Family Support

Transforming the lives of babies in child welfare.

Babies are the age group most vulnerable to maltreatment. And because of their rapid brain development, the stakes could not be higher for young children entering the child welfare system. Infants and toddlers are an outsized proportion of children in child welfare programs, but the child welfare system was not devised to support the unique needs of babies or their caretakers. Many states and communities do not have the support structures in place to ensure strong early development and address family trauma and ensure safe and loving environments for young children.

Take Action

Tell Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct and transform the child welfare system!

THE FACTS

One-third of children entering foster care are under the age of three.

THE FACTS

Every year in the United States, nearly 200,000 infants and toddlers experience abuse or neglect.

THE FACTS

84 percent of infants and toddlers in the Infant-Toddler Court Team program achieved permanency within a year compared with the national standard of 40.5 percent.

Legislation At-A-Glance

Strengthening America’s Family Act (SAFA) 

This bill would support state efforts to transform child welfare policy and practice through community-based Infant-Toddler Court Teams (ITCT), led by judges, that work collaboratively to prevent child abuse and neglect and address the needs of young children experiencing maltreatment and their families, especially during crises such as COVID-19. Using the science of early childhood development and trauma-responsive policies and practices, SAFA would help courts and communities keep families intact and thriving.

 

What it could mean for babies:

Families in the child welfare system would receive a range of comprehensive, trauma-responsive infant, toddler, and family services. Expanding the reach of the Infant-Toddler Court Teams would build the preventative services families need to prevent child removal and transform how communities and the child welfare system support the well-being of infants, toddlers, and families.  

Advocacy Tools & Resources

State of Babies Yearbook: 2021: Use national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers to call on federal and state policymakers to improve outcomes for babies and families.

Building Strong FoundationsLearn more about the research behind home visiting and the federal programs that support parent support services and resources.