The Child Welfare Workforce: A Crucial Part of the Child Welfare Team
The child welfare workforce is a vital component of the child welfare system. Those working with children and families can have a profound impact on the child's well-being and the outcomes they experience. Unfortunately, states have had difficulty in recruiting, hiring, and retaining a quality workforce. Additionally, existing restrictions limit federal support for training to an outdated income eligibility requirement and results in only a portion of child welfare workers' training being eligible for this support.
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act Supporting extended federal support for training of more of those caring for and working with children in the child welfare system, including relative guardians, staff of private child welfare agencies, court personnel, attorneys, guardian ad litems, and other court appointed special advocates. However, as with previously covered workers, training for these additional individuals is only federally supported to the extent they are working with Title IV-E eligible children. Further, in practice, federal support is often administered in a manner that fails to recognize the scope of work that child welfare professionals engage in.
It is important to note that there are still other important related professionals whose training is not federally supported. Professionals working in a range of child and family serving fields such as education, health, mental health, substance abuse treatment, law enforcement, juvenile justice and domestic violence often work with children and families who have contact with the child welfare system. It is crucial that these individuals are provided with training on child welfare relevant topics in order to best meet the needs of children who are involved with the child welfare system.