Title IV-E waiver demonstrations allowed flexibility in the use of federal funds to test innovative approaches to reforming child welfare and improving safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes.
This report presents the findings of a national study of the waiver program. The study was conducted by JBA in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau to understand the waiver jurisdictions’ collective experience of implementing their demonstrations and operating with increased fiscal flexibility.
The findings suggest that this flexibility resulted in practice- and systems-level changes, changes in program- and policy-level decision making, increases in data use, and improvements to data systems. The waivers appeared to provide opportunities to shift child welfare systems toward enhanced needs assessment, improved engagement with families, placement prevention, and increased collaboration with service providers. All were positive signs as the jurisdictions approached the end of the waiver authority and prepared to engage with the prevention and child welfare financing opportunities of the Family First Prevention Services Act.