Grants to Improve the Well-being of Young Children Through Systems Collaboration

The Children’s Bureau recently announced discretionary grants for Early Education Partnerships to Expand Protective Factors for Children with Child Welfare Involvement. Authorized by the Adoption Opportunities Program (P.L. 111-320), these grants fund demonstration projects to improve the socio-emotional and behavioral well-being of young children who are in or at risk of entering foster care or are receiving post-adoption services. Grantees will accomplish this through collaborations between state, local, or tribal child welfare agencies and early childhood systems like Head Start and Early Head Start. Cross-systems collaboration and the promotion of well-being are CWLA legislative priorities.

Ten grantees will receive funding between $25,000 to $250,000 for 24 months to build infrastructure and implement interventions to prevent or mediate the effects of adverse experiences for children ages birth to 5 and support their optimal development. Interventions can be new or replicate existing models and should include an evaluation component to inform the field of its relative impact. The funding announcement provides further details on grant requirements including background on well-being and child development, data and research findings regarding the target population and evidence-based interventions, and tips for preparing a competitive application.

Also included are administrative and legislative efforts that support the grant’s purpose. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (P.L. 111-320) includes a provision requiring child protective services to refer children to Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for evaluation of early intervention services. The Administration has released Information Memorandums with guidance on child welfare and Head Start collaboration. Other federal interagency linkages on early childhood include the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs, the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Child Abuse and Neglect, Early Learning Challenge Grants, CAPTA Title II Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention programs, as well as previous discretionary grants from the Children’s Bureau, among other initiatives.

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