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This factsheet provides a brief overview of the child welfare system and its purposes and functions. Child welfare systems typically receive and investigate reports of possible child abuse and neglect; provide services to families that need assistance in the protection and care of their children; arrange for children to live with kin or with foster families when they are not safe at home; and arrange for reunification, adoption, or other permanent family connections for children leaving foster care. A flowchart illustrates how cases may move through the child welfare system.
Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, Grant # HHS-2018-ACF- ACYF-CT-1350. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funder, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the US Department of Health and Human Services.