Policy & Practice | Spring 2023


Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation. Kicking off in 2021, the AFEM initiative has brought together human services agency leaders from across the country to participate in regional and national learning communities that share strategies and innovations to remove systemic barriers to sustainable family economic mobility and well-being. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a research and policy institution focused on child and family well-being, co-facilitated one AFEM learning community with support from members of APHSA’s Organizational Effectiveness (OE) team. At the learning com munity’s launch, state teams of child welfare and other human services leaders from Ohio, Oregon, New York, and Missouri received an overview of the current evidence linking ECS and child welfare outcomes. Thus began a six-month peer exchange to generate new and creative solutions to leveraging ECS as a primary prevention strategy to reduce family involvement in the child welfare system.

he 2010 National Incidence Study on Child Abuse and Neglect, published by the Administration for Children and Families, indicates that among

households with low socioeconomic status, rates of child maltreatment are five times higher than for all other children. Economic and concrete supports (ECS) have traditionally been deployed as poverty reduction tools, but research increas ingly links these financial supports, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Medicaid expansion, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), with reduced risk for inves tigations, foster care placements, and child fatalities—all critical child welfare outcomes. Human services leaders are increasingly looking to understand which upstream ECS can effec tively stabilize families to prevent involvement with the child welfare system. The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) administers the Advancing Family and Economic Mobility (AFEM) initiative through generous support from the W.K. Kellogg


Spring 2023 Policy & Practice

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