Monday, July 29, 2013

A New Resource from SPARC! Raising the Bar: Child Welfare’s Shift Toward Well-being

The recognition of the need to improve well-being as a central focus of child welfare’s work has grown from an understanding of the importance of early childhood and adolescence in shaping outcomes, and the impact of toxic stress on the development of children and youth. The federal government has initiated efforts to prioritize well-being and encourage states to improve outcomes related to educational success, child health, social-emotional development, and connection and support to a child’s family, for children and youth in the child welfare system. Indications of that commitment are seen in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 and the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011.

CSSP is excited to have recently authored a paper for the State Policy Advocacy Reform Center (SPARC)  at First Focus, addressing well-being, Raising the Bar: Child Welfare’s Shift Towards Well-Being. The paper highlights the importance of ensuring the well-being outcomes for children in the child welfare system are addressed – and that while addressing safety and permanence we should also be ensuring that children are healthy, successful at school and meeting developmental milestones – not to mention engaging in normal activities like playing sports and attending social events. The brief summarizes the research and policy and practice trends related to well-being, and highlights federal, state, and local efforts.  It also outlines action l steps for policymakers and advocates to implement a policy and practice agenda in their community to enhance well-being. 

To read more, please access the brief here.  For more on promoting well-being and supporting children, youth and families involved in child welfare please visit CSSP and SPARCFor results-based policy strategies to promote well-being please visit PolicyforResults.

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