Court-Based Child Welfare Reforms Final 8-7-2012_Page_01We’re pleased to share with you the third in a series of upcoming policy briefs, “Court-Based Child Welfare Reforms: Improved Child/Family Outcomes and Potential Cost Savings,” co-released by SPARC and the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law. Authored by Liz Thornton, Staff Attorney for the ABA Center on Children and the Law, the brief focuses on ways that court-based child welfare reforms can have an impact on child welfare outcomes and costs.

Most children placed in foster care will have contact with the state child welfare court system. These courts play a key role in ensuring children’s safety, timely permanency, and well-being. Prompt and thoughtful court decisions have a large impact on children in foster care. Courts serve as a check and balance on the child welfare agency’s decisions and can be a problem-solving resource for families. 

The brief describes court-based child welfare reforms that result in improved outcomes for children and families, and potential state/local agency cost savings. Additionally, the brief discusses promising practices, such as reforms that have yet to be formally evaluated with respect to improved outcomes and cost-savings, but show promise based on initial data and anecdotal evidence.

The brief can be downloaded here.