Topics Overview

The Center for States designs products, services, and learning experiences to increase understanding and awareness, and build knowledge and skills. The Center focuses its attention on developing products and resources on several core organizational and practice topics.


Stay up-to-date with our new topics and resources from the Center for States.

What Factors Support Family Reunification?

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Families who are supported by collaborative teams are more likely to be successful in reunification. Read how the trusting relationships between caseworkers, service providers, and families helped both families participate in developing a plan for reunification.


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With a prevention focus, agencies can increase child safety and family well-being by strengthening families in their communities before problems occur or escalate. Explore our publications and digital products that provide information about the prevention continuum (primary, secondary, and tertiary).

Building Capacity for Disaster Preparedness at a Child Welfare Agency

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When disasters such as pandemics or hurricanes occur, having the capacity to respond is crucial for children, families, and staff. These resources can help agencies build capacity to pivot practices and policies and efficiently deploy or reallocate needed supports.


The Center supports public child welfare agencies by helping them identify and implement promising practices and key strategies designed to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for the children, youth, and families they serve. The Center’s resources are organized by core organizational and practice topics that reflect the services and key functions of child welfare agencies, including:

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Child Protection

The Center for States provides services to assist agencies with improving the front end of the child welfare system.

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Child Welfare Information Systems

Child welfare information systems are a critical tool to help support management and tracking of child welfare programs and effective delivery of services to children and families. These systems support the collection and maintenance of data used for federal reporting and help measure the effectiveness of child welfare programs.

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Continuous Quality Improvement and Implementation

The Center for States helps child welfare agencies build capacity to improve performance by using continuous quality improvement (CQI) and implementation best practices. The Center's resources in this area discuss systematic, evidence-informed ways to improve child welfare practice and the functional components of CQI systems.

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Cross-System Collaboration

The Center for States helps child welfare agencies build capacity for cross-system collaboration with other public agencies, private providers, Tribal governments, courts, community organizations, and others to enhance communities’ abilities to provide accessible services and support families.

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Disaster Preparedness

When disasters such as pandemics or hurricanes occur, having the necessary capacity to quickly respond at all levels is crucial for children, families, and staff.

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Family Preservation and In-Home Services

The Center for States provides help to agencies who are providing services and programs families to enable children to safely remain in their own homes.

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Out-of-Home Services

The Center for States helps child welfare agencies build capacity to develop, implement, and sustain a broad continuum of out-of-home services that promote safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth.

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The Center for States helps child welfare agencies implement and sustain practices that enhance timely and appropriate permanency for children in care, strengthen and maintain the relationships of children in care with their parents, and place children with relatives whenever appropriate.

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The Center for States helps child welfare agencies strengthen the ability of communities to support children and families so that children can remain at home.

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Service Array

Learn how the Center helps agencies build capacity so communities can provide accessible services and partner with stakeholders to assess service gaps.

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The Center for States helps child welfare agencies build capacity to address child and family needs related to well-being. Well-being is critical to reducing risks and increasing safety and protective factors.

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Workforce Development

The Center supports states and territories in building the capacity to recruit, train, and retain child welfare workers, enhance organizational health, and become learning organizations in order to improve service provision to children, youth, and families.

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Youth Development

The Center for States aims to build the capacity for youth development and authentic youth engagement in all areas of child welfare services delivery systems. Strategies include effective training, the development of resources, and the facilitation of shared information and best practices.

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