Children and families deserve high-quality research and program evaluations to meet their needs and support children’s safety, permanency, and well-being. Currently, over 3.6 million children live in families that are referred to child welfare agencies for neglect or abuse each year, and approximately 407,500 children are in foster care on any given day. Additionally, over 2.6 million children reside in kinship care, or the living arrangement of children with relatives or persons with a strong kin bond (e.g., grandparents raising grandchildren, godparent care arrangements, etc.). In recent years, the child welfare field has focused on prevention, understanding that separating children from families tends to be harmful for children’s overall well-being. For example, despite the noble intentions of most child welfare agencies, many children who are exposed to foster care experience challenges such as mental health problems, academic deficits, and criminal justice involvement; many transition-age youth are not sufficiently prepared when they leave custody.
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