U.S. Child Welfare System Redesign – Introduction


United States Child Welfare System Redesign

Strategic Action Plan


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“A call to a child abuse hotline is as much a request for help as a call to 911.”[1]

That one sentence defines the intent of this Strategic Action Plan. The intent is neither punitive nor accusatory. The intent is a call to action from a variety of perspectives.

  • The intent is from the perspective of the abused or neglected child, whose life becomes more hopeless with every new day in an abusive and toxic family.
  • The intent is from the perspective of concerned people witnessing a child’s traumatic situation and reporting it to the child abuse hotline or 911.
  • The intent is from the perspective of Child Welfare staff faced with overwhelming reports of unthinkable abuse and neglect inflicted on young children, while trying their best to make a difference – but often left with few resources to stop the onslaught of more reports every day, until they have to resign for their own mental health.
  • The intent is from the perspective of the abused or neglected child in foster care, without correct mental health treatment or therapy, whose life becomes more hopeless with every new day in a cold, sterile environment that is not their home.
  • The intent is from the perspective of the public who read the reports of abuse and neglect, the horrifying statistics, and accuse CWS staff of not caring, not doing their job, and not doing enough.

The intent is not to criticize, but to provide alternatives, ideas, and recommendations that could make a difference in all those people’s perspectives. Statistics are provided when they can be used to create a proactive approach to preventing the next similar case. Although some of the statistics may be shocking, the intent is to inform and provide alternatives for using the data as fuel to create better programs and services, to turn reaction into action, and to stop the cycle of child abuse and neglect. The intent is to make a difference and to end child abuse and neglect within this generation.

Focus on the Child:

Inadequate or incorrect mental health treatment of children who have been abused or neglected results in adults facing life-long mental health issues and increased life challenges through no fault of their own. Early child trauma treatment must become a standard part of CWS. Focus on the Child.

It is time for action. It is time to redesign the Child Welfare System.

That is the purpose of this Strategic Action Plan.

[1] Dan Scott, retired sergeant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office and a leader in the effort to improve cross reporting between child protective services (CPS) and law enforcement.


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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.


Jo Calk