Partners Develop Analytic Framework to Address Economic-Related Risk Factors in Child Welfare

Poverty and related circumstances increase the risk of child maltreatment and make it more likely children will come to the attention of child protective services. Some child welfare systems have begun to provide prevention services to mitigate economic risk factors. However, more comprehensive transformation of child welfare systems requires adequate information and analytic strategies.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Chapin Hall, and Casey Families partnered to host an expert roundtable on June 23 and 24, 2021. This brief summarizes the Roundtable, providing an overview of the conversation and highlighting the resulting action steps. (To read the full brief, click the “Download brief” button below.) The roundtable, “Toward an Analytic Framework to Address Economic-Related Risk Factors in Child Welfare,” had two objectives:

  • Create an analytic framework and identify tools to help jurisdictions deploy resources to address economic risk factors for child maltreatment.
  • Identify steps to develop the data capacity and infrastructure needed to implement the analytic framework.

The Roundtable included background presentations on the current state of Child Welfare Information Systems (CWIS) and the need for a vision for data analytics that parallels current initiatives in child maltreatment prevention, remarks from ASPE and Chapin Hall leadership, and facilitated small-group sessions to generate a set of ideas and recommendations. These interdisciplinary discussions provided an innovative forum to generate a broad array of actionable solutions.

In small groups, participants followed a systematic approach to develop an analytic framework. They discussed needs in areas of data capacity, analytic capacity (including technological infrastructure), and stakeholder engagement, including gaps in current practice. The roundtable identified clear future action steps for federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in each area.

This work builds on earlier Chapin Hall work on leveraging economic supports to promote child and family well-being and prevent maltreatment. Chapin Hall staff participating in the roundtable included Dana Weiner, Mike Stiehl, Brian Chor, and Kiljoong Kim. For more information about this project, please contact Dana Weiner.

Recommended Citation
Ghertner, R., Weiner, D., Madden, E., & Farrell, A. (2021). Expert Roundtable: Toward an analytic framework to address economic-related risk factors in child welfare. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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