Resource | Report

Early Childhood/Child Welfare Service Partnerships: The Challenges and the Potential

Project: Technical Assistance on Evaluation for Discretionary Grant Programs

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Numerous studies have shown the importance of intervening with maltreated or at-risk infants and young children before health, emotional, developmental, and cognitive deficits become entrenched.

This brief reviews research on the role of partnerships between early childhood and child welfare agencies in developing interventions that improve developmental, behavioral, well-being, and safety outcomes for our nation’s most vulnerable yet potentially most resilient children.

Interagency initiatives have helped provide infants and young children with essential pediatric care and improve parents’ coping skills. However, demonstrating positive long-term outcomes has been more challenging, and inconsistent follow-through with services is a common implementation barrier. In addition, different problems often respond better to different service delivery models. Successful partnerships require considerable resources.