Two fact-finding trips to America by senior Birmingham City Council officials cost almost £7,000.
Tony Howell, the strategic director of learning and culture, spent seven days in New York in October last year, at a cost to the council of £2,969.
Mr Howell was attending a study tour for local authority officers who will be responsible for implementing the Every Child Matters strategy for reshaping children's services.
Corporate services director Paul Higgins and colleagues Jason Price and Dawn Flook visited Chicago and New York for ten days to view phone systems for customer contact inquiries.
The trip, also in October last year, cost £3,804.
A council spokeswoman said both visits had been necessary.
She added: "Many objectives were met by Tony Howell during his study tour to New York, and he is now in a much stronger position to lead the change process which will lead to the establishment of children's services in Birmingham.
"Since coming back, Tony has been able to implement a series of discussions with cabinet members and staff as an introduction to the change process. This would not have been possible without the study visit to America."
The study tour focused on "proven methods" for improving integration of children's services as identified by leading American research institutions, the council said.