Success Story Illustrates How Improved Family Service Array Can Reduce Child Removals

Posted February 5, 2015
Blog successstoryhampton 2015

It sounds obvi­ous: chil­dren belong with their fam­i­lies. Or, for short peri­ods of time when par­ents can’t cope, with extend­ed fam­i­ly or mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ty. But is it real­ly pos­si­ble for child-serv­ing agen­cies to boost the qual­i­ty and avail­abil­i­ty of fam­i­ly strength­en­ing ser­vices to avoid child removals or place­ments in group facilities?

Results in com­mu­ni­ties like Hamp­ton, Vir­ginia, indi­cate it is. A new Casey suc­cess sto­ry describes how this small city sharply reduced group place­ments and fos­ter care by iden­ti­fy­ing fam­i­lies at risk and devel­op­ing appro­pri­ate, ear­ly, cus­tomized ser­vices to pro­tect against child mal­treat­ment and child removal. 

Hamp­ton has been coura­geous and spent mon­ey dif­fer­ent­ly, with sav­ings from reduc­ing res­i­den­tial place­ments fun­neled into pre­ven­tion and com­mu­ni­ty-based ser­vices, vast­ly increas­ing the vari­ety of suc­cess­ful, cost-effec­tive inter­ven­tions over time,” Wan­da Roberts, direc­tor of the city’s Depart­ment of Social Ser­vices says.

By empha­siz­ing pre­ven­tion and build­ing a smart array of ser­vices and sup­ports, more of Hampton’s chil­dren are liv­ing with their fam­i­lies, safe and thriv­ing, reduc­ing the need for child wel­fare or juve­nile jus­tice group place­ments,” says Tracey Feild, direc­tor of Casey’s Child Wel­fare Strat­e­gy Group

Point­ing to Casey’s new Every Kid Needs a Fam­i­ly pol­i­cy effort, Feild notes that the Hamp­ton suc­cess sto­ry helps illus­trate that com­mu­ni­ties real­ly can help fam­i­lies care for their children. 

In Hamp­ton, child-serv­ing sys­tems col­lab­o­rate,” Feild says. They share funds, set pri­or­i­ties and man­age cas­es togeth­er on the same team, bypass­ing bar­ri­ers such as com­pet­ing depart­men­tal bud­gets and ser­vice deliv­ery con­straint. We fre­quent­ly bring new­er clients to Hamp­ton to see what col­lab­o­ra­tion looks like in action.”

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