Yesterday, the Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade: Phase Two Project committee held an exploratory meeting and invited other representatives in child welfare to gather feedback and uncover research reports.  The project invitees included Commissioner Bryan Samuels, of ACYF, Melissa Lim Brodowski, a Child Maltreatment Prevention Specialist from the Children’s Bureau and Dori Sneddon, a Child Welfare Program Specialist from the Children’s Bureau, who presented to the committee and audience members about their ideas of how to best utilize this project grant to advance child welfare practices.
This past May the committee had officially begun its seventeen month project sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services. This research project was initiated as a result of the current lack of comprehensively compiled data in the child welfare field.  This project is chaired by Anne Peterson, of the University of Michigan, and staffed by a multidisciplinary team from across the nation.
Samuels stated that the purpose of this report should be to “lay out the road map of the next 20 years [in the child welfare system].”  Federal child welfare policies that have been implemented have improved and changed child welfare practices since the original publication of Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect,by the phase one Panel on Research of Child Abuse and Neglect, National Research Council, in 1993. Brodowski reported that this book, while informative, needs to be updated and serve as a catalyst for change in the child welfare system. Brodowski believes that updating this book should be the overall goal of this committee. In this preliminary stage of work now, Committee members will reconvene to discuss a more definite direction and a decided purpose for this opportunity to further educate the child welfare field.