Chapin Hall engages ‘the fierce urgency of now’ at CWLA

Equity, prevention focus of dedicated track

Prevention and equity will be the focus of a Chapin Hall-led track at the Child Welfare League of America Conference April 27–29 in Washington, DC.

“We invest billions of dollars annually in interventions that separate families and focus on family deficits,” said Chapin Hall Executive Director Bryan Samuels. “What we need is an integrated and equitable approach that addresses root causes of family instability.”

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Collective Action to Ensure Children and Families Flourish is the theme of this year’s conference, which will focus on child welfare system strategies to better serve all families.

Chapin Hall’s track will explore a prevention-centered approach that holds race equity as an attainable goal.

Click here to view presentation slides from Chapin Hall’s track

Featured sessions include:

Opening session: Re-imagining a Prevention-Focused and Equitable Child Welfare System for the 21st Century. New perspectives are required to re-imagine child welfare as achieving prevention and race equity. This plenary will feature a dialogue among innovative child welfare and human service leaders. CWLA leaders, Bryan Samuels, and federal officials from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services will explore the current policy context and discuss what’s possible to prevent the need for child welfare system involvement in the lives of families and to achieve race equity.

An Analytic Framework to Address Economic-Related Risk Factors in Child Welfare. This Action Lab describes an analytic framework that state and local child welfare agencies and system partners can use to measure economic risk factors in child welfare. Efforts to address economic risk (such as income and housing supports) require adequate analytic approaches to define economic risk among children and families, collaborate with stakeholders to prevent maltreatment, and assess the effectiveness of prevention practices that mitigate economic risk. This framework was developed using a multidisciplinary roundtable of experts from academia with federal, state, and local agencies. Presenters: Robin Ghertner and Emily Madden, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC; Dana Weiner, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Flexible Funds in Kentucky to Increase Well-being: Operationalizing the Evidence on Economic and Concrete Supports. Promoting well-being and preventing foster care requires numerous services and supports. States are deploying evidence-based services and “moving upstream” to strengthen families. This infrequently includes services that address economic hardship, which can be a driver of child welfare system involvement. Recent policy action in Kentucky makes available $1,000 per family in flexible funding. This action lab will describe the state’s family preservation services, including flexible funding. An overview of evidence will be presented showing relationships between economic and concrete supports and child welfare system involvement. Participants will explore the integration of economic and concrete supports into the service array. Presenters: Clare Anderson, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Washington, DC; Christa Bell, Department of Community Based Services at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Lexington, KY.

Operationalizing a Community Pathway to Prevention: Partnering with Families to Strengthen Communities. In this Action Lab, participants will learn concrete strategies for delivering prevention services to families in communities. Attendees will learn ways to incorporate their visions into their own Family First prevention plans and design actionable implementation strategies. Participants will use the Community Pathway Planning Tool to explore the designing, planning, and implementation of a community pathway, and hear key lessons learned from jurisdictions taking this approach. Presenters: Krista Thomas, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; JoShonda Guerrier, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Hartford, CT.

Service Array Transformation: Leveraging a Service Referral Application to Build Cross-System Collaboration and Improve Outcomes for Communities in Washington, DC. An array of services is necessary for families to accomplish developmental tasks. However, child welfare systems face barriers to achieving this goal due to the challenge of assessing community service needs, the inability to identify gaps in service arrays, and the absence of a continuous quality improvement process to improve access to services over time. This action lab will focus on the implementation of a service referral technology within Washington, DC, that addresses these barriers, and its implications for child welfare nationally. Presenters: Michael J. Stiehl, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Sharafdeen Ibraheem, DC Child & Family Services Agency, Washington D.C.; Samantha Adelberg, Unite Us, New York, NY.

Evidence Based Program (EBP) Exploration and Cost Tool: A Family First Planning and Implementation Tool for Effective Selection of EBPs. This session will guide attendees through the use of Chapin Hall’s EBP Exploration and Cost Tool in the planning and implementation of the Family First service array. How various jurisdictions have used the tool to enhance the service selection process, lessons learned, and key financial implications when assessing implementation costs of EBPs will be discussed. Participants will gain a better understanding of the tool and how it can be used in the context of Family First implementation. Presenters: Kristen Gore, Jason Brennen, Katrina Dorse, Chapin Hall, Chicago, IL.

How Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is Being Used to Transform a Child Welfare System. A comprehensive CQI system is necessary to strategically deploy data to build and refine effective processes that support the improvement of practices, services, and performance. Leadership must prioritize CQI as a lever for change and growth. Oregon’s child welfare agency is embracing this approach through their Vision for Transformation with CQI as a Guiding Principle in the roadmap to achieve a child and family well-being system. Presenters: Leanne Heaton and Janese Evans, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Alysia Cox, Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division, Salem, OR.

Please visit CWLA 2022 National Conference for full conference details and information on how to register.