Linkages: CalWORKs and Child Welfare Collaboration to

Report
Linkages: CalWORKs and
Child Welfare Collaboration to
Improve Outcomes
Vision
• Began in 1998 – 1999.
• Stuart Foundation funded a site visit to Colorado.
– State, County, Foundation
• Planning phase 2000 – 2002
– Work Groups formed
– Developed the Planning Guide
Three Stages of Implementation
• Pilot counties selected 2003.
• Phase II Counties selected 2005.
• Phase III Counties selected 2006-2011 via a Federal
Demonstration Grant.
• Steady expansion from 14 to 30 counties.
Foundation for the Linkages Vision
• Poverty is a risk factor for child abuse and neglect:
– Families with annual incomes below $15,000,
compared to families with annual incomes above
$30,000 are over 22 times more likely to
experience some form of maltreatment.
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Shared Vision
• Child Welfare Services can serve as an anti-poverty
program in helping families to achieve
self-sufficiency.
• CalWORKs can serve as a child abuse prevention
program by providing families the resources they
need to promote safety and well-being for their
children.
Mutual Families
• Overlap of clients in Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families (TANF) and Child Welfare Services (CWS):
– Statewide, 60% children in CWS have a history of
AFDC or TANF.
– Varies by county: from 44% - 87%.
Mutual Families (cont’d.)
• CWS use predicted by: AFDC/TANF use,
unemployment, and family poverty rates.
(California Department of Social Services RAD,
August 2002)
Linkage Strategies
• Early Mutual Client Identification.
• Screening CWS referrals for economic needs
• TDM/CalWORKs inclusion.
• Coordinated Case Plan.
• Joint Fiscal Case plan.
Linkage Strategies (cont’d.)
• Shared policies and procedures.
• Resource sharing (Mental Health, AOD, DV,
Transportation, Child Care, Housing).
• Joint and Cross-Training.
Key Messages: Effective, Efficient
and Essential
• Effective
– For Families: Working together, we achieve better
outcomes for families. We help families become selfsufficient and children to have safe, stable lives.
– For Programs: By leveraging resources from both
programs, we achieve our program goals of increased
workforce participation rates and reduced child
maltreatment.
Key Messages (cont’d.)
• Efficient
– Leveraged resources: When we collaborate, we
leverage resources and strengths from both
programs. Each program can do what it does best.
– Less duplication: We decrease the duplication of
service referrals and supportive services when we
work together. Families receive streamlined services
and benefit from coordinated case planning.
Key Messages (cont’d.)
• Efficient
– Team approach: Collaboration creates a team
approach to working with vulnerable families.
More people are available to help solve problems.
Key Messages (cont’d.)
• Essential
– Our success is connected: Our programs have similar
missions and serve many of the same families. Our
success in treating family issues in one area impacts
family well-being in another area.
– Working smarter: We save time and money in the
long run by collaborating. Otherwise, many of the
same family issues repeat themselves and we fail to
use available resources to treat underlying issues.
Key Messages (cont’d.)
• Essential
– Critical in tight budget times: Collaboration is
more important than ever in tight budget times
when social service funding is especially limited.
We work to maximize every dollar.
What we know from Evaluation
Surveys
• What Coordinators said the Top 3 Factors necessary to make
Linkages a successful practice:
– Strong Leadership supporting Linkages
– The likelihood that families will be better off
– Workplace willingness to try new things
Survey Evaluation (cont’d.)
•
•
Staff involved in Linkages stated:
– 68 % felt they were more successful with their clients
– 81 % perceived better outcomes for their clients
– 65 % had more job satisfaction
What Staff are Saying:
• Linkages: “We have more people to give input about what’s
going on with the family, so it makes it easier for us as a team
to make a decision about whether the children are safe in the
home.”
Julian, CWS staff in Stanislaus
• “Because there is no way I know all the services Child
Welfare offers and visa versa, working together, it’s really
making sure that the family gets all the available services.”
Alma, CalWORKs Los Angeles County
What Staff Are Saying (cont’d.)
• “Our ultimate goal is to help families…because ultimately we
know that the outcomes for children are not good when they
grow up in foster care.”
Nina, Child Welfare, Los Angeles County
• “And when you sit down in a room and you have your social
worker and your CalWORKs worker in the same room and they’re
both telling you the same thing and you’re there, you know you
can’t later on tell your social worker one thing and your CalWORKs
worker something else.”
Richard, CalWORKs Stanislaus
What Families are Saying
• “As for me being a good manipulator as I was…not able
to manipulate the situation because they both knew
what was going on.”
Paula, Parent in Stanislaus County
• “They became the people that I leaned on…that I knew
were going to be there to give me the right advice.”
Andrea, Parent in Los Angeles
What Families are Saying (cont’d.)
• “Just remember that you’re going to help somebody
and its going to be one less family out there that
needs help and you’re the person that made it
happen.”
Alecia, 13 year old, Stanislaus
Questions?

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