Why should we re-envision the child welfare system using a public health lens?
“The only difference among parents lies not in what they desire for their children, but in what they have available to them to fulfill those desires. Our job is to enhance the context so that everyone will have the resources they need to achieve their desires for their children.”
With this foundation, Dr. Deborah Daro, senior research fellow at Chapin Hall, offers that a public health model of prevention would better align the efforts of multiple agencies in an effective community response to improve outcomes for children. Rather than waiting until after a report of child maltreatment has been made, a public health approach employs population-level data to provide universal prevention interventions that reflect equitable allocation of resources and services for all parents. Dr. Daro presented this approach at a two-day convening hosted by Casey Family Programs in May 2018, where child welfare leaders and experts came together to share innovative strategies designed to improve child safety and reduce child abuse and neglect fatalities.