Over five years, Connecticut has made substantial progress in turning around its troubled child welfare agency. Partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other advisors, the state has instituted improvements, driven down the number of unnecessary child removals and ensured that children entering state custody live in families whenever possible, not in group placements.This report presents the new policies and practices focused on improving supports for families and asking more kin to provide temporary help when kids must be removed from their parents. This strategy has Connecticut reducing reliance on out-of-state placements, especially for youngsters. 

March 6, 2015

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Why examining the agency’s performance data was key to diagnosing and fixing problems.

  2. 2

    Why improving results for kids required changing how case decisions were made.

  3. 3

    Why a “Support is everyone’s job!” campaign focused on who was responsible for caregivers’ success.

  4. 4

    Why leadership is a key element of agency improvement.

Key Takeaway

You must be strategic To drive change efforts

Casey's Child Welfare Strategy Group (CWSG) and the state of Connecticut agreed to install four strategies and measure progress using three specific results:

1. Increase the percent of children initially placed with a family
2. Reduce the number and percent of children entering group placements
3. Reduce the number and percent of children in group placements

These strategies resulted in a 57% drop in the number of children placed in group and institutional settings, a sharp increase in the number of children placed with relatives, and a 15% reduction in out-of-home placements as more children are able to stay safely at home with appropriate support services in place.

The 4 Strategies

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations