Organizational change is the movement from current status quo to a different, more effective environment. As Casey shifted its focus from foster care to more permanent outcomes for children, they recognized that frontline practice had to change. In 2004, Casey Family Services, the Foundation's former direct services agency, transformed its entire culture and practice approach creating a “learning while doing” strategy to organizational change. The operational processes and lessons learned during that transformative time are captured in this report.
Organizational change requires participation from employees at all levels.
Findings & Stats
Foster Stays Decline
After the Move to Greater Permanence organizational change was implemented, the median length of stay for youth in foster care declined from 5.5 years to 2.6 years.
Less Foster Time
The proportion of youths leaving foster care within their first 18 months increased from 23% before the shift to 56% after implementation.
The percentage of youths leaving foster care within 18 months for the more permanent family reunification, adoption or guardianship increased from 10% to 45%.
Statements & Quotations
To succeed, organizations need a clearly defined and well-managed process to implement change and continuously apply new learning. Otherwise, they are likely to encounter difficulties and may incur substantial human and financial costs.
The organization provides strategic leadership for learning at all levels.... The agency also encourages collaboration and team learning and places a priority on creating systems to capture and share learning.
Learning while doing may not be appropriate when existing outcomes are satisfactory or the consequences of not changing the status quo are acceptable.
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