CWTI Trainings

documentation graphic: woman on computer, man writing

Evolution of Federal Child Welfare Legislation















Key Child Welfare Legislation


Law Graphic Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-272)

This landmark legislation is the foundation for the modern child welfare system.  For the first time, the federal government had a major federal role in the administration and oversight of child welfare services.  

During the 1970’s, the numbers of children entering the foster care system significantly increased, as did the average length of stay in care.  Lawmakers became concerned that many children were being removed from their homes unnecessarily and that inadequate efforts were being made to either reunify them with their biological families or place them with adoptive families.  There were also concerns about the lack of oversight within the foster care system.

To address these concerns, funding streams were consolidated for creating enhanced services under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. AFDC-Foster Care funds were transferred to this new title, consolidating funding under Title IV-E.  Specifically, the legislation:

As a result of this legislation, both the numbers of children in foster care and the average length of stay decreased for a brief period during the early 1980’s.

Reading graphicClick here to read

Case Example

Kara and Timmy

Kara and Timmy came into care two months ago after reports of abuse and neglect were substantiated. Because the initial assessment concluded that their birth parents heavily abused substances and neglected the boys, it was determined that the children should be placed outside of the home. A foster family was found and the children were placed. The foster parents immediately bonded to the children and wanted very much to adopt them. Although Kara and Timmy’s birth parents had been progressing with their substance abuse treatment, you decided to file a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) petition to allow the adoption to move forward.

Does this violate the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980?
Why or why not?

Type your answer and then click the "Check Answer" button.




Back               7 of 11              Next