Implementing a Family Engagement Model from a Management Perspective. Differential Response in Child Welfare November 2012

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1 Implementing a Family Engagement Model from a Management Perspective Differential Response in Child Welfare November 2012

2 Why did we begin? Align practice with values Concerns about weaker areas of practice: Family engagement Length of stay in out of home placement Children in foster care vs. kinship care Placement stability Timeliness to reunification

3 Diagnosis of the problem Length of Stay Reviews 124 Cases over 60 hours of review Dedicated resources Administrators, Supervisors Clerical support Dedicated time to do adequate homework

4 What We Learned Findings of Length of Stay Review Back burner effect Front door was bigger than back door Lost sight of primary reason for involvement No strong connection between Intake and Permanency Needed to increase engagement with families

5 Work Group Everyone at the table Caseworkers, supervisors, family group decision makers, administrators Let go of territorialism Patience 1 year to design Lots of study and research Devise a model that would work for Arapahoe County

6 Designing the Process Defined our goals Better and more consistent family engagement Productive and motivated connection with families Increase timeliness of reunification Decrease the number of kids in foster care Increase kinship care Increase placement stability Decrease length of time families are involved with DHS Increase sustainability

7 Identified Non-negotiables Every family will be a part of the process (from assessment through permanency) Transparency with families Access to services immediately Everyone has a voice concerns must be raised and addressed Maintain urgency regular check ups at least every 90 days Consistent administrator participation and support

8 LINKS Design Listening to the Needs of Kids Facilitated meeting Use of structured framework on a white board Meetings held every 90 days throughout family/child s involvement Child protection cases within 72 hours of first contact where on-going intervention is necessary Adolescent cases within 14 days of first contact

9 LINKS Design Listening to the Needs of Kids Facilitators outreach to families Attendees: Family & supports Intake/Permanency CW & supervisors GAL CASA Any involved service provider Mental health, probation, school, etc

10 Preparing for Implementation Designated resources Staffing Realigned 5 FGC to Facilitator positions Added new staff (2 new facilitator, 1 coordinator) Space & supplies Time 3 rooms for full time use (4 meetings per room/day) Laptops, printers, copiers, coffee meetings - (caseworkers, supervisors, administrators, clerical) meetings per month Developing a program report

11 Our Worries Time frame may be too soon Scheduling The amount of time meetings will take Too many professionals in the room

12 Preparing for Implementation Small pilot for 6 weeks 2 facilitators/2 units Workgroup met Mapped out - what s working & what needed changed Bigger pilot for 7 months All facilitators All new families Workgroup continued meeting

13 Implementation After 8 months of pilot Division wide implementation Continue to hold regular meetings Facilitators Staff Stakeholders (attorneys, GALs, CASA, judges)

14 Well Baby Check Up What was working: Families and professionals consistently attending Services were approved and accessed quickly Sense of urgency was upheld Families relayed positive feedback

15 Well Baby Check Up What needed attention Increased engagement with families Walk the talk True/genuine efforts Focus on strengths Articulating concerns

16 Implementing Signs of Safety (SoS) Kinder and gentler way to engage families Framework - mapping added structure to the work Language to talk about concerns in less threatening manner - worries vs. concerns Focus on reason for involvement True focus on strengths

17 Signs of Safety Framework Learned the framework by: Book club SoS expert - Sonja Parker training Consultations via Skype with Sonja Practice, practice, practice! Supervision/Group supervision Mapping on difficult cases/problem solving

18 Anticipated Benefits Family is a part of the process Families understand the concerns Gain a better understanding of family situation, strengths, supports and areas for change Clear plan of action to help family Able to better engage kin/diligent search Smoother transition from intake to permanency Better able to engage community and connect with family

19 Unanticipated Benefits/Effects Philosophical shift Change in culture Transparency Balanced view of family Supervision tool Opportunities to teach and mold staff Supervision taking on SoS format Increased connection between staff (intake & permanency) Roles are delineated Administrators/staff learning to know each other More confidence in supervisor s abilities Increase in secondary trauma Surprise by challenges to clearly articulate safety concerns

20 Lessons Learned Allow for enough time to practice new skill before implementation (SoS) Bring stakeholders in earlier: During design phase Preparing for practice changes

21 Still in progress Ensuring the family is being heard Ensuring all worries are voiced Continued practice of SoS Integrating SoS Department wide Across all areas Group supervision In the field

22 Measuring Success CSU evaluation Surveys Scorecard

23 Questions?

24 Feel free to contact us! Lori Oswald, Client Services Administrator , Todd Hyman, Permanency Administrator ,