Child Welfare Workforce Improvement Act Would Help Ensure Strong Child Welfare Workforce

Dec 04, 2009

By Tiffany Conway Perrin

The Child Welfare Workforce Improvement Act of 2009 (S. 2837) introduced in the Senate on Dec. 4 by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (R-Nebraska) will make significant strides toward ensure the child welfare workforce is able to provide the quality, individualized services that children and families need.

Well-trained and supervised caseworkers with the resources to do their jobs are essential to achieving the outcomes we want for children and their families. These workers must be able to accurately assess needs and risks, connect children and families to services and monitor that progress are critical to a quality child welfare workforce. S. 2837 will help achieve this and build on important improvements made by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. 

The National Academy of Sciences will conduct a study of the child welfare workforce, gathering critical information on child welfare staff that will help inform important improvements in the child welfare workforce.

The act will expand training opportunities, ensuring that Title IV-E training dollars can be used to support child welfare staff providing family support, reunification, and post-permanency services as well as those providing foster care, adoption or kinship services. Training dollars will be available to support not only staff of public and private child welfare agencies and the courts but also related professionals who serve children in the child welfare system.

The act will also remove barriers to providing federal support for the child welfare workforce and establish a demonstration grant program to help states, tribes and large counties improve their child welfare workforces.

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