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Differential Response : Our Community Program Sonoma County Human Services Department ‘Empower, Support & Protect’ Jo Weber, Director, Human Services Department Nick Honey, Director, Family Youth & Children’s Division. Sonoma County Quick Facts. Child Population 2005: 109,966

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Sonoma County Quick Facts

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Differential Response:Our Community ProgramSonoma County Human Services Department‘Empower, Support & Protect’Jo Weber, Director, Human Services Department Nick Honey, Director, Family Youth & Children’s Division

sonoma county quick facts
Sonoma County Quick Facts
  • Child Population 2005: 109,966
  • Referral rate: 32/1000
  • Substantiated referrals: 952
  • 1st entries: 156
  • Petitions filed 2005: 160
  • Petitions filed 2006: 248
  • Petitions 2007 to date: 70
  • In care May 2007: 579
  • 178 in relative/NRFEM homes
  • 100 in group home care
  • 64.3% with siblings
  • Fastest growing child population: Hispanic at 31% in 2006

Child Welfare Statistics

differential response goals
Differential Response Goals
  • Protect children from abuse/neglect due to family stress
  • Reduce subsequent CPS referrals for DR families
  • Engage families early
  • Provide neighborhood resources that are culturally responsive and accessible
  • Contract out ‘Path 1’ and ‘Path 2’ services so CPS can concentrate resources on ‘Path 3’ high risk families
funding sources
Funding Sources
  • First Five Commission (2004)
  • CWSOIP (2005/06, 2006/07)
  • Department Budget (2007/08)


funding sources5
Funding Sources
  • 2004-2006 $150,000 First Five (2 year grant)
  • 2005-2006 $132,217 CWSOIP
  • 2006-2007 $$191,672 CWSOIP/County
  • CWSOIP includes funding for purchased services (counseling, parent education, respite, etc.)
differential response community partners

Community Action Partnership (central)

West County Community Services

Social Advocates for Youth (north)

Sonoma County Adult & Youth Partnership (south)


Community Action Partnership (all Santa Rosa)

Social Advocates for Youth

Differential ResponseCommunity Partners
families served
2004-2006 50 (4 sites)

2005-2006 50 (1 site)

2006-2007 120 (2 sites)

CAP met/exceeded target

Families Served
comprehensive assessment tool
Comprehensive Assessment Tool
  • Supplements social workers’ knowledge and experience
  • Excellent training tool for new social workers
  • Promotes consistency
  • Field for DR referral
  • Can be customized for county
  • Aligned with state objectives for Statewide Safety Assessment System
differential response provider services

In-home visitation

Parenting curricula

Child development education

School-related issues

Purchased services

Information & referral

I & R

Domestic violence

Health/Mental Health

Employment/job training

Day care

Substance abuse treatment

Legal issues

Differential Response Provider Services
referral process
Referral Process
  • CPS referral-hotline, SCARS, MDT
  • Intake researches history
  • Meets criteria for ‘evaluate out’
  • Screener narrative: potential for DR
  • DR Special Projects field/CMS
  • Route to ER supervisor of day
  • ER may make field visit/assessment only
referral process11
Referral Process
  • ER supervisor reviews
  • Signs off on DR referral
  • Enters in CMS under ‘Determine Response’
  • Intake/ER contacts family within 2 business days
  • Family accepts/refuses
  • Intake/ER routes to manager
  • Administrative secretary faxes referral to provider
community provider
Community Provider
  • Accepts referral
  • Family advocate assigned
  • Family contacted within 3-5 business days
  • May be joint visit CPS/FA
  • Safety assessment first visit
  • Service plan 30 days
  • Average duration 3-6 months
strengths challenges

Active community participation

Frees social workers to address high risk situations

Neighborhood access for families

School-based inclusive of other services

Allows for purchased services

CAT enables appropriate/consistent Differential Response referrals

Culturally responsive


Funding uncertain each year

Providers must carry over program to new fiscal year before contract approved

Access not consistent across county

CPS referrals/ ‘evaluated outs’ may be inconsistent for geographic area

Voluntary nature of program

Families may view DR provider as ‘extension’ of CPS

Some families hard to engage

differential response collaborative activities
Differential ResponseCollaborative Activities
  • CPS supervisors/managers available for consults
  • Staff from CBO/CPS meet quarterly
  • Multi-disciplinary team meetings
  • CPS contacted at acceptance/refusal of DR, CPS referral, DR closure
  • Some joint visits
what s in it for us
What’s in it for us?
  • Less work for CPS
  • More efficient use of resources
  • Collaborations in one area spill over to others
  • CPS does not have sole responsibility for family safety/stability
  • Everybody wins
other family youth children s division partnerships
Promoting Safe and Stable Families

Education Liaison

Lifelong Connections/CPYP

Redwood Empire Foster Parents’ Association

Speaker’s Bureau

Runaway Roundtable

ICWA Roundtable

Project ESP (Linkages)


Dependency Drug Court

Fairness and Equity Committee

Kinship Initiative Network of Services (KINS)

Sonoma Family Kinship Center (KSSP)

School-based Social Workers

Outstation Social Worker-SRPD

School Attendance Review Board

Coffee with Counsel

Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation

Dual Jurisdiction Protocol (with Juvenile Probation)

Other Family Youth & Children’s Division Partnerships