Chapin Hall, in collaboration with the American Public Human Services Association, developed and administered a national landscape survey of child welfare leaders to better understand state leaders’ perceptions and practices regarding the use of economic and concrete supports in preventing involvement with the child welfare system.

According to the survey results, respondents believe both the child welfare agency and the public benefit system are responsible for screening, referring, and helping families receive economic and concrete supports during a child protective services investigation. However, they also expressed a clear preference for the public benefit system to lead the work of helping families access economic and concrete supports. They noted economic need frequently contributes to suspected maltreatment reports. Additionally, agencies face a wide variety of barriers to offering economic and concrete supports to families. These include staffing resources, restrictions on federal child welfare funds, and public benefit eligibility restrictions. Nearly all respondents reported that direct funding to expand access to economic and concrete supports would be very helpful.