Shared Principles for Child Welfare Fiscal, Policy, and Practice Alignment

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and the National Organization of the State Associations for Children (NOSAC) believe in the power of home‐ and community‐based, family‐centered systems of supports and engagement that help families ensure that their children grow up in nurturing environments,safe from abuse and neglect. When these systems are aligned to a prevention model, they help promote the well‐being of all children and their families. When some children and families need a system that provides protective intervention to address issues of abuse or neglect, the systems pave the pathway to a successful forever family.

We are partners and advocates working together to build a system that strengthens families, prevents the need for protective intervention whenever possible, yet stands ready to respond with a broad array of supports and services designed for the children and families who need them as a result of abuse and neglect. Shared responsibility throughout this system helps advance a shared vision across public and private sectors, philanthropy and business communities.

When situations require protective interventions and pathways to a forever family, the system of care, services, and support must effectively promote and improve the social, physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional well‐being outcomes for the children who interact with it. To do this, the system needs the capacity to enhance the following elements that support well‐being: a safe and nurturing home environment; adequate nutrition and health care; supportive, loving, adults, including engaged family members; appropriate developmental and educational opportunities; and caring communities.

Through finance reform, we aim to realign the system so that it delivers an appropriate, integrated array of preventative, early, protective and therapeutic interventions to children and their families at the earliest identification of need, and does it in a cost effective, family‐friendly manner. The system comprises home- and community‐based supports and services provided through a variety of options including foster, kinship, and guardianship arrangements. Services and support include evidence-based treatment and stabilization that, depending on the unique needs of a child, may best be provided through high quality, family-connected residential settings. The entire system of care is focused on the outcomes of protecting child safety, ensuring successful forever families and sustaining the well‐being of our children and youth.

In this work, the single most important guiding principle is to place the best interests of the child and the family at the center of our collective decision making and system reform efforts. With that as our focus, we lead with this complement of guiding principles:

Child- and Family-Centered Principles

System-Centered Principles

Finance Reform Principles

Download the shared principles as a PDF.

Direct questions to the Alliance Public Policy Office.

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