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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