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?