- June 2014
- Vol. 15, No. 6
Associate Commissioner's Page
The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current CBX Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work in that area.
The Children's Bureau (CB) is about to embark on a third round of Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) in partnership with the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The CFSRs are the Children's Bureau's main vehicle for monitoring the programmatic aspects of State child welfare programs.
One of the primary benefits of the reviews is that they provide a window into the experience of children and families who are being served by child welfare agencies in their own homes. In addition, the CFSR allows CB to assess the quality of child welfare practices. This allows us to share information publicly about how children involved in child welfare are faring. It also helps us to work with States to identify the strengths States can build on and areas where additional focus is needed to achieve better systems and outcomes for children and youth. Deciding on what improvements to make, and how to achieve that progress toward outcomes, is a joint State-Federal role. We take seriously our responsibility to work with States to improve their programs and ultimately improve outcomes for vulnerable children and their families.
In addition to using the CFSRs as a direct vehicle for improvement in States, we use the CFSRs to identify how CB can be supportive to States' change efforts in multiple ways. Over the years, we have used information from CFSRs and States' program improvement to frame and then revise our training and technical assistance, create an evaluation agenda, and determine grant priorities for supporting foundational practice and new innovation.
As you will learn in depth through this issue, we have revised the review process to be responsive to the needs of States and other stakeholders that want to build stronger continuous quality improvement systems. We encourage States to take advantage of the ability to incorporate aspects of the Federal monitoring process into their day-to-day business so that they can continue to learn, adjust, and adapt their organizations and practices to sustain positive child and family outcomes.
We invite you to reflect back on our summaries of how States performed in the prior rounds of CFSRs and how they progressed by reviewing the national summaries or individual State findings and Program Improvement Plans on our website.
- National Summaries: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/cfsr-compiled-results-2001-2010
- Program Improvement Plan presentations: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/pip-presentation
- Individual State Findings and Program Improvement Plans: http://library.childwelfare.gov/cwig/ws/cwmd/docs/cb_web/SearchForm
We hope this information provides context for dialogue within States and nationally about how we can all strive to create significant and sustainable improvements in meeting child welfare requirements and serving children and families in the best ways possible into the future.