The Community As A Resource

Resources from the Children’s Bureau and T&TA Network

Resources & Publications

  • Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2013 Resource Guide
    This guide for service providers was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy—Strengthening Families. This resource supports service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. It focuses on the six protective factors, which have been proven to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect, and provides tools and strategies to integrate the protective factors into existing programs and systems. It is available in an online format or can be downloaded as a pdf. (2013)
  • Promising Approaches: Agency Responsiveness to the Community and Community Collaboration
    The Children’s Bureau actively identifies promising approaches in child welfare during the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs). Descriptions of the promising approaches are provided as a resource to States regarding areas of common concern identified during the CFSRs and the Program Improvement Plan process. The Children’s Bureau does not make any representations pertaining to the effectiveness of the approaches and has not verified that they have been properly evaluated. Promising approaches are organized by topic and include “Agency Responsiveness to the Community” and “Community Collaboration.” (2012)
  • Community-based Resources: Keystone to the System of Care
    This resource, authored by the National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care includes the following sections: Elements of a Community-based Approach; Defining Community-based Approaches; Community-based Approaches in Child Welfare Driven Systems of Care; Challenges and Strategies in Following a Community-based Approach; Implications for Administrators and Stakeholders; Demonstration Sites and References. (2009)

Webinars & Webcasts

  • Understanding the Key Elements of a Successful Differential Response Approach: The Hawaii Experience
    At the conclusion of the first CFSR, Hawaii was faced with the challenge of needing to bring about significant change in nearly every outcome and systemic factor. The leadership committed to a fundamental shift in CPS practice which used a safety decision making framework and engaged community partners to create a Differential Response approach. In this webinar offered by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, presenters describe the approach, the process of community engagement, and the outcomes achieved. The key elements which have made this approach successful include leadership, a systemic change framework, and a solid decision making structure which enables consistent decisions about which families are best served in a traditional CPS investigation and which are better served by a voluntary community response. The results of this fundamental practice change include huge reductions in disproportionate placement of Native Hawaiian children, overall reductions in out of home placements, and reductions in repeat maltreatment. The Hawaii experience has demonstrated that a solid, well-defined, and well-implemented practice framework can produce positive outcomes for children and families. (2010)

Resources from Collaborating Organizations

  • Re-engaging Disconnected Youth Action Kit
    This Action Kit from the National League of Cities contains a wealth of new policy and program ideas for municipal leaders and draws upon the latest research and best practices from across the nation -- with a specific focus on older young people who are disconnected from the workforce, school, and community. The Action Kit lists good arguments for focusing on disconnected youth, and addresses the topics of education, workforce connections, and transitions from public care. (2005)

Resources from the States

  • California:
    Re-Visioning Case Management: Partnering with Families and Communities to Create Meaningful Change
    This monograph on case management from Strategies is designed to spark discussions and the exploration of new ideas regarding what it means to work with families, organizations, and communities in ways that bring about meaningful and long-term change for everyone. It offers a framework to guide staff and organizations in reviewing, discussing, and adapting their approach to case management. It begins by discussing key messages about the components of strengths-based case management, a new framework for case management that empowers family and the community, and elements of the case management relationship. Subsequent sections discuss how agencies can become learning organizations, organizational practices that contribute to an effective learning environment, and strategies organizations can implement to build community. Each section highlights programs that are implementing best practices and includes questions to consider. (2011)
  • Iowa:
    Iowa Department of Human Services: Community Partnerships for Protecting Children
    Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a community-based approach to child protection. Partnerships work to prevent child abuse, neglect, and re-abuse, safely decrease the number of out-of-home placements, and promote timely reunification when children are placed in foster care. Community members, professionals, and families work together to develop and implement local programs, services, supports, and policies that positively impact families and protect children from abuse. The long term focus of the Community Partnerships is to protect children by changing the culture to improve child welfare processes, practices, and policies. The Community Partnership approach involves four key strategies; shared decision making, family team decision making, community/neighborhood networking and policy and practice change, which are implemented together to achieve desired results.

Materials available on the “What is Community Partnership?” website section include:

    • Community Partnership Scenarios
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Getting to Results
    • Getting Started on Community Child Protection: How State and Local Leaders can Help Communities Safeguard Children More Effectively
    • Implementation FlowChart
    • CPPC Planning Tool
    • Available Resources for Developing Community Partnerships
  • North Carolina:
    North Carolina Division of Social Services: Community Child Protection Teams
    Community Child Protection Teams were established in 1991, as a response to the increased numbers of children reported as being abused, neglected or dependent in North Carolina. Teams were established to add a community dimension to child protection. This website section provides information on Community Child Protection Teams in North Carolina, and addresses the following topics: What is CCPT?; Purpose of CCPT; CCPT Task; How Can I Benefit from CCPT?; Where can I find CCPT?; List of Chairpersons; and, Available Forms.

Evidence-Based Practice, Research, Reports

  • Creating Community Responsibility for Child Protection: Possibilities and Challenges
    In this article published in “Preventing Child Maltreatment” Vol. 19 No. 2, Deborah Daro and Kenneth Dodge observe that efforts to prevent child abuse have historically focused on directly improving the skills of parents who are at risk for or engaged in maltreat­ment. But, as experts increasingly recognize that negative forces within a community can over­whelm even well-intentioned parents, attention is shifting toward creating environments that facilitate a parent’s ability to do the right thing. The most sophisticated and widely used com­munity prevention programs emphasize the reciprocal interplay between individual-family behavior and broader neighborhood, community, and cultural contexts. The authors examine five different community prevention efforts, summarizing for each both the theory of change and the empirical evidence concerning its efficacy. Each program aims to enhance community capacity by expanding formal and informal resources and establishing a normative cultural context capable of fostering collective responsibility for positive child development. The current evidence base for community child abuse prevention offers both encouragement and reason for caution. Although theory and empirical research sug­gest that intervention at the neighborhood level is likely to prevent child maltreatment, design­ing and implementing a high-quality, multifaceted community prevention initiative is expensive. Policy makers must consider the trade-offs in investing in strategies to alter community context and those that expand services for known high-risk individuals. The authors conclude that if the concept of community prevention is to move beyond the isolated examples examined in their article, additional conceptual and empirical work is needed to garner support from public institutions, community-based stakeholders, and local residents. (2009)
  • Community Partnerships for Protecting Children – Phase II Outcome Evaluation
    These documents summarize Chapin Hall’s evaluation of the Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) initiative as implemented in four urban communities—Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri. Initially funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in 1996, CPPC sought to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect and increase children’s safety through a combination of practice reforms within the child welfare system, collaborative efforts among public service providers and community-based service agencies, and efforts to build a collective commitment to children and families on the part of community residents. Chapin Hall’s evaluation, implemented between 2000 and 2004, focused on determining the initiative’s impact with respect to child safety and other key outcomes and garnering from this experience useful information in shaping ongoing reform efforts. Data collection efforts included repeated assessments of families exposed to specific practice reforms within child welfare; repeated surveys of local agency managers and direct service workers regarding collaboration levels, service quality and service availability; and, an analysis of state child welfare administrative data at the individual and community levels. The study reports findings on subsequent child abuse reports and placement among those families subject to the practice reform as well as community-wide trends in these and other related indicators. The study also identified specific areas in which the current CPPC failed to provide sufficient direction to insure strong and consistent implementation. (2005)
  • What Makes a Solution? Lessons and Findings from Solutions for America
    This report highlights research findings from nineteen Solutions for America sites and identifies common features of effective community-based programs. It also describes the participatory evaluation model that partnered faculty and program staff in the research process. (2003)


    The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs launched this website, which was a collaborative effort of 12 Federal departments and agencies developed out of a shared goal of strengthening community resources to support our Nation's youth. This site provides Federally-developed interactive tools and targeted information to help youth-serving organizations and community partnerships plan and implement effective youth programs. The site offers customized strategies and practical resources designed to help communities: Build and sustain effective community partnerships; Generate maps of community resources; Develop evidence-based youth programs addressing risk and protective factors; and, Access up-to-date information on Federal programs, funding opportunities, and youth-related issues. Online tools include social bookmarking, a calendar of events, news feeds, mapping tools, searchable youth program database, and much more.
  • FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Programs (CBCAP)
    FRIENDS is funded by Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau to promote the purposes of the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program. FRIENDS provides training and technical assistance to lead agencies intended to build their capacity to meet the requirements of Title II of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as Amended in 2003.
  • Community Services Locator
    This online directory, produced by the Maternal and Child Health Library, can be used by service providers and families to find available health, mental health, family support, parenting, child care, and other services for children and families in the communities in which they live. Topics include education and special needs, health and wellness, mental health and well-being, family support, parenting, child care and early childhood education, and financial support. A new A-Z Resources and Services Index offers another avenue for navigating the locator and the library's Website.
  • The Art and Science of Community Problem-Solving
    This ongoing research and outreach project, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, and the Rockefeller Foundation, has launched this website to provide community builders with problem-solving tools and strategies. Practitioners can access strategy and program tools in the form of case-studies, best practices, and web links related to community development issues. The website also features discussion forums to foster interactive exchange of ideas and peer-to-peer learning.
  • Family to Family
    Family to Family is a child welfare systems reform initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It involves principles, strategies, and tools to confront the real problems faced by child welfare systems. These include: strengthening the network of families available to care for abused and neglected children in their own communities; and building partnerships with at-risk neighborhoods toward that end.


Last updated 3/19/13