Update on the IV-E Waiver & Family Assessment Response Implementation

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1 Update on the IV-E Waiver & Family Assessment Response Implementation House Early Learning & Human Services Committee Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary Children s Administration Monday, January 13,

2 Update: Title IV-E & FAR Children s Administration (CA) has been actively engaged in innovative approaches to reform the public child welfare system to continue to improve outcomes for children and families These reforms are deeply rooted in our values regarding child-centered, family-focused, strength-based, community-based and culturally competent service delivery 2

3 Update: Title IV-E & FAR In 2012, the legislature passed ESSB providing the department with policy framework in legislation and support to assist us in our reform efforts to develop an alternative response to investigations: Family Assessment Response (FAR) 3

4 Title IV-E Waiver 4

5 Title IV-E Waiver In 2012, Section 1130 of the Social Security Act was updated to provide the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) authority to grant waivers to ten states per year (through 2014) to implement child welfare demonstration projects As states safely reduce the number of children in care, the waiver provides the flexibility to reinvest the federal dollars saved into in-home services and interventions that allow children to remain safely at home 5

6 Title IV-E Waiver No new federal funding is associated with the waiver demonstration. The waiver must be cost neutral to the federal government Over the five years of the Title IV-E waiver, there is a total capped allotment of approximately $419 million in federal funds which the state may use for in-home and out-of-home services The state is required to match the federal participation. All funds must be used to benefit families involved in the state s child welfare system 6

7 Title IV-E Waiver The state of Washington was one of only nine states to receive a waiver in 2012 As part of the waiver requirement, Washington must conduct a demonstration project, a program that is different than current programs. Washington s demonstration project is Family Assessment Response, an alternative pathway to respond to allegations of abuse and neglect The waiver requires an evaluation by an independent evaluator to assess the effectiveness of Family Assessment Response 7

8 Title IV-Waiver Children s Administration has successfully met every benchmark established by our federal partners and is on track to meet upcoming deadlines through calendar year

9 Title IV-E Waiver Title IVE Waiver Deliverables and Critical Activities Due Date/Status Application for Title IV-E Waiver Approved: 9/28/12 Developmental Cost Plan Submitted: 10/28/12 Approved Initial Design and Implementation Report Submitted: 1/8/13 Approved Title IV-E Quarterly Developmental Reports Submitted: 4/13, 7/13, 11/13 Evaluation Plan Submitted: 12/2/13 Conditionally Approved Fixed Schedule of Payments Submitted: 12/16/13 Approved Semi-Annual Reports August 2014 January

10 Family Assessment Response 10

11 Family Assessment Response ESSB 6555, passed in 2012, allowed Children s Administration to implement a differential response --an alternative pathway to the traditional Child Protective Services (CPS) investigative pathway Family Assessment Response (FAR) is Washington s differential response model 11

12 Why FAR? Not all families who receive a CPS report need the same response Families are better able to safely care for their children when they develop and strengthen their connections to natural supports and communities Out of home placements can be avoided through better engagement with families and communities in child safety efforts A great majority of child maltreatment cases in Washington do not result in child removal. 12

13 Why FAR?

14 What is FAR? FAR is an alternative to the traditional Child Protective Services investigation Intakes screened in for FAR must meet the legal definition of child abuse and neglect There are no subjects named and no findings Services are voluntary Safety is the focus. Risk and safety assessments are completed and child safety is assessed throughout a family s engagement in the FAR pathway 14

15 What is FAR? An assessment of the family s strengths and needs completed in collaboration with the family Services and concrete supports are identified through the assessment process Services and supports provided focus on child safety and stabilizing the family Ensures safety through family engagement and collaboration with the community 15

16 Who receives FAR? Screened-in reports of neglect and minor physical abuse are directed to Family Assessment Response Pathway Serious physical abuse and sexual abuse intakes will continue to be assigned for a traditional CPS investigation 16

17 What do FAR families need? Many of the families involved in the reports need essential resources, such as : Transportation Basic household items Clothing Child care Help finding work 17

18 FAR Timeline FAR will be phased in over 2.5 years depending upon funding levels beginning January 1, 2014 On January 1, 2014 implementation began in 3 offices: Aberdeen, Lynwood, and Spokane (two zip codes: & 99207) In July 2014, CA will implement FAR in 5 more offices CA will add additional offices quarterly as funding permits until we have achieved statewide implementation in July

19 FAR Outcomes National Quality Improvement Center research findings on differential response show: Children were as safe or safer than comparison children who received an investigative response Families were less likely to have subsequent maltreatment reports Parents who received services through Family Assessment Response received more services to meet basic needs Case workers felt better able to intervene effectively Costs to the implementing agency were initially higher, but saving were realized over time 19

20 FAR impacts disproportionality Franklin County Ohio found that the percentage of African- American children in state care dropped to a 15-year low of 50% after implementing differential response Minnesota found that among African-American families there were 4.8% fewer new reports of child abuse and neglect for families in the alternative pathway 20

21 How many cases will go to FAR? A structured decision making tool for Intake went into effect on October 20, The tool guides the decision making as to the appropriate pathway (investigations or FAR). We are able to measure how many cases would go to FAR if the FAR pathway was available. Since October 20, using the new intake tool, 66% of CPS cases screened to FAR statewide 21

22 How many cases will go to FAR? Since January 1, 2014, when FAR was implemented in Aberdeen, Lynnwood, and Spokane Office FAR Investigations Total % FAR Aberdeen % Lynnwood % Spokane (Zip codes & 99207) % Total % 22

23 Evaluation Washington used a competitive process to select an independent evaluator TriWest. TriWest will evaluate: Intake assignment Referral rates Recurrence rates Placement rates Impact on adverse childhood experiences Family engagement (using an interview developed with and administered by Washington veteran parents) Fidelity to the FAR model Disproportionality across all domains 23

24 Milestones for FAR Implementation Completed: FAR policies, practice guide, and FamLink tools Intake tool changed in October to include FAR cases Selected and trained FAR staff for phase 1 offices Began offering FAR services in phase 1 offices In Process: Consensus building across phase 1 offices Learning lessons from phase 1 offices Leadership training for CA Area Administrators and Supervisors Preparing for phase 2 implementation Ongoing community relationship building 24

25 FAR is a Culture Change Administrators from New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Minnesota told us that implementing differential response has created a positive culture change across the child welfare agency CA embraces the opportunity to create a more family-friendly culture. We are training our management staff to lead our social workers in the transition 25

26 FAR is a Culture Change We hope FAR helps us to: Share responsibility for child safety with families and communities Have fewer children placed in out of home care Reduce child abuse and neglect Improve child and family well being Reduce dependency on state child welfare system 26

27 Steps to change the culture CA is: Supporting staff to partner with families and communities for positive change Providing ongoing training to staff Employing continuous quality improvement strategies Mentoring and coaching staff in ways that support their work with families Using Incremental implementation, learning as we go 27

28 Staff perspectives on FAR Families respond better to our new engagement strategies FAR allows social workers to work with families and communities collaboratively Increased community engagement has helped CA across programs 28

29 Staff are excited Staff see FAR as an opportunity to improve our relationships with the families we serve and the communities we work with. They say: FAR is an exciting internal shift on how we engage families and work to change the perspective of a CPS intervention in the community. I am excited that FAR allows me to do real social work and engage families for positive change. 29

30 Families notice a difference A mother who has had more than one CPS experience told her FAR worker she is, Glad CPS is here to help, not just point fingers. Other parents had defensive responses to the initial FAR phone call, but after talking with the social worker they: Invited the social worker to come with them to a doctor s visit. Told the social worker, I really like you guys. You really are different. Are excited that they can get help to meet their basic needs. 30

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