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.
Traditional child welfare decision making can lead to worse child outcomes.
Getting the right people to the Team Decision Making (TDM) table encourages better decisions--and children fare better. Better decision making involves parents and kin, focusing on child permanence from the start.
With more children who were removed from their families living with kin, unnecessary group placements fell 57%.
The number of kids 12 and under placed in institutions has plummeted by 79%.
Statements & Quotations
In too many communities, effective services for children and families who require intensive supports simply do not exist. A key question for any reform effort is, Can the agency, providers and the community work together to build a continuum of services?
– Tracey Feild, director, Child Welfare Strategy Group, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Our hypothesis was that if DCF [Department of Children and Families] could involve families in decisions about how best to care for their children and keep them safe, more kids could grow up in families.
– Gretchen Test, senior associate, Child Welfare Strategy Group, the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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