Site Visit Report: Colorado Partnership in Early Childhood Education Services (PIECES)
Child Welfare Information Gateway
7  p.
Published: October 2014
In October 2011, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare (DCW), was awarded a 17-month infrastructure building grant to increase partnerships between child welfare and early childhood education and to better identify children served by both agencies. The project, Colorado Partnership in Early Childhood Education Services (PIECES), is a collaboration between State-level agencies and local agencies within three counties, El Paso, Fremont, and Jefferson. This report discusses findings from a virtual site visit that occurred between February 11, 2013, and April 17, 2013 via telephone interviews. The interviews included several members of the State-level leadership team, including the project evaluator, and members of the local site leadership teams. The interviews lasted between 30 minutes and 1½ hours. Topics discussed included the following: impetus, successes, challenges, early results, evaluation process, and sustainability. Project staff from all four areas (State and 3 counties) reported that a highlight of PIECES is that it has improved relationships and bridged gaps between child welfare and early learning/child care providers. The project also informed the various disciplines about the responsibilities of partner agencies, which promoted understanding and furthered collaboration among agencies. In addition to improved partnerships, the three county project sites implemented the Strengthening Families protective factors framework. At the State level, PIECES created an Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in the Department of Human Services (DHS) that consolidated seven programs that previously existed in four divisions. Specific activities conducted by the program sites are described, as well as challenges faced, keys to success, and program evaluation results.
Early childhood education; Early intervention programs; Child welfare services; Child welfare agencies; Interagency collaboration; Service integration; Colorado