explore the "Why Prevention Matters" video collection, and more! Hear stories about how receiving community-based resources early on allowed parents to provide better care to their children. Use the resources in the gallery to inspire change in your prevention practice and strategies.

This Information Memorandum (IM) provides child welfare agencies with information about changes in Medicaid eligibility for young adults who turn age 18 on or after January 1, 2023 who move to a new state after transitioning from foster care.

This brief examines the impact of individualized technical assistance in building states organizational capacity to improve outcomes fo children, youth, and famileis. 

This report explores data sharing between child welfare and Medicaid in Kentucky and Florida. It addresses the data sharing privacy rules and concerns while highliting the practical and policy implications of data linking.

This report discusses Two-Generational (2Gen) approach including its impact on families. Also, it provides the five core 2 Gen approaches to foster parental capacity and address generational cycle of poverty. 

Federal Resources
Leadership & State Models

Leadership & State Models

This tool from the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education within the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law provides a benchmark for direct case advocacy and system reform. The states currently using the Blueprint for Change framework include: Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.

Indiana has implemented the Supportive Communities, Resilient Families, Thriving Children framework for prevention of child abuse and neglect. The framework’s purpose is to create a statewide approach to work towards all children thriving in safe, stable, nurturing, and supportive families and communities that foster resilience and well-being.

This slide deck summarizes North Carolina’s and Colorado’s experiences and work implementing the Essentials for Childhood Initiative.

Chapin Hall and Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a “Blueprint for Transformation” of behavioral health services for Illinois youth. The Blueprint is a roadmap to rebuild the way the state delivers behavioral and mental health services and is the product of a year of data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and cross-department collaboration. The implementation phase, which is starting now and will also be led by Chapin Hall, will include engaging families in designing service improvements, scaling the pilot centralized intake system, and increasing capacity to serve more children and families.

This resource explores populatiion based approaches to child maltereatment prevention. Also, it provides findings from a survey of state legislators regarding their knowledge of prevention strategies.

This article examines peer mentor models for families involved in the child welfare system. Also, it evaluates the impact of this framework on families and comprehensive service delivery.

This publication explores Forensic interviewing, a new approach to investaging child maltreamtent. Also, it describes how this novel strategy  can advance the well being of children and families.

Toolkits and Quick Reference Materials

The third part of Chapin Hall's Family First Toolkit contains tools intended to serve as a foundation for evaluating the ongoing implementation and effectiveness of Family First prevention services using a continuous quality improvement process.

List of Indiana financial resources for kinship families. 

Flow chart of financial assistance options in Indiana.

State statutes on resources for foster youth, as well as extended foster care, past the age of 18.

The State Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database now includes updated state statutes for users interested in statutory language regarding child abuse and neglect definitions for 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

State Statutes for Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

This article provides some guidance regarding tribal-state partnership to identify needs in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). It describes theory of change for human services systems to improve the outcomes of Indican families. 

This toolkit provides resources to child welfare agencies to promote a strength based approach of immediate and extended family to create safety, permanency, and well being of children and families.  

This publication  discusses strength based approach and its impact of families. Also, it uncovers the social challenges and historical trauma that native families face as they seek mental services.

This publication explores opportunities and  challenges associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Also, it discusses the valued added of AI in child welfare and mental health services.

Success Stories

State Success Stories

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This hub was created by APHSA in partnership with ASTHO and funded by Casey Family Programs through the Transformative Leaders for Thriving Families Initiative.


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