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Emily Cooke Children’s Bureau Bill Delisio Director, Colorado CIP Vicky Weisz Director, Nebraska CIP Jennifer Renne Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues Orientation for New CIP Directors CIP Meeting August 3, 2009. History and Structure of Court Improvement Program (CIP).
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Emily Cooke Children’s Bureau Bill Delisio Director, Colorado CIP Vicky Weisz Director, Nebraska CIP Jennifer RenneResource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues Orientation for New CIP Directors CIP Meeting August 3, 2009
History and Structure of Court Improvement Program (CIP) Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1993 Reauthorized in 1997, 2001, 2006 (thro Fiscal Year 2011)
Where to Find the Federal Statute • Under title IV-B of the Social Security Act (Child and Family Services) • Set-aside under The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (PSSF) • 2001 reauthorization, CIP transferred here, to Section 438 of Social Security Act • 42 U.S.C. 629h
Recipients of CIP Grants • Highest State court • if State participates in title IV-E program, and • If State has in effect a rule requiring State courts to ensure that foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relative caregivers of a child in foster care under responsibility of the State are notified of any proceeding to be held with respect to the child.
Who Administers the CIP? • Children’s Bureau, in U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services • Responsibilities for receipt and approval of annual applications delegated to 10 Regional Offices • Child welfare program specialists in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle
Funding Streams and Purpose • “Basic” CIP Grant • To assess State’s handling of foster care and adoption proceedings; specifically includes interstate placement of children (added in 2006) • To implement improvements identified by the assessments, including those in CFSR PIPs (added in 2001); and in the areas of training legal personnel and data collection and analysis (added in 2005); and addressing the child welfare outcomes of safety, permanence and well-being.
Funding Streams and Purpose • Two new grants (added in 2006) • Training Grant – for training judges, attorneys, and other legal personnel in child welfare cases and conducting cross-training with child welfare agency staff and contractors • Data Grant – for data collection and analysis to help ensure that foster children’s needs for safety, permanency and well-being are met in a timely and complete manner
Collaboration Requirement • Under all 3 CIP grants, there is a requirement for demonstration of meaningful and ongoingcollaboration among courts, State child welfare agency or any other agency under contract for title IV-B or IV-E services, and, where applicable, Indian tribes.
Funding Levels • Basic Grant – Authorized for FY 2007 thro FY 2011 with a mandatory funding level of $10 million supplemented by discretionary funding. From any discretionary funding appropriated annually for PSSF, the law authorizes a 3.3% set-aside for the basic CIP grant.
Funding Levels • For both the training grant and the data grant • $10 million mandatory funds authorized for period FY 2006 though FY 2010 • No discretionary funds attached to these 2 grants • These 2 grants are off cycle from basic grant funding dates, end a year earlier. Hopefully, Congress will appropriate funds for FY 2011, thus putting these 2 grants on same cycle as basic CIP grants.
Formula • For each of the 3 grants, base amount of $85,000. Added to that is proportional amount based on child population in the State
CIP Awards • FY 2010 awards will be made in October 2009, and each October thereafter • All CIP awards will be awarded for a two year obligation period, followed by a 90 day liquidation period. • There are no possibilities of carryover or a no-cost extension for CIP grants
Transition Time Exceptions • Obligation times were extended for FY 2008 and FY 2009 awards (36 months) See Children’s Bureau chart & award letters • FY 2010 awards are back on 24 month cycle • Match - For FY 2009 only, States may delay the reporting of the State’s 25 percent share of project funding until the submission of the final financial report (SF-269). However for FY 2010 and thereafter, States must revert to the “pay-as-you-go” process and report the match concurrent with and in proportion to the use of Federal funds.
Where Is All This Written Down? • Program Instructions (PI) and CIP listserv messages from the Children’s Bureau – save these • PI ACYF-CB-PI-06-05 for CIP training and data grants • PI ACYF-CB-PI-07-09 for basic CIP grant • See PIs on CB website http://www.acf.hhs.gov/program/cb/ under Laws & Policies, Policy/Program Issuances
Requirements • Applications Due August 30 • See Emily’s emails 6/5 and 6/26 for nice summaries and links to program instructions for all three grants • Fiscal Reports Due Dec. 30 (90 days after end of grant period)
APPLICATIONS • Strategic Plans • Statewide Multidisciplinary Task Force • Program assessment/report (Bill Delisio)
Strategic Plans • Requirement AND opportunity for thoughtful/strategic approach most likely to result in system improvement • Responsive to CFSR/Coordinated with PIP • Keeps “eyes on the prize” • Keeps separate grant activities coordinated and integrated to achieve most bang for buck
Goal: Improve Quality of Permanency Hearings • Training – Stakeholders need to learn about best practices at permanency hearings • Children’s Summit Track on Permanency Hearings • What’s the difference between permanency and review hearing? • What is everyone’s role/responsibility at the permanency hearing? • Case progression timelines and permanency hearings • Fathers and paternal kin at permanency hearings • Use of pre-hearing conferences at permanency hearings – a pilot presentation
Goal: Improve Quality of Permanency Hearings • Through the Eyes of the Child local teams are encouraged/supported to improve permanency hearing quality • May request additional assistance • Teams are provided current data about time to permanency in their jurisdiction
Goal: Improve Quality of Permanency Hearings • Track time to permanency in areas piloting new prehearing conference process • Track time to permanency in all jurisdictions • Utilize findings to modify process
Meaningful, Ongoing Collaboration • “Letter” of regulations • Statewide multidisciplinary task force • State and local courts • State agency • Where applicable, Indian Tribes • “Spirit” of regulations • Meaningful ongoing collaboration with every stakeholder group that interacts with court system
Fiscal Reports/Budgets • Two years from date of grant award to expend funds (NO no cost extensions) • Allotments • May split up FTEs across three grants • Match (Cost Share) • 25% of total = 1/3 of Federal amount • May be “in-kind contributions of services, equipment, or property” – non federal • New match reporting requirement
Program Assessment Report Colorado’s Approach
Brief history of federal child welfare law • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) 1974 • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) 1978 • Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 • Multi Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) 1994 • Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) 1997 (Regs 2000) • Amended the federal foster care law Titles IV-B and IV-E of the SSA • All states passed legislation in order to be in compliance with ASFA • Safety, permanency, and well being of the child primary focus of the law • - Time periods • - Reasonable Efforts & Contrary to the welfare findings • - Termination of Parental Rights – 15/22 rule & exceptions • - Hierarchy of permanency options • - Permanency Hearings • - Foster Parent Rights
New layer of federal review under ASFA • CFSR versus Title IV-E review • Conducted in partnership with federal reviewers and state child welfare agency staff • 1st round of reviews took place between 2000 and 2004 • 2d round of reviews began in early spring of 2007 • Purposes: • (1) ensure conformity with Federal child welfare requirements; • (2) determine what is actually happening to children and families as they are engaged in child welfare services; and • (3) assist States to enhance their capacity to help children and families achieve positive outcomes. • Ultimately, the goal of the reviews is to help States improve child welfare services and achieve improved outcomes for families and children who receive services: Child and Family Service Reviews
CFSR Phases 1) Statewide Assessment • Discussion of systemic factors • Quantitative analysis • Narrative assessment 2) Onsite Review • 3 locations • Case reviews • Stakeholder Interviews, including families 3) Final Report • Substantial conformity with indicators 4) Program Improvement Plan (PIP)
Case Outcomes Safety 1. Children are protected from abuse and neglect. 2. Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible. Permanency 3. Children have permanency and stability in their living situations. 4. The continuity of family relationships is preserved for children. Well-Being 5. Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children’s own needs. 6. Ch. receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs. 7. Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs.
Systemic Factors 1) Statewide information system(computerized collection and analysis of data) 2) Case review system(case plans, case reviews, permanency hearings, and termination of parental rights petitions) 3) Quality assurance system(systematic review of performance) 4) Staff training(including, where applicable, legal staff) 5) Service array(services to support child safety, permanency, and well being) 6) Agency responsiveness to the community 7) Foster and adoptive parent, licensing, recruitment, and retention
Safety 1. Children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect. • Timeliness of initiating investigations on reports of child maltreatment • Recurrence of maltreatment • Incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care 2. Children are safely maintained in their own homes whenever possible and appropriate. • Services to family to protect children in home and prevent removal • Risk of harm to child
Permanency • Children have permanency and stability in their living situations. Composite 1: Timeliness and permanency of reunifications Composite 2: Timeliness of adoptions Composite 3: Achieving permanency for children in foster care for extended periods of time Composite 4: Placement stability. (each composite proposed of 2 or more components)
Permanency 2. The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for children. • Proximity of foster care placement • Placement with siblings • Visiting with parents and siblings in foster care • Preserving connections • Relative placement • Relationship of child in care with parents
Child and Family Well-Being 1. Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children’s needs. • Needs and services of child, parents, foster parents • Child and family involvement in case planning • Worker visits with child • Worker visits with parents ·
Child and Family Well-Being 2. Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs. • Educational needs of the child 3. Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs. • Physical health of the child • Mental health of the child
CFSR Round 1: Common Court Issues/Concerns • Delays due to overcrowded dockets • Courts granting continuances for hearings and TPRs • Reluctance to terminate parental rights • Permanency hearings that lack depth - seen as a formality • Need for consistency in involving foster and pre-adoptive parents and relatives providing care • Lengthy TPR appeals • Concerns re: legal representation for children • Need to hold parents accountable - parents should demonstrate behavioral changes before child is returned home • Issues with tribal jurisdiction, ICWA, transfer of cases from State to tribal courts • Need for common goals and consensus-building. How to engage the courts in what child welfare is trying to do, e.g. concurrent planning • Relationship issues between child welfare and the courts, e.g. workers don’t always show up for court • Issues around accessing/involving courts in in-home protective cases when parents are not cooperating • Linking CIP projects with CFSR findings
Court Involvement Is Essential to the CFSR • The CFSR measures the performance of the State, not just the agency • Legal and judicial issues are integral CFSR issues CFSR’s: How Judges, Court Administrators and Attorneys Should Be Involved http://www.abanet.org/child/rclji/cfsr1.pdf • The CFSR will strongly influence the state child welfare agency’s reform agenda • The agency’s reform efforts will affect court reform efforts • CFSRs can either maintain the agency's focus on court improvement or deflect focus • CFSRs measure outcomes that are affected by a wide range of public and private entities
Court Involvement Is Essential to the CFSR • Improvements that courts might get onto the agency's agenda through the CFSR; • Upgrade legal representation • Help courts obtain better outcome data / data exchange • Get caseworkers to attend court hearings more consistently; better preparation for court • Improve agency court reports and testimony • Work together to improve court resources • Improve state law to ensure better and timelier services for families • Link PIPs & CIP reassessment and strategic planning
Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues Resource Center: http://www.abanet.org/child/rclji/home.html National Court Improvement Catalog http://www.abanet.org/child/cipcatalog/home.html Training/ Technical Assistance • Providing direct services -- training, consultation. • Helping states tracking down and pinpoint the underlying causes of legal system problems. • Identifying barriers and strategies associated with each approach, including strategies that have worked in other states • Regional Office approval process • Collaboration with other Resource Centers Broader TA Network: Children’s Bureau TTA Network Booklethttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/tta/cbttan.pdf