Family Support

Transforming the lives of babies in child welfare.

Babies, aged 0 to 3, experience the highest rates of maltreatment, and children under the age of 3 enter the foster care system at a rate higher than any other age group. Because of their rapid brain development during this crucial period, the stakes could not be higher for the youngest children entering the child welfare system. But the child welfare system was not devised to support the unique needs of babies or their caretakers. Infant-Toddler Court Teams in communities across the country focus on the development of young children, offer preventive services for families, and address family trauma while ensuring safe and loving environments for young children.



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


93 percent of infants and toddlers in the Infant-Toddler Court Team program achieved permanency within a year which is double the national standard.


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


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


In the United States, every seven minutes a baby or toddler is removed from their parents and placed in out-of-home care.

Legislation At-A-Glance

The Strengthening America’s Families Act (SAFA) 

This bipartisan bill would support state efforts to transform child welfare policy and practice through community-based Infant-Toddler Court Teams (ITCT). ITCTs work collaboratively to prevent child abuse and neglect while addressing the needs of young children experiencing maltreatment and getting their families the support they need. Using the science of early childhood development and trauma-responsive policies and practices, SAFA would help keep families intact and thriving.

What it could mean for babies:

Families involved in the child welfare system would have access to a range of comprehensive, equitable and trauma-responsive resources needed to maintain safe, stable and healthy relationships with their children. Expanding the scale of Infant-Toddler Court Teams nationwide would build services families need to prevent removal of children from their homes and transform how communities and the child welfare system respond to and support the well-being of infants, toddlers, and families.

Advocacy Tools & Resources

The Strengthening America’s Families Act: Learn more about the need to transform the lives of babies involved in the child welfare system and how SAFA would support states through Infant-Toddler Court Teams, based on the Safe Babies approach. .

The Safe Babies Approach Use this resource to learn more about the Safe Babies approach and how it improves outcomes for infants and toddlers.

Policy and Sustainability resources for an Infant-Toddler Court Team

Strengthening Families with Infants and Toddlers: A Policy Framework for States: The policy framework includes recommendations for states and communities that aim to advance equitable outcomes supporting the health and well-being of young children and their families, including those who are in or are at risk of entering the child welfare system.

Data and Policy Briefs

  • What the Data on Infants and Toddlers Tell Us: Disproportionality in Child Welfare
  • What The Data on Infants and Toddlers Tell Us: The Intersection of Parental Substance Use and Child Welfare

Strengthening America’s Families Act Storybook: Read and share this storybook to help policymakers understand challenges that, without community supports, can lead to families’ involvement in the child welfare system—and how proven policy solutions like the bipartisan Strengthening America’s Families Act can help.


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