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Reunification of Families with Children in Foster Care is Focus of SSW Institute Grant Award

The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) has been awarded a 5-year, $10 million grant to support timely, stable, and lasting reunification and well-being of families with children in foster care.

The grant, recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families’ Children\'s Bureau, will allow the Institute and participating partners to establish a National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification (QICR).

The intent of the project is to work with five to seven public child welfare sites nationally, to identify, assess, and implement promising and evidence-based practices that address the individual and collective needs of birth families with children in foster care. These sites will be identified through an application process to launch in the Spring 2021. The interventions implemented through the QICR will support successful reunification of families by preserving, nurturing, and strengthening parent-child relationships and supportive community connections and resources, including the meaningful engagement of birth parents, foster families, youth, alumni of foster care, and other stakeholders.

“The Children’s Bureau Quality Improvement Center (QIC) model is the kind of work the Institute wants to be involved with on behalf of children and their families,” said Michelle Zabel, assistant dean and director of the Institute. “QIC grants allow us, with our research and implementation science expertise, to generate and disseminate much-needed knowledge for child welfare professionals to improve the quality and delivery of services for youth.” Read the full press release here.



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