Reports & Working Papers

Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems

How can we use insights from cutting-edge science to improve the well-being and long-term life prospects of the most vulnerable children in our society? This is both a critical challenge and a powerful opportunity to affect the trajectories of millions of children in the United States and around the world. It is a question of particular importance to those who make or affect public policy. This paper shows how the science of child development can be leveraged to strengthen and improve the public child welfare system so that it can better support the children, families, and communities it serves.

The paper is intended for leaders in the public agencies responsible for child protection and related functions; in the private, non-profit agencies that provide many of the services in these systems; in the courts, which play a critical role in child welfare; in legislative committees that oversee child welfare and related services; and in the many other public systems, such as early childhood education, mental health, and juvenile justice, whose support is essential to success in child welfare.

Suggested citation: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2016). Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems. Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Child Welfare Systems report

Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems

A Science to Policy and Practice Paper

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