The Children's Bureau provides training and technical assistance to child welfare agencies to support services, practices, and systems that improve the lives of children and families. We also monitor and review the work of those agencies to ensure they operate in a way that maximizes benefits.
Child welfare agencies and organizations often need support as they seek to enhance, expand, and develop services, practices, and policies. The Children's Bureau has established a network of centers and resources that can assist these agencies and organizations as they work to improve outcomes for children and families and measure their results.
To help states achieve positive outcomes for children and families, the Children's Bureau monitors state child welfare services through:
- Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) assessment reviews,
- Child and Family Services Reviews
- National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) reviews
- Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System assessment reviews, and
- Title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews.
The Children’s Bureau supports the development of state and tribal child welfare reporting systems to enable data collection and analysis of important information about children and families as well as improve case practice and management. Three primary reporting systems managed by the Children's Bureau include:
- National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)
Child welfare information technology (IT) systems are automated case management tools that support child welfare policy and practice, as well as federal reporting, auditing, and review requirements. State and tribal agencies manage their child welfare programs, including child welfare IT, with the help of federal financial participation (FFP).
The Division of State Systems (DSS) approves FFP through the Advance Planning Document (APD) process and also generates regulatory guidance, provides regulatory oversight, and issues technical assistance on the development and operation of these IT systems. This page provides additional information about DSS, how agencies can receive assistance and submit materials, and resources provided by DSS to support agencies.