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The Shift Towards Family Centered Practice: The New York City Experience Presented by: Zeinab Chahine Family Centered Practice: A Conference and 30 th.

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Presentation on theme: "The Shift Towards Family Centered Practice: The New York City Experience Presented by: Zeinab Chahine Family Centered Practice: A Conference and 30 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Shift Towards Family Centered Practice: The New York City Experience Presented by: Zeinab Chahine Family Centered Practice: A Conference and 30 th Anniversary Celebration Iowa- April 16-18, 2008

2 NYC Child Welfare System: Mid-1980’s and Mid-1990’s Under Attack by Media and Public Under Resourced/Overwhelmed High Caseloads Poor Working Conditions Crack Epidemic High Placements Family Rehabilitation and Family Preservation Efforts

3 3 Child Welfare in New York City: A Record of Achievement Over the Past Decade 25,000 fewer children in foster care, representing over 50 percent decline from the 1995 foster care census; The number of children entering out-of-home care declined dramatically since the mid 1990’s, while the number of child abuse and neglect reports remained relatively constant; The number of children and families receiving preventive services has steadily grown to over 30,000, exceeding the number of children in foster care.

4 In March 1996 ACS was created Do you swear to uphold the office of Commissioner & commit yourself to the mission of protecting the children of New York City? I will

5 5 Political Will and Investment of Resources –Leadership with a clear vision and a plan of action –New computers, file cabinets and improved work environment –Strengthened supervision and management –Additional staff and reduced caseloads

6 Average Caseload for Protective/Diagnostic Case Worker, FY

7 Performance Measurement System Prepared by CPST Quarterly Performance Reports Citywide Summary Deputy Director Borough Director Caseworker (Title Series) Supervisor Child Protective Manager

8 Campaign 2000 Heats Up CNN and MSNBC suspend coverage of Gore/Bush battle to focus on DCP Case Transfer Race In a further sign of voter disenchantment with the presidential candidates, CNN and MSNBC (in addition to the Food Network) have halted coverage of the Bush and Gore campaigns (and all soufflé- related programming) in favor of the heated battle for the Case Transfer crown in the Division of Child Protection. From the citywide borough director battle to the local races among managers, the contestants fought hard through the dog days of August to transfer those eligible cases to the many corners of ACS.

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11 Staff Qualifications and Training ACS Created New Title Series with enhanced qualifications for Child Welfare and Raised Salaries for New Title Employees in ACS Adapted the NYS Common Core Training System in 1999 for New York City Practice, and in 2002, Common Core became the Required Training for all ACS and Contract Agency Child Welfare Staff. Focuses on Achieving Outcomes Teaches Solid Assessment Skills Builds Strength–Based Practice

12 Case Practice Improvement Developed Clear Case Practice Guidelines Electronic Case Record Enhanced Protocols for Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse and Children under One Year-Old Integrated ASFA Outcomes Emphasized keeping children safe at home and in their communities as the preferred option Incorporated the Permanency and Placement Principals encouraging placement with kin.

13 Increased Investment and Reliance on Prevention Services Decline in Children Receiving Foster Care Services

14 Foster Care Admissions vs. Children in Preventive Openings FY

15 15 N=10,875 N=12,107 N=13,430N=14,149 N=12,900 N=16,026 CPS Highlights & Trends N=16,928

16 Family Preservation Program New Cases

17 Partnering with Families and Communities Family Team Conferences Neighborhood Networks

18 Getting everyone to come together.…...

19 Family Team Conference Model Conference Decision Making Points 72-Hour Elevated Risk Child Safety Conferences (CSC) 72-Hour Post Removal Child Safety Conferences (CSC) 30-Day Family Permanency Conferences (FPC) PINS & Voluntary Placement Conferences Family Service Planning Conferences Service Plan Reviews Reunification Discharge Conferences Independent Living Discharge Conferences Pre-Adoption Conferences

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21 Community Partnership to Strengthen Families “ACS believes that safety and permanency for children and families is best achieved though a Neighborhood Based Services approach that seeks to provide every child a family and culturally, linguistically, and need- driven services within their own communities. The Neighborhood Based Services model of service delivery is based on the best practice principle that the more quality preventive services are available at the community level, the more likely a family can access services and avoid out of home care. Also, if out of home care is required, a child placed in his/her community will more likely maintain close and regular family contact to ensure a timely and safe return home. ACS believes that strong communities promote safe and healthily children and families. “

22 22 CPS Highlights & Trends Community Districts with the Highest and Lowest Number of Indicated Reports Calendar Year 2000

23 Interdisciplinary and Interagency Collaboration Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health

24 In January 2001, domestic violence guiding principles articulate the philosophy and direction The principles emphasize: That, in most cases, the best way to protect children is through safety planning with the adult victim, while holding the abusive partner accountable That preventive services are preferred whenever possible That children deserve to live in homes free of domestic violence That all family members should receive service plans that are tailored to their individual needs That community collaboration—among child welfare providers, the courts, domestic violence service providers, the police--is a fundamental requirement for an effective response to domestic violence.

25 Dramatic Decline in Foster Care Admissions Abuse and Neglect Reports Remain Constant

26 Admissions into Foster Care by Level of Care, FY

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29 29 NYC Administration for Children’s Services Use of Foster Care Declined as Use of Family Support Services Increased

30 Admission to and Discharges from Foster Care FY

31 Adoption Finalizations, FY

32 Foster Care Census, December

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34 9/11/2001 Fiscal Crisis Budget Cuts Hiring Freezes No Reinvestment of Foster Care Savings

35 35 NYC Administration for Children’s Services Although reform has resulted in significant progress, opportunities for improvement remain…especially for adolescents and youth in congregate care. The adolescent population was steadily increasing as percent of youth in care Too many older adolescents were ‘aging out’ with goals of Independent Living and without a permanency resource Most teens entering care were being placed in congregate care settings Though the foster care census had decreased by 50 percent, utilization of congregate beds did not change significantly

36 36 CPS Highlights & Trends

37 Reason for Placement Children Entering Foster Care 37 2 years not fully observed CPS Highlights & Trends

38 38 NYC Administration for Children’s Services Attacking the Problem from all Angles: Families for Teens Policy issued in 2003 restricts the ability of agencies to assign permanency goals of Independent Living and requires them to work with youth to identify permanent family connections Enhanced efforts to recruit foster and adoptive homes for teenagers Reduce front door for teens through implementation of the Family Assessment Program (FAP) Congregate Care Reduction Initiative Increased efforts on the front end to place teens with foster family homes at initial placement Advocated for regulatory changes to enhance availability of kinship as an option for all teenagers Issuance of RFP for Intensive Community-Based Services & Aftercare

39 Teen Focused Outdoor Advertising 39

40 Media Crisis Several Tragic Deaths Late Early 2006

41 New Safety Plan Criticism of the system spurred renewed focus on safety Additional resources and staff/former law enforcement officers ChildStat Inter-agency task force Leadership academy

42 New York City - Outcomes

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45 Casey Family Programs A national foundation established by United Parcel Services founder Jim Casey in 1966: “Mission is to provide and improve- and ultimately prevent the need for foster care.”

46 Casey Family Programs 2020 Vision Comprehensive change of the child welfare system to: – Safely reducing foster care by 50 percent by the year 2020 and reinvesting resources in family support services – Improving outcomes for youth in care by focusing on education, employment, and mental health

47 Lessons Learned from Foster Care Reductions in Urban Child Welfare Systems Political will External advocacy Resources and services Leadership and management Workforce and workload Policy Practice Outcome-based performance accountability system

48 Casey Family Program Strategies Supporting states and local Jurisdictions in implementing strategies to keep more children safely at home- alternative response, family team meetings, family centered practice models, reducing disproportionality and expediting Permanency Advocating for change in federal financing policies in partnership with national organizations.

49 Conclusion “Our Country is one of the wealthiest in the world, but our children lag behind in basic security and well being. The most vulnerable are those at risk of being placed in foster care.” “Working Together, We Can Make the Success of America’s Children our Number One Priority.” Casey Family Programs Publication


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