Characterizing the Status and Progress of a Country's Child Welfare Reform


  • Christina J. Groark University of Pittsburgh
  • Robert B. McCall University of Pittsburgh
  • Junlei Li University of Pittsburgh


child welfare reform, indicators, qualitative information, Ukraine


Numerous countries are attempting to reform their child welfare system, especially as it pertains to state care for children without permanent parents. This paper explores using internationally collected indicators to characterize the status and progress a country might make toward reforming their child welfare system. However, it is concluded that such indicators alone are difficult to interpret and provide only very limited information and need to be supplemented with substantial qualitative information obtained in a country. Consequently, a generic interview was created to be used with policy makers and relevant professionals to obtain such information, and the interview was field tested in Ukraine. Results of the interviews are presented as examples of the kind of information that can be obtained by this process and illustrate many of the issues countries engaged in child welfare reform are likely to face.

Author Biography

Christina J. Groark, University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Child Development, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.