• June/July 2003
  • Vol. 4, No. 5

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AFCARS Technical Assistance: National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare

The National Resource Center for Information Technology in Child Welfare (NRC-ITCW) offers detailed technical assistance to States on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). AFCARS collects data on all children who are in foster care or adopted under the auspices of the State's public child welfare agency. AFCARS data assist policy makers at the Federal, State, and local levels with understanding child welfare populations and practices. The data also are used by the Federal government for a number of specific programs such as compiling the Annual Child Welfare Report to Congress, developing the data profile for the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), and driving funding allocations for the Chafee Independent Living Program and the Adoption Incentive Program.

NRC-ITCW can help States:

  • Understand AFCARS elements and reporting requirements.
  • Assess the impact of specific policies and practices, as well as information system design, on the quality of AFCARS data.
  • Evaluate the translation of data from the State's child welfare information system into an AFCARS report.

A member of the Children's Bureau's Technical Assistance Network, NRC-ITCW provides strategies to help State, local, and Tribal child welfare agencies as well as family and juvenile courts improve the collection, quality, comparability, and use of child welfare data. The Resource Center provides telephone consultation, training, and onsite technical assistance to help its clients use data and information systems to improve services to children, youth, and families; evaluate results; and make informed decisions about policies, programs, and practices. NRC-ITCW also supports States and courts in meeting the requirements of the Adoption and Safe Families Act and other Federal mandates.

In addition to AFCARS, NRC-ITCW can provide assistance with:

  • Adoption Incentive Program
  • CFSRs
  • National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System
  • Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems
  • Change management
  • Court and social work practice

Additional information is available on the NRC-ITCW website at www.nrccwdt.org/. Requests for onsite technical assistance must be approved by the appropriate Administration for Children and Families Regional Office. However, consultation with the NRC-ITCW is encouraged. To find out more about technical assistance options, contact the Resource Center at (877) 672-4829 or nrcitcw@cwla.org.

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