October 2010Vol. 11, No. 8The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center
The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center (MCWIC) is part of the Center on Children, Families and the Law (CCFL) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. CCFL is a multidisciplinary center devoted to teaching, research, and public service on issues related to child and family policy and services. MCWIC works with the States and Tribes in Region V (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota) and Region VII (Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas). Using a multidisciplinary, multilevel, and systemic approach, MCWIC is engaged in four implementation projects:
- Indiana Department of Child Services; Project: Centralized Intake Unit
MCWIC is providing implementation support as the Indiana Department of Child Services institutes a centralized intake system to replace the current system of approximately 210 different phone numbers staffed by case managers, supervisors, and contract employees located throughout the State's 92 counties. The new system will result in consistency of practice, improved responsiveness to community stakeholders, and improved case tracking capability.
- Iowa Department of Human Services; Project: Partnering With Parents for System Change
MCWIC is partnering with the Iowa Department of Human Services to institutionalize parent engagement strategies that actively inform child welfare policy, practice, and programs statewide. One of those strategies is the Parent Partner program, which will be initiated across the State. This implementation project will also help to establish policy and practice informed by parents' insights by building a cadre of parents actively engaged in all levels of child welfare practice in Iowa.
- Ohio Office of Families and Children; Project: New Technical Assistance Model
The Ohio Office of Families and Children, with MCWIC's support and collaboration, is developing and implementing a new model for providing technical assistance to its stakeholders. The project consists of several distinct elements: a formal assessment of organizational culture and climate, a comprehensive rule review, implementation of organizational structural and functional changes to facilitate the new technical assistance model, and ongoing fidelity monitoring.
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families; Project: Best Outcomes for Indian Children
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and MCWIC are working with Wisconsin's 71 county child welfare agencies and the 11 sovereign Tribes in Wisconsin to improve outcomes for Indian children. The project includes developing child welfare practice principles, training materials, and standardized case practice tools designed to effectively implement the recently enacted Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act.
MCWIC also provides peer networking opportunities for child welfare professionals, such as:
- Consultative in-person meetings between child welfare professionals engaged in similar implementation efforts
- Tribal Gatherings focused on topics of interest to Tribal child welfare practitioners. Tribal Gatherings provide opportunities to build and foster links between peers. MCWIC also provides participants with information regarding system change and innovative Tribal Child Welfare practices. Information and media from the first three Tribal Gatherings are available here: www.mcwic.org/events
- Regional Forums designed to foster peer connections among child welfare professionals and to provide them with knowledge relevant to the implementation process, in Years 1, 3, and 5 of our project. Information and media from our first Regional Forums can also be found here: www.mcwic.org/events
- Implementation project focused webinars
- CONNECT, an Internet social networking website developed and hosted by MCWIC specifically with the child welfare community in mind. It serves child welfare workers, administrators, trainers, and their support network - including individuals at the State, Tribal, county, and Federal levels. CONNECT is free, flexible, and for those who care about the welfare of children.
MCWIC has a number of other child welfare and implementation resources listed on its website. To access those resources, visit:
For more information, contact Mark Ells, Project Director:
Or visit the MCWIC website: