A story out of Florida talks about the inability to effectively track what is going on in a child welfare system. This matters! It is not only a matter of good fiscal management but, most crucially, of good clinical practice management. There are now hundreds of well publicized cases where things have gone wrong in child protection partially because clinical work was not being properly reviewed.
In addition, research is increasingly telling us that many practices in child welfare work are not effective. The need for evidence based practice is there so that money (which is in short supply) is spent effectively and families receive services that really do make a difference in the functioning of families.
Here is the story:
Child Welfare System - Florida
May 3rd, 2011 | Categories: Children and Families, Social Services | Tags: Child welfare, Florida, Foster care, Privatization
Fla. can’t track child welfare contractors, By Kelli Kennedy (AP), May 3, 2011, Miami Herald: “A decade ago, Florida began turning its child welfare program over to private contractors instead of state workers. Almost everyone involved feels that the change has been for the best, but that’s all it is - a feeling. Despite spending a half billion dollars a year, the Department of Children and Families does not have a standardized system for evaluating in most areas its 20 child welfare contractors, making it impossible to prove that the 40,000 children in the system are being helped. Nor can the state show with confidence which contractors are performing well, adequately or poorly. ‘We’ve got to create better statewide data. We have very little,’ new DCF Secretary David Wilkins told The Associated Press. He plans to introduce a new system next year. Critics and advocates agree that the child welfare system has improved overall and cite numbers that prove their point…”