Understanding and Measuring Child Welfare Outcomes


The new “Children's and Family Services Reviews” (CFSR) process focuses on the effectiveness of services to children and families by measuring client outcomes. This article reviews the research literature related to child welfare outcomes in order to provide a context for federal accountability efforts. It also summarizes the 2001 federal mandate to hold states accountable for child welfare outcomes and describes California's response to this mandate. Implications of the outcomes literature review and measurement problems in the CFSR process suggest CSFR measures do not always capture meaningful outcomes. Recommendations for change are made.

D'andrade, A.
Osterling, K.L.
Austin, M.J.
Publication date: 
November 5, 2008
Publication type: 
Journal Article