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September 2010Vol. 11, No. 7Wrapping Up Round Two

September is an exciting month for the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). It not only marks the end of Onsite Reviews for this calendar year but also the end of Round 2.  By September 30, all 52 jurisdictions will have completed Onsite Reviews. At present, 30 jurisdictions have an approved Program Improvement Plan (PIP), with the remainder in various stages of development. One State has completed its Round 2 PIP, with six additional States scheduled to complete their 2-year implementation periods by the end of this calendar year.

This has been an exciting period for not only the CFSR but also child welfare. The CFSR continues to impact child welfare and provides a catalyst for improved practice. While child welfare has always been a challenging and changing profession, the CFSR has been a major factor contributing to consistency, accountability, and setting the standard for child welfare practice improvement nationwide. 

A noted accomplishment of the CFSR process is renewed Federal, State, and community partnerships to better address the issues facing families and children who are involved in the child welfare system. Many States have realized tremendous success in improving practice within their community, while others must overcome challenges, especially in areas related to Permanency 1 and Well-Being 1.

As will be noted in the following articles highlighting practice issues in six States, change is occurring on multiple levels. It will be noted in issues related to moving toward family-centered practice through father and family involvement, the establishment of a practice model, accountability through a quality assurance process, and the working relationship between the child welfare agency and court. If a theme could be identified from these articles, it would be that there is a culture of change within child welfare. We are proud that the CFSR is a catalyst for and supportive of change, as it is only through change that improvements will be made to better the lives of the nation's children and families.

By Don Adams, ICF International, Consultant to the Federal CFSR Team