Updated July 2011

Background History

The 1994 Amendments to the Social Security Act (SSA) authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to review state child and family services programs to ensure substantial conformity with the State plan requirements in Title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Title IV-B and Federal Regulations, Code 45, (CFR) § 1357.15 require States to submit Child and Family Services Plans (CFSP), that is, State Title IV-B plans, to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Through a review process, known as the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), review teams assess child protective services, foster care, adoption, family preservation and family support, and independent living services, specifically in the areas of safety, permanency and well being. The CFSR review outcomes assist Missouri in enhancing its capacity to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.

Collaboration History

Missouri’s Children’s Division created the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) Advisory Committee, which began formally in February 2006. Prior to this formation, committees were created as needed for the Title IV-B plan, annual and five year report; CFSR statewide assessment; and the PIP. However, since the implementation of the second round of CFSRs, the ACF is requiring a collaborative process that focuses on identifying shared goals and activities and establishing a purpose, framework, and plan for improving child welfare services, which result in changes that promote improved outcomes for children and families.

Rationale for Collaborative Need

No single child serving agency, because of policy, programmatic or financial limitations, has the ability to provide all services and supports needed by families vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Thus, the Children’s Division can best serve families by creating and sustaining an alliance, where every relevant stakeholder group or state agency believes it has a meaningful role in supporting families and keeping children safe.

Name and Purpose

The collaboration’s name is CFSR Advisory Committee. The purpose of this collaborative advisory committee is two fold; first, to serve as a vehicle for cross system collaboration to promote the achievement of better outcomes for the children, youth and families; and second, to fulfill an ACF requirement for a collaborative process.

The CFSR Advisory Committee’s centralized focus is to build an advisory resource infrastructure to result in positive outcomes for children, youth and families. A broader collaboration of this kind will benefit families in improved access and service availability, and a reduction of services and funding fragmentation.

The overarching principles guiding the CFSR collaborative process include:

  • The safety, permanency, and well-being of children is a shared responsibility, and child welfare agencies should make every effort to reach out to other partners in the State who can help to achieve positive results with respect to the CFSR child welfare outcomes and system factors.
  • Child welfare agencies do not serve children and families in isolation. They should work in partnership with policymakers, community leaders, and other public and private agencies to improve outcomes for children and families in their States. This includes partnering with organizations that directly serve children, youth, and families, and those whose actions import family and community life.
  • Family-centered and community-based practices are integral to improving outcomes for children and families. As such, collaboration with families, including young people, is important in identifying and assessing strengths and barriers to improved outcomes for children, youth, and families.


The Child and Family Service Review Advisory Committee’s mission is to enhance the already established Children’s Division’s mission:

“To partner with families, communities and government to protect children from abuse and neglect and assure safety, permanency and well being for Missouri’s children”

This collaborative process provides an opportunity for the exchange of information between the Children’s Division and community partners. Additionally, it provides the environment to form new, or strengthen existing relationships with key stakeholders.

Scope of Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Child and Family Service Advisory Committee are as follows:

  • To provide feedback on the Child and Family Services Plan
  • To provide assistance to the Children’s Division in CFSR process
  • To identify additional local stakeholders throughout the state of Missouri who might provide assistance and/or services through or in conjunction with the Children’s Division
  • To assist the Children’s Division in identifying and increasing resources for at risk families
  • To assist in the development of a PIP
  • To develop a stakeholder process to collaborate on the PIP


The Advisory Committee comprises and honors diversity in Missouri and therefore is made up of various disciplines and representatives. Members will hold either a standing or a fluid position. Standing position requires attendance for all scheduled meetings, while fluid members are invited to meetings when discussions are directly related to their area of expertise. If standing members cannot attend scheduled meetings, a designee can be sent in their place. These members include, but may not be limited to, representatives from the following:

Standing Membership:

Family Members:

  • Adoptive Parent
  • Foster Care Youth
  • Foster Care Parent

State Agencies:

  • Department of Social Services
    • Children’s Division
      • CFSR Lead
      • Field Manager
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    • Guidance and Counseling Representative
  • Department of Mental Health:
    • DODD
    • Comprehensive Psychiatric Services
  • Office of Administration
    • Children’s Trust Fund
  • Office of State Courts Administrator
    • Fostering Court Improvement Lead

Community Organizations:

  • Heart of America Indian Center
  • Missouri CASA Association
  • Private Child Welfare Agencies
    • Cornerstones of Care
    • Good Shepherd Children and Family Services

Universities and Colleges:

  • University of Missouri, Columbia, School of Social Work
  • Lincoln University, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Washington University

Federal Liaison

  • ACF Regional VII, Program Specialist

Ad Hoc Membership

State Agencies

  • Department of Social Services
    • Children’s Division
      • FACES Information System Representative
      • Early Childhood Representative
    • Division of Youth Services
    • Family Support Division
      • Child Support Representative
    • MO HealthNet Division
  • Department of Mental Health
    • Division of Drug and Alcohol
  • Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Office of Child Advocate

Community Organizations:

  • Children’s Trust Fund
  • Extension Centers
  • Community Health Departments
  • Domestic Violence

Meetings and Leadership

The CFSR Advisory Committee will meet every quarter, February, May, August and November. The committee, as a whole, chooses the actual day of the month and strives to keep scheduling consistent. Whenever possible, the 3rd Wednesday of the aforementioned months is the selected meeting date. These dates will be selected at the last meeting of the calendar year for the next calendar year.

The Advisory Committee leadership role will be divided into a primary and secondary level. The primary leader shall be an employee from the Children’s Division and preferably the Child and Family Service Review lead. The secondary level leader (co-leader) will be a choice of the primary leader, from within the CFSR Advisory Committee (not a Children’s Division representative). The co-leader will assist in planning agendas, providing insight as a participating committee member, and making suggestions and recommendations for future meetings. Co-leaders can facilitate the group in the leader’s absence.