Mecklenburg County: Remaking a Child Welfare System

Oct 17, 2021
  • Description

In 2013, child welfare leaders in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, needed new approaches to keeping families together safely and improving the well-being of children and young people. For situations in which foster care was the only option, they wanted placements to be temporary, with fewer disruptions and less trauma for children and families.

Four years later, with better data systems for analyzing trends, new ways of working with families and communities and a partnership with a national experts, the county's Youth and Family Services (YFS) is seeing significant, positive results. These include reduced entries into foster care, fewer young people in the system living in group settings, less staff turnover with improved morale, more support for kinship care and increased efforts to end racial disparities.