WASHINGTON—To improve the well-being of children in foster care in the United States, the National Governors Association (NGA) today announced the selection of seven states—Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin—to participate in the Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being.

Selected states will focus on improving the social and emotional well-being of children in foster care through an integrated and comprehensive approach that aligns the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

“There is a real need to fully integrate the primary aims of the nation’s child welfare system,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “Being a part of this institute will help states learn from one another on this issue. Wisconsin is grateful for the opportunity.”

The goal of the institute is to develop state-specific plans to promote and measure well-being among children and youth receiving child welfare services; consider evidence-based and research-informed strategies that will have a positive effect; and coordinate and enhance existing efforts through cross-system collaboration and by leveraging Medicaid and other federal and state dollars to fund innovative practices.

NGA will convene a two-day meeting and provide on-going, customized technical assistance and on-site consultations in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and National Council of State Courts.

To learn more about NGA’s Economic, Human Services and Workforce Division, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/ehsw.