Research has already been a significant factor in child welfare policy in recent years, but this book demonstrates that it has taken a leading role in the field to spur and guide change. The chapters in this book assess the effect of research on the full spectrum of child welfare services. The book covers every base. The opening chapters situate child welfare research in the modern context; they are followed by discussions of evidence-based practice in the field, arguably its most pressing concern now. Recent years have seen historic rises in the number of children adopted through public agencies and, accordingly, permanent placement and family ties are critical topics that occupy the book's core, along with chapters broaching the thorny questions that surround decision-making and risk assessment. The urgent need for a more effective use of research and evidence is highlighted again with looks at the future of child protection and how concrete data can influence policy and help children. Finally, in recognition of the growing importance of a global view, closing chapters address international issues in child welfare research, including an examination of policies from abroad and a multinational comparison of the economic challenges facing single mothers and their children.