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Leading and Managing Change: Implementation of Alternative Response
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  1. Leading and Managing Change: Implementation of Alternative Response Ohio Alternative Response Symposium May 14, 2010 Erin Sullivan Sutton, J.D. Director, Child Safety and Permanency

  2. Presentation overview • History of reform in MN • Key components for MN • Sustainability • Use of learning for continuous improvement

  3. MN Demographics • State supervised, county administered • Financing structure • Rapid growth in child protection resulted in forensic investigation and services for only high risk • Poor match for growing number of neglect concerns

  4. Building blocks to reform • Early MN Child Welfare Reform efforts • Exploration of other states • 1997 Legislation and funding provided to encourage counties to test alternative methods of responding to child welfare and child protection needs ($1mil/10 pilots) • Tension between desire to reform and need for financing

  5. The Turning Point 1999 • Legislation passed authorizing counties to establish programs for alternative responses to child maltreatment reports Family assessment and services ID of reports requiring tradition investigation

  6. DHS to consult with counties to develop guidelines defining alternative response, procedures, forms and training • No funding • The choice-Inaction or action?

  7. What MN needed • Leadership • Commitment to change the culture of practice • Resources and partnerships • Time • Strategic plan to move forward

  8. Initiation of 4 year pilot • McKnight Foundation Support Training, services, time and evaluation • Redirected state and federal resources • Address implementation issues early

  9. Implementation Issues • Staffing • County buy in and engagement • Engage parents • Engage other stakeholders • Plan for evaluation over time

  10. Staffing • Dedicated resources and staff • Drew from expertise in the field and leaders who were also teachers • Kept reform high in the organization and allow access to those that can remove barriers

  11. County Engagement • Resources • Engaged in development of guidance, best practices and lessons learned. • Training and regional forums • Parent involvement and feedback

  12. Time frame • 2000-2004 Twenty county pilot • 2004 Statewide • 2005 Alternative Response (FAR) integrated into MN statute as the preferred response for child maltreatment reports not alleging child endangerment

  13. IAR Evaluation • Child safety not compromised-made safer sooner • AR families less likely to have new reports • Cost effective over time • Families liked AR and responded more positively • CPS workers liked AR and saw effectiveness of new approach

  14. Sustainabilty • Resources • Annual and regional meetings Best Practices, Training • Continuity of leaders • Pay attention to the fidelity of the model

  15. Child Abuse and neglect assessments over time

  16. Application of learnings • PSOP • MFIP Family Connections • MN Practice Model • Signs of Safety • Restructure of training system • Child welfare supervision

  17. Minnesota Practice Model • Focus on safety, permanency and well being • Respectful engagement leading to family and community partnership • Shift from expert intervention model to collaborative model between the agency, family and community • Evidence based practices informs programs • Commitment to organizational and professional competence

  18. Signs of Safety (SoS) • CP protocol drawing on collaborative practice models such as solution focused therapy, family group conferencing and appreciative inquiry • Collaborative practice model that creates: - a shared understanding of safety - a detailed and verifiable safety plan - a safety team to implement • Counties demonstrate improved safety and decrease use of court and placement

  19. Improved Outcomes with Child Welfare Reform • Children and families are safer, sooner (decrease in re-reporting) • Out-of-home placements are less necessary (decrease in placements) • Costs are reduced over time • Greater satisfaction expressed by families and social workers • More families are being served more effectively with more services • Collateral improvements in child and family well being (improved income and housing stability, decreased chemical dependency, and domestic violence, less troubled children)