An Introduction to the Child Welfare Community Collaborations Grantees and Strategies

Overview of the Initiative

The Child Welfare Community Collaborations (CWCC) initiative is a set of cooperative agreements funded by the Children’s Bureau (CB) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF). CWCC funding supports “the development, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability, and well-being of families through a continuum of community-based services and supports.”2 The purpose of the initiative is to mobilize communities to develop and evaluate multi-system collaboratives that provide a continuum of services to prevent child abuse and neglect. ACF awarded 5-year cooperative agreements to 13 states, non-profit organizations, and Native American tribal organizations (referred to here as “grantees”): a first cohort of four grantees in 2018 and a second cohort of nine grantees in 2019.

Through its funding opportunity announcements3, ACF required that CWCC projects:

  • focus on a geographic area(s) that would benefit from the multi-system collaborative efforts;
  • strategically collaborate with key partners (e.g., child welfare agencies, courts, community service providers), creating a shared vision and goals and joint ownership over outcomes;
  • plan and deliver activities and strategies that are responsive to community prevention-based needs;
  • conduct an independent process and outcome evaluation of the project.

CWCC Goals

The goal of the CWCC initiative is to fund collaborative projects that address local barriers and provide a continuum of supports to promote child and family well-being and strengthen protective factors, ultimately leading to fewer new referrals to child welfare and more families staying together. The overall theory of change for CWCC hypothesizes that organizations, agencies, business, and faith-based organizations can work collaboratively to improve families’ access to services that reduce risk and strengthen protective factors among families at high risk of child abuse and neglect. By helping families address their risk and protective factors for maltreatment, these collaborative efforts can ultimately prevent child abuse and neglect.

While each CWCC grantee has their own logic model outlining overall goals and the project components designed to achieve those goals, Exhibit 1 shows a high-level logic model applicable across the CWCC projects. This model illustrates how the CWCC grants are hypothesized to affect the individuals, communities, and systems in the areas in which they operate.

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