The authors conclude that over the past 30 years, the demands facing the nation's child welfare system have increased, not only in scale but also in scope. As a result, the system is now by default being asked to serve families with a wide array of problems, a role it was never designed to play. State child welfare systems are also being harshly criticized for not adequately protecting vulnerable children. In response to these challenges, child welfare agencies have begun to rethink their overall mission, to seek out strategies to improve service delivery, and to focus more on accountability.
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