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Child Welfare System Reform Project

CCE is monitoring the work of the DC child welfare system - including the DC Family Court, Child and Family Services Agency, Office of the Attorney General, and private attorneys - to reduce the time it takes to move children from foster care into permanent families.

Despite improvements in the system, DC foster children who seek adoption still spend on average more than four birthdays in foster care before they are adopted, which is significantly longer than the national average.  Too much of that time elapses even after the child has found a family that wants to adopt.

The system has committed to a goal to reduce the time it takes to complete adoptions after a child has found an adoptive family to twelve months – or one birthday for the child. CCE participated in a Family Court subcommittee initiative in 2012 which prepared a comprehensive case-management directive to improve practices from case initiation all the way through to permanency, aimed at reducing the duration of foster care.

This work continues CCE’s commitments to improving the child welfare system and to informing the public about the system’s performance. CCE has published two editions of a comprehensive Practice Manual for Child Abuse and Neglect, provided countless training sessions, published four progress reports on system performance before and after creation of the DC Superior Court Family Court, and testified in DC Council oversight hearings.  All publications are available in the Digital Library of this website. 


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