TANF & Child Welfare Collaboration: Preventative Strategies Focused on Family Well-Being
Research shows that families living in poverty have a significantly higher likelihood of experiencing crises, and that poverty is the greatest threat to child well-being and the best predictor of abuse and neglect. Further, research suggests poverty is a key driver of child welfare system involvement and preliminary evidence suggests even modest economic supports can stabilize families and alleviate the need for more intensive intervention. Although the relationship between poverty and child neglect is supported by research, there is not yet a clear national policy and systems approach to intervening on behalf of families in ways that preserve the family unit while resolving safety issues compromised by poverty. Scattered across the country, however, are innovative policies, system reform efforts, program models, and practice strategies for bridging this gap.
The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), in partnership with the Children’s Bureau, hosted a webinar on April 18, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET which examined research conducted and presented by researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
• Highlighted research findings contributing to the current knowledge base on the interrelationships among family economic insecurity and stability, income and concrete material supports, family well-being, and preventing child welfare system involvement.
• Described innovations introduced by states to bolster family economic security and protect children.
• Identified pain points and key challenges to collaboration and coordination derived from research and practice.
OFA Director Ann Flagg gave opening remarks. Webinar participants were able to ask questions and explore topics of interest in additional detail with the Chapin Hall researchers.