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About the Center for States

About the Center for States

The Capacity Building Center for States helps State and territorial public child welfare agencies and title IV-E waiver demonstration jurisdictions build capacity to improve child welfare practices and achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families.

The Center for States is part of the Children's Bureau's Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative. Learn more about the Collaborative.

Building Capacity

"Capacity building" is an ongoing, evidence-informed process that is intended to develop a system's potential to be productive and effective. The Center builds capacity by partnering with public child welfare agencies to enhance and mobilize the human and organizational assets necessary to meet Federal standards and requirements.

We use information gathered from research, expert consultation, and jurisdictions to strengthen systems and enhance the abilities of individuals in those systems to better achieve their goals. Through our evidence-based process, we strive to create proactive and effective partnerships with agencies.

To assess agency needs and develop individualized solutions, the Center uses five categories—or dimensions—of capacity to guide its approach. These dimensions of capacity are resources, infrastructure, knowledge and skills, culture and climate, engagement and partnership.

Focus Areas

In consultation with the Children's Bureau and based on a thorough assessment, the Center for States has identified 15 focus areas in which it will work to increase understanding and awareness and build knowledge and skills that best meet State child welfare agency needs.

Achieving Goals

The Center for States is designed to support the Children's Bureau's vision of providing strategic, evidence-informed services to build the capacity of State and territorial public child welfare agencies.

Our services are organized into three categories: Universal, Constituency, and Tailored. Each service area aims to fulfill the needs of child welfare professionals and organizations, as well as support them in achieving their goals. Get more information about our services.