International child welfare conference initiated by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the Jerusalem-based Haruv Institute focused on how research findings can inform child welfare practice and improve outcomes for children. Recommendations will be presented to the Obama administration and the Israeli government
Chicago, The international ‘Are You Ready’ conference, hosted by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the Israeli-based Haruv Institute, stressed the importance—and the difficulty—of using evidence from research in designing child welfare interventions and informing caseworker decision making.
This particular finding was emphasized to Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, who was representing the Obama administration and was also in participation. Commissioner Samuels agreed with the experts that using evidence and research was a much better treatment method to meet the social and emotional needs of children in foster care. Samuels graciously thanked the Haruv Institute for their part in initializing the conference, and added these efforts will improve the treatment for children both in the United States and in Israel.
“The participants of the conference realize that professionals in the child welfare field may depend on their intuition, experience, and capabilities if they do not have concrete evidence from research, which would increase the likelihood that get the best possible service responses to their needs,” said Hillel Schmid of the Haruv Institute, who sponsors the conference with Chapin Hall. “Our aim is to strengthen the link between the professionals in the field and hard evidence and content that is proven to be effective.”
World-leading experts primarily from the United States, Israel, Canada and Australia gathered for this four-day conference last week at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a leading U.S. child welfare research center. The conference is a joint effort between Chapin Hall and the Haruv Institute, Israel’s leading child welfare center.
The conference entailed a round-table forum reviewing draft chapters submitted by child welfare institutes for a book on how social work evidence should be used to facilitate better outcomes for children. The publication will be a descriptive reference-point on what evidence means, exploring different ideas on how to think about evidence obtained, and appropriate implementation for new programs. The primary objective of the book is to think about evidence from a pragmatic standpoint, to make sense of it, then to take the next step to improve the lives of families and children.
Special attention was given to child abuse and neglect, a topic that concerns policymakers and practitioners around the world. This conference emphasized that more attention be paid to advance the policies and clinical methods to meet the needs of these children. The Are You Ready conference was designed to help child welfare agencies prepare their organizations for evidence-based interventions.
About Haruv Institute:
The Haruv Institute, established by the Schusterman Foundation – Israel, sees as its mission to establish, apply and disseminate new standards of excellence in the field of child abuse and neglect for all professionals and allied care-givers. The Haruv Institute has set its goal to become an independent, world-class institute in this field.
About Chapin Hall:
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago has, since its inception in 1985 as a research and policy center, focused on a mission of improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities. This is done through policy research – by developing and testing new ideas, generating and analyzing information, and examining policies, programs and practices across a wide range of service systems and organizations