Children's Services

Illinois' child welfare agency goes on a hiring spree

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has reduced hiring times for frontline workers from nine months to just a few weeks. Agency leaders hope a bigger staff will help improve the lives of kids it serves.

Mandatory reporting laws meant to protect children get another look

Some states are considering rolling back these laws, saying the result has been too many unfounded reports that disproportionately harm families who are poor, Black, or Indigenous or have members with disabilities.

One state takes on youth mental health by streamlining access to services

For some families, it can take more than a decade to connect children to appropriate mental health resources once they show symptoms. Amid a growing youth mental health crisis, one state is developing an online portal to shave that wait time down.

Child welfare staffing crisis can only be solved by addressing capacity issues first

COMMENTARY | We need creative solutions to provide enough capacity for caseworkers to complete their work in an effective, timely and efficient way.

States Should Improve Opportunities for Older Youth in Foster Care Systems

An Annie E. Casey Foundation report said more investments are needed toward job training, post-secondary education and stable housing for those in foster care between the ages of 14 and 21.

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More Than 72,000 Lose Medicaid Coverage in Arkansas

Thousands of children lost coverage in the state's effort to update enrollment—a process taking place nationwide as states review the eligibility of millions of Medicaid enrollees following the public health emergency.

Millions of Kids Could Lose Health Coverage as States Purge Medicaid Rolls

Experts warn that states could sever as many as 15 million Americans, including 7 million children, from the health coverage they relied on through the pandemic.

How Much Federal Covid Aid are Cities Spending to Help Kids?

New research looks at how local governments are using the money to address the fallout the pandemic has had for children in areas like education and mental health.

A City Seeks to Undo a Legacy of Trauma

A Baltimore law requires agencies that interact with children and families to receive training in trauma-informed care. It's changing how the city engages with residents, with a greater emphasis on healing rather than hardline policies.

States Offer Supplemental Wages to Retain Child Care Workers

COMMENTARY | Ensuring eligible employees enroll to receive the pay benefit can be a challenge. New research offers three strategies that can help.

A Historic Child Care Investment Saved Centers From Collapse. What Happens When the Money Runs Out?

One year after the passage of the American Rescue Plan, child care centers said the money has stabilized the industry after near collapse. But advocates worry about what will happen once the money runs out.

About 1 in 3 Child Care Workers Are Going Hungry

Child care workers are at the center of the food insecurity crisis in America. In 2020, nearly one-third of them were food insecure.

How State and Local Leaders Can Bolster a Core American Ideal

COMMENTARY | Programs focused on preventing childhood trauma could go a long way towards delivering on the idea that the "pursuit of happiness" is an unalienable right.

The Federal Government Spent Record Amounts of Money on Children Last Year. It Probably Won’t Last.

Spending on children—including tax programs, education, nutrition and social services—by state and local governments also will likely fall back to pre-pandemic levels within several years as Covid-19 relief measures expire, according to an Urban Institute report.

The Cost for States to Expand Free Pre-K Under the Biden Plan

The Build Back Better proposal provides money for free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. States are required to contribute a percentage and will likely incur costs for workforce development, pay increases and adjusting elementary school curriculum.

State Spending on Anti-poverty Programs Could Substantially Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect

Public investments in benefit programs could save tens of thousands of children from being victims of child abuse and have important later-life effects on child welfare and overall health.

Two States Now Offer Free In-home Nurse Visits for New Parents

The visits, offered in Oregon and now New Jersey, include a health and wellness check for both the baby and the parents, an effort to improve maternal mortality rates and boost family well-being.

How One State Plans to Use Federal Relief Money to Shore Up Child Care Options

Montana will leverage more than $31 million to establish grants for child care centers to increase pay, expand capacity and offset tuition rates.

Enrollment in Health Insurance Lags Among Latino Children

States with restrictive Medicaid rules have the lowest insurance rates.

The Best and Worst States for Child Well-Being

Massachusetts took the top spot in the KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, while Mississippi ranked 50th.