Federal legislation established the authority for the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) process. In 1994, Congress passed amendments to the Social Security Act authorizing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Children’s Bureau, to review State child and family service programs to ensure State conformity with titles IV-B and IV-E. Subsequently, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) influenced the design of the reviews by emphasizing the child welfare goals of safety, permanency, and child and family well-being.
The CFSRs are administered by the Children's Bureau. A video (length: 13:30) by Will Hornsby of the CFSR Unit provides more information on the history, status, key operating principles, and structure of the review process. You can also read the script of the video.