• September 2003
  • Vol. 4, No. 7

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Boston Partnership for Child Welfare Reform Sees Results

From 1999 to 2002, Casey Family Programs and the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Boston Regional Office (DSS), worked to address an urgent need for improvements to Boston's child welfare system. Their journey is chronicled in the recent report, Turning a Vision into Reality: What it Takes to Improve a Child Welfare System.

Some initial outcomes of the 3-year partnership include:

  • A 45 percent increase in kinship placements from 2000 to 2001.
  • A 15 percent increase in sibling groups of two or three placed together from 2000 to 2001.
  • A decrease in the number of children who reentered placement within 1 year of returning home, from 30 percent in 1998 to 20 percent in 2001.

The report details a number of strategies participants felt were key to these accomplishments, including a focus on data and quantifiable outcomes, statewide implementation of family group conferencing, an innovative program designed to keep sibling groups together, and a continuing emphasis on developing effective leadership. Lessons learned (and the occasional "missed opportunity") are also discussed.

The report is available online at www.casey.org/cnc/recruitment/turning_a_vision.htm. (This link is no longer available.)

Related Items

A report of the partnership's first 2 years is discussed in "Casey Family Programs and Boston Department of Social Services Collaborate for Lasting Reform" in the November 2002 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

For more about leadership in child welfare, see "Tools for Leaders: National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement" in the August 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.

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