To ensure the safety of vulnerable children, state leadership is essential to mobilize the resources and efforts of critical public and private stakeholders. Governors can communicate a vision of shared responsibility for child safety and well-being that begins with the state child welfare agency but ultimately engages many family- and child-serving agencies. With an eye toward both child well-being and systems efficiency, governors have the opportunity to strategically work with their agencies on safely reducing the number of families affected by the foster care system. Governors can increase the safety and well-being of children by increasing efforts to address and prevent the child safety issues that many families face. For those children who do come into foster care, child-serving agencies can provide the necessary collaborative leadership to move these children to permanency as quickly as possible.
Older youth who age out of foster care are more likely than non-foster care youth to experience compounding socioeconomic hurdles. Governors can make a difference for older youth through measures to ensure these youth experience strong transitional connections to system supports in education, job training, housing, health, mental health, family planning and financial literacy.
The Three Branch Institute is a multi-year partnership between the NGA Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures, with support from Casey Family Programs. The Institute is designed to bring the three branches of government together to develop an action plan to address child welfare issues. This is accomplished with national convenings of all participating governors’ teams, as well as regular onsite meetings among the three branches of state government. The purpose of the Three Branch Institute is to help participating states and territories to develop and integrated and multi-disciplinary approach for improving the safety of children who are known to the child welfare system, or at risk of child welfare involvement, by coordinating with the governor’s office and aligning the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. To learn more about The Three Branch Institute and the NGA Center’s work with governors in the child safety arena, please see below.
Supporting Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Three Branch Institute
2014: Child Social and Emotional Well-Being
Three Branch Institute Child Social and Emotional Well-Being policy academy
2012: Safe Reduction of Children and Adolescents in Care
2011: Safe Reduction of Children and Adolescents in Care
2007: Improving Outcomes for Children and Youth in the Child Welfare system
A Three-Branch Approach to Child Welfare Reform in The Chronicle for Social Change
National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, U.S. CDR Programs, Individual State CDR Programs
NCPCA: Child Fatality Review Teams