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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
Presentation overview • History of reform in MN • Key components for MN • Sustainability • Use of learning for continuous improvement
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
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
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
DHS to consult with counties to develop guidelines defining alternative response, procedures, forms and training • No funding • The choice-Inaction or action?
What MN needed • Leadership • Commitment to change the culture of practice • Resources and partnerships • Time • Strategic plan to move forward
Initiation of 4 year pilot • McKnight Foundation Support Training, services, time and evaluation • Redirected state and federal resources • Address implementation issues early
Implementation Issues • Staffing • County buy in and engagement • Engage parents • Engage other stakeholders • Plan for evaluation over time
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
County Engagement • Resources • Engaged in development of guidance, best practices and lessons learned. • Training and regional forums • Parent involvement and feedback
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
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
Sustainabilty • Resources • Annual and regional meetings Best Practices, Training • Continuity of leaders • Pay attention to the fidelity of the model
Application of learnings • PSOP • MFIP Family Connections • MN Practice Model • Signs of Safety • Restructure of training system • Child welfare supervision
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
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
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)