Chapin Hall Offers Sessions on Family First Prevention Services, Economic and Concrete Supports at 2023 CWLA Conference

From L to R: Leanne Heaton, Chapin Hall; Meg Dygert, APHSA; Suzanne Miles-Gustave, New York State Office of Children and Family Services; Jennifer Gaul-Stout, Chapin Hall; Yasmin Grewal-Kok, Chapin Hall

The Child Welfare League of America held its 2023 annual conference April 26–28, 2023. The conference highlighted successful strategies for bridging the divide between public and private sectors of child welfare and related systems and the families and communities they serve. Staff from Chapin Hall presented 5 sessions. Click on the title of the session to access the Chapin Hall presentation slides. A description of each session follows the title.

Enabling Policy Context to Prevent Child Welfare Involvement Through Economic and Concrete Supports

Jurisdictions across the country are reorienting child welfare upstream towards prevention and including the provision of economic and concrete supports (ECS) as part of a comprehensive service array. New efforts are emerging to partner across systems to create an enabling policy context that expands availability of macroeconomic policies, increases innovation with available resources, and reduces restrictive policies and administrative barriers. This session will describe an enabling macro-level policy context for prevention, provide examples of states engaged in policy change via a learning community to further primary prevention through ECS, and explore an evidence-based policymaking tool (State Options to Increase Access to ECS as a Child Welfare Prevention Strategy) that can be used to assess the policy context in their own states. Presenters: Yasmin Grewal-Kök, Jennifer Gaul-Stout, and Leanne Heaton, Chapin Hall; Meg Dygert, American Public Human Services Association; Suzanne Miles-Gustave, New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Designing and Integrating Benefits Coordination into a Kinship Navigator Program

This workshop examined the innovative design and comprehensive integration of benefits coordination throughout the OhioKAN Kinship and Adoption Navigator program. The presenters discussed the outcomes data and impact on benefits support with families engaged in kinship care, and provided guidance to kinship navigator programs specifically, and family-serving programs broadly, about how and why to integrate benefits coordination support. Presenters: Samantha Steinmetz, Chapin Hall; Amber Robinson, OhioKAN Kinship & Adoption Navigator Program.

Child and Family Well-Being System Development: The Centrality of Community Leadership

This session highlighted a system, community, and family partnership effort to transform the primary prevention system in Northern Kentucky into a comprehensive child and family well-being system. Participants learned how the project is being co-designed with parents and systems representatives in partnership with Brighton Center, the Family Nurturing Center, the Kentucky Department of Community-Based Services, and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. The project aims to co-create a robust primary prevention system focused on child and family well-being in partnership with families, communities, and system representatives. Participants learned about the strategies and frameworks being used in this partnership. Presenters: Janese Evans, Chapin Hall; Melissa Sommer, Brighton Center, Newport, KY; Angela Anderson, Brighton Center, Newport, KY.

Installing a Community Pathway to Family First Prevention Services: Initial Implementation Strategies

Recognizing the challenges of working within the child welfare paradigm, numerous jurisdictions have included innovative community pathways to prevention services as a key strategy within their title IV-E Prevention Program Plans. Connecticut shared its experiences and lessons learned as it navigated the installation and initial implementation stages of its Family First prevention services. Presenters shared strategies for developing the Request for Proposals that guided the selection of the state’s Care Management Entity (CME), and the specific considerations that were applied to ensure that the successful bidder could fulfill Connecticut’s vision for the CME while adhering to Federal requirements. The workshop included information about initial efforts to stand up the CME, including capacity building strategies and roadblocks experienced. Presenters: Sharon Davis, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Hartford, CT; Olivia Wilks, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Krista Thomas, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Building and Implementing a Family First CQI Framework: Accomplishments and Lessons Learned

This session highlighted the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services’ (DCBS) experience measuring and monitoring the initial and ongoing implementation of its Family First Prevention Services plan. Participants learned about DCBS’ accomplishments and lessons learned building an infrastructure to collect the evidence needed to fuel a continuous quality improvement (CQI) process that engages a broad array of stakeholders in solution-finding. Participants also heard how data and evidence from the Family First CQI process is being integrated into the agency’s broader CQI system to inform Child and Family Services Review preparations. Key components of Chapin Hall’s prevention services measurement framework were shared, and participants explored where they are on their own prevention services CQI journey. Presenters: Yolanda Green-Rogers, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Jennifer Thornhill, Kentucky Department for Community-Based Services, Frankfort, KY; Tiffany Mullis, Kentucky Department for Community-Based Services, Independence, KY