Better Decisions for Better Results Featured on Podcast

Posted November 5, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Cynthia Weiskittel

Cynthia Weiskittel, the administrator of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Division of Children and Family Services, is interviewed on the inSocialWork podcast

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Better Decisions for Better Results was recently featured on inSocialWork, a podcast series produced by the University of Buffalo School of Social Work to help raise awareness about innovative research and practices in the social work field.

Listen to the podcast

The segment highlights the use of data-driven processes to measure how child welfare staff implement policies and to make sure that their interventions work in the field. Better Decisions for Better Results underscores the importance of frontline casework — particularly at a child welfare system’s point of entry — being consistent and value-driven to ensure the best results for children and families. The University of Buffalo's Charles Syms interviews Tracey Feild, now retired from the Casey Foundation, and Cynthia Weiskittel, administrator of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Division of Children and Family Services, for the episode.

The show explores the continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach — Better Decisions’ blueprint for change — and how child welfare leaders and staff can learn to apply CQI’s principles to improve policies and practices. Referred to as a “client-centered philosophy” in the podcast, CQI better prepares agencies to incorporate more voices, perspectives, data and rigor into their decision-making process to better serve children and families.

In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the implementation of CQI taught child welfare professionals how to use data to make informed, effective decisions. The approach yielded encouraging results, including a sharp uptick in the percentage of safety assessments completed on time.

inSocialWork is a biweekly series that seeks to engage child welfare practitioners and researchers in lifelong learning.

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