Who We Are

NAPCWA is a national organization representing public child welfare agencies. Founded in 1983, it is an affiliate housed within the American Public Human Services Association. NAPCWA's primary members are public child welfare administrators, deputies, and other child welfare agency staff. Membership is also available to APHSA associate and individual members connected to the field of child welfare, including advocacy agencies, research organizations, consultants, and private child welfare agencies. 

NAPCWA is governed by a 25-member Executive Committee whose members are elected annually by the state and local public agency membership. The EC provides input to APHSA on child welfare policy, guidance on administrative, regulatory reforms, and leadership on promising and emerging practices.


Ensuring that children in the public child welfare system are safe, nurtured in loving, permanent homes, and supported in their social and emotional growth and development.


NAPCWA provides national leadership for the development of sound policy, successful and innovative practices, and critical capacity building to improve agency performance and consumer outcomes.


  • Public Child Welfare Policy - Enhance and improve the development and implementation of national, state, and local policy that advances the field and enables organizations to effectively perform on behalf of children, youth, and their families.
  • Public Child Welfare Practice - Develop, support, promote and evaluate practices that acknowledge a family's strength, that deal responsively and knowledgeably with cultural and ethnic differences, and that enhance the safety, permanence and well-being of children, youth and their families.
  • Workforce Development - Develop and promote state and local strategies, programs, and practices that enhance and improve management and supervisory skills as well as the skills and abilities of frontline staff in their service to children, youth, and their families.
  • Leadership Development - Provide professional development opportunities for public child welfare administrators to ensure effective leadership of the organization as well as prepare for leadership continuity at both the state and local level.
  • Communications - Develop effective and timely communications that promotes the field and provides insight into the complex world of the child welfare system.
  • Peer Support and Networking - Develop and coordinate activities that connect child welfare leaders with one another to provide support and networking opportunities throughout their tenure.
  • Fiscal Policy - Identify and promote the demonstration of sound fiscal policy tied to the desired outcomes for safety, permanency, and healthy families.


  • Recognizes that systems must be culturally competent to achieve positive outcomes for diverse populations served in public child welfare.
  • Supports and promotes a family centered focus and client driven approach to service delivery and program development.
  • Recognizes that building strategic and collaborative relationships with critical stakeholders at the national, state, and local level is essential to achieving positive outcomes.
  • Supports high standards of accountability for work being conducted on behalf of children and families.
  • Recognizes that informed decision making requires reliable and timely management and evaluation of data.
  • Recognizes that systems of care must include prevention, early recognition, and intervention strategies to achieve appropriate outcomes.
  • Commits to the development and maintenance of a well-trained, professional workforce as a key component in the effective delivery of services to children and families as it embodies these guiding principles.

For more information, contact Christina M. Crayton, Assistant Director, Policy and Government Affairs at ccrayton@aphsa.org or phone at (202) 682-0100 x257.


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Policy & Practice

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