Child Welfare Reports

Building Analytical Capacity in State Child Welfare Agencies

Principal Investigator: Tom McDonald, PhD; and Terry Moore, MSW

Funding Source: Oklahoma Department of Human Services under a federal grant provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

Project Dates: Oct 2001 - Sep 2004

This project developed the analytical capacity of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services to inform program and policy development. Research focused on child welfare outcomes performance and evaluating special initiatives. The project also seeks to increase the use of outcome data by child welfare managers for program improvement.

Background: On October 1, 2001, the Oklahoma Children and Family Services Division was awarded a 3-year federal grant to build "analytic capacity in state child welfare systems." Oklahoma was one of only 3 states nationally to be awarded this grant and partnered with the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. Kansas University conducted research at the direction of the department and developed our management capacity for using data for continuous improvement.

The Project Director in Oklahoma was Bill Hindman, Adoption, Research, and Information Systems Manager. Carol Clabo and Mary Grissom served as full time staff dedicated to the grant project in Oklahoma.

Evaluation of the SRS Topeka Area Office Prevention, Protection, and Preservation Pilot Program

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW

Project Manager: Becci Akin, MSW

Funding Source: Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services

Project Dates: Jan 2004 - Dec 2004

This project was an independent evaluation of a pilot program, Prevention, Protection and Preservation, implemented by the Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) Topeka Area Office (TAO). The pilot was initiated in October 2003 in partnership with Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL). The pilot ended case-by-case monitoring and supportive case management for foster care and adoption cases referred to KCSL. Staff resources were reinvested to: 1) enhance front-end services intended to prevent out-of-home placement, preserve family connections, and protect children; and 2) facilitate family meetings to develop case plans.

Evaluation of the Topeka Area SRS Office Prevention, Protection and Preservation Pilot Program (pdf)

Family Centered Systems of Care Federal Demonstration Project Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW

Project Staff: Peggy Taylor

Funding Source: Social and Rehabilitation Services Children and Family Services

Project Dates: Oct 2003 - Jun 2008

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services was one of nine state agencies awarded this federal grant to demonstrate the implementation of "Systems of Care" in child welfare services. Drawing from the success of the Systems of Care approach in children’s Mental Health services, demonstration site activities seek to improve child welfare and related outcomes for children and families by supporting community-level efforts to operationalize the six Systems of Care principles within local child welfare services. The six principles are: Interagency Collaboration, Individualized Strengths-Based Care, Cultural Competence, Family Involvement, Community Based Services, and Accountability. SRS contracted with KUSSW to be the program evaluator. The evaluation team is responsible for developing and implementing an evaluation plan as well as providing regular and ongoing feedback throughout the project. Evaluation tasks include both local grant activity and participation in the national cross-site demonstration evaluation.

Fellowships for University-Based Doctoral Candidates and Faculty for Investigator-Initiated

Principal Investigator: Tom McDonald, PhD

Project Staff: Stephanie Bryson, LISW; Kim Rosa; Jody Brook, PhD; and Peggy Taylor

Funding Source: US HHS Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau

Project Dates: Oct 2003 - Sep 2005

To increase the pool of well-trained researchers in child abuse and neglect research, HHS/Administration on Children and Families provided a competitive grant opportunity for one faculty mentor and four graduate students to receive two years of support. The students and their faculty mentor conducted original research on a topic related to preventing child abuse and neglect and presented their findings at an annual conference on child abuse and neglect. Tom McDonald’s research was "Optimizing Child Welfare Permanency Outcomes." Stephanie Bryson’s research was "Constructing the Good Enough Family." Jody Brook’s research was "Achieving Permanency for Children." Peggy Billings’ research was "Predictors of Recurrence and Re-Referral." Kim Rosa’s research was "Eco-Map Validation Study”.

Focused Study on Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care Under PAHP

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore

Project Manager: Becci Akin

Project Dates: July 2007-June 2008

The Children’s Focused Study was initiated by SRS/DBHS to understand the impact of the Prepaid Ambulatory Health Plan (PAHP), which was newly implemented in July 2007. The PAHP represented a shift in Kansas’ mental health service delivery from a fee-for-service system to a managed care system. A focused study is a focused review of indicators that states use to identify best practices and determine when improvements are necessary. This study focused on children in foster care as population at high risk for mental health problems. The study included twenty-four measures that were organized by four indicator categories: service utilization, timely access, outcomes, and institutional care. The FY2008 study provides a research framework that can be used to assess the mental health services and outcomes over time.

Focused Study on Mental Health Services for Children and Foster Care Under the PAHP (pdf)

Mental Health and Child Welfare Steering Committee

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW

Project Staff: Becci Akin, MSW; Stephanie Bryson, PhD; and Cheryl Holmes, MPA (Prior to July 2007)

Funding Source: Social and Rehabilitation Services, Division of Health Care Policy, Title XIX

Project Dates: Jul 2002 - Jun 2008

KU provided facilitation of the Mental Health and Child Welfare Steering Committee comprised of administrators from the Kansas mental health and child welfare authorities, Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), and private child welfare providers. The goal of the steering committee was to coordinate efforts related to mental health services for the child welfare population and problem-solve systems barriers. Since the committee was formed in July 2002 the committee focused on topics related to referral and intake, state policy, and created a document of a statewide partnership plan between mental health and child welfare providers. In July 2007, the project started a new phase focused on identifying and monitoring shared outcomes between the two systems. The Steering Committee advised the development of the Focused Study on Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care during FY 2008, and reviewed updated data in FY 2009. From this study, the committee recommended the development of a Mental Health Child Welfare Scorecard at its last meeting on June 3rd. The Steering Committee and it functions were folded into a child welfare advisory group facilitated by Kansas Health Solutions.

Mental Health and Child Welfare Steering Committee (pdf)

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to Parents of Children in Foster Care (Task 10)

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW

Project Staff: Michelle Levy, MSW; and Stephanie A. Bryson, LISW

Funding Source: Social and Rehabilitation Services, Division of Health Care Policy, Title XIX

Project Dates: Jul 2006 - Jun 2008

This is a two-year research project into mental health and substance abuse services provided to parents of children in foster care. The first year of the study included review of the literature, and an analysis of policy, financial and administrative systems in place to serve parents. The first year resulted in the development of a research design for undertaking a study of services to parents and the impact of those services on achieving permanency. The research conducted in Year 2 of the project is threefold: 1) to describe referral and service utilization patterns of parents referred for mental health or substance abuse services; 2) to describe parent experiences seeking services and to better understand what services lead to successful reunification outcomes; and 3) to document provider experiences and understand the challenges they face in providing effective services to this population.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to Parents of Children in Foster Care (Task 10) (pdf)

Mental Health Services for Children Identified as CINC-NAN

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW; and Susan Corrigan, PhD

Project Staff: Becci Akin, MSW; Jody Brook, PhD; Stephanie Bryson, LISW; Cheryl Holmes, MPA; Michelle Levy, MSW; Tom McDonald, PhD; and Peggy Taylor

Funding Source: Social and Rehabilitation Services, Division of Health Care Policy, Title XIX, and SRS Children and Family Services (1st year of study)

Project Dates: Jul 2005 - Jun 2007

The primary purpose of this research project was: 1) to better understand the circumstances under which the Child in Need of Care Non-Abuse/Neglect (CINC NAN) population comes into care and 2) to inform the development of service strategies to prevent unnecessary out-of-home placements or to expedite permanency when placement cannot be avoided. The first year of this project identified the characteristics and needs of the CINC NAN population as presented at CPS intake. The second year of this project examined whether children entering foster care as NANs received mental health and substance abuse services and what impact these services have on child welfare outcomes. This project was a collaboration between the Health Care Policy and the Children and Family Services divisions of SRS. Correspondingly, the research was being conducted as a collaborative effort between the Children's Mental Health and Child Welfare research units at the KU School of Social Welfare Office of Child Welfare and Children's Mental Health.

Mental Health Services for Children Identified as CINC-NAN (pdf)

Mental Health Services for the Child Welfare Population

Principal Investigator: Susan K. Corrigan, PhD

Project Manager: Cheryl Holmes, MPA

Project Dates: Jul 2002 - Jun 2007

Funded through a contract with the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services - Division of Health Care Policy, this project involved facilitation of a steering committee comprised of administrators from the Kansas mental health and child welfare authorities, Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), and private child welfare providers. The goal of the steering committee, which began in July of 2002, was to coordinate efforts related to mental health services for the child welfare population and problem-solve systems barriers. During these five years, the committee focused on topics related to referral and intake, changes in state policy, and creating a draft document of a statewide partnership plan between mental health and child welfare providers. In July 2007, the project started a new phase focused on identifying and monitoring shared outcomes between the two systems.

SRS Northeast Region Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Terry Moore, MSW

Project Staff: Becci Akin, MSW

Funding Source: SRS Northeast Region

Project Dates: Jul 2005 - Jun 2006

Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) Northeast Regional office contracted with the university to conduct an independent evaluation of two new initiatives. The first evaluated the transition and restructuring of its major contracts for foster care, adoption, and family preservation. The evaluation focused on lessons learned in making contract transitions and on next steps needed to complete the transition to new contractors. The second part of the project evaluated Community Solutions, a new program initiative intended to provide service alternatives to out of home placement for the Child In Need of Care - Non-abuse/neglect population.


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