Child Welfare

Children and families involved with or at risk of entering the child welfare system deserve the most effective interventions and responsive systems to meet their needs. Child Trends researchers strive to support these children and families through rigorous research, program evaluation, and technical assistance in the child welfare field. Because we work with child welfare jurisdictions in all 50 states, our findings lead to meaningful opportunities for intervention and system development at the national level—yet our work is also deeply informed by the varied and unique complexities of state and local child welfare jurisdictions. We are committed to sharing information and lessons learned to improve the lives of the 3.5 million children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect each year, as well as the approximately 440,000 children in foster care on any given day (Child Trends’ analysis of 2017 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System [AFCARS] data).

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Child Welfare Projects

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

Since 2015, Child Trends has served as the data and evaluation partner to the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. The Jim Casey Initiative works to ensure that all young people ages 14 to 26 with foster care experi... More
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