Children who enter the foster care system typically leave in one of three ways, through reunification with their families, through adoption, or through guardianship with a relative or other adult. Ensuring the availability and sustainability of an array of post-permanency services to support former foster children and their permanent families - whether birth, kinship, or adoptive - remains a significant challenge for the child welfare community. The National Implementation Research Network, with support from Child Trends, has produced a series of briefs on implementation lessons learned from an initiative in North Carolina to study whether post-care supportive services improve the long-term well-being of children exiting foster care. Catawba County Department of Social Services and The Duke Endowment partnered to develop and study the delivery of a continuum of post-care services for children who are exiting foster care to a permanent placement and for their families.
Child Trends is pleased to release this three-brief series, Building a Post-Care Service System in Child Welfare: Lessons Learned from the Frontlines of Implementation Science in Catawba County. The first brief in the series, Implementing a Post-Care Service System in Child Welfare: The Catawba County Child Wellbeing Project, describes the Project's origins and historical context.
The second brief in the series, Using Implementation Science to Support and Align Practice and System Change: A Case Study of the Catawba County Child Wellbeing Project, details how implementation science principles informed technical assistance strategies used in Catawba County to support the full and effective use of evidence-based and evidence-informed practices (EBPs/EIPs).
The third and final brief in the series, Building the Child Wellbeing Project: Practitioners' Perspectives on the Role of Implementation Science in Strengthening Post-Care Child Welfare Services, provided additional background information on the initiative and greater detail about the use of implementation science - scientific methods that promote the uptake of research into routine practice settings - to help bring about systems change.