• November 2011
  • Vol. 12, No. 8

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Assessing Redesigned Foster Care Systems

A report from Casey Family Services, Foster Care Redesign in Duval and Alachua Counties: An Implementation Assessment and Research Chronicle, tells the story of how two Florida counties safely reduced the number of children in foster care by redesigning their child welfare systems to focus on family preservation. Using title IV-E waivers from the Federal Government that allowed for more flexible allocation of foster care funds, and partnering with Casey Family Services, the two counties were able to reduce the numbers of children in foster care by more than 60 percent between the end of 2006 and 2010. The study reviews how the redesigned systems were implemented, how the redesign affected families, and how the positive outcomes are being sustained.

The redesigned systems relied on early and intensive work with families, using nine strategies:

  • Family preservation
  • Use of specialists
  • Cultural changes
  • Early assessment teams
  • Leadership support
  • Belief that the safety of the child is paramount
  • Family-centered practice
  • Community collaboration
  • Communication planning

The report looks at the achievements and explores some of the factors contributing to sustaining these successes, including committed leadership, a coherent practice model, and ongoing coaching for workers and supervisors.

Read the full report on the Casey Family Services website:

http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/duval-alachua.pdf (852 KB)

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