Publication Title: 
Journal of Public Child Welfare
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Child abuse is addressed through a complicated design of federal, state, and local funds. Congress approved a new round of waivers permitting states to flexibly use funds, otherwise limited to foster care reimbursement, for other child welfare needs. Conducted in Ohio, this longitudinal study examined flexible funds from child welfare directors’ perspectives, including key informant interviews, a survey, and semi-structured interviews. Directors noted that improved discretion results in better child health outcomes and better community partnerships; community partnerships are essential to promoting the health and safety of vulnerable children; and federal child welfare success measures do not reflect directors’ perceptions of success.