Capacity Building

Child welfare programs and initiatives operate in an ever-changing environment; similarly, the needs and experiences of the children and families involved in child welfare continue to evolve. Child Trends’ child welfare team works alongside public and private partners to strengthen and enhance programs and systems to better meet children and families’ needs through a variety of capacity-building initiatives, including system enhancement and redesign, data- and information-sharing to build and strengthen the field, and continuous quality improvement initiatives. For example, Child Trends conducts the biennial Child Welfare Financing Survey, which provides critical fiscal data on states’ unique federal, state, and local funding compositions and the ways in which child welfare financing has changed over time. Other examples of capacity-building initiatives include our work with Virginia to redesign the state’s post-adoption support system and our partnerships with two leading foundations (the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation) to evaluate their efforts and build system capacity as they strive to improve the lives of youth in and transitioning out of foster care.