Child Protective Services in Harris County Stakeholder Forum

Report
Child Protective Services
in Harris County
Stakeholder Forum
December 12, 2013
1
Assisting Harris County
• DFPS and Casey Family Programs are partnering to safely
reduce the total number of children in state custody.
• To accomplish this, we are implementing a targeted approach
to reduce the amount of time children spend in state custody.
• Because of the number of children in care in Harris County,
we will begin there.
• Casey Family Programs will assist DFPS in conducting an
assessment of Region 6 – Harris County CPS.
• The assessment is the first step to the identify issues that
impact permanency and make recommendations to address
these issues.
2
County Characteristics
Harris County is Big
• More than 1 million children – 17% of Texas child
population.
• More than 7,000 children annually in DFPS custody
– 16% of all children in DFPS custody.
• Geographically, Harris County is the size of Dallas
and Tarrant Counties combined.
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Permanency Outcomes
in Harris County
Children in Harris County
Remain Longer in DFPS Custody
Average Time to Exit in Months
29 (Harris)
27
22 (State)
22
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
4
County Characteristics
Harris County Has a
Lower than Average Removal Rate
Removal Rate per 1,000 Children in Population
2.4 (State)
2.2
1.9
2008
1.7 (Harris)
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
5
County Characteristics
Characteristics of Children in Substitute Care on August 31, 2012
Gender:
Age:
Race:
Harris
State
Male
47%
48%
Female
53%
52%
Harris
State
0-2
25%
25%
3-5
21%
21%
6-9
20%
19%
10-13
16%
16%
14-17
17%
19%
Harris
State
African American
52%
23%
Hispanic
27%
42%
Anglo
15%
28%
Other
5%
6%
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County Characteristics
No Difference in Special Needs of Child Population in Harris County
Special Needs Characteristics
of Children in Substitute Care on August 31, 2012
Harris
State
Medical
5%
5%
Drug/Alcohol
8%
9%
Emotional
14%
16%
Learning
16%
17%
Sibling
22%
23%
Teen Parent
1%
0%
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County Characteristics
No Difference in Levels of Care Distribution
Children in Foster Care on August 31, 2012
Harris
State
Basic
63%
63%
Moderate
19%
19%
Specialized
16%
16%
Intense/
Psychiatric
2%
2%
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County Characteristics
Children from Harris County Are Equally Likely to Live with Relatives
and More Likely to Live in County
Children in Foster Care on August 31, 2012
Harris
State
Children in Substitute Care Placed with Relatives
40%
40%
Children in Foster Care Placed in County
65%
42%
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County Characteristics
Conservatorship (CVS) Staff Caseload and Turnover Measures
Harris
State
CVS Turnover
22.2%
22.9%
CVS Average Caseload
28
32
10
Recent Changes in
Harris County
• CPS restructured Region 6 to have two regional
directors –
– One director for Harris County and one for other counties
in region.
• The Legislature created an associate judge position
to concentrate on CPS-related cases.
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Assessment Plan
By April 1, 2014, Casey Family Programs, will conduct
an assessment of CPS in Region 6 – Harris County and
provide a report to DFPS that:
• Informs the agency about issues that impact
permanency;
• Provides recommendations;
• Provides action steps that DFPS may implement to
reduce the length of time children are in care.
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Assessment Plan
The assessment will be designed to answer the following questions:
1.
What are internal and external factors that lead to greater lengths of
stay in foster care for children from Harris County than in other regions?
2.
How can CPS improve permanency outcomes for children in Harris
County?
3.
How does organizational leadership, management, and culture affect
achievement of outcomes in Harris County?
4.
What have other large urban jurisdictions (Chicago, LA, New York) done
to improve permanency outcomes?
5.
Who are the potential community catalysts for change?
6.
What community-based changes need to be made to support and sustain
systemic change to improve permanency outcomes for Harris County
children and youth?
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Assessment Plan
Roles and Responsibilities
Entity
DFPS



Roles
Provide data, staff, points of contact, liaisons
Act as lead communicator (internal and external audiences)
Lead the scope of work
Casey Family Programs




Gather qualitative data (focus groups, surveys, etc.)
Review data and reports
Write the assessment report
Provide ongoing consultation to the process
Harris County Protective
Services


Provide observations about the system
Provide data and information
Children’s Commission




Facilitate court involvement
Advise on how to improve relations with the courts
Commit a Jurist in Residence to assist
Address court reform
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Assessment Plan
Stakeholder Involvement
Stakeholder involvement will be a very important aspect of this assessment.
Some of the groups expected to be involved include:
• Harris County judges
• Harris County Commissioner’s Court
• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
• District Attorney’s Office
• Texas Appleseed
• One Voice Texas
• Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)
• CASA
• Community providers
• State legislators
• Office of Court Administration
• Medical community
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Thank you!
Thank you for your collaboration with the Department of Family
and Protective Services in our mission to keep children
protected and connected.
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