Restructuring the Child Welfare System
This brief explores how to improve the safety, permanence and well-being of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system.
Although the developmental impact of child abuse and neglect is greatest among the very young, research confirms that the early years present an unparalleled window of opportunity to effectively intervene with at-risk children.
Intervening in the early years can lead to significant cost savings over time through reductions in child abuse and neglect, criminal behavior, welfare dependence, and substance abuse. In view of the rapid rate of development for infants and toddlers, the substantial damage they can sustain in a short time, and the bleak outlook for long stays in out-of-home care (which amount to a substantial portion of their lives), it is critical that Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the states act now to ensure that the unique needs of this vulnerable group of children are met. Download the full brief for a list of our policy recommendations.