Research-To-Practice Brief

Alignment Between Early Childhood and Child Welfare Systems Benefits Children and Families

Both the early childhood and child welfare systems are investing in promising new ways to support families with young children, particularly as they strive to recover from COVID-19 challenges and to become more equitable. These investments are creating new opportunities for child welfare and early childhood systems to align services and collaborate across both systems to better support children. This brief provides a rationale for better coordination between the two systems, followed by recommendations for alignment and examples of strong alignment in the field. Recommendations are structured around three main areas of opportunity for coordination: preventing child abuse and neglect, supporting children and families with open child welfare cases, and creating stronger functionality and supports in both systems.

Partner Resources
Supportive Services
Child Care
Child Welfare
Special Populations
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