Presentation on theme: "Communities in Partnership to Protect Children: Advancing Permanency Outcomes by Incorporating Philosophy to Drive Systemic Change Presentation to the."— Presentation transcript:
1 Communities in Partnership to Protect Children: Advancing Permanency Outcomes by Incorporating Philosophy to Drive Systemic ChangePresentation to the2011 Children in Court SummitAchieving Brighter Futures for Our YouthTheir Future is Our FutureNew Jersey Court Improvement ProjectMarcia M. Sturdivant, Ph.D.Deputy DirectorAllegheny County Department of Human ServicesOffice of Children, Youth and FamiliesMay 3, 2011
2 About ACCYF ACCYF IS NOT A PERFECT CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM! THE ONLY PERFECT CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM IS NO CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM!
3 Shifting the Paradigm: Changing Philosophy and Practice Safety Measures – 1st and foremostCommunity MistrustPlacement RatesQuality AssuranceDiversity and Inclusiveness
4 Hard Lessons, Big Pills, Denial We have to accept things we don’t like to hear or believe, but a real commitment to improving practice requires a level of receptiveness that isn’t always comfortable.In the end, we will be better professionals and children and families will be better served.Unfortunately, some people will always want to feel comfortable; let’s start with the people who are willing to be challenged.
5 Facts About U.S. Child Welfare System of Care: Race, Class and Gender Matters Ethnic minority children are more likely to be separated from their parentsEthnic minority children are more likely to receive higher levels of intervention strategiesEthnic minority children spend more time in foster careEthnic minority children receive inferior services (Roberts, 2004)
6 Facts About U.S. Child Welfare System of Care: Race, Class and Gender Matters Placement - 56% vs. 24%Length of time in placement - 62 months vs. 36 monthsLength of open case longer than 18 months - 64% vs. 31%When poverty is controlled minority children still have a 42% lower probability of leaving custody
7 Facts About U.S. Child Welfare System of Care: Race, Class and Gender Matters Child welfare is largely a system addressing concerns of women parenting children.The view of the absentee father is prevalent in child welfare perception, philosophy and practice.Social challenges related to gender receive little attention in child welfare practice.
8 Public Perceptions and Public Policy Foundations of Disparity The feminization of povertySome governments alleviate the problem through public policies designed to remedy economic and social hardshipsU.S. has responded to the phenomenon with policies designed less to remedy inequities than to try to control behavior and demonstrate dominant attitudes about the relationship between home, family, and government (Geiger, 1995)
9 Public Perceptions and Public Policy Foundations of Disparity The feminization of povertyPublic policy is deeply rooted in stereotypical perceptions of poor, single and minority mothers.“There are a lot of…lies that male society tells about welfare mothers…If people are willing to believe these lies, it’s partly because they’re just special versions of the lies that society tells about all women” (Johnnie Tillman, 1972)
10 Economic Impact of Disparity Child Welfare is a multi-billion dollar industry creating jobs for systems, but depletes communities of their foundational strengths, i.e. self-sufficient, government-free families.Inclusion in the child welfare system negatively effects individual employment, educational, social, and recreational opportunities and subsequently effects the economic viability of communities and ultimately the nation.
11 Current Child Welfare Practice and Philosophy The history of the child welfare field is a history of paternalism (Andrew Turnell, 1998)
12 Current Child Welfare Practice and Philosophy Paternalism is defined as:The process whereby the professional approaches the child protection service recipient with the attitude that it is the professional’s opinion that carries the most import in the interaction.
13 Current Child Welfare Practice and Philosophy The professional evaluates the nature of the problem, the risk and the harm, and formulates the solutions required to resolve the matter.What the service recipient thinks is secondary.
17 The Influence of Probation Officers and Social Workers in Perpetuating Stereotypes For all ethnic groups, children of color are more likely to be viewed as in need of rehabilitation, unreceptive to treatment, or in need of behavioral intervention: resulting in higher rates of detention, foster care and institutional placement (Roberts, 2004)Maltreated and neglected children from low S.E.S. groups are seen as sympathetic victims from dysfunctional families and communities and more likely to be removed from their communities by child welfare practitioners
18 Indirect Effects of Disparity on Child Welfare Recipients Cultural MistrustPsycho-Social MaladjustmentEconomic Impact
20 Family Systems TheoryFamilies are like mobiles. When one piece of the mobile moves, the whole mobile moves.
21 ACCYF Values and Beliefs Families have strengths and can change.Strengths are what ultimately resolve concerns.Strengths are discovered through listening, noticing, and paying attention to people.Strengths are enhanced when they are acknowledged and encouraged.
22 Necessary Practice Change 1st – Paradigm shift: both philosophical and in practiceShift from a deficit based approach structured on “risk” and internalize a strength-based approach structured on the reality of strengths.
23 Differences : Traditional vs. Family/Community Empowerment Models Strength BasedInclusiveEncourages FamilyHonest/openTeam EffortCreativeIndividualizedCulturally Sensitive
24 ACCYF Initiatives Birth to 6 years Response ACCYF Foster Care Visits Parent Advocacy Community WorkshopsPermanency Planning ConferencesQuality Assurance (Case Practice Specialists)P.O.W.E.R. (D/A)Urban League of Pittsburgh HousingTraveler’s Aide / Medical Assistance TransportationGwen’s GirlsMother to SonParents at Risk of TPRMale CoalitionTruancy Treatment (CES and YAP)Families United CelebrationCareer MotivationCelebration of SuccessD.A.D.SFamily Group Decision MakingInua UbuntuHigh Fidelity WrapTransition Age Youth
25 ACCYF Programs Prevention Programs (27) Family Support Centers (32) Foster Care (37)In-Home (8)In-Home (6) - CrisisResidential TX (9)Transportation
26 Permanency in Allegheny County Background14,890 children served by the Office of Children, Youth and Families in 20101,536 children experienced out-of-home placement during 2010At any point in time, about 63% of youth in foster care are with kin.
27 Type of Primary Placement for First Entries, 2000-2009 2000200120022003200420052006200720082009Total Count101086310901229115911621167916905861Type of Primary PlacementCongregate Care22%28%26%25%27%23%21%Foster Care41%39%40%35%33%36%38%Kinship Care34%29%37%Independent Living2%1%No Primary Placement3%This chart illustrates the percentage of youth experiencing each type of care as their primary placement type – or, the type of care in which they spend greater than half of their time in care.Early in the decade, more youth spent a majority of their time in foster care than in kinship care. This trends has shifted and now more youth spend a majority of their time with kin.Human Services Software Partners, (412)27
28 Type of Primary Placement, by Age at Time of Entry, 2000-2009 The green bar represents the percentage of youth in kinship care, by the child’s age at their time of entry into care.Kinship care and foster care begin to drop off after age 12 when the use of congregate care increases.Human Services Software Partners, (412)28
29 Length of Stay by Primary Care Type, 2000-2009 Youth Ages 0-12 at EntryLength of StayCongregate CareFoster CareKinship CareNo Primary PlacementTotalUnder 1 month25%28%6%2%18%1 to 2 months22%15%19%8%17%3 to 5 months11%9%6 to 11 months14%16%12 to 17 months7%18 to 35 months21%29%24%3 years or longer10%12%30%100%Not surprisingly, lengths of stay are longer for youth in kinship care. Most of the difference is that few youth in kinship care stay in care for less than one month.(This chart includes lengths of stay for children ages birth-12 because kinship care decreases after age 12, and lengths of stay for teenagers vary significantly from younger children.)Human Services Software Partners, (412)29
30 Exit Destinations from First Spell, by Primary Placement Type, 2000-2009 Still in CareReturn to FamilyAdoptionPLCNon-PermanentReach MajorityRunawayOtherCongregate Care3%64%2%0%12%11%8%Foster Care10%60%20%1%4%Kinship Care13%53%Independent Living47%15%14%No Primary Placement40%7%9%Total58%5%Overall, 62% of youth exit to family or kin.Non-adoptive exits from kinship care to family or kin are slightly higher at 63%, and account for nearly all PLCs. Another 13% exit to adoption.Human Services Software Partners, (412)30
31 Reentries into Care after First Spell, by Primary Placement Type, 2000-2009 Congregate CareFoster CareKinship CareIndependent LivingNo Primary PlacementTotal First Entries256137903675151185Total Exits249634243186146165As percent of all entries98%90%87%97%89%Total Reentries117510079153370As percent of all exits47%29%23%42%Reenter Within 1 Year1005718713275839%19%18%31%40%21%22%35%As percent of positive exits32%15%25%Reentry rates for youth exiting from kinship care are comparable to those for youth who were in foster care. Both are significantly lower than reentry rates for youth exiting following stays in congregate care.Human Services Software Partners, (412)31
32 Recommended Strategies Open and constructive dialogue about the uncomfortable realty of the existence of race, class and gender biases in child welfare - individual and systemicTrain and educate agency staff and stakeholders about institutional and structural racism and its impact on decision-making, policy and practiceComprehensive review conducted by community and system partners to ensure that policies, practices, programs and services are supportive of children and families of color, poor families and families often marginalized in social systemsEmployment of “Healers and Helpers” at all levels of leadership, staffing and contracts that reflect the cultural, spiritual, religious and racial backgrounds of the population served.
33 Recommended Strategies Improve the capacity of communities to prevent child abuse and neglect while promoting social reform designed to improve the quality of life for parents and their children
34 Recommended Strategies (Federal) Anti-Poverty Policy Options Policies to meet the general needs of the poorCategorical strategies of providing special financial assistance to single mothers so that they can stay at home with their childrenUniversal young-child strategies under which cash benefits and policy supports are given to all families with young children