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Child Welfare Family Economic Success

Family poverty has a high correlation with child maltreatment. That evidence drives CSSP’s belief that economic security is a key ingredient for family and child well- being and that many of the most vulnerable families who become involved in the child welfare system need of economic supports.

Poverty should never be a reason for removing a child from his or her home or preventing reunification. Too often, however, family poverty exacerbates other problems which impact a family’s ability to safely care for its children. That’s why CSSP is working with a number of jurisdictions to develop approaches to reduce the number of children involved with child welfare services due to a lack of economic stability. They include strengthening working partnerships between public child welfare and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) agencies and community based workforce programs and giving child welfare workers new tools to promote family economic success

In 2009, CSSP launched the Family Economic Success Learning Network to better identify and deploy strategies to vulnerable families. The network brings together child welfare officials and job training experts from around the country to discuss ways to help families work, earn and save their way out of poverty.

CSSP and the network also work with local partners in three states, providing technical assistance for the following strategies:

  • An employment pipeline that coordinates job recruitment, placement and career advancement services for youth and families involved in the child welfare system in Wake County, North Carolina
  • The Family Team Meeting process in Louisville, Kentucky, which has been augmented to help parents better access benefits, asset-building programs and job training
  • Partnerships between child welfare and TANF departments in Los Angeles, California, to help connect families in the child welfare system to training, employment, asset building, housing and other benefit programs
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