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We are Overdue for a Revolution in Child Welfare [imprintnews.org]

 

By Jessica Pryce and Amelia Franck Meyer, The Imprint, January 4, 2021

Although child welfare reform has been a topic of conversation for many years, what is often meant by “reform” is evolutionary or incremental change, which are efforts to make the current system better, but not fundamentally different. But many systems leaders who operate significantly improved versions of the current system agree that it still falls short of meeting the needs of families.

The Biden administration engenders the slogan: Build Back Better. And many longtime advocates for change within our system are watching to see if the envisioned rebuild will make a profound difference in how our child welfare systems operate.

We are overdue for revolutionary change, and we need a way of helping to keep families together that goes beyond doing things a little bit better, but rather develops a new, different and transformational approach. The good news is that there is momentum in our field for real and sustained changes to our work, as evidenced by a mounting chorus of voices calling for change. The great news is that now more than ever, these voices include families and youth who have been impacted by the system and their voices are finally being heard. We believe that when we work together with families, we are engaging in revolutionary work and are coming closer to a tipping point of change.

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