Draft Report: Evaluation of the Improving Outcomes for Children Transformation in the Child Welfare System In Philadelphia.
Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group.
This draft report presents the findings of an evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of the Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC) child welfare system transformation that has been implemented over the last four years in Philadelphia. The goals of the IOC are to ensure more children are safely maintained in their own homes and communities, more children achieve timely reunification or other permanence, there is a reduction in the rate of children placed in congregate care, and child and family functioning is improved. Key elements of IOC included shifting from dual case management offered by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and its contracted providers to single case management delivered by Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs); building community partnerships and neighborhood networks of formal and informal supports; adopting a family team decision making model; defining the CUAs as the primary contact and service coordinator for families; and strengthening the performance management and quality improvement functions within DHS. Notable system strengths are identified, as well as the most prominent challenges in the areas of practice, system integration, resource development and allocation, and performance management. Thirteen recommendations are then made and address strengthening practices to ensure families and children are moved towards safety, permanency, and well-being in a supported timely manner, strengthening administrative capacities and management processes to better support staff, and strengthening the entire child welfare system. 33 tables.
child welfare reform; family preservation; reunification; permanency; program administration; outcomes; service integration; child safety; Pennsylvania; Family group conferencing