Paths to Progress in Child Welfare

Teal graphic with white circle and text reading Paths to Progress in Child Welfare

Welcome to the new version of our Connecting the Dots newsletter! Moving forward, we’re combining this newsletter with our annual Clinician’s Corner digest. We’re hoping to bring you a collection of articles from researchers, practitioners, advocates, and those with lived experience. Each newsletter will dive into a topic relevant to social work and bridge the gap between research and practice.

In this spring edition of Connecting the Dots, we’ve compiled articles and interviews on pathways to change in the child welfare system. The perspectives featured include advocates, practitioners, researchers, birth parents, and youth formerly in care.

At the Institute, we’re committed to creating opportunities for all to thrive. Part of this work involves hearing perspectives from those directly affected by systems, the practitioners who serve them, and the researchers and advocates taking a birds-eye view of structural impacts. We know that as it stands, the child welfare system more often than not perpetuates harm and keeps families apart. So what do those impacted by, working within, and studying the system think will create a path to progress?

Read on to explore thoughts from those at the heart of the system on how progress can happen.


Paths to Progress in Child Welfare

​​Stop Saving Children, Start Demanding Family Involvement in Child Welfare
By Monica Faulkner, Ph.D.
In our introductory article, TXICFW Director Dr. Monica Faulkner explains how the child welfare system isn’t broken—it was never built in the first place.

How the Child Welfare System Keeps Families Apart
Interview with Cynthia Simons by Montinique Monroe
In this video interview, hear from advocate Cynthia Simons on her experience as a mother of children taken by the child welfare system.

Bringing Lived Experience to Child Welfare: Q&A With Leroy Berrones Soto, Jr.
By Tymothy Belseth, MA
Hear from two former foster youth who currently work in the field of child welfare—including our very own Tymothy Belseth—in this interview with Leroy Berrones Soto, Jr., a project manager at the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services.

Notes from the Epicenter of Texas Child Welfare
By Jesse Booher, MA, SSBB
The path to progress through family wellbeing may be at risk of diverting to roads of regression, writes child welfare advocate Jesse Booher in this article.

Moving Away from Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse: Q&A With Catherine LaBrenz
By Alix Mammina
How does mandated reporting of child abuse harm marginalized communities? We spoke with researcher Catherine LaBrenz to learn more.