September 2005Vol. 6, No. 7Service Array Tools for Child Welfare
States and other jurisdictions need to be able to draw from a full array of services to meet the individual needs of children and families. To help States assess the adequacy of their service array, the National Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) has developed an assessment process and set of service array assessment tools. The service array assessment process consists of five steps:
- Creating a community stakeholder collaborative or building on an existing one
- Completing the service array instrument
- Reporting the results of using the instrument
- Preparing a resource development plan
- Monitoring the effectiveness of plan implementation
The process emphasizes the involvement of key community stakeholders and is designed to be a collaborative effort between jurisdictions and community groups. By assessing the availability of services in the areas of (1) prevention and early intervention, (2) investigation, (3) home-based interventions, (4) reunification and permanency, and (5) child welfare exits, these collaborative groups can define the service possibilities and identify strengths and gaps in their service array. For jurisdictions in which there has not been great stakeholder involvement, the service assessment process can help to build community collaboration.
The service array assessment process and tools can be found on the NRCOI website at http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/agency_col_servicearray.htm.