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Research to Consider while Effectively Re-Designing Child Welfare Services: A Response to Commentaries


Barth et al. (2021) published an article in this journal identifying ten topics in the field of child welfare that are frequently discussed among professionals, advocates, and researchers in an effort to shape discussions of practice and policy reform. Concerned that these discussions are often poorly informed by the research evidence, Barth et al. intended to offer a corrective to these common, erroneous narratives. The Editor-in-Chief, Bruce Thyer, asked for suggestions for commentators and then invited some number of respondents to offer their perspectives on the original article. Here, we respond to each of the submitted papers, highlighting areas of agreement, and addressing other topics where we—sometimes sharply—disagree. We welcome an ongoing, fact-based, respectful dialogue to help shape child welfare reform. Efforts to improve the child welfare system are urgently needed; we stand by our view that large-scale practice and policy reform, in particular, must be guided by the best available research evidence.

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