This report explains that on March 17, 2016, after two years of effort, the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) issued its final report, Within Our Reach, that included over 100 recommendations, many of which were directed toward the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This report is HHS’s response to the Commission’s report and recommendations. It describes HHS’s overall vision for improvements to the federal infrastructure of policies and programs most directly related to protecting children from maltreatment, serious injury, or death. It identifies the areas in which the vision of HHS specifically overlaps with the Commission’s recommendations and includes a chart in the appendix that responds briefly to each of the Commission’s individual recommendations affecting HHS. Key initiatives are described in the areas of: providing leadership and promoting accountability; preventing fatalities and serious injury through multidisciplinary support for families, including expanding secondary prevention services, focusing on home visiting services, and finding new solutions; using data and research evidence to improve practice, including improving child death statistics, modernizing the regulatory infrastructure for child welfare data and information systems, and exploring the potential of predictive analytics; and addressing disproportionality by strengthening tribal child welfare programs and ensuring equitable treatment.
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