Child Welfare Administration Systems


State child welfare systems are generally administered in one of three ways.  Here are some general basic definitions of those administration types:


State Administered

State-administered systems are run by the state government. The agency has control of finances and program execution (1). Child welfare workers are hired by the government and report to state officials. These state officials report to a Governor-appointed state commissioner (2).

State-Administered Systems Include…

Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia (District-administered), Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

State Supervised, County Administered

In a state supervised, county administered system, administrative control is decentralized. County (or regional) administrators submit a plan to the state that describes how the county will meet the needs that exist there. State and Federal laws provide certain guidelines but ultimately counties control what kinds of services they will provide. The state will often provide block grants for the counties to use to provide services (1).

State-Supervised, County-Administered Systems Include…

California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

State Administered with Strong County Structure & Discretion

A child welfare system that is “state administered with strong county structure and discretion” has similarities to both state administered and county administered structures. The system is run by the state government, and the agency has control of finances and program execution (1).  Child welfare workers are hired by the government and report to state officials.  These state officials report to a Governor-appointed state commissioner (2). County (or regional) administrators submit a plan to the state that describes how the county will meet the needs that exist there.  State and Federal laws provide certain guidelines but ultimately counties control what kinds of services they will provide.  The state will often provide block grants for the counties to use to provide services (1).  In other words, the system is funded by the state, but the counties have more influence on the spending and implementation of programs.  While the staff is typically smaller than other administrations, each employee fills multiple positions. (3)

State-Administered with Strong County Structure and Discretion… Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Sources

(1) https://www.american.edu/spa/publicpurpose/upload/Child-Welfare-Administration-and-Its-Influence-on-Child-Outcomes.pdf

(2) Ross, Timothy. Child Welfare: The Challenges of Collaboration. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, 2008. Print.

(3) http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/cps-status03/cps-practices03/ch7.htm