Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Social Work

Research Sponsor

Melissa McCollister

First Reader

Colleen Harris

Second Reader

Jina Sang (Third Reader: Michele Thornton)


This research paper will explore the impact that the federal financing structure has on the child welfare system in the United States. First, a historical policy analysis of the changing goals of child welfare and an overview of the current federal funding structure will be provided. Subsequently, the consequences of having a changing system with an unchanging funding structure will be explored. Finally, proposed solutions will be explored in terms of their impact on the field of child welfare as well as society as a whole. Unfortunately, antiquated federal programs are being used to fund progressive and innovative child welfare policies. Children and families alike are negatively impacted when funding is not available for the most vital child welfare goal: family preservation. Federal funds undeniably shape the implementation of child welfare policies in local agencies across the country. This research reveals that the field of child welfare needs to advocate for funding streams that can meet its new goals. Future research should continue to explore possible solutions for allowing the federal funding structure to fully support the goals of child welfare.

Included in

Social Work Commons