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About the Center for Child Policy

The Center for Child Policy is an initiative created through a partnership between the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the Institute for Human Services, and the New York Foundling

Our Mission

To translate research into usable resources that promote evidence-informed policy-making and best practices for all professions involved in the field of child maltreatment

Why do we need the Center for Child Policy?

The child maltreatment field lacks sufficient multi-professional policy direction.


All professionals working in the child maltreatment field need access to solid, scientific information to help guide practice assessment and intervention.

Direct practice workers must make practice decisions with or without a strong evidence base. This information should be based on the most current and best available research.


In critical program or practice areas, research may not exist.

Practitioners sometimes must make decisions on how to keep children safe without adequate supporting data. Policy guidance recognizing both the knowledge and ignorance in the child welfare field of practice must be provided.


If research does exist, not all research is methodologically sound, interpreted appropriately, or contextually legitimate.

Poor quality research should be recognized and avoided.


In areas of controversy, there is often research from multiple perspectives and opposing viewpoints, which may be difficult to interpret, sometimes biased, and sometimes promotional.

To make policy and practice decisions based on the best available information, instead of tuning out opposing dialogue or dismissing contradicting research findings as "differences of opinion," it's important to understand all viewpoints.

Our Work

The work we do is targeted to help policymakers make evidence-informed policy decisions and to help professionals in the field apply research to best advantage their practice and the children and families they serve. The Center for Child Policy will address critical dilemma issues, identify the scope of both knowledge and ignorance in the field, and provide guidance for child welfare policy and practice. Some specific activities of the policy center include:​

  • Identifying and articulating the most critical and challenging policy and practice issues in the child maltreatment field.

  • Scrutinizing and evaluating available research on each topic.

  • Writing and distributing white papers and policy papers.

  • Planning targeted activities to drive strategic change.

  • Working with practitioners and consultants to design implementation strategies.

  • Creating accessible, usable products for policy-makers and professionals that reflect policy committee recommendations.



Founded in 1987, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) is a nonprofit, national organization that is focused on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. APSAC produces and disseminates state-of-the-art professional practice materials geared toward helping child maltreatment professionals provide the best possible services for the children and families that they serve.


To improve society’s response to the abuse and neglect of its children by promoting effective interdisciplinary approaches to identification, intervention, treatment and prevention of child maltreatment.


As a multidisciplinary group of professions, APSAC achieves its mission in a number of ways, most notably through expert training and educational activities, policy leadership and collaboration, and consultation that emphasizes theoretically sound, evidence-based principles.

APSAC is Strongly Committed To:

  • Preventing child maltreatment

  • Eliminating the recurrence of child maltreatment

  • Promoting research and guidelines to inform professional practice

  • Connecting professionals from the many disciplines to promote the best response to child maltreatment

  • Ensuring that America's public policy concerning child maltreatment is well informed and constructive

  • Educating the public about child abuse and neglect

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IHS is committed to helping organizations achieve best practice and the highest standards of service in the child welfare/child protection field.  Since its founding in 1977, IHS has worked throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, with both local public human service agencies and state, provincial, and national governments, to protect vulnerable and at-risk children and strengthen their families.  

Our Values

We believe all children have an absolute right to a safe, permanent, stable home, which provides basic levels of nurturance and care, and is free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This general child welfare value is the overriding moral end targeted by all aspects of the child welfare field of practice. It is a derivation of the fundamental values of the social work profession: freedom, justice, human dignity, and social responsibility. For children, "freedom" includes the possibility to grow and develop free from harm and exploitation. For children, "justice" includes access to basic care and nurturance. Children do not ask to be born, and this is their birthright. These rights exist because children, like adults, are human beings with intrinsic dignity and irreducible worth. And, if we have any unselfish obligation to others, it is especially true that we have a basic social responsibility to our children. We cause them to be, they are dependent upon us, they are fragile, and they are without power and influence.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote safety, permanence, and well-being of children who have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, abandoned, or exploited, by building the capacity of the organizations and professionals who serve them.

Our Guiding Principles

We work to provide children, who have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, exploited, or abandoned, with safe, permanent, and nurturing families in which to develop to their potential. A safe, permanent family may include the child's biological parents, members of the child's extended family, the child's foster family, or an adoptive family, in a relationship that is legally and psychologically intended to be permanent. The child welfare agency, in collaboration with members of the child's immediate family, extended family, and other resources and service providers in the community, will work to stabilize, educate, empower, and support families in a manner that promotes safety and permanence for children.

It is the joint responsibility of professionals in psychology, social work, medicine, law, law enforcement, and education to engage and work with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and communities to develop and sustain the necessary infrastructures and services to serve and stabilize vulnerable children and their families.

Our work is always based on the findings of sound, well-executed research, standards of best practice, and the wisdom of skilled professionals, children, families, and communities.


The New York Foundling, in the tradition of openness and compassion of its sponsors, The Sisters of Charity, helps children, youth and adults in need through efforts that strengthen families and communities and support each individual in reaching his or her potential.




All interactions with and among children, youth, adults, families and staff are based on our continuously renewed capacity to be open to the full range of their individual needs, circumstances and potential.




Each person's dignity, rights and spiritual preferences are treated with respect, honor and fairness.

     Family and Community


Children, youth, adults and staff benefit from lasting, interdependent and meaningful relationships in their community.




Respecting, embracing and celebrating the differences among us, strengthens us.




Excellence and leadership require continual emphasis on innovation, increasing knowledge and delivering the highest quality services and programs.

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