Transforming Child Welfare Systems: A Discussion with Systems Leaders

Child welfare systems are charged with the exceptionally critical work of making sure that all children are safe, cared for within stable and loving forever families, and able to thrive in childhood and beyond. State and local leaders persist in navigating the complexities of this work.

On June 18, 2024, AIR presented an engaging webinar with child welfare systems leaders who were early adopters in strategies to work across health and human services systems to ensure safety, permanency, and well-being. Participants reflected on challenges and shared "bright spots" where child welfare systems are taking innovative approaches to advancing equitable outcomes. They also highlighted how they utilized planning, policies, and practices to improve agency performance and shared how they were able to build and support teams—the people—needed to implement and sustain improvements.

Additionally, they discussed:

  • How federal and state monitoring and improvement requirements, such as the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, can be levers of change to improve systems;
  • Why engaging lived expertise and promoting multi-systems collaboration are not only helpful, but essential strategies for child welfare systems change; and
  • What’s needed now to prevent child abuse and neglect, ensure youth and family safety, advance well-being, and achieve permanency for those involved with child welfare systems.


Brandy Farrar

Brandy Farrar
Managing Director, AIR


Matthew Farrar

Matthew Claps
Principal TA Consultant, AIR


Christine Tappan

Christine Tappan
Chief, Community Based Services & Advancement
Ascentria Care Alliance

Former Associate Commissioner
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Uma Ahluwalia

Uma Ahluwalia
Managing Principal, Health Management Associates 

Former Director
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

Former Interim Director
D.C. Child and Family Services Agency

Former Assistant Secretary
Washington Department of Social and Health Services 

Bobby Cagle

Bobby Cagle
CEO, Cagle Consulting / Executive Director - Child Welfare, CareSource

Former Director
LA County, Department of Child and Family Services

Former Director
Georgia Division of Family and Children Services

Event Information

June 18, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET