Additional Resources

This section provides additional resources that may be helpful in furthering your understanding of the overall child welfare system. The first part lists a variety of Children's Bureau Web sites that provide detailed information on topics such as child welfare policies and procedures, Federal reporting systems, and child maltreatment statistics. 

The second part lists pages that can be found on the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau that provides access to print and electronic publications as well as a variety of other online resources that cover a wide range of child-welfare-related topics, including child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption.

The third part, Other Sources, lists a variety of online resources that provide additional, in-depth information on the child welfare system in general.

Children's Bureau Web Sites

The Children’s Bureau is the first Federal agency within the U.S. Government and, in fact, the first agency in the world, to focus exclusively on improving the lives of children and families. It recently celebrated a full century of progress on its centennial anniversary, April 9, 2012. The agency exists within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, which is within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). ACF is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. For more information, visit here.

This section provides several resources available on the Children’s Bureau Web site that may be helpful in providing more detail on child welfare programs, polices, and systems.

  • Child welfare monitoring
    To help States achieve positive outcomes for children and families, the Children's Bureau monitors State child welfare services through the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) assessment reviews, and the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) assessment reviews. 
  • Children’s Bureau programs  
    The Children's Bureau seeks to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children through leadership, support for necessary services, and productive partnerships with States, Tribes, and communities. It has the primary responsibility for administering Federal programs that support State child welfare services. Additionally, it provides matching Federal funds to States, Tribes, and communities to help them operate every aspect of their child welfare systems, including the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the support of permanent placements through adoption and subsidized guardianship, and the information systems necessary to support these programs. The funds for these programs come from multiple sources, which can be found here.  
  • Laws and policies    
    The Children's Bureau provides guidance to States, Tribes, child welfare agencies, and others on the complex and varied Federal laws as they relate to child welfare. This Web site includes links to the following sections: Child Welfare Policy Manual, Policy/Program Issuances, Federal Laws, Technical Bulletins, and Policy Resources.  
  • Federal reporting systems
    The Children’s Bureau supports the development of State and Tribal child welfare reporting systems to enable the collection and analysis of important information about children and families and to improve case practice and management. This Web site includes links to information on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), and the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). 
  • Child Maltreatment 2010   
    This report presents national data about known child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States during Federal Fiscal year 2010. It also provides a link to multuple data tables as an aid to researchers and others who want to use the report's information.
  • Focus areas
    To achieve its mission of promoting safe and stable families, the Children's Bureau concentrates its efforts in eight distinct focus areas, including adoption, child abuse and neglect, child welfare, foster care, Child and Family Services Reviews, Tribal programs, Federal programs, and State programs. More information on these can accessed from this Web site.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

The Child Welfare Information Gateway (CWIG) promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare professionals and the general public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home (foster) care, adoption, and more. A service of the Children’s Bureau, CWIG provides access to print and electronic publications, Web sites, databases, and online learning tools for improving child welfare practice.

This page provides several resources available on the CWIG Web site that may be helpful in providing more detail on topics in this module.

  • Major Federal legislation
    To provide a framework for understanding the Federal legislation that has shaped the delivery of child welfare services, this Web site presents a summary of Federal legislation since 1974 that has had a significant impact on the field. It provides an overview of each act and its major provisions. To browse or search the summaries of acts included, visit the Major Federal Legislation Index and Search here. In addition, the full text of the acts can be found on the Index of Federal Child Welfare Laws Web site here
  • Child Welfare Monitoring
    To help States achieve positive outcomes for children and families, the Children’s Bureau monitors State child welfare services through several review processes. These reviews, which measure outcome and compliance, also include program improvement aspects that provide States with opportunities to address systems and practice deficiencies. The Web site includes a variety of vehicles for monitoring child welfare
  • State laws and policies
    Federal laws provide standards and guidelines on child welfare; however, State laws and regulations primarily govern these issues. This Web site provides publication and resources related to State and Federal civil laws on child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. 
  • The Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series
    Since the late 1970s, this popular series has been used for formal training, self-instruction, desktop reference, and program development by hundreds of thousands of multidisciplinary professionals working with abused and neglected children and their families, as well as by students and concerned community members. The purpose of this series is to reflect the current state of knowledge on child abuse and neglect by providing a foundation for understanding child abuse and neglect issues and the roles and responsibilities of various professionals in preventing, identifying, and responding to child maltreatment.

Other Sources

The following sources provide additional information about child maltreatment; child welfare goals, legislation, and monitoring; and the child welfare case process

  • Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. Pub. L. no. 96-272. (1980). Retrieved from: link
  • “Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform.” Title 42 U.S. Code, Chapter 67. (2012). Retrieved from: link.
  • DePanfilis, D., & Salus, M. K. (2003). Child protective services: A guide for caseworkers. Retrieved from: link.
  • Foster Care Independence Act of 1999. Pub. L. no. 106-169. (1999). Retrieved from: link.
  • Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Pub. L. no. 110-351. (2008). Retrieved from: link.
  • Golden, O., & Macomber, J. (2009). Framework paper: The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA).  S. Notkin, K. Weber, O. Golden, & J. Macomber (Eds.), Intentions and results. A look back at the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Retrieved from: link.
  • Goldman, J., Salus, M. K., Wolcott, D., & Kennedy, K. Y. (2003). A coordinated response to child abuse and neglect: The foundation for practice. Retrieved from: link.
  • Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 Pub. L. no. 95-608. (1978). Retrieved from: link.
  • Jones, W. G. (2006). Working with the courts in child protection. Retrieved from: link.
  • Lou, C., Anthony, E. K., Stone, S., Vu, C. M., & Austin, M. J. (2008). Assessing child and youth well-being: Implications for child welfare practice. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 5(1/2), 91-133. Retrieved from: link.
  • Public Welfare, 45 C.F.R. pt. 1355. (2012). Retrieved from: link.
  • Social Security Act, Title IV—Grants to States for Aid and Services to Needy Families with Children and for Child-Welfare Services. (2012). Retrieved from: link.
  • U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Building the legacy: IDEA 2004. Retrieved from: link.
  • Wulzyn, F. (2007). Monitoring child welfare programs: Performance improvement in a CQI context. Retrieved from: link.