Agency_Court Collaboration

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NATIONAL CHILD WELFARE RESOURCE CENTER

FOR ORGANIZATIONAL IMPROVEMENT

A service of the Children’s Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services

FOCUS AREA IVA:

ENGAGING COURTS AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM

PARTICIPANT WORKBOOK

03/03/07

Developed by

National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues

American Bar Association

Center on Children and the Law

740 15th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005

ENGAGING COURTS AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM

PARTICIPANT WORKBOOK CONTENTS

|Handout # |Title |Page |

|1 |Expected Outcomes |1 |

|2 |Agenda |2 |

|3 |Overview of the Court Improvement Program (CIP) |3 |

|4 |Case Study – Introduction |4-5 |

|5 |Case Study Notes |6 |

|6 |Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration (Kentucky) |7-8 |

|7 |Involving Courts and Attorneys in the CFSR |9-10 |

|8 |Ideas to Encourage the Involvement of Judges and Court Administrators in the CFSR | |

| | |11 |

|9 |Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration (Maryland) |12 |

|10 |Case Study (continued) – Advance Planning with Courts Before the CFSR Begins | |

| | |13 |

|11 |Case Study Notes |14 |

|12 |Sample CFSR Statewide Assessment Contents |15-16 |

|13 |This State’s CFSR Statewide Assessment |17 |

|14 |Case Study (continued) – Advance Planning with Courts Before the Onsite Review | |

| | |18 |

|15 |Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration (Utah) |19 |

|16 |Sample Memorandum of Understanding: Court-Agency Cooperation on Child and Family Services Reviews | |

| |(CFSRs) |20-22 |

|17 |CFSR MOU Worksheet |23 |

Handout 1

Expected Outcomes

Participants will:

• Understand why it is advantageous for the courts and the child welfare agency to work together to achieve true systemic change for children and families.

• Understand the purposes of and basic methodologies used in the CFSR and differences between each stage of the review.

• Recognize the role of the courts and other partners in the legal system at each stage of the CFSR and help these partners identify their responsibilities and performance expectations throughout the review.

• Develop strategies and specific plans to engage, improve collaboration with and incorporate the courts and other partners in the legal system throughout the CFSR process;

• Refer to a variety of methods to improve communication between all parties throughout the review.

• Recognize the need to assess the protocols and interactions of the processes in the CFSR with a focus on achieving outcomes for families.

• Be familiar with the CIP reassessment and be prepared to integrate the CIP reassessment and the PIP.

Handout 2

Agenda

(To be developed by trainer, mirroring the content selected by the state or tribe.)

Handout 3

Overview of the Court Improvement Program (CIP)

What is the CIP?

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participate in the federal Court Improvement Program administered by the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Under the grants, which are awarded to the highest court of each participating state, recipients complete a detailed self-assessment, develop recommendations to improve the court system and implement the recommended reforms.

The grant program was established in 1994 as a response to the dramatic increase in child abuse and neglect cases and the expanded role of courts in achieving stable, permanent homes for children in foster care. The Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 extended the court improvement program through federal fiscal year 2006.

What subject areas do the states research in their self-assessments?

Among other issues, states assess the timeliness and quality of hearings, use of Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs, training and education of judges and other court participants, judicial management of dockets, attorney and judicial caseloads, quality of legal representation, timeliness of appeals, treatment of parties and witnesses, the Indian Child Welfare Act, adequacy of court facilities, and use of computer technology and management information systems.

How can I obtain copies of my state's assessment or progress reports?

Contact your state Administrative Office of the Courts or visit to get the state contact name and number.

How can I keep up-to-date on court improvement efforts?

The ABA publishes a free bimonthly newsletter designed to keep individuals interested in court reform informed of new developments and innovations across state court improvement projects. Visit .

You can also order the latest CIP Progress Report, which provides a national overview of CIP activities and details each state's efforts over the past year. Visit .

The ABA also runs a special discussion group on the Internet exclusively focusing on court improvement issues and court handling of child abuse and neglect litigation. To join, visit .

Handout 4

Case Study – Introduction

The Statewide Assessment provided an opportunity to identify areas of this fictitious state’s child welfare system in which improvement would likely lead to better outcomes for children and families. Despite the many observed strengths, the data indicate that this state did not meet the national standards for the following outcome measures:

Safety Outcome #2: Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate.

Status: Not in Substantial Conformity

• This determination was based on the finding that the outcome was substantially achieved in only 85.1 percent of the cases reviewed, which is less than the 95 percent required for a rating of substantial conformity.

• Stakeholders and case reviewers noted that the State risk assessment process does not always identify underlying issues that contribute to the risk of harm to the children. Consequently, the services provided do not always address all of the relevant child safety areas. In addition, stakeholders expressed concern about the time limitations the State places on in- home family services, suggesting that services should be terminated based on whether a risk of harm continues to be present, rather than on whether the State’s 12- month time limitation has been reached.

Permanency Outcome #1: Children have permanency and stability in their living situations.

Status: Not in Substantial Conformity

This determination was based on the following findings:

• The outcome was substantially achieved in only 48.0 percent of cases, which is less than the 95 percent required for an overall rating of substantial conformity.

• The data indicated that the State did not meet the national standards for timeliness of reunification, timeliness of adoptions, and achieving permanency for children in foster care for long periods of time.

• In general, the CFSR found that DSS was not consistent in its efforts to ensure that children have permanency and stability in their living situations. A key concern identified was that there were delays in achieving permanency for children through reunification and adoption. The review findings indicated that in many cases the goal of reunification is maintained for too long a period of time and the courts are reluctant to approve TPR petitions unless the agency has an adoptive home for the child. Concerns also were expressed regarding the practice of using non- relative guardianship rather than adoption as a permanency option because families will lose access to services (e. g., child care subsidies) and/ or will not receive sufficient financial assistance if they adopt.

Well-Being Outcome #1: Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children’s needs.

Status: Not in Substantial Conformity

• This determination was based on the finding that the outcome was rated as substantially achieved for only 59.2 percent of the cases reviewed, which is less than the 95 percent required for a determination of substantial conformity.

• An overall CFSR finding was that DSS is not consistent in meeting the service needs of children and families. In addition, although State policy requires parent participation in the case planning process, there were a substantial percentage of cases in which parents and children (when appropriate) were not involved in case planning.

• Finally, although caseworkers were found to visit children with sufficient frequency, particularly children in foster care, caseworker visits with parents often were not sufficiently frequent or of sufficient quality to ensure children's safety and promote attainment of case goals, including enhanced parental capacity.

Case Review System Item #25: Provides a process that ensures that each child has a written case plan to be developed jointly with the child’s parent(s) that includes the required provisions.

Status: Not in Substantial Conformity

• Although State statutes require caseworkers to develop case plans and to involve parents in the development process, there is no statewide protocol in place to ensure parent and child participation in developing the case plan.

• In 47 percent of the applicable cases reviewed during the CFSR, parents (and children, when appropriate) were not involved in developing the case plan. According to many stakeholders and case reviewers, the most common approach to the case planning process is one in which the caseworker prepares the plan and then presents it to the family.

Training Item #32: The State is operating a staff development and training program that supports the goals and objectives in the CFSP, addresses services provided under titles IV- B and IV- E, and provides initial training for all staff who deliver these services.

Status: Not in Substantial Conformity

Although the State makes available an array of training opportunities and some counties have implemented formal new- worker training, there is no statewide requirement for initial training for all staff that supports the goals and objectives of the Child and Family Services Plan.

Handout 5

Case Study Notes

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Handout 6

Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration

Kentucky Child and Family Services Review

Kentucky participated in the CFSR in 2003 and the final report was issued in June 2003. The Court Improvement Project (CIP) fully participated in the planning for the CFSR process, the Statewide Assessment, and the Onsite Review (the CIP Supervisor was a state reviewer).

The Court Improvement Project participated in the development of the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) and is currently involved in its implementation. Some of the activities being overseen by the CIP include the following:

• Forums to address permanency. The Protection and Permanency (P&P) Director of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Office of General Counsel will collaborate with the Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct forums in each judicial district between Judges, Cabinet Service Regional Administrators, Service Region Administrators, and Regional Attorneys to address timely achievement of permanency. Status: This process is ongoing; eight forums were completed at various venues. Forums are open and interactive. Participants are asked to share all concerns with peers in the forums. Since January 2005, over 200 individuals have participated in the forums around the state. Information gathered at the forums is being used to guide the state’s PIP efforts in the area of permanency. At each forum, issues are presented and solutions are developed by local participants to implement in their respective area.

• Quarterly meetings to review adoption goals. The P&P Director, Office of General Counsel, and the AOC will conduct quarterly reviews of PIP and CIP goals related to adoption. Status: At this time, meetings are being held monthly for this purpose.

• Permanency Barriers Project. The CIP is collaborating with the AOC, Office of General Counsel, and the ABA Center on Children and the Law to implement the Permanency Barriers Project in one rural region of the state. Status: This Project is ongoing. An advisory board has been established and an adolescent permanency workgroup has been formed. Both groups are meeting on a regular basis. There is discussion on forming a youth advisory board as well. Issues addressed by this project include reports to the court, case worker testimony, training, forms, and best practices.

• Tip Sheets regarding Annual Permanency Review. The CIP developed tip sheets for all parties regarding the Annual Permanency Review. Status: This project is completed. The CIP coordinator worked in conjunction with agency staff on the implementation of a permanency review tip sheet that is now incorporated into the agency’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

• Written Protocols for Annual Permanency Review. Judges and the Department for Community-Based Services were required to develop written protocols regarding the Annual Permanency Review.

• Annual Permanency Review. Status: This step is completed. In addition to written protocols for the permanency review, the CIP coordinator and agency staff developed a form that is used by the agency to notify the court of the permanency hearing in accordance with Kentucky statute.

• Quality of Annual Permanency Reviews. The AOC and the Department for Community-Based Services will monitor quality of Annual Permanency Reviews. Status: Monitoring is ongoing; reassessment results will include data relating to quality of Annual Permanency Reviews.

• Promotion of statewide implementation of Family Courts. Promotion of statewide implementation of Family Courts is ongoing. Status: See Family Courts.

Kentucky is preparing for the second round of the CFSR by conducting its own internal reviews in each of the 16 agency service regions. The CIP coordinator is on a list of available reviewers and is scheduled to be a reviewer at an upcoming review in the fall.

Handout 7

Involving Courts and Attorneys in the CFSR –

Heightening States’ Awareness of the Need to Meet Specific, Measurable Outcomes for Children

Sample State observations of the benefits of the CFSR

Dear Child Welfare Stakeholder:

The Department of Protective Services continuously strives to improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families in _____. We know that one of the most effective first steps in improving the way we do business is to ask an array of external and internal stakeholders, "How can we do a better job?" It is in this spirit that I would like to inform you about the _____ Child and Family Services Review Statewide Assessment (SA).

To complete the SA, an array of stakeholders from across the state in partnership with Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) came together to form a Task Force. The Task Force reviewed multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative data, including patterns and trends of child and family demographics, each stage of Child Protective Services (CPS) delivery, the array of services provided, foster care and adoption, personnel information, and key outcome measures compared to national standards. They also reviewed "systemic factors" operating across the state that affect the state's capacity to achieve key child welfare outcomes.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT

The Task Force found that many complex and interacting factors contribute to achieving positive outcomes for children and families. For example, CPS turnover rates and limited mental health, substance abuse, and placements options for children negatively impact many safety, permanency, and well being outcomes. On the other hand, many effective service integration and collaboration initiatives are operating across the State between public and private agencies and groups to facilitate positive outcomes.

The following are selected highlights supported by the SWA:

Working Together to Protect Children

• PRS exceeds the national standards that are used to assess safety outcomes for children.

• Protecting children from abuse and neglect is firmly integrated into many PRS programs to include the divisions of Prevention and Early Intervention, Child Care Licensing, Information Technology, Forecasting and Statistics, Professional Development, Human Resources, Legal and Media Services in addition to the many facets of the Child Protective Services program.

• Communities, public and private agencies, the courts, foster and adoptive parents, key state task force groups, elected officials, volunteer and professional groups, faith-based organizations, and countless dedicated individuals effectively collaborate throughout the state to protect children from abuse and neglect, and strengthen the capacity of families to raise children in a nurturing environment.

Using Automation and Technology to Improve Outcomes for Children

• The CPS research-based Risk Assessment is an effective tool in identifying the dynamics of child abuse and neglect.

• The Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System is integral to PRS' ability to collect data and manage casework activities.

• The Court Improvement Program has successfully utilized automation to positively impact safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children.

Complex Factors Impacting Positive Outcomes for Children and Families

• Mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence services for children and families remain limited in many areas.

• CPS caseworker statewide turnover rates remain a significant concern. Safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes are negatively impacted by these problems.

• While most children do not return to PRS custody, we need to focus our attention on reducing the number of foster care placements children experience and the length of time it takes to reunify children with their families, when safe and appropriate.

I encourage you to read the Child and Family Services Review Statewide Assessment. I think you will find this document to be quite comprehensive, which is a reflection of the quality of the input we received from stakeholders and our commitment to improving safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families in _____.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank each of the individuals and workgroups that contributed to the SA.

Sincerely,

_____

Handout 8

Ideas to Encourage the Involvement of Judges and Court Administrators in the CFSR

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Handout 9

Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration

Maryland Child and Family Services Review

Maryland participated in the CFSR in November 2003. To help the state prepare for this review, the Foster Care Court Improvement (FCCIP) staff coordinated six regional multidisciplinary meetings to address practice issues. The FCCIP staff worked closely with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services by helping them gather documents, informing judges, masters, and attorneys of the process, and scheduling their interview times. The FCCIP also contacted the lead court person in the other two jurisdictions, offered technical assistance, and arranged a presentation by a child welfare agency staff member on what was involved in the CFSR process. One FCCIP staff member participated on the state evaluation team. The FCCIP chair, vice-chair, and staff were interviewed as part of one of the statewide stakeholders group interviews. The FCCIP staff also attended the exit meeting.

Maryland received its final report in June 2004. The FCCIP staff reviewed the report and provided all relevant court portions to the Chief Judge, all administrative judges, and all judges and masters hearing child welfare cases. The FCCIP worked with the lead masters from the three local Onsite Review jurisdictions and developed a draft court-related PIP. The Department of Human Resources asked the FCCIP staff to sit on three subcommittees in preparation for and implementation of the PIP, namely the Adoption, Independent Living, and Systemic Factors Subcommittees. The FCCIP works closely with the Department of Human Services to insure that the court-related issues of the PIP are addressed. The FCCIP Director is participating on the PIP Executive Committee. The PIP was received in March 2005.

Maryland is preparing for the second round of reviews by beginning to implement the court-related PIP items. The FCCIP is considering restructuring staff priorities so more time can be spent in the local courts.

Handout 10

Case Study (continued) –

Advance Planning with Courts Before the CFSR Begins

Prior to the Child and Family Services Review, the CFSR Coordinator from the Division of Child and Family Services invited the state CIP Committee to attend a seminar concerning the upcoming review and to encourage CIP participation in the subsequent development of a Program Improvement Plan (PIP). During the seminar, the CFSR Coordinator outlined the review process phases, the stakeholder identification process, time frames, systemic factors, and importance of court and legal involvement with the review. Afterward, CIP members felt invested in the review process and expressed a commitment to assist in all aspects of the review.

Handout 11

Case Study Notes

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Handout 12

Sample CFSR Statewide Assessment Contents

SECTION I: General Information

SECTION II: Analysis of Systemic Factors

A. Statewide Information System Capacity

B. Case Review System

C. Quality Assurance System

D. Staff and Provider Training

E. Service Array and Resource Development

F. Agency Responsiveness to Community

G. Foster/Adoptive Home Licensing, Approval and Recruitment

SECTION III: Analysis of Safety and Permanency Data

SECTION IV: Narrative Assessment of Child and Family Outcomes

A. Safety

B. Permanency

C. Child and Family Well-Being

SECTION V: State Assessment of Strengths and Needs

Sample Figures and Tables included in the Statewide Assessment

Figures

• Figure 1: Percentage of Children with Maltreatment Recurrences Within Months of Report Receipt for One-Month Case Cohorts

• Figure 2: Exits from Foster Care

• Figure 3: Finalized Adoptions and Guardianships of Children in Foster Care

• Figure 4: Child Welfare Foster Care Caseload Flow

• Figure 5: Point-in-Time Permanency Profile

Tables

• Table 1: County X Parent Survey

• Table 2: State Court Improvement Project Report

• Table 3: Child Welfare Services Division 31 Compliance Review (Percentage of Counties in Compliance)

• Table 4: Completed Adoptions

• Table 5: State Child Death Review Council Report Data

• Table 6: Training Academies and Centers

• Table 7: CDSS Training

• Table 8: Birth Parent Telephone Survey

• Table 9: Foster Home Availability

• Table 10: Child Safety Data Profile: Child Abuse and/or Neglect Reports

• Table 11: Child Safety Data Profile: Cases Opened for Services

• Table 12: Child Safety Data Profile: Children Entering Foster Care

• Table 13: Child Safety Data Profile: Child Fatalities

• Table 14: Child Deaths Reported by Various Sources

• Table 15: Child Safety Data Profile: Substantiated Allegation in First Six Months

• Table 16: Permanency Indicators

• Table 17: Children Placed with Relatives

• Table 18: Completed Adoptions

• Table 19: Placement Types for Children in Care

• Table 20: Reunification and Re-entry

• Table 21: Placement Stability by Age

• Table 22: Permanency Profile: Stability of Reunification

• Table 23: Permanency Profile: Reunification and Re-entry Over Time

• Table 24: Monthly Contact

• Table 25: Frequency of Health Examinations

• Table 26: Physical Health and Dental Health

Handout 13

This State’s CFSR Statewide Assessment

If available, insert a summary of this States’ CFSR Statewide Assessment here

Handout 14

Case Study (continued) –

Advance Planning with Courts Before the Onsite Review

The child welfare agency has made deliberate efforts to include the CIP in all phases of the CFSR. In fact, prior to the onside review, the agency and the CIP co-sponsored a collaborative training conference entitled, “Why the Courts Must Be Involved to Improve the Safety and Permanency for Children.” This partnership conference was held to strategize, prioritize, and identify immediate action steps, which the courts can implement to support the statewide effort of assessing and improving outcomes.

Over 70 people attended, including judges and juvenile masters, state and county child welfare agency staff and administration, CASA directors, attorneys, law professors, AOC administration and staff, and federal partners from the ACF Region.

In addition, various stakeholders signed up to participate in three separate workgroups targeting specific topics: Permanency Planning, TPRs and Legal Representation, and Court Oversight.

Even beyond the CFSR, these workgroups are committed to continue collaborative problem solving around identified issues and produce concrete steps and practice and policy recommendations to address barriers to best practices and achievement of national standards. Their findings will be reported to an Advisory Group to inform the next review.

Handout 15

Examples of Effective Court/Agency Collaboration

Utah Child and Family Services Review

Utah participated in the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) in April 2003. Several court employees, judges, and one CIP staff member participated in the preparation process and the actual review. Members of CIP collaborated on the development of the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) and an appellate judge assisted with the Indian Child Welfare Act portions of the PIP, including staff training.

While the CIP does not have specific responsibilities under the PIP, implementation of the PIP was a topic of the statewide CIP summit in June 2005. Utah has a local multidisciplinary team in each of its eight court districts. The local teams are coordinated by a statewide team (called the “Table of 6”), which also services as a steering committee for CIP. Each team is made up of representatives of the agency, agency counsel, guardian ad litem, parents’ defense, one of more juvenile judges, court administration and others as determined at the local level (such as mental health or substance abuse providers). The Table of 6 determined that, through the CIP, it could coordinate the setting of new goals related to the CFSR and PIP, and provide the local district tables with the tools necessary to create implementation plans and measures of success. After establishing this structure, a CIP Subcommittee planned a statewide Summit for June 2005 to call together all local teams to address PIP issues and to outline collaborative solutions to a series of PIP goals.

After the presentation of data related to PIP outcome measures, each local team engaged in a facilitated discussion of local data to establish goals for improving these outcomes and a plan of action. The Court Improvement Coordinator will continue to work with each local district team to refine their goals and strategies and assist them in measuring results. Many of the teams determined that specific additional data is necessary to assist them in this process, and the Coordinator is working to make this data available in collaboration with both court and agency data collection systems.

Handout 16

Sample Memorandum of Understanding:

Court-Agency Cooperation on Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs)

We agree to work together and cooperate during all phases of the [name of State] Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), as described in this agreement.

1. Ongoing meetings and consultation.

We will meet at least once every calendar quarter to discuss the CFSR.

We will actively consult and meet whenever necessary during all stages of the CFSR including throughout the development and implementation of the PIP.

We will, as appropriate, form sub-groups and working committees to meet more frequently and perform specific identified tasks.

The following will participate in such meetings and consultations:

• State foster care director.

• CFSR and Title IV-E coordinator, if applicable.

• State court administrator or person designated by the state court administrator.

• CIP director.

• Representative of state juvenile and family judges association.

• [Others – specify]

• Any others designated by the courts or [state agency].

The [courts] will participate in all phases of the CFSR and will provide relevant information to the agency that will assist in the process.

2. Advance planning.

The [state agency] will:

• Contact the state courts well before the Statewide Assessment begins.

• Describe the CFSR and Title IV-E Review process to the courts and explain why they are important to courts.

• Give the courts brief written materials that describe the CFSR and Title IV-E process and explain how courts may be involved.

• Make available the CFSR and Title IV-E materials developed by the federal government.

• Promptly answer any questions regarding the status of the CFSR, PIP, PIP implementation, and any relevant federal decisions.

• Share and explain available state statistics to court representatives.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will meet repeatedly before the Statewide Assessment.

3

. Statewide Assessment of the CFSR.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will identify a legal and judicial portion of the narrative description of the Statewide Assessment that the state courts will prepare.

[The courts] will

select well-qualified judges, attorneys, or others to prepare the legal and judicial portion of the narrative description.

[The courts] will prepare a draft of the judicial and legal parts of the Statewide Assessment narrative description, including:

• A description of the current law and judicial process.

• A discussion of legal system strengths and weaknesses.

• Implications of the statewide statistics to the legal system.

• A description of critical legal and judicial factors related to the entire CFSR.

[The courts] will submit the draft in time to allow [the state agency] to make comments and to make revisions based on these comments before the narrative assessment is due.

The [state agency] will prepare timely comments and reactions to the [courts] draft.

[The courts] will prepare timely revisions of the draft and the [state agency] will incorporate the revised section as part of the narrative description.

4.

Onsite Review

[The State Agency] will inform the [courts] as soon as it learns the timing and location of onsite visits.

The [state agency] will provide explanatory materials to

CIP regarding the CFSR, including:

• A brief written summary of the CFSR process, including information about the Onsite Review process.

• A copy of the completed Statewide Assessment

• Instruments that will be relevant to legal and judicial persons involved in the CFSR.

CIP will handle logistics of judicial and legal interviews for the CFSR onsite visits, including transportation and providing interview sites.

CIP will, in addition, provide the following specific help:

• Identify key legal and judicial “stakeholders” to be interviewed.

• Send copies of interview instruments and other materials to each stakeholder at least several days before each interview.

• Identify legal personnel, such as local and out-of-state judges, attorneys, CIP directors, and court staff, to serve on teams to review individual cases to:

o Add different perspectives and insights on Onsite Review.

o Help accurately identify legal and judicial barriers.

o Helps identify issues and strategies for the Program Improvement Plan (PIP).

5. Program Improvement Plan (PIP)

The [state agency] will invite the courts to participate in the development of the PIP to:

• Help achieve substantial conformity on outcomes that require legal system improvements.

• Help improve systemic factors affected by courts.

The [state agency] will invite [the courts] to appoint legal representatives on relevant task forces and will meet regularly with a specific legal-judicial PIP task force. [The courts] will appoint and provide such representatives.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will discuss technical assistance needs to improve state operations on the full range of outcomes and systemic factors.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will integrate the CIP strategic plan with the PIP.

6. Implementation of PIP

s and Strategic Plans

The [state agency] will provide CIP with copies of its quarterly reports to the federal government.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will maintain ongoing committees and tasks forces to address PIP issues, as least until the state is found by the federal government to be in full compliance with the issues addressed by the task forces.

When appropriate, the [state agency] and [the courts] will maintain ongoing committees and tasks forces to address PIP issues after the federal government finds the state to be in full compliance with the issues addressed by the committees and task forces.

The [state agency] and [the courts] will share available data regarding their successes and failures to improve children’s safety, permanency, and well being and regarding the improvement or lack of improvement of systemic factors.

The [state agency] will provide localized data to courts, to the extent feasible, regarding the safety, permanency, and well being of children within local courts’ jurisdiction.

The [state agency] will consult with the courts regarding any proposed revisions to the PIP.

Signed:

_______________________________ ___________________________

Foster Care Director Court Administrator

_______________________________ ____________________________

Agency Administrator or Commissioner Chief Justice of Highest State Court

Handout 17

CFSR MOU Worksheet

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