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October 2010Vol. 11, No. 8The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center

The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center (WPIC) partners with States, Tribes, and territories in transforming child welfare systems to improve the services delivered to children, youth, and families in ACF Regions IX (Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam) and X (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska).

The Center provides technical assistance to overcome barriers to systems change, accelerate the pace of change, and operationalize core values systemwide to transform policy and practice. The Center has identified five interrelated key elements that are critical for implementing sustainable systems change: leadership/commitment, vision and values, environment, capacity/infrastructure, and stakeholder involvement.

To support the implementation of sustainable change, the Center administers and facilitates systems change implementation projects. These projects are intensive, in-depth technical assistance efforts tailored to the strengths and needs of child welfare systems. Based on the review and selection of their initial applications, the following sites in Regions IX and X have been selected by WPIC and the Children's Bureau to implement their proposed systems change efforts:

  • The Navajo Nation has proposed to implement culturally competent permanency planning consistently into practice. This project will increase timely permanency by implementing concurrent planning practices.
  • In partnership with 15 other Alaska Tribal organizations and in collaboration with the State of Alaska, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will address disproportionality of Alaska Native family involvement in child welfare systems by creating an alternative response system and enhancing family involvement in decision-making.
  • Los Angeles will align and coordinate its existing child welfare reform efforts and engage families, youth, and stakeholders as partners in planning for and implementation of child welfare system change efforts.

WPIC also provides opportunities for States, Tribes, and territories to learn from each other about planning and implementing systems change in child welfare. The Center hosted a regional forum on lessons learned in implementing systems change, coordinated webinars featuring strategies for planning and creating buy-in for systems change, and shared information through a listserv and website. The Center will be facilitating peer learning with sites approved for a systems change implementation project and providing opportunities to learn from the experiences of these sites in implementing systems change.

WPIC is led by the American Institutes for Research, working in partnership with four other national organizations:

  • National Indian Child Welfare Association
  • Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Georgetown University's National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health
  • Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida

For more information, contact Marketa Gautreau, Project Director

Or visit the WPIC website