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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -------------------------------------------------------------x LASHAWN A. by her next friend, Evelyn : Moore, et al., : Plaintiffs, : : v. : 89-CV-1754 (TFH) : ADRIAN M. FENTY, as Mayor of the : District of Columbia, et al., : Defendants. : -------------------------------------------------------------x PLAINTIFFS’ PRE-HEARING BRIEF ON PROPOSED REMEDIES FOR THE CONTEMPT FINDINGS ENTERED BY THE COURT AGAINST DEFENDANTS IN ITS APRIL 5, 2010 MEMORANDUM OPINION Pursuant to the Court’s Order of July 30, 2010, Plaintiffs respectfully submit their prehearing brief on proposed remedies for the contempt findings entered by the Court against Defendants in its April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion; Plaintiffs’ List of Witnesses, a rationale for each witness’s live testimony, their anticipated testimony, and the anticipated length thereof (attached as Exhibit A); and Plaintiffs’ List of Exhibits, references to the docket number for any documents already in the record, and a brief description of the exhibit (attached as Exhibit B).1 INTRODUCTION On April 5, 2010, the Court held Defendants in civil contempt for their noncompliance with Paragraph 8 of the October 7, 2008 Stipulated Order (the “Stipulated Order”). In addition, the Court specifically held Defendant Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in civil contempt for his noncompliance with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order. (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 13 (Dkt. No. 1026).)
On August 6, 2010, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to submit their pre-hearing brief on August 23, 2010. (Minute Order, Aug. 6, 2010.) Plaintiffs’ counsel then contacted counsel for Defendants and were informed that Defendants would make their exhibit list available to Plaintiffs on August 23, 2010. Thus, Plaintiffs will submit objections, if any, to Defendants’ proposed exhibits on August 24, 2010. Per the Court’s July 30, 2010 Order, Plaintiffs provided Defendants with a proposed exhibit list on August 16, 2010.
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As more fully set forth below, the Court should now impose the following sanctions to remedy Defendants’ contumacious conduct. First, as a means of coercing Defendants’ compliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should order Defendants to implement the 2010-2011 Strategy Plan to Achieve Critical Safety, Permanency and Well-being Outcomes (the “2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan”), submitted to the Court by the Court Monitor on June 14, 2010. (Attached as Exhibit C.) The 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan represents the Court Monitor’s good faith and independent effort to achieve an acceptable CFSA strategy plan for 2010 that builds off of the set of “action steps” in Defendants’ proposed “Final Implementation Plan,” submitted to the Court on May 28, 2010, and adds performance elements deemed essential by the Court Monitor to move CFSA toward compliance with the MFO in a timely and effective fashion. Second, as a means of compensating certain Plaintiffs for actual harm flowing from Defendants’ noncompliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should order Defendants to undertake a competitive procurement process to engage, for a period of two years, a reputable organization with demonstrated results in serving older youth transitioning out of foster care. This two-year period is to be set aside for the provision of direct services and is not to include administrative start-up or related time. The contract provider would deliver after-care and transition services to all youth who either have aged out of CFSA foster care since January 1, 2009 or will age out during the first year of the two-year contract.2 These youth have suffered

Specifically, Defendants should be ordered to issue a request for a proposal from contractors that includes the following language: “The contract provider must be able to provide intensive, comprehensive and individualized services to assist youth, without limitation, in maintaining stable and suitable housing; remaining free from criminal legal involvement; participating and improving performance in an educational/vocational program; developing necessary self-sufficiency life skills; decreasing association with deviant peers and increasing association with positive peers; obtaining medical services; acquiring parenting skills, where applicable; and identifying, creating or enhancing natural support systems to achieve independence successfully.” Defendants must ensure that this provider has cabinet-level support and authority to link youth to District systems (e.g., Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security

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significant harm due to Defendants’ failure to timely and effectively provide the essential services and supports necessary to prepare them for adult life without permanent family resources. Moreover, because these youth already have aged out of foster care, or soon will do so, they will not materially benefit from the coercive remedy set forth above and require separate compensatory treatment to be made whole. Third and finally, with respect to the Court’s contempt finding against Defendant Fenty for noncompliance with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should order (1) that Plaintiffs’ counsel be provided an opportunity to meet with Defendant Fenty and his counsel every six months for as long as the current director remains in office to discuss the performance of the current Director and the effectiveness of CFSA management and (2) that Defendants shall consult Plaintiffs in the selection process for any new CFSA Director, as was required by Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order, in the event that a new appointment is made during the pendency of this litigation. This coercive sanction will grant Plaintiffs the consultative role contemplated in the Stipulated Order and will assure that the Mayor meets his commitment to hear the voices of the Plaintiff Children in administering CFSA. BACKGROUND On October 7, 2008, the Court entered the Stipulated Order underlying the pending contempt findings in which Defendants committed to undertake a set of remedial actions designed to address the many areas of non-compliance previously identified in Plaintiffs’ July 24, 2008 Motion for a Finding of Civil Contempt. The Stipulated Order resulted from armslength negotiations between Plaintiffs and Defendants, through their respective counsel and in consultation with the Court Monitor, and sets forth legally enforceable commitments knowingly
Income and Medicaid) and ensure delivery of services agreed to by the youth, as well as track and report on their work with youth and systems during this period of time. The provider will also issue a final and independent report within six months of the end of service delivery period.

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and willingly undertaken by Defendant Fenty and then-interim CFSA Director, Dr. Roque Gerald. As the Court has explained, “the Stipulated Order does not raise the same dead hand control-like concerns as older institutional reform judgments might,” because it reflected new commitments made by current leadership in the District of Columbia. (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 43 (Dkt. No. 1026).) Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order requires that “[b]y January 15, 2009, the Defendants, in consultation with the Plaintiffs, shall complete a proposed annual strategy plan for the 2009 calendar year acceptable to the Court Monitor that contains specific action steps and benchmarks to move Defendants toward compliance with all MFO and AIP final requirements.” Instead, on January 26, 2009, Defendants unilaterally “submitted a six-month proposal [Dkt. No. 907], five pages in length, which was not approved by the Court Monitor.” (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 11-12 (Dkt. No. 1026).) The following day, Defendants filed a “Motion of the District of Columbia for Approval of its Six-Month Plan,” in which they sought court approval of their January 26, 2009 proposed strategy plan. On February 24, 2009, Defendants submitted to the Court Monitor a second, unapproved plan, which they indicated would supersede their prior unapproved six-month plan (the “February 24, 2009 Plan” (Dkt. No. 924-1)). According to Defendants, they purportedly operated under this violative and substantively defective plan throughout the remainder of 2009. (See, e.g., Defendants’ Status Report on the District of Columbia’s 2009 Annual Plan, Feb. 17, 2010 (Dkt. No. 1018-1).) Thereafter, on March 13, 2009, Defendants filed their “Motion to Modify Court Order Provisions Requiring that the Court Monitor Approve, or Authorizing Her to Impose or Write, the District of Columbia’s Plans, Policies or Strategies” (“Defendants’ Monitor Modification Motion”) in which they submitted their February 24, 2009 Plan to the Court and sought, among

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other things, a court order modifying Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order to eliminate the authority vested in the Court Monitor to approve a CFSA annual strategy plan. In its April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, the Court denied Defendants’ Monitor Modification Motion, insofar as that motion sought to alter the language of Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order to eliminate the provision that the strategy plan be acceptable to the Court Monitor. (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 42-45 (Dkt. No. 1026).) Thus, though the Court has chosen to exercise the authority previously vested in the Court Monitor for purposes of developing implementation plans in furtherance of the MFO, the authority of the Court Monitor to determine whether an annual CFSA strategy plan is acceptable under the Stipulated Order remains undisturbed. (April 5, 2010 Order, ¶ 4 at 2 (Dkt. No. 1025).) Further, the Court held that “[d]ue to their failure to provide an adequate annual proposal developed in consultation with the plaintiffs by the deadline, the Court finds that the defendants have failed to comply, substantially or otherwise, with the unambiguous provisions of paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order.” (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 12-13 (Dkt. No. 1026).) Citing the Court Monitor’s comments rejecting both the January 26, 2009 and February 24, 2009 versions of Defendants’ proposed plans, the Court determined that “[i]t is clear . . . that the Court Monitor was concerned with [Defendants’ proposal] for good reason—its dearth of benchmarks and specific action steps. The Court cannot agree with Director Gerald’s characterization of the proposal as ‘reasonable and ambitious.’ The proposal amounts to little more than an outline, and the defendants have not provided a reasonable justification for its lack of detail.” (Id., at 12 (internal citations omitted)). In addition, Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order provides: “It is understood that an acceptable permanent Director, once recruited, will be hired by the Mayor of the District of

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Columbia and will report to the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The Court Monitor and Plaintiffs will be included in the selection process for the permanent Director.” The Court held Defendant Fenty in contempt for failing to comply with the “clear terms” of this provision, and “because the record reveals no justification for the heedless effort to comply with this simple requirement, the Court cannot find that the mayor (or any District officials) demonstrated good faith or substantial compliance.” (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 11 (Dkt. No. 1026).) Further, the Court stated that “[t]he blatant disregard for paragraph 4 described above is particularly surprising in light of the fact that the defendants stipulated to the order’s terms, which required nothing more than genuine consultation. The contumacious posture of District officials had become a troubling theme here.” (Id., at 13 (emphasis in original) (citing LaShawn A. v. Kelly, 887 F. Supp. 297, 299 (D.D.C. 1995) (“[t]he remedial phase of this case has been marked by repeated cycles of noncompliance and sluggish progress.”).) ARGUMENT I. Applicable Law Generally, after finding a party to be in civil contempt, a court may order sanctions “for either or both of two purposes; to coerce the defendant into compliance with the court’s order, and to compensate the complainant for losses sustained.” U.S. v. United Mine Workers of America, 330 U.S. 258, 303-04 (1947) (citations omitted). Where the purpose of a sanction is coercive, the court has wide discretion in fashioning a remedy. See id., at 304 (footnote omitted). As the Court has recognized, the “court’s authority to order remedial injunctive relief is broad.” LaShawn A., 887 F. Supp. at 314-15 (citing Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Ed., 402 U.S. 1 (1971)). In doing so, it must “consider the character and magnitude of the harm

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threatened by continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any suggested sanction in bringing about the desired result.” United Mine Workers, 330 U.S. at 304 (footnote omitted). Courts often craft individualized civil contempt sanctions in order to coerce compliance with court orders with the ultimate goal of moving the litigation forward to completion. “The range of sanctions available to courts includes fine, imprisonment, receivership and a broader category of creative, non-traditional sanctions.” U.S. v. State of Tenn., 925 F. Supp. 1292, 1303 (W.D. Tenn. 1995). Indeed, in this case, after holding that the District was in civil contempt for failing to comply with the Court’s orders, the Court placed Defendants under full receivership as a sanction to coerce Defendants to comply with the requirements of previous Court orders. See LaShawn A., 887 F. Supp. at 316. See also, e.g., In re Fannie Mae Securities Litig., 552 F.3d 814, 823-24 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (affirming imposition of contempt sanction requiring third party to produce all privileged documents, subject to limited conditions, for failing to comply with stipulated court-ordered deadlines for production of documents and privilege logs; sanction was “‘designed to move the [d]iscovery process forward’”) (citation omitted); Glover v. Johnson, 934 F.2d 703, 714-15 (6th Cir. 1991) (affirming the imposition of a defense-appointed administrator for the development of remedial plan to implement court’s judgment reforming prison system); High Voltage Eng’g Corp. v. HDR Sys., Inc., No. C2-92-305, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6084, at *31-*32 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 1997) (holding parties in contempt for violating consent decree and imposing sanctions, including requirements to institute internal monitoring and audit systems and to report regularly to the court to ensure future compliance with consent decree). Compensatory civil contempt sanctions, on the other hand, often involve the imposition of a fine or an award of damages. See United Mine Workers, 330 U.S. at 304 (footnotes omitted). The purposes of compensatory sanctions are “to make reparation to the injured party

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and restore the parties to the position they would have held had the [court order] been obeyed.” Vuitton et Fils S.A. v. Carousel Handbags, 592 F.2d 126, 130 (2d Cir. 1979). See also Al-Adahi v. Obama, 672 F. Supp. 2d 114, 118-19 (D.D.C. 2009) (imposing sanctions, in part, “to alleviate any damage sustained by the public because of the Government’s failure to comply with the Court’s Order to videotape Petitioner’s testimony”). While a compensatory sanction is based upon the injured parties’ “actual loss,” United Mine Workers, 330 U.S. at 304, injury need not be proven on an individual basis where a “pattern and practice of contemptuous conduct is shown.” See FTC v. Kuykendall, 371 F.3d 745, 746-65 (10th Cir. 2004) (permitting the FTC to show compensatory contempt damages on behalf of consumers in general on the basis of defendant’s “gross receipts”).3 II. The Court Should Exercise Its Inherent Power to Enter a Civil Contempt Sanction Designed to Coerce Compliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order Defendants deliberately chose to violate Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order at their own peril. See Daval Steel Prods. V. M/V Fakredine, 951 F.2d 1357, 1366 (2d Cir. 1991) (“Parties and counsel have no absolute entitlement to be ‘warned’ that they disobey court orders at their peril”). With full knowledge that they had not obtained court relief from the agreed terms of the Stipulated Order, Defendants proceeded to implement the very strategy plan that had been rejected by the Court Monitor, as though this form of self-help might substitute for actual compliance with the agreed terms of the Stipulated Order. As a result, the Court found

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While the burden of proof for compensatory civil contempt damages appears to be an open issue in this circuit, see N.O.W. v. Operation Rescue, 37 F.3d 646, 662 (D.C. Cir. 1994), most circuits addressing this issue have concluded that such damages may be shown by only a preponderance of the evidence. See Reliance Ins. Co. v. Mast Constr. Co., 159 F.3d 1311, 1318 (10th Cir. 1998) (“In a civil contempt proceeding, once a plaintiff has established the elements of contempt by clear and convincing evidence, it need only prove damages by a preponderance of the evidence”); McGregor v. Chierico, 206 F.3d 1378, 1387 (11th Cir. 2000) (same); In re General Motors Corp., 110 F.3d 1003, 1018 (4th Cir. 1997) (same); Graves v. Kemsco Group, Inc., 864 F.2d 754, 755 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (applying Seventh Circuit law) (same).

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Defendants to be in civil contempt for their non-compliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order, observing that “all the Defendants have shown here is that they are inconvenienced by their promises.” (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 43 (Dkt. No. 1026).) Given Defendants’ ongoing non-compliance with Paragraph 8 and the Court’s clear determination that “prospective enforcement of this provision” would not be inequitable, id., Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court order Defendants to implement the 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan (attached as Exhibit C), which was submitted to the Court by the Court Monitor on June 14, 2010 after full consultation with CFSA, the Plaintiffs and community stakeholders. Such a coercive sanctions order will serve the fundamental purpose of Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order “to move Defendants toward compliance with all MFO and AIP final requirements” and is equitable even as of August 2010 given Defendants deliberate decision to abandon their commitments in the Stipulated Order and to place the LaShawn remedial effort on hiatus for a prolonged period as the Court adjudicated the motions flowing from Defendants’ non-compliance. Significantly, the Court may enter such a coercive remedy without disrupting the ongoing court-ordered process to develop and enter a new implementation plan through September 30, 2011 and without imposing any additional planning process or burden on the Defendants. As the Court is aware, the 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan results from the exchange of proposed implementation plans and strategy plans undertaken by the parties and the Court Monitor pursuant to the Court’s April 5, 2010 Order. The 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan reflects the Court Monitor’s best effort to achieve a reasonable and competent strategy plan for CFSA based upon separate input by Defendants, Plaintiffs and various stakeholders within the District’s child welfare community, as well as the Court Monitor’s own professional judgment.

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Defendants should be required to adopt and implement the 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan in fulfillment of their obligations under Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order.4 With such a coercive order in place, the parties and the Court can focus attention on the development and entry of an acceptable Implementation Plan through September 30, 2011, which will be the sole remaining business before the Court under its April 5, 2010 order. III. The Court Should Order Defendants to Compensate Those Youth Who Have Aged Out of CFSA Custody and Those Who Soon Will Age Out While Defendants Failed to Comply with the Court’s Order Defendants’ failure to implement an acceptable annual strategy plan in January 2009 has caused actual harm to Plaintiffs, particularly those youth with a permanency goal of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (“APPLA”).5 For those youth who aged out of the system since January 2009 and those who will age out of the system in the near-term, the harm caused by Defendants cannot be repaired through the implementation of the 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan, and therefore those youth require separate compensatory treatment to be made whole.6 Had Defendants followed the Court Monitor’s recommendations set forth in her January 26, 2009 and March 4, 2009 comments rejecting their proposed plans, Defendants would have implemented a wide variety of action steps from which youth with a goal of APPLA would have benefitted. Because Defendants did not adopt an acceptable plan, and instead purportedly
Plaintiffs acknowledge that the 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan will be subject to the Court’s April 5, 2010 Order, which sets forth, “Absent a substantial or unjustifiable disparity, the Court will not find deviations from adopted provisions of jointly proposed action steps to constitute noncompliance.” (April 5, 2010 Order, at 2 n.1 (Dkt. No. 1025).) 5 Defendants’ contumacious conduct also may have harmed older youth with permanency goals other than APPLA, such as guardianship, adoption or reunification. To the extent that any of these youth aged out or soon will age out without achieving permanency, Plaintiffs’ requested compensatory relief should also extend to those youth. 6 On August 6, 2010, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Conduct Discovery for Purposes of the CourtOrdered August 26, 2010 Sanctions Hearing. However, the Court ordered Defendants “to have detailed information concerning the District’s population of youth with an APPLA designation since January 2009 available for consideration at the remedy hearing.” (Minute Order, Aug. 6, 2010.) Plaintiffs anticipate augmenting the evidence identified in this pre-hearing brief with the information that is furnished by Defendants on August 26, 2010.
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implemented their own inadequate plan, Plaintiffs with a goal of APPLA were deprived of action steps and outcomes based on the Court Monitor’s recommendations, resulting in actual losses to those Plaintiffs. At the outset of 2009, more than one-third of children in CFSA custody (over 800 children) had an assigned permanency goal of APPLA, which is the “default goal for children not expected to be reunified or achieve permanency through adoption or guardianship,” and is considered the permanency goal of last resort. (Court Monitor’s Letter to Judge Thomas Hogan, Jan. 5, 2009, at 8.) As of 2007, CFSA had the fourth highest percentage nationally of total exits from foster care due to youth aging out. (Fostering Connections Resource Center, “Number of Youth Aging out of Foster Care Continues to Rise,” January 31, 2010, at 2, available at http://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/Connections_Agingout.pdf.) Youth with an APPLA goal are extremely vulnerable because they face the imminent, potentially irreversible, harm of aging out of foster care without a permanent family and without adequate preparation or resources to live independently. Outcomes for youth aging out of foster care are abysmal. (CFSA Quality Improvement Administration, “Youth Who Transitioned from D.C.’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation for Adulthood,” June 2008, at 11-15 (attached as Exhibit D).) Despite this urgency, CFSA has failed to work effectively toward permanency for APPLA youth or to otherwise provide these vulnerable youth with adequate transition planning and services.7 In light of this entrenched failure, the Stipulated Order contained certain remedial

Indeed, Defendants admitted that CFSA had “re-directed” resources from services and permanency planning for older youth to investigations in the wake of the 2008 Banita Jacks’ murders. See District of Columbia’s 2008 Annual Progress and Services Report, at 9, available at http://library.childwelfare.gov/cwig/ws/cwmd/docs/ state_search/SearchForm. Specifically, D.C. reported that CFSA had delayed “implementation of a series of initiatives” directed at older youth, including “the Permanency Re-Design and the Ansell Casey Youth Services Curriculum for the Center of Keys for Life (CKL) Program.” Id.

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provisions designed to ignite action within CFSA to revisit permanency and services for APPLA youth. (Stipulated Order, ¶ 6(e) – (f) at 2-3) (Dkt. No. 899).) Operating with targeted action steps with specific deadlines and clear benchmarks, Defendants were able to satisfy the APPLA provisions of the Stipulated Order by the deadline at the end of 2008. Yet, since that time, over the course of 2009, Defendants have failed to make additional meaningful progress for APPLA youth in providing permanency or services. In their January 26, 2009 and February 24, 2009 proposed plans, Defendants included some limited action steps for APPLA youth. However, the Court Monitor determined that, qualitatively and quantatively, Defendants’ proposed action steps and performance expectations for APPLA youth in both proposed plans were inadequate. As its principal “outcome” for APPLA youth, Defendants’ plans set forth, “By June 30, 2009, CFSA will review the cases and permanency goals of at least 600 youth with an APPLA goal,” and, as action steps, Defendants’ plans set forth that “[t]hese reviews and follow-up will result in recommendations and action steps for the identification of potential resources for permanent relationships for 40 percent of the youth and action steps will be implemented.” (February 24, 2009 Plan, at 6 (Dkt. No. 924-1).) As a threshold matter, in rejecting Defendants’ proposals, the Court Monitor indicated that recommendations and action steps for just 40% of the youth was “too low” and CFSA should identify recommendations and action steps for a minimum of 60% of those youth within a sixmonth period. (Court Monitor’s Comments to Defendants’ Proposed Targets for January 1 – June 30, 2009, January 26, 2009, at 3-4 (attached as Exhibit E).) Further, as the Court Monitor stated at length: Reviewing the children with a goal of APPLA is not an outcome; it is a strategy. We think the plan should identify what results you intend to achieve through this strategy during this year (e.g. __% increase in permanency for children currently with APPLA goal; __% percent reduction in number of children with APPLA

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goal). As we discussed on several occasions, although we do not understand why every child’s case cannot be reviewed during 2009 (especially as a review of a child’s permanency progress every six months is mandated by federal law), the number of reviews is less important than the results of the reviews and resulting appropriate permanency plans for all of the children. Further, we are all in agreement that we do not want a compliance review process that does not meet the goal of improved permanency for youth. Further if the current plan to hold the reviews as part of administrative reviews is not working as originally planned, as we think you stated, that strategy should be changed. (Comments on February 24, 2009 Strategy Plan Proposal, March 4, 2009, at 5 (Dkt. No. 924-4) (emphasis added).) In addition, the Court Monitor also rejected Defendants’ proposal to “recommend to the Family Court a goal change from APPLA for 15 percent of children under age 18” by August 31, 2009. (February 24, 2009 Plan, at 10 (Dkt. No. 924-1).) The Court Monitor observed, “. . . this is not an outcome and proposes a seriously unambitious target. Recommending a goal change is one part of a broader strategy to achieve permanency for these children. Other strategies need to include identifying adoptive and guardianship homes, negotiating needed subsidies and services and doing the social work to successfully transition children to permanency.” (Comments on February 24, 2009 Strategy Plan Proposal, March 4, 2009, at 8 (Dkt. No. 924-4) (emphasis added).) Thus, the Court Monitor’s January 26, 2009 and March 4, 2009 comments reveal that her principal concern – and the fundamental failure of Defendants’ proposed plan – was that cases would be reviewed on paper, but that Defendants would not implement adequate action steps to actually achieve permanency or improved transition planning and services for APPLA youth. Without the implementation of action steps (and a means of reviewing accountability for doing so), the APPLA reviews would be meaningless.

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Ultimately, as set forth below, the precise concerns that caused the Court Monitor to reject Defendants’ 2009 APPLA proposals were realized. In particular, the implementation of Defendants’ unacceptable plan resulted in reviews of APPLA cases without actually improving permanency outcomes or services for those youth. According to Defendants’ own data, CFSA appears to have reviewed cases of 722 APPLA youth in 2009. (See Defendants’ Status Report on the District of Columbia’s 2009 Annual Plan, February 17, 2010, at 10 (Dkt. No. 1018-1).) However, in testimony before the D.C. Council Committee on Human Services on January 22, 2010, Dr. Gerald reported that CFSA had only achieved permanency for 5% of those youth. See Testimony of Roque R. Gerald before the Committee on Human Services, Public Oversight Roundtable, “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out,” January 22, 2010, at 2 (attached as Exhibit A-1).8 Moreover, at the same hearing, Dr. Gerald testified that, of the 722 APPLA cases reviewed, “Specific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships are now incorporated into the case plans of 26% of the youth.” Id. Over the course of 2009 and early 2010, Defendants submitted three “status reports” to the Court on the implementation of their own unapproved plan. Defendants’ final status report was submitted to the Court on February 17, 2010. Although this report was submitted after Dr. Gerald’s January 22, 2010 committee hearing testimony, it failed to inform the Court that only 5% of APPLA youth whose cases were reviewed actually achieved permanency. Moreover, in contrast to Dr. Gerald’s January 22, 2010 testimony that “[s]pecific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships are now incorporated into the case plans of 26% of the youth,” (attached as Exhibit A-1, at 2), the final status report to the Court indicated that, “[a]ll 722 [APPLA] reviews resulted in recommendations and action steps toward permanency.”
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Dr. Gerald also reported that 80% of youth whose cases were reviewed “already had an established or potential life-long connection with at least one stable, caring adult,” but, in only 29% of those cases, had the adults “confirmed the relationship youth.” Id.

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(Defendants’ Status Report on the District of Columbia’s 2009 Annual Plan, Feb. 17, 2010, at 10 (Dkt. No. 1018-1).) If an APPLA review resulted in genuine recommendations and action steps – which were serious enough to be implemented – those recommendations and action steps should have been reflected in all 722 youth’s case plans (as opposed to only 26% of them). Finally, and importantly, despite the fact that Defendants’ unapproved plan asserted (without specificity or benchmarks) that “action steps would be implemented,” none of Defendants’ three status reports indicates that Defendants implemented any of the action steps and recommendations that were identified. At most, Defendants’ final report indicates that, “[i]n October 2009, surveys were sent to CFSA and private agency social workers to follow-up on the progress of permanency action steps for youth who received an APPLA review. Analyses of the responses received find that youth with a lifelong connection are more likely to have a transition plan with post-placement living arrangements identified” (Id.) The combined loss of permanency and persistently inadequate transition services from January 2009 to present affected all youth with an APPLA goal. Among those youth, Defendants arguably caused the most permanent harm to the 172 youth who aged out of CFSA custody in 2009, and those 150-200 youth who have already aged out, or will likely age out, of the system in 2010. Although CFSA fails to consistently track these youth and has not released any detailed data on the outcomes for youth who aged out of its custody from January 2009 to present, it recently conducted a qualitative review of youth at the time of their discharge from custody. According to CFSA’s own 2008 Quality Service Review of youth in its custody who were aging out the system, at the time of their discharge: only 14% had all the necessary resources to support themselves; 66% suffered from diagnosed mental health needs; 34% were pregnant or parenting; 29% had neither a high school diploma, special education certificate, nor

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GED; only 10% were enrolled in college; 49% had significant learning disabilities; 14% had documented physical medical needs requiring long-term attention; 59% did not have sufficient income to cover their living expenses; only 37% had identified an adult connection that would support them after leaving the system; and 46% were unemployed. (CFSA Quality Improvement Administration, “Youth Who Transitioned from DC’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation for Adulthood,” June 2008, at 6, 10-15 (Ex. D).) The consequences of this lack of preparedness are dire. For example, one young man who aged out of CFSA custody in 2009 without an adequate transition plan ended up homeless and then incarcerated in less than one year. See Nadia Moritz, Executive Director, and Tosin Ogunyoku, Senior Program Manager, Young Women’s Project, Testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, March 16, 2010, at 15 (attached as Exhibit A-6). Another young woman, who was the mother of two young children, had to leave her independent living program when she aged out of foster care custody in April 2009 and was found murdered just a few weeks later. Id. As a result, to compensate these populations of older youth, the Court should order Defendants to undertake a competitive procurement process to engage, for a period of two years, a reputable organization with demonstrated results in serving older youth transitioning out of foster care. This two-year period is to be set aside for the provision of direct services and is not to include administrative start-up or related time. The contract provider would deliver after-care and transition services to all youth who either have aged out of CFSA foster care since January 1, 2009 or will age out during the first year of the two-year contract.9

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See also, supra n. 2 (describing the specific language that the Court should order Defendants include in their request for a proposal from contractors).

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IV.

The Court Should Exercise Its Inherent Power to Enter a Civil Contempt Sanction Designed to Ensure On-going Compliance with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order As the Court has acknowledged, Paragraph 4 set forth the “simple requirement” that

Plaintiffs be included in the selection process for a new CFSA Director. (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion, at 11 (Dkt. No. 1026).) However, as a result of Defendant Fenty’s failure to follow Paragraph 4’s straightforward consultation requirement – which he agreed to be obligated to do – Plaintiffs were deprived of the agreed-upon right to voice their views in the selection of the incoming Director. Plaintiffs are not seeking to undo that selection, which would be disruptive to the agency at this point, and never had the right to veto the Mayor’s selection. However, Plaintiffs did have the right to make their views about the selection known to the Mayor. Plaintiffs seek the following remedy to ensure that Plaintiffs will be allowed to participate in the oversight and selection of the CFSA Director as contemplated in the Stipulated Order. Plaintiffs request that the Court order Defendants to afford Plaintiffs’ counsel the opportunity to meet with Defendant Fenty and his counsel once every six months to discuss any and all concerns regarding the current Director and CFSA management’s implementation of the LaShawn reforms – an opportunity that Plaintiffs lost when Defendant Fenty chose to forego complying with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order.10 In addition, Plaintiffs request an order requiring Defendants to consult with Plaintiffs regarding the selection of a new Director should a new appointment be made during the pendency of this litigation, the same voice in the selection process that the Defendants agreed to in Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order.

10

Plaintiffs anticipate that such a meeting would occur approximately six months after the entry of the sanctions order by the Court.

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CONCLUSION For all the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court order the requested remedies for the civil contempt findings entered by the Court against Defendants in its April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion DATED: August 20, 2010 Respectfully Submitted, /s/ Marcia Robinson Lowry ______________________________ Marcia Robinson Lowry Sara Michelle Bartosz Kara Morrow Children’s Rights 330 7th Avenue, Suite 400 New York, New York 10001 Tel.: (212) 683-2210 FAX: (212) 683-4015 Arthur B. Spitzer (DC Bar No. 235960) American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area 1400 20th Street, N.W., Suite 119 Washington, DC 20036 Tel.: (202) 457-0800 Fax: (202) 452-1868 Counsel for Plaintiffs

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EXHIBIT A – PLAINTIFFS’ LIST OF PROPOSED WITNESSES1 1. Dr. Roque R. Gerald, CFSA Director. Director Gerald is expected to testify regarding (1) permanency and transitional outcomes for older youth and (2) the reorganization and performance of the CFSA Office of Youth Empowerment from January 1, 2009 through the present. (Anticipated Length: 90 minutes) 2. Nadia Moritz, Executive Director, Young Women’s Project. Ms. Moritz is expected to testify regarding (1) permanency and transitional outcomes for older youth and (2) the reorganization and performance of the CFSA Office of Youth Empowerment occurring from January 1, 2009 through the present. (Anticipated Length: 45 minutes) 3. Tosin A. Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator, Young Women’s Project. Ms. Ogunyoku is expected to testify regarding (1) permanency and transitional outcomes for older youth and (2) the reorganization and performance of the CFSA Office of Youth Empowerment occurring from January 1, 2009 through the present. (Anticipated Length: 45 minutes) 4. Sarah M. Ocran, CFSA Youth. Ms. Ocran is expected to testify regarding her experience as a CFSA youth assigned an APPLA goal. (Anticipated Length: 20 minutes) 5. Nakea Paige, CFSA Youth. Ms. Paige is expected to testify regarding her experience as a CFSA youth assigned an APPLA goal. (Anticipated Length: 20 minutes) 6. Dayar Brown, CFSA Youth. Mr. Brown is expected to testify regarding his experience as a CFSA youth assigned an APPLA goal. (Anticipated Length: 20 minutes) 7. Iyesha Johnson, CFSA Youth. Ms. Johnson is expected to testify regarding her experience as a CFSA youth assigned an APPLA goal. (Anticipated Length: 20 minutes) Plaintiffs may call the following rebuttal witnesses regarding (1) permanency and transitional outcomes for older youth and (2) the reorganization and performance of the CFSA Office of Youth Empowerment occurring from January 1, 2009 through the present: 8. Afrilasia Joseph-Phipps, CFSA ILP Coordinator 9. Tanya Edwards, CFSA Aftercare Specialist 10. Sarah Thankachan, Director, CFSA Office of Youth Empowerment
                                                            
1

Many of Plaintiffs’ proposed witnesses have provided written testimony to U.S. Senate and D.C. Council committees regarding the same subjects of their intended heating testimony. To assist the Court, this written testimony is attached as Exhibits A-1 through A-9. In addition, although four CFSA Youth witnesses have been identified as proposed hearing witnesses, Plaintiffs only intend to call one or two of these youth at the hearing.

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Government of the District of Columbia

Child and Family Services Agency

Testimony of

Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Director

Public Oversight Roundtable “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out”

Committee on Human Services Tommy Wells, Chair Council of the District of Columbia

January 22, 2010
The John A. Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Hearing Room 412 Washington, DC 20004 11 a.m.

Exhibit A-1

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Good morning, Chairman Wells and members of the Committee on Human Services. I’m Dr. Roque Gerald, director of the District’s Child and Family Services Agency. Over 30 years ago, my first job was at a wilderness school for trouble youth from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Being a counselor in charge of 10 boys, ages 13 to 17, was definitely challenging but also rewarding in that 60 to 70 percent succeeded in turning their lives around. That experience became the inspiration for devoting my career to serving young people and their families. Later, I worked with many adolescents and their families in my practice as a clinical psychologist. Today, as director of CFSA, I have the opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference to a large group of youth—the 1,177 young people, ages 13 to 21, in District foster care. Reflecting the trend of other urban child welfare agencies throughout the nation, CFSA is presiding over a groundswell of youth growing up in care that began around 2005, and that we project will continue through 2014. Five years ago, older youth grew to half the foster care population, hit a peak of 62 percent in 2007, and are at 60 percent today. Also mirroring a national trend, we’re seeing an increase in young people entering care in their teens.
Table 1: Youth Ages 13-21 in District Foster Care Year (Point in time: December 31) Trend Age 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 (in age cohort) 142 150 106 95 89  13 178 125 150 123 93  14 195 176 136 160 127  15 203 198 204 163 151  16  185 214 215 200 168 17  161 172 210 196 197 18 133 149 165 190 183  19 136 119 140 151 168  20 3 1 2 2 1  21  Total 1,336 1,304 1,328 1,280 1,177
Source: FACES PLC156MS

The last sizeable cohort—those age 15 in 2009—will reach age 20 in 2014, after which the number of youth in each age cohort begins to drop substantially, as shown in the black block.

The vast majority of these young people are growing up in the system through no fault of their own. Although government agencies—indeed, any institutions—aren’t optimal parents, child welfare and the community share a moral obligation to do our all-out best for these older youth in our care. We owe them. With that in mind, the story I have to tell today is of a two-year mobilization at CFSA to find a permanent home or connection for every District youth in care. Everyone needs a family, and it is never too late to rekindle or create the life-long relationships these young people deserve. At the same time, we’re going much deeper in preparing our youth for adulthood, with the goal of giving each one a quality foundation equal to what good parents ensure for their birth children. An indicator of the sea change in our thinking and action is that the first District-wide Youth Convening CFSA sponsored in 2008 focused on how best to prepare youth to age out. By 2009, the central message of our second Youth Convening was seeking permanence while continuing to provide solid preparation for adulthood. Of all the many responsibilities of leadership at CFSA, making a difference for youth is, perhaps, my greatest personal passion. What’s more, I’ve found that my executive team and our managers and staff working with youth share that fire. They’re bringing enormous care and enthusiasm to the work of revamping our program for youth, which is well underway at a fast pace. I’ll share the highlights of that revitalization today.

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Alternatives to Aging Out The long-standing practice of allowing young adults to leave the system without a personal support system is now history. In 2007, under CFSA Director Sharlynn Bobo, the Casey Strategic Consulting Group provided a wake-up call by showing that CFSA and Family Court had institutionalized aging out without permanence as the default goal for older youth. This practice in the District far exceeded that of several other comparable cities. One of the happiest actions in my early days as CFSA director was signing an Administrative Issuance that put an end to automatic assignment of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement—or “APPLA”—as a goal for older youth. Over 15 months, our census of youth destined to age out without permanence dropped from a high of 850 to 678. In the first half of 2009, we conducted a comprehensive review of the cases of 722 youth who had the goal of aging out to explore their opportunities for legal permanence or life-long connections. Delving in from this new perspective revealed that 80 percent of these youth already had an established or potential life-long connection with at least one stable, caring adult. Sometimes, this was an unrelated person; more often, it was a family member—even a parent. Social workers are now using this information as the foundation for rekindling or creating legal permanence or lasting connections for older youth. Adoption and legal guardianship are pathways for some. For many others, birth family circumstances have changed so that reunification with parents is possible. A new approach is the “commitment contract” for “informal adoption,” where a caring adult and youth agree to maintain a supportive, life-long relationship. Recent data on outcomes from the review of APPLA cases show that so far:  Adults have confirmed the relationship youth said they had in 29% of the cases.  Specific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships are now incorporated into the case plans of 26% of the youth, and  Five percent of the youth have achieved permanence. Listening to Our Youth Input from young people in care is integral to program redesign underway. In 2008, 207 youth ages 15 to 21 responded to a survey about their needs, concerns, and overall well being. In 2009, we surveyed 150 youth about how best to improve CFSA programs for them. As part of this process, we engaged eight of the 83 teens working at CFSA under the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program in conducting a “listening tour” with youth in care. Seven of the teens who conducted the tour also happened to be in foster care. They interviewed teen residents of two local group homes. These activities provided a wealth of information straight from the young people we serve. There was quite a bit of good news. For example, 86% of youth survey respondents reported feeling safe in their current placement, 86% were attending or had graduated from high school, 81% had an adult other than their social worker to call on for support, and 69% had received advice about higher education or vocational training. Youth and social workers said current CFSA programs had a number of strong points. Among these were college preparation and our annual college tours, work readiness and employment support, and life skills training.

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During the “listening tour,” our young people also provided solid suggestions for improving programs directed to them. At the top of their list were: increased flexibility of scheduling and smaller groups for life-skills training, more involvement of foster parents and other caregivers, better communication about all services available to youth in care, more individual attention, and services in the community instead of at CFSA.
Table 2: Feedback, Opinions, and Desires from Two Samples of District Youth in Care General Needs Program Redesign
(Self-reported responses from 207 youth in care, 2008) (Youth “Listening Tour” and social worker survey, 2009)

Doing Well:  Majority currently/previously in therapy said it is/was helpful  Feel safe in current placement: 86%  Attending high school/HS graduate: 86%  Regular visits with family members: 85%  Adult other than a social worker to call upon for support: 81%  Feel welcome in the community: 81%  Current placement healthy and comfortable: 79%  Received academic recognition or award: 78%  Celebrated last birthday with others: 77%  Know how to access employment resources: 72%  Know how to access help with school: 70%  Been on the honor role at school: 70%  Received advice about higher education/vocational training: 69% Need More Support:  Majority said social workers do not return calls promptly  Behavioral consequence at school (referral to principal, detention, suspension, expulsion): 64%  Inadequate opportunities to gain work experience: 50%  Don’t participate in extracurricular activities at school: 48%  No access to a computer to do school work: 47%  Don’t have copies of personal medical records: 45%  Never had a mentor: 45%  Cannot candidly discuss personal wishes in court: 39%  Changed schools five or more times since entering care: 35%

Best Features of Current Youth Program:  College preparation and tours  Vocational assessment and connections  Education, Training and Vocational (ETV) funding  Life skills training  Work readiness and employment support  Social activities Room for Improvement:  More flexible time slots  More weekend programs  More attractive community-based locations  Smaller groups and some peer-led sessions  Closer partnering with foster parents and other caregivers  Timely payment of stipends  More emphasis on money management  Better communication about all services available to youth in care and how to access them for both youth and social workers  Individual assessments and more consultative services  Improved collaboration with ongoing social workers  More guest speakers  Increased staff for the youth program

Last summer, I started the Director’s Youth Advisory Board so I could get regular, direct feedback about youth needs and concerns. In turn, working to implement positive change gives these young people experience in leadership and making a difference. My advisory board of 12 includes youth in care, ages 16 to 21, as well as several young adults formerly in care. We meet monthly and have held two weekend retreats so far. From top to bottom, youth input is a cornerstone of CFSA’s program and service redesign. We’re reaching out to ensure youth have a strong voice in everything from their individual case plans to the broader policies and programs affecting all. Equally important, we’re hearing—and acting on—what our youth have to say.

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Youth Empowerment For several years, the Office of Youth Development and Center of the Keys for Life (CKL) program were the centerpiece of CFSA services for youth in care. Late last summer, we essentially disbanded these entities to build a new and more effective program in tune with what youth say they need. The new Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE) is restructuring to keep cases of older youth ages 18 to 21, to counsel out-of-home social workers in serving all other youth, and to provide a rich variety of services all youth in care can access. All managers and staff in OYE have been trained in the nationally recognized Positive Development approach to youth work and are integrating numerous features youth want into the revitalized program. Flexibility is an example. Instead of twice a year, youth can now catch an orientation to the full range of youth services twice a month. In direct response to youth input, life-skills sessions are no longer on a rigid schedule but take place at different times and locations. Repetition of sessions gives youth choices of when to attend and keeps the group of participants at each session smaller. This allows for the increased individual attention youth requested. In partnership with social workers, foster caregivers, and the community, the new program goals are to teach, train, and guide young people in care; to ensure permanence or life-long connections for them; and ultimately to help each one recognize and begin to develop his or her unique potential. As a brief overview, OYE offers services in six core categories.  Assessments: Self-tests help youth identify their needs, interests, and talents. Standardized instruments reveal mastery of life skills and vocational aptitudes, providing a sound basis for individual attention and growth. The nationally acclaimed Ansell-Casey Online Life Skills Assessment is the centerpiece. Training and Guidance: Interactive classes and workshops “stand in” for family guidance on a wide range of topics of interest and importance to young people today. Youth can attend sessions in health and self-care, relationships, safe sexual behavior and pregnancy prevention, money management, educational planning and study skills, finding and keeping a job, career planning, and communication. A recent workshop raised awareness about the legal ramifications and dangers of “sexting and texting” via cell phones and the Internet. Due to popular demand, we are scheduling repeats. Education: Youth have support for academic achievement, completion of high school, and entry into college or vocational training. Social workers now conduct an extensive education assessment annually for each youth through twelfth grade and include necessary academic support services in case plans. Tutors, mentors, application guidance, and scholarships are all available. College and vocational tours expose youth to a broad range of options. Work: In addition to workshops on resume preparation, interview techniques, and looking for a job, youth have support in identifying and tapping opportunities for internships and paid work. OYE partners with the District Department of Employment

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Services and local employers to create and identify work experience opportunities specifically for youth in care.  Broad Horizons: Opening the world is of special importance to youth in care. OYE works to create opportunities for our young people to meet inspiring and successful adults, volunteer, participate in school and community activities, and travel. Fun: Good times help young people develop social skills, make new friends, and try out healthy leisure activities. Throughout the year, OYE gets foster youth together for parties, movie nights, pizza outings, bowling, field trips, and other fun events. A group of youth plans, directs, and stars in a gala fashion show each spring.

To fulfill a major recommendation from youth, we’re planning to move OYE into the community this spring. The program will operate from the former Paul Robeson School, a District-owned space on 10th Street NW close to the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station. The space is attractive, light-filled, and nearly perfect for offering a host of services to youth in care at a single, community-based location. A presence on Facebook is under development to keep youth informed of the burgeoning calendar of services and events that will be available at this new center. Strengthening Partnerships on Behalf of Youth As I mentioned a moment ago, partnerships with social workers, foster parents and other caregivers, and the community are critical to fully serving District youth in care. I’ll highlight a few of the most important ones in place or under development.  New Human Care Agreements that CFSA is about to negotiate with congregate care and independent living providers contain the strongest set of performance and outcome targets we have ever required. Although these providers don’t have case management responsibility, we’ll require them to support the push to permanence or life-long connections for youth. They must be involved in service planning at least quarterly and must offer individualized life-skills development. Therapeutic programs must have clinical staff on site and provide groups that address youth issues of anger, grief, and loss. For the first time, CFSA monitors are prepared to expand their oversight of licensing regulations to include provider adherence to programmatic requirements and the quality of these services. We’re continuing to encourage local development of a broader range of placement options tailored to youth with specific needs. For example, two community-based providers operate the Teen Bridge program. It offers 18 youth at a time up to six months of intensive assistance with behavioral issues and preparation for independent living. Foster parents have long been invited to major meetings and court hearings concerning youth in their homes. Again, based on a youth recommendation, plans are underway to do more to engage foster parents in case planning and the broad range of

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OYE activities. OYE is also exploring development of a series of programs specifically for foster parents, other caregivers, and social workers serving youth.  Last November, CFSA and the District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that improves services to youth who are, or who should be, involved with both agencies. A seniorlevel steering committee meets regularly to plan services for shared youth, establish clear roles of both agencies around individual cases, and identify and troubleshoot emerging policy and process issues. While the number of youth involved with both agencies remains fairly low (95 as of this month), this MOA is a major step forward in coordinating services to meet their multiple needs. At the request of my Youth Advisory Board, CFSA is drafting legislation that would give District youth in care and alumni of care the same hiring preference for District Government jobs as residents and veterans. We’re also gearing up to comply with the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. Finally, community groups are increasingly stepping forward to offer events, growth experiences, and other extras for youth in care. These range from computers for college-bound youth to social events, learning experiences, and all-expense-paid trips. We gratefully take advantage of every offer that is solidly in the best interest of our youth in care. Support from the community means a great deal to these young people and is often invaluable in expanding their horizons.

In closing, CFSA has never been more active in what matters most to youth in care: a meaningful say in programs and services that affect them, growing opportunities for individualized support, permanence, life-long connections, and solid preparation for adulthood. While far from perfect, our services are well on the way to providing much more of what youth say they want and need—and achieving greater effectiveness as a result. This is worthwhile work that all of us at CFSA are pursuing with spirit and enthusiasm. We owe these young people our best, they need and richly deserve it, and we’re determined to continue moving forward in delivering for all of them.

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Government of the District of Columbia

Child and Family Services Agency

Testimony of

Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Director

Hearing

“Agency Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2009-2010”
Committee on Human Services Tommy Wells, Chair March 11, 2010

John A. Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW l Room 500 Washington, DC 20510-6250 1 p.m.

Exhibit A-2

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Good afternoon, Chairman Wells and members of the District Council Committee on Human Services. I’m Dr. Roque Gerald, director of the DC Child and Family Services Agency. I’ll provide a short overview of CFSA, briefly describe the current “State of the Agency” and our fiscal outlook, and then give detailed highlights of our performance in 2009.

Overview of CFSA
Child welfare is a critical public function that intervenes to protect children and youth from neglect and physical and sexual abuse. CFSA’s Child Protective Services Administration is the gateway to child welfare, taking reports of alleged child abuse and neglect at the District’s 24hour hotline and moving out promptly to investigate and protect as necessary. From that point, District child welfare is a public-private partnership. Both CFSA and private agencies provide: • Community-based support that helps troubled families resolve issues while remaining together at home; • Out-of-home care, which temporarily houses and nurtures children and youth who can’t be safe at home; and • Re-establishment of permanent homes for children and youth in care through safe return to their parents, guardianship (often with relatives), or adoption. Life-long connection to at least one stable, caring adult committed to providing a family-like relationship is a solution for older youth in care who would otherwise transition out of the system without permanence. The Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaboratives throughout the city provide a host of neighborhood-based services, which assist many children and families at risk while preventing them from becoming involved with the child welfare system. Our partnership with other child-serving agencies is an essential part of the safety net for District residents. The largest share of CFSA’s budget goes to direct services, including contracts for management of about half the District child welfare caseload and for the array of services social workers use to help children, youth, and families overcome crises, heal, and improve their safety and well being. CFSA is currently serving 4,096 District children and youth from infancy to age 21—49 percent at home and 51 percent in out-of-home care. All have experienced, or have been at high risk of, some form of neglect or abuse. Reflecting the trend of other urban child welfare agencies in the U.S., CFSA is presiding over a groundswell of youth, ages 13 to 21, growing up in care. Five years ago, older youth grew to half the foster care population, hit a peak of 62 percent in 2007, and are at 58 percent today. We project this trend will continue through 2014.

State of the Agency
I appreciate the opportunity today to update both this Committee and the community on how far CFSA has come during my tenure. As a strategic overview regarding the “State of the Agency,” here are four highlights.

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Agency Leadership: In the past, high turnover at several levels and administrative weaknesses within CFSA were cause for concern. Today, the CFSA infrastructure is stronger than at any previous point in agency history. We are in the best position ever to administer our critical functions, perform at a high level, and make a positive difference to the District residents we serve. For over a year, we have maintained staffing of casecarrying social workers at 90 percent or more, which in turn keeps individual caseloads within national standards for optimum safety and quality. In 2009, I completed assembly of a highly competent executive team that provides both true leadership bench strength and the stability necessary for top performance. This team is proving effective in resolving long-standing issues in the administrative areas of Contracting & Procurement, contract monitoring, Human Resources, and Federal claiming. In addition, their expert oversight and focused attention on both internal and external direct services is empowering and motivating the next level of managers within CFSA and our private partners as never before, leading to better outcomes for children, youth, and families. LaShawn: As you know, Federal Court oversight of District child welfare continues. A brief status update is that we’re awaiting a ruling on the District’s motion of February 2009, asking Federal District Court to expedite a process to terminate court oversight. Meanwhile, we continue to work diligently to increase performance on mandated benchmarks. Beginning in 2008 and continuing in 2009, the city directly filed progress reports with the Court to complement the court-appointed monitor’s regular evaluations. Best Practices: Nationally, child welfare is experiencing a period of transformation due to changes in family and child demographics, social issues, the economic climate, and evidence-based best practices stemming from comprehensive research. Along with others in the field, CFSA must stay abreast of these trends and retool as necessary to maintain efficiency and effectiveness. Performance: Finally, at the outcome level of performance, CFSA used the momentum that led to so many accomplishments in safety reform in 2008, as a springboard for forging ahead in other areas. In 2009, we further improved overall timeliness and quality of investigations while also achieving significant gains in permanence. At the process level, CFSA maintained or improved performance on a host of key indicators and initiated solid strategies where corrective action is needed.

Fiscal Outlook
Discussion at the spending pressure hearing February 19, left a misimpression with this Committee and the public that CFSA is facing a projected $23 million spending pressure. This was speculation since the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) had not yet released the FY10 First Quarter Financial Review Plan (FRP) for CFSA. When OCFO released the FRP on March 4, it showed CFSA is facing a spending pressure of $15.1 million. I know that OCFO followed up with a briefing for you, and I also want to put certain facts on record here today. The spending pressure consists of $2.2 million in personal services and $12.9 million in nonpersonal services. The personal services pressure is due primarily to (1) maintaining a vacancy

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rate of 4.2%, which is below the budgeted vacancy rate of 6.8%, and (2) using overtime above the budgeted level. Please note two points. • The low vacancy rate resulted from adding staff in Child Protective Services and overstaffing briefly to maintain adequate case coverage when we realized that many of our unlicensed social workers on probation would not pass the licensing exam as necessary to stay on board. The projected overtime spending pressure is relatively small and manageable. In fact, CFSA has taken aggressive steps to limit over-time and is now using it at a historically low rate.

The non-personal services spending pressure is due to spending in the agency’s Object class 50 budget (Subsidies and Transfers) above the approved budget level. We are working with the Office of the City Administrator on a gap-closing plan scheduled for release April 1. It will include curtailing spending, restricting hiring, and re-analyzing projected costs after recent action to move all children in residential treatment into Medicaid-eligible facilities.

2009 Performance
Investigations: In 2009, CFSA built on safety reforms to improve timeliness and quality of child abuse/neglect investigations. The strong focus on safety reforms in 2008 makes continuing improvements in Child Protective Services a good opening for our 2009 performance narrative. In 2009, CPS responded promptly to a continuing high volume of calls, kept the backlog of investigations started but not completed within 30 days low, and improved quality.
1. Performance Trend: Timeliness of Investigations
Measure Baseline: 9/30/07

ê

Dip: 9/30/08

è

Recovery: 9/30/09

é

Progress 12/31/09

Initiate investigations within 48 hours Complete investigations within 30 days Complete institutional investigations within 30-60 days

72% (92%)* 64% 71%/100%***

69% (84%) 20% 40%/83%

72% (89%) 73% (90%)** 100%/100%

75% (92%) 74% (91%) 100%/100%

* First number is investigations initiated; number in parentheses includes investigations initiated and attempted ** First number is investigations closed within 30 days; number in parentheses is investigations closed within 35 days *** First number is investigations of foster homes closed within 30 days; second number is investigations of institutions closed within 60 days

2. Trend: Volume of Hotline Calls and Investigations
CY07 CY08 CY09

Hotline calls Investigations opened

7,435 4,926

11,445 7,278

11,041 6,516

The hotline received an average of 620 calls a month in 2007, which jumped to 954 calls a month, on average, during the surge of 2008. In 2009, call volume did not drop back to pre-surge levels but continued at a rate of 920 a month, on average. In

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2009, CPS opened an average of 543 new investigations a month, with actual numbers ranging from a high of 626 in April to a low of 404 in August. Despite the continuing high call volume, CPS posted strong performance in responding promptly. Investigative social workers initiated 75 percent of investigations within 48 hours, with “initiation” meaning actually seeing and interviewing the alleged child victim. Adding attempts to initiate an investigation, meaning social workers diligently sought but could not connect with the child within 48 hours, CPS performance in responding promptly was 92 percent. While initiation and attempted initiation within 48 hours are what we track, I hasten to add that investigative social workers continue to seek every alleged child victim and do not close any investigation until they succeed. Also, regardless of the heightened volume of investigations compared to past years, CPS kept the backlog in the range of 20 to 40, on average, throughout 2009. The rate of completing investigations within 30 days, as mandated by law, was 74 percent, and we completed 91 percent of all investigations within 35 days. This level is a measurable improvement over the 64 percent completion rate within 30 days of 2007, despite the higher volume of investigations in 2009. Changes in CPS structure, policies, and practices are all paying off. An example is the standard practice of supervisory review of investigations underway at the 18-day mark to remove barriers, provide extra support, and ensure safe and timely completion. In addition, CPS instituted several practices to support improved quality. Among these are regular review of a sampling of hotline calls and Grand Rounds on open investigations. In 2009, we developed and provided training on a handbook for hotline workers and are now developing a similar guide for investigative social workers. During the two historic snow storms last month, CFSA Child Protective Services remained open 24/7 as usual, taking and investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. Essential managers, supervisors, and social workers bunked at a hotel within walking distance of our headquarters to ensure continued operations, including during the two days that the District Government was closed. Child Welfare Cases: In 2009, CFSA maintained or improved performance on a host of critical indicators and made significant progress in delivering positive outcomes. In 2008, a pervasive belief was that CFSA’s agency-wide mobilization to reduce the backlog of investigations was having a widespread negative impact on performance. In fact, performance on several key indicators stayed steady, improved, or soared even as CFSA worked down a backlog of over 1,800 investigations in about five months. Today, I want to highlight six areas of continuing strong performance or improvement.

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3. Performance Trend: Maintenance and Improvement
Measure 9/30/07 9/30/08 9/30/09 12/31/09 Trend

Appropriate permanency goals Twice-monthly SW visits to children in out-of-home care Legal action to free children for adoption within 45 days of goal becoming adoption Children placed apart from siblings have twicemonthly visits 88% of children in care eight days to 12 months have two or fewer placements No more than 82 children placed more than 100 miles from DC (kinship and pre-adoptive placements exempt)

94% 84% (89% one visit) 32% 57% (69% one visit) 77% 145

94% 87% (91% one visit) 43% 56% (64% one visit) 78% 114

96% 89% (92% one visit) 71% 65% (80% one visit) 80% 95

96% 90% (93% one visit) 78% 74% (84% one visit) 79% 87

è é é é è ê

• • •

For at least two years, the majority of children and youth in foster care have had an appropriate permanency goal—currently at 96 percent. Social workers are visiting 90 percent of children in out-of-home care twice a month, an improvement over the respectable level of 84 percent in 2007. Legal action to free children for adoption within 45 days of their goal becoming adoption has shown steady progress, more than doubling from 32 percent in 2007 to 78 percent today. Children placed apart from their siblings are seeing their siblings more regularly. Only 57 percent got together twice a month in 2007, but steady progress has brought performance to 74 percent today. Siblings visiting once a month steadily increased from 69 percent in 2007, to 84 percent at the end of 2009. In regard to placement stability, the goal is for 88 percent of children in care for at least eight days but no more than 12 months to have two or fewer placements. CFSA has steadily maintained performance in the 77-80 percent range for two years. We still need to improve but are closing in on the goal. And finally, the goal is for CFSA to place no more than 82 children more than 100 miles away from the District, not including kinship and pre-adoptive placements. This measure seeks to contain the number of youth in distant residential treatment, although near-by residential treatment options are limited. From 145 children in 2007, CFSA has only 87 in distant placements today. Three of these are older youth in college, who should also be excluded from this measure, bringing the actual number to 84.

In those areas where the all-out mobilization of 2008 did temporarily hinder performance, CFSA not only recovered in 2009 but often went on to new heights. Three measures help to illustrate that CFSA is once again stable, on track, and forging ahead.

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4. Performance Trend: Recovery
Measure Baseline: 9/30/07

ê

Dip: 9/30/08

è

Recovery: 9/30/09

é

Progress/Maintenance: 12/31/09

Pre-placement health screening Twice monthly SW visits to families at home Weekly parent-child visit when goal is reunification

79% 70% (79% one visit) 39% (70% monthly)

48% 67 (74% one visit) 37% (63% monthly)

92% 79% (84% one visit) 56% (79% monthly)

92% 77% (84% one visit) 58% (82% monthly)

In September 2007, 79 percent of children and youth received a health screening before entering placement. In September 2008, that number had declined to 48 percent. But by December 2009, CFSA performance recovered and improved so that 92 percent of children received a pre-placement health screening. Twice-monthly social worker visits to families served at home were at 70 percent in September 2007, dipped to 67 percent in September 2008, and forged ahead to 77 percent by December 2009. Weekly visits between parents and children with the goal of reunification were at 39 percent in September 2007, dropped to 37 percent in September 2008, and recovered to 58 percent by December 2009.

While performance on all these measures needs to improve, it is on track and trending in the right direction. Process measures weren’t the only areas of improvement in 2009. Outcomes for children are also improving, and I’ll highlight three examples. Entries of children and youth into foster care are declining (Figure A). This indicates increased ability to support families and keep children safe without having to resort to separation. When child 1500 entries into care are viewed in relation to new 871 987 1000 investigations, the decline is even more evident 673 620 742 664 (Figure B). Over the past four years, CFSA has 500 cut removals as a percentage of investigations by 0 half—from 20.5 percent in FY07 to 10.1 percent FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 in FY09. Even with the surge in calls and investigations in 2008, our removal rate in relation to new investigations continued to drop. The very desirable outcome is helping families while also helping them stay together.
A: New Entries into Out-of-Home Care

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B: Child Removals in Relation to N ew Investigations
Removals as Percentage of Investigations FY06 FY07 FY08 13.2% 12.6% 10.8%
8,000

FY05 20.5%

FY09 10.1%

6,000 4,000 2,000 0

Ratio of Removals to Investigations FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 1:4.88 1:7.59 1:7.96 1:9.29 1:9.87

FY05 4,818 987

FY06 5,106 673

FY07 4,933 620

FY08 6,895 742

FY09 6,556 664

New investigations Entries into out-of-home care

C: Exits Within Nine Months of Entering Care
40% 30% 20% 10% 0% FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09

20%

30% 26% 28% 27%

35%

CFSA is steadily reducing length of stay in outof-home care for children and youth entering now (Figure C). While we need to do much more, progress is trending in the right direction. In FY04, only 20 percent of children and youth left foster care within nine months. By FY09, we were achieving that desirable outcome for 35 percent. Similarly, number of children lingering in foster care for two years or more is declining steadily (Figure D). This reverses a trend that peaked in 2007, when 63 percent of the District foster care population has been in care for at least two years. We reversed that trend in 2008 and continued the decline in 2009 to 58 percent despite the large population of older youth growing up in care for years.

D: Children in Care for 24 Months or More 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 58% 63% 60% 58%

36%

45%

We have much more to do to reduce time in care for all children, especially older youth—and we’ve made a start. As I reported at the Youth Roundtable in January, we no longer automatically consign older youth to age out but now actively explore options for permanence for them. Future years will show the success of these efforts in measures such as declining length of stay in foster care.
FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09

And finally, the outstanding outcome success story of 2009 is adoptions. In the calendar year, CFSA and our private-provider partners exceeded the target of 125 with 130 adoptions.∗ This

Includes 128 adoptions legally finalized in Family Court and two fully completed and signed adoption packages that CFSA forwarded for Family Court to finalize.

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was a 27 percent increase in adoptions over 2008, which reversed a downward trend of four years. Finding adoptive homes for young people in foster care can be challenging because many are older or want to stay together with their brothers and sisters. Among young people adopted from the system in 2009 were 16 teens and 20 sibling groups—the highest numbers of children in these categories achieving adoption in several years. Our work also resulted in a record number of finalizations at the annual Adoption Day in Court during National Adoption Month last November. What’s more, the percentage of children achieving placement in a pre-adoptive home within nine months of their goal becoming adoption soared to a record level of 78 percent. This was a significant leap forward since just two years ago, our performance on this measure was only 21 percent. All told in 2009, 513 District children and youth exited the system for the best outcome of going home to their parents, entering legal guardianship (often with a relative), or becoming part of a forever family through adoption. For children and youth with the goal of adoption, CFSA initiated the proven best practice of high-impact teams. One set of teams is composed of CFSA adoption specialists; another team is a public-private partnership between CFSA and local non-profit agency Adoptions Together. Our name for this strategy is the Permanency Opportunity Project—or POP. Three features characterize this flagship approach. • It uses consistent and productive teaming at all levels—across systems, for the first time, through the public-private partnership and between social workers around individual cases. Family Court is also fully on board with us and is moving adoptions to finalization swiftly. This approach stimulates consideration of multiple pathways to permanence beginning from the moment a child or youth enters care. Along with making the placement, social workers immediately begin exploring how the child or youth can exit safely and swiftly. Finally, POP diligently uses new strategies to identify adoptive families for children and youth and to remove barriers so those in pre-adoptive homes can move to finalization promptly.

In 2009, POP reviewed and worked on a total of 260 cases of children and youth with the goal of adoption. They also began providing consultation and coaching around adoption to case-carrying social workers within CFSA and at our private agency partners. We plan to continue and expand this successful strategy with the goal of meeting a more challenging adoption target for 2010. Corrective Action: CFSA continues working to improve placement stability for children and youth in care for more than 12 months. While seeking permanence for every child and youth in care, we want their interim experience in out-of-home care to be both safe and nurturing. As I mentioned earlier, CFSA performance in providing placement stability for children and youth coming into care now has vastly improved. However, we continue to have ample room for improvement in maintaining placement stability for children and youth in care longer term.

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5. Performance Trend: Placement Stability
Measure 9/30/07 9/30/08 9/30/09 12/31/09 Trend

88% of children in care eight days to 12 months have two or fewer placements 65% of children in care for 12-24 months have two or fewer placements 50% of children in care for 24 months or more have two or fewer placements

77% 58% 46%

78% 53% 34%

80% 56% 30%

79% 56% 27%

è è ê

This is an important but intransigent area in need of improvement due to complex underlying issues that require systemic solutions. Describing the issues and what we’re doing to meet them provides a glimpse into the scope of the challenges child welfare often faces. Not all but many in long-term care are older District youth with needs far more complicated today than even a few years ago. In addition to personally experiencing abuse or neglect, far too many of these young people have grown up where drug use and domestic and gang violence are common. More than a few know someone who was murdered or even witnessed a murder. Some are involved in multiple systems such as mental health, juvenile justice, and special education. Tragically, we are seeing a slight increase in youth involved in prostitution. Placement instability comes from simply moving youth who present a complex set of issues rather than meeting their needs. In contrast, increasing placement stability depends on training and empowering social workers, foster parents, and other caregivers to work with these youth and supporting that work with a nuanced range of programs and other helping resources. While there are no quick fixes, CFSA is using several sound strategies to stabilize placements. Among these are: • Increasing support for social workers in managing issues rather than simply changing placements and collaborating with the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) to conduct joint trainings for foster parents and social workers; Collaborating with the DC Department of Mental Health to ensure capabilities of their Core Service Agencies and crisis intervention program are in line with the needs of children and youth in care; Using the contracting process to clarify expectations, raise standards, and stimulate expansion of services from child-placing and congregate care agencies; Restructuring our Placement Services Administration in preparation for tightening oversight of placement decisions throughout the system; and Developing or expanding placement resources specifically to serve teens in emergencies and children and youth who are medically fragile, developmentally delayed, deeply troubled, parenting, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).

• • •

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2010: Going Forward
Looking forward, momentum and focus in equal measure characterize CFSA today, and we are on target to move forward in that spirit throughout 2010. High on our agenda is forging ahead with improvements in a host of areas that truly matter to children, youth, and families. As examples, I’ll describe a few that we expect to have a far-reaching, positive impact. • Practice Models make social worker-led teams the centerpiece of how we work with families at home and children and youth in out-of-home care. We’re now in the second of three phases of training, which includes both classroom instruction and on-the-job coaching from national experts. Through this best practice, we expect to improvement family engagement and empowerment, to broaden support for individual families and children within the system, and to produce better decisions throughout the life of each case. The Office of Youth Empowerment subsumes the former Office of Youth Development and Centers for the Keys for Life (CKL) program and offers an expanded array of services that youth in care deemed most important in a survey and listening tour. This is not just a name change but signifies a sea change in thought and action. The goal now is to seek legal permanence or life-long connections for youth regardless of age while simultaneously giving them the same quality of preparation for adulthood that those in intact families receive. Health screenings for children and youth before they enter out-of-home care now take place on site at CFSA. By bringing this function in-house three months ago, we expect to achieve reliable documentation of a high number of children and youth receiving this service as well as follow-up medical and dental exams within 14 days (previously 30 days). We also expect to collect comprehensive health history information as a basis for informing foster caregivers and developing sound medical records for children and youth in care. CFSA is spearheading action to bring the cutting-edge best practice of differential response to the District. With assistance from the National Resource Center and American Humane Association, we have conducted research on different approaches and initiated meetings with other District Government human services agencies to explore options. In my 17 months of leading CFSA, I’ve made proactive efforts to increase collaboration and transparency with key stakeholders including youth, providers, child advocates, Family Court, and other partners. I’m continuing that outreach, and CFSA is expanding on it through a complete redesign of our main agency website that will make it more user-friendly, especially to the public.

In closing, I sincerely thank District Council and the Committee on Human Services for legislative support around adoption, differential response, and guardianship subsidies. I appreciate your attention to my remarks today and will answer any questions you have.

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Exhibit A-3

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Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 1049-5

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Government of the District of Columbia

Child and Family Services Agency

Testimony of

Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Acting Director

Agency Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2008

Committee on Human Services Tommy Wells, Chair Council of the District of Columbia

February 25, 2009
John A. Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Room 412 Washington, DC 20004 10 a.m.

Exhibit A-4

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Good morning, Chairman Wells and members of the Committee on Human Services. I am Dr. Roque Gerald, acting director of the DC Child and Family Services Agency. I come before you today to present an overview of CFSA performance, achievements, and challenges throughout the past fiscal year and FY 2009 to-date. By any estimate, FY 2008 was the most difficult year for CFSA since our establishment as a cabinet-level agency in 2001. After several years of steady progress in building a viable local child welfare agency and after two years of no child deaths from abuse in the District, CFSA experienced what every public child welfare agency works to prevent but faces at some time. At the start of the second quarter of FY 2008, the discovery of the tragic deaths of the Jacks and Fogle girls shocked and saddened our entire community. Mirroring a nationwide trend following high-profile child tragedies, calls to our 24-hour Hotline for reporting child abuse and neglected skyrocketed. In the aftermath, CFSA faced vastly increased demands for services at the same time that our vacancy rate was increasing. These facts have been widely reported and are now well known. They are a large part—but not the whole chronicle—of CFSA last year, and my report today will broaden the picture. First, I will summarize key lessons learned from FY 2008 that we are now using to inform our actions moving forward. Second, there’s an untold story of continued progress within CFSA. I will discuss important areas in which we maintained or improved performance even while grappling with unprecedented challenges. I will briefly recap CFSA’s success thus far in FY 2009, and end with the outcomes we most want to achieve for those we serve going forward. I speak for everyone at CFSA in saying that 2008 made us stronger and wiser. We redoubled our commitment and are now forging ahead with renewed energy in delivering the fundamentals abused and neglected children and troubled families need most: safety, permanence, and well being.

Gaining Strength from Adversity When I stepped in as interim director in July 2008, CFSA was faced with a daunting backlog of CPS investigations. The agency worked diligently throughout the end of FY 2008 and we achieved our goal of reducing the backlog to fewer than 100 before the close of the first quarter of FY 2009 (we currently average a backlog of approximately 15 investigations). Now, with experience and perspective, I want to articulate the four major lessons learned from facing and overcoming those challenges. • Among several significant reforms, one that stands out is never closing an investigation until we’ve located the family and ensured the children are safe. Strengthening this policy focused and renewed our commitment to the fundamentals of good child welfare practice and also informed the second key learning. Quantity, quality, and timeliness are equally important in every aspect of our work. We cannot choose among these attributes but must have all in equal measure. A third key insight is that a problem for one is a problem for all. Social workers from throughout the agency stepped up with courage and determination to help our Child

• •

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Protective Services Administration (CPS). This all-out mobilization was instrumental in swiftly and safely closing an unprecedented backlog of investigations—and has left us with a stronger and very healthy sense of collective purpose. This insight also extended beyond CFSA to include the whole of District Government. CFSA benefited immeasurably through prompt, tangible support from the Mayor, City Administrator, and a host of sister agencies in District Government. • And finally, a very important lesson was that setting outcome targets and having flexibility in the strategies to achieve them is highly efficient and effective. The ability to modify processes as needed—sometimes weekly or even daily—was critical to eliminating the backlog and meeting other requirements of the 90-day stipulation agreement last fall. The lasting effect of this experience is renewed focus throughout CFSA on what matters most to children and families and new levels of agility and creativity in achieving positive results for them.

My point is not to close the book on FY 2008 without emphasizing that CFSA learned significant, valuable lessons from adversity. I assure this Committee and the community that CFSA left FY 2008 with deepened knowledge, commitment, and experience that are informing our continued progress in FY 2009.
Percentage of Children in Out-ofHome Care for 2 4 Months or More
70% 65% 60% 55% 50% FY04 FY05 FY06 FY0 7 FY08

FY 2008: An Untold Story of Progress Turning now to CFSA performance, there’s an untold story of a child welfare agency that faced a tremendous challenge and stayed the course of child welfare reform. While responding to unprecedented demand for investigations became our top priority in FY 2008, CFSA performance on many key indicators remained in line with historical trends and, in some areas, even improved—for example: • •

68% 63% 58% 63% 60%

We increased on performance on twice monthly visits to children in foster care from 84% at the end of FY07 to 87% at the end of FY08. We continued to move more children and youth out of foster care more quickly. Children who spent more than 24 months in care dropped from 63% in FY07 to 60% in FY08. Further, a total of 298 children and youth reached or passed the 24-month mark in care, which is a reduction of 26% from the number of children who reached that threshold last year. We improved our performance on ensuring children with the goal of adoption move into pre-adoptive homes within nine months of their goal becoming adoption; this measure improved from 21% at the end of FY07 to 41% at the end of FY08.

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Another important accomplishment worth noting is that the Federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) of District child welfare found a strong system and improved outcomes for children. Of the 15 states whose Second Round CFSR final reports were published before the end of FY 2008, the District is the only jurisdiction that was found to be in substantial conformity with all of the systemic factors.1 Further, while concerns have been raised 2006 2007 2008 about the rate of child removals Total investigations 5,520 5,315 13,376 following the increase in the calls to the Total removals (initial and repeat) 488 441 854 Hotline, CFSA’s performance shows that Rate of removals 8.8% 8.3% 6.4% the agency did not succumb to the panic that often ensues after highly publicized child deaths. During FY 2008, the rate at which we substantiated child abuse/neglect remained in line with historic trends. What’s more, our rate of child removals actually declined from 8.8% in 2006 and 8.3% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2008 despite the dramatic rise in investigations from around 5,500 annually to over 13,000. While the total number of children CFSA served grew in 2008, this was largely due to keeping more families together at home. At the end of December, we were serving 2,264 children in foster care and 2,070 children from 757 families in their homes. This total of 4,695 children was 21% higher at the end of December 2007, primarily due to a 50% increase in children served at home. We also made significant progress on several key initiatives. • A long-awaited breakthrough in negotiations with Maryland paved the way for increased placement of District children with kin through expansion of a Temporary Kinship Care Licensing Program. CFSA realigned a number of functions to support practice improvements and outcomes and strengthen leadership in several critical positions. Co-locating Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) staff from the DCKids program at CFSA is helping to ensure that every child and youth entering foster care gets timely medical and dental examinations. We implemented a monthly ChildStat review of individual cases that engages both CFSA and private agencies with case management responsibility in continuous quality improvement of practice. In partnership with CFSA, the DC Department of Mental Health awarded contracts for Choice Service Providers, marking the first time that a group of professionals will focus solely on the mental health needs of children and youth in the child welfare system.

• •

1

For the CFSA Systemic Factors, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/tools_guide/statewidefour.htm#Toc140565130

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FY 2009: Achievements To-Date and Moving Forward Last fall, the District entered into a 90-day stipulation agreement designed to demonstrate that the challenges of 2008 had delayed but not derailed performance progress at CFSA. As Attorney General Nickles and I reported at your roundtable hearing earlier this month, CFSA met or exceeded deadlines for every one of the stipulated requirements. To recap briefly, CFSA: • • • • • • • Eliminated the backlog of investigations; Hired 40 social workers, which reduced the vacancy rate from 23% in September to 5.6% at year-end; Moved 70 social workers into the community with the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaboratives, where they are working jointly to improve services to families at home; Installed a state-of-the-art telecommunications system at the Hotline (202-671SAFE/7233) for reporting child abuse and neglect in the District; Contracted for 90 new placement slots, resulting in 101 additional beds for District children and youth who must temporarily leave their homes to be safe; Revamped practices to ensure older youth do not age out of the system without an enduring relationship with at least one caring adult; and Launched three new approaches to moving more children and youth out of foster care and into permanent homes more quickly.

All of us at CFSA are proud of these achievements. We are now carrying the momentum we gained forward with decisive action and confidence. A particular focus for CFSA for the rest of FY 2009 is improving the quality of practice throughout the agency. Over the last several years, CFSA has worked to develop an array of processes and methods that we use to ensure that we are achieving excellence in all of our work with children, youth and families. The tools we use are retrospective and real-time; qualitative and quantitative. As the Attorney General and I reported to you on February 11th, we are implementing several new quality improvement approaches in our CPS administration. Moving forward in FY 2009, CFSA will focus on embedding quality improvement throughout the agency by holding supervisors and program managers responsible for carrying-out and following through on activities such as Quality Service Reviews, ChildStat, and monthly random reviews of cases.

From Compliance to Outcomes Before concluding my remarks, I want to touch briefly on next steps for CFSA. We are developing the 2009 annual strategy plan as required by the LaShawn Amended Implementation Plan (AIP). When completed and approved by the Federal Court, that plan will set forth a variety of strategies for addressing the requirements of the AIP. This is an important step in achieving the level of performance children and families deserve and earning an end to court oversight of District child welfare.

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The following outcomes are most urgent for CFSA to achieve for the children and families we serve and for the community at large: • • • Timely investigation of abuse and neglect that consistently demonstrates quality and thoroughness and improves the safety of child and youth victims and those at risk; Deepening our work through daily use of best practices in every area of the agency; Achieving a safe, stable, permanent home and/or enduring connections promptly for every child and youth we serve regardless of age, personal circumstances, or length of time in the system; Increasing the range and diversity of local, quality placement options and reducing the number of children and youth who experience multiple placements; Ensuring healthy physical, mental, educational, and behavioral development of children and teens in the system, including preparing older youth with the skills they need to succeed as adults; and Assisting private providers, especially those with case management responsibilities, in consistently delivering quality services to children, youth, and families.

• •

We are well aware of the work we need to do in all these areas. Strong leadership, regular and effective management and supervision, training, coaching, tools, policies, procedures, innovation, removal of barriers, and support are just some of the strategies we can employ to achieve these outcomes. With a set of clear targets and the flexibility to adjust as needed; steady, measurable progress at CFSA will continue. In closing, continuing to strengthen the local safety net to the world-class level that District residents deserve depends on cooperation and coordination among many key players; including CFSA, private child-serving agencies, other District Government agencies, the Family Court, oversight authorities, and the community. Let us all resolve to move forward together, acting in concert to achieve the bottom line, which is protecting, serving, and helping our most vulnerable children and families. I appreciate your attention this morning and will answer any questions you may have.

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202.332.3399

1328 Florida Ave NW Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20009

Testimony to the Committee on Human Services For the Oversight Hearing on Child and Family Services Agency March 11, 2010 Nadia Moritz, Executive Director Young Women’s Project

Good afternoon Chairman Wells and members of the Committee on Human Services and thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am Nadia Moritz, Executive Director of the Young Women’s Project (YWP) -- a multicultural organization that builds and supports DC teen women and girl leaders so that they can improve their lives and transform their communities. Since 1999, YWP has worked to expand the rights, opportunities, and leadership development of DC foster youth through the Foster Care Campaign (FCC). Each year, we develop 25-35 youth staff (most of whom are foster youth) as leaders, advocates, peer educators and organizers though a yearlong program. They work side by side with adult staff to develop and move an ambitious agenda that seeks to advance foster youth well-being in seven critical areas: education, employment, health, permanence, self-reliance, safety net services, and self advocacy.

We’ve cultivated dozens of FCC youth leaders, training 100s of foster youth, delivered numerous testimonies to City Council, convened 100s of youth and adults in Leadership Institutes, released two youth-created Handbooks and a documentary, and sponsored several successful youth-led campaigns. In our first campaign in 2000, we worked with the Deputy Mayor=s office to write and advocate for foster care group home regulations which became law in September 2001. These regulations created a legal floor for improving the quality of life and enforcing the rights of teens in group homes.

FCC’s work is focused primarily on the unmet needs of older youth in the foster care system. Older youth are more than half of the youth in care population. Any meaningful system reform must address the needs of this group. CFSA’s inability to meet the basic needs of this group – in terms of providing supportive placements, connecting them to permanent homes, and preparing them to assume the responsibilities of adulthood -- is glaring evidence of its failure to meet its responsibilities as an agency.

1

Exhibit A-5

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Overview

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202.332.3399

1328 Florida Ave NW Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20009

As of 12.31.09, there were 2,103 children in CFSA’s care; 1,186 (or 56%) of them are ages 13-21. About a third of these older youth reside in congregate care: 159 in group homes, 162 in Independent Living Programs, and 88 in Residential Treatment Centers. Currently, 683 of these youth have the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) which positions them to emancipate from foster care without a permanent legal relationship like guardianship, adoption, or reunification. Each year, between 150-200 of these youth turn 21 and age out of the system.

Despite their numbers, older youth are not getting much attention. They are not part of the LaShawn Order, which has largely defined the strategic approach and activities of the agency. Older youth in the system do not demand the same level of oversight as younger children. Before they turn 21, they may not be in crisis. But that situation changes when they turn 21. Only 14% of youth aging out have all the necessary resources to support themselves. As a result, many youth face homelessness, incarceration, and a lifetime of reliance on public assistance.

Right now we are putting all of our attention and resources into keeping youth safe before they turn 21 – and doing very little to make sure that they can survive and thrive after 21.

The Good News

I’d like to start with the good news and reasons to be hopeful. There are many.  We have youth who have persevered through incredible odds to accomplish so much – graduating from high school, enrolling in college, holding down jobs, and being responsible.  We have examples of incredible social workers who are providing excellent support for their youth in care.  We have great models of residential care who are preparing their youth for independence. Some of them are here today: Sasha Bruce, Latin American Youth Center.  We have CFSA leaders who are passionate about improving services for older youth.  We have money. DC taxpayers have proven themselves willing to spend more on our older youth in care than most states.  And we have time. DC is one of a handful of states that keeps its young people in the system until age 21. This gives us several years after high school graduation to get youth on the road to viability and self sufficiency

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Further, Dr. Gerald and his staff have worked hard to improve the agency and have made progress in many areas. We appreciate CFSA staff’s accessibility, their commitment to older youth, and their willingness to meet, answer questions, and respond to the individual problems that we’ve brought to their attention. For example -- A number of the problems that were raised by individual youth in their testimonies during the Yes Youth Can Hearing on Older Youth organized by YWP with this Committee in January have been acknowledged and in some cases addressed by CFSA staff. We appreciate this effort.

At the same time we are gravely concerned about the inadequacy of CFSA’s response to the issues and challenges faced by the majority of older youth (and especially the ones who are not on TV or in committee hearings talking about their issues) who are aging out of the system at 21 without the knowledge, skills, permanent relationships, and supports they need to be selfsufficient, successful adults. To address these problems, we need data, goals, benchmarks, good program design, evaluation, and ultimately results. We also need a commitment to a meaningful public dialogue.

In order to begin to address our failures to prepare older youth, we must shift the way that we think about our investment in foster youth and their potential and the way we communicate it to them. Establishing expectations and goals are essential. One of the most striking and discouraging issues that our teen staff have run into again and again in their research and preparation is that CFSA does not have goals and benchmarks for older youth in several important areas including education, employment, preparing to age out, and developing permanent relationships. The absence of goals sends a very troubling message to our youth. It says we that we don’t think they can accomplish much. We need to change that message. They need to know we believe in their abilities.

Of course, there is the Cap Stat website and the CFSA performance indicators. While these include important information about investigations and social worker visits – the focus is on minutia. We have a system that is driven by box checking – and—at least in theory—holds itself accountable for checking those boxes. But it is missing the larger purpose. The real performance indicators for CFSA should be how many children are in permanent homes and what happens to foster youth when they age out at 21. Those are the only success indicators that have any real meaning. Box checking ducks our fundamental responsibility to prepare these children for life after they age out at 21.

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We are asking the Committee and CFSA to take a step back and rethink the way we are approaching our work with older youth in the child welfare system. We have several suggestions about legislative and regulatory initiatives that will help us do that.

Education and Employment

Education—and specifically college—is probably the single most effective strategy for increasing the life prospects and well-being for foster youth. Yet education seems to be absent from agency goals and data collection. After three months of inquiries (including data requests for our Older Youth Hearing) – we have no significant data or information about the education that older youth are receiving.

What we do know is that the rates of college enrollment are low. In May 2009, CFSA reported that 82 youth ages 18-23 were enrolled in college (community or 4-year programs): that’s about 8-10% of the total older youth population. This number is low compared to national foster youth enrollment rates of 13%, a DC youth enrollment rates of 29%, and national youth enrollment rates of 48%.1 What’s more troubling is that foster youth graduation rates are close to DC youth high school graduation rates (43% and 40% respectively). But college enrollment rates differ significantly: 29% for DC youth and 8-10% for foster youth.

Further, foster youth face many placement-related school barriers: When youth change placements -- 44% do once a year – they change schools and usually lose 3 to 6 months of their education.2 Group home rules and strict curfews often prohibit youth from taking part in after school activities. Further, most group homes and ILPs offer little educational support for youth residents. Although CFSA does not have data available on these issues, a 2007 study by the Bay Area Social Service Consortium found that foster youth experience reduced levels of engagement, increase expulsion and discipline problems and that 40-41% of foster youth repeat grades.3

Currently, CFSA has one program in place to address the educational and employment needs of older youth. Center for Keys for Life (CKL—which is now called the Office of Youth Empowerment) receives $1.1 million in federal grants through the Chafee program. CKL keeps a low profile. There are few materials, no website, little outreach, and limited accessibility. Youth have to be referred by their social workers. As a result, CKL reaches only a fraction of the older

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youth who need their services. In 2007 reports to Children’s Bureau, CKL reported serving 35 youth to achieve their academic goals; 30 in 2008;4 30 in 2009. That’s 3% of the older youth population.

The performance oversight questions asked as part of this hearing included inquires about goals, benchmarks, and outcomes for CKFL. There were none provided. CFSA did provide the total number of youth receiving educational services (30) and the total number receiving life skills training (436). However, there was no information about how many hours of training youth actually received, what they learned, or how they used it. Were the 436 youth participants in conferences or outreach activities or did they actually achieve some kind of outcome through the program. CFSA has not provided any kind of schedule of training or detailed description of training objectives, or any kind of comprehensive plan for this program.

Recommendation: Ten years of mismanagement is long enough. We fully support Chairman Wells proposal to reclassify the Center for Keys for Life as a community based program funded through a competitive RFP process for $1,091,992 in Chafee grant money. To ensure high quality youth-focused programming, the RFP will set a new precedent with a number of requirements including: 1) youth decision making; 2) community involvement; 3) youth-focused outcomes; 4) biannual collection and public sharing of youth outcome data; and 5) providing matching funds of 20% of the budget. An effective education-employment program for foster youth could be the foundation of a transition center that would provide additional support in these areas to youth aging out.

The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) is a federal grant program that provides up to $5,000 to foster youth enrolled in college, university and vocational training programs to support a range of educational needs. Administered by CKFL, this program received $207,052 in federal grants distributed to 123 youth in college and trade school for 2008. For many youth, especially those in vocational school, the ETV is the only source of financial aid that they have access to.

Based on our experience with our own youth staff and dozens we’ve interviewed – this program is being administered in a way that undercuts youth’s attempts to further their education and violates federal guidelines. The program has no publically accessible guidelines, application procedures or website and has created a number of obstacles that discourage youth from seeking funding. Most youth we interviewed are not unaware ETV even exists and are misinformed about having to attend CKFL in order to receive funds. Youth who have tried to apply have been discouraged,

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rejected, and misinformed about deadlines and what is covered. One young woman who received the ETV and other financial aid complained about being harassed by a collection agency because her bills were not paid by CKFL. One young man we worked with was denied an application and advised by CKFL to sell drugs instead of going to school because he could make more money. One young woman who was denied an application for cosmetology school was not able to get approval before aging out and never had a chance to go to school. She is struggling to make ends meet with a child and no job. The list goes on…

Recommendation: Like CKFL, ETV should be run by an organization and staff whose intention is to get as many foster youth into school as possible. We recommend that the program be reclassified as a community based program funded through a competitive RFP process. To ensure high quality youth-focused programming, the RFP will set a new precedent with a number of requirements including: 1) youth and community involvement; 2) youth-focused goals and outcomes; 3) bi-annual collection and public sharing of youth outcome data; and 4) publically accessible guidelines and operating procedures.

Quality and Resource Allocation in Congregate Care

About a third of older youth reside in congregate care: 159 in group homes, 162 in Independent Living Programs, and 88 in Residential Treatment Centers. Currently, CFSA contracts with 22 group home providers, 9 independent living program providers, and 33 residential treatment centers. Although there has been some improvement in congregate care quality since the regulations were passed in 2001, in general these contractors continue to be overcompensated and underperforming.

According to the 2008 Auditor’s report on congregate care, the median contract payout rate ranges from $73,000 to $174,000 per youth per year.5 This payout level is among the highest in the country. Since FCC started our work in 1999, contract award levels have doubled. Yet, facilities are not required to meet specific outcomes or contribute to youth development (personal, academic, employment) or well being, keep data, or even commit to keeping teen residents in care. During a time of budget cuts, it is essential to take a hard look at our contract rates and the quality of services we are getting and make a transition to performance based contracts. Further, resource allocation is in many cases is grossly disproportionate, with funds going to support large, expensive staffs while minimal resources are provided for youth. Staffing models seem to be

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based on a juvenile justice group home system that requires higher staff to resident ratios and an emphasis on security.

Although data on group home operations and impact is hard to come by, many of our teen staff and members complain of a range of quality of life issues. Meals are often skipped. Food is locked up and of poor nutritional quality. Transportation is inadequate. Allowance is often withheld when teens have jobs and provided at a minimal level (average is $10 a week) when they don’t. Disciplinary guidelines are inconsistently and unfairly enforced. Staff are often poorly trained, petty, and frequently violate youth confidentiality. Facilities lack basic infrastructure like hot water, fully working toilets, and rodent free kitchens. Further, youth do not have the financial support to buy clothes, get hair care, buy hygiene products, or buy school supplies.

Further, teens residing in residential care report very little development support. Counselors are rarely available. Youth training is sporadic and poorly delivered. Working computers with internet are rare as are tutors or academic support. Staff are unaware of youth rights or house regulations, are not adequately screened, and do not seem to be emotionally prepared to work with youth. Further, teens report frequent disruptions of privacy, no protection from theft or violent house mates, and unfair allowance withholding.

Recommendations: There are several issues that need to be addressed here.

First, the overall quality and orientation of group homes and ILPs need to be addressed and the transition made from a profit maximization (and so provide as little care as possible) model to proven, evaluated, results-oriented programs that can prepare our youth for college, employment, and self-sufficiency. We have a few successful youth development focused models (LAYC, Catholic Charities, and Sasha Bruce are three who we’ve worked with). We need to replicate and expand our existing models, attract new models to DC, and shut down the programs that are not producing positive outcomes.

Next, contractors need to be held to much more rigorous standards performance based outcomes, consistent and detailed financial statements, and collecting and sharing data with the public. We were glad to read in the Oversight Responses that the Human Care Agreements are moving forward but they have been for two years now. When will they actually be implemented? As of October 1, 2010 – CFSA will be required by federal mandate collect data for

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the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) on each youth who receives independent living services and to collect demographic and outcome information on a specific cohort who they will follow through surveys at 17, 19, and 21. It’s critical that these data collection provisions are part of the congregate care contracts.

Finally, youth support needs must be addressed. We recommend expanding the scope of group home and ILP regulations (Chapter 62 and 63) to ensure that adequate resources are being devoted to youth care and development specifically in the areas of financial support, academic strengthening, and increased youth development support. These expanded regulations must focus on four main areas:

1) Require that group homes spend minimal percentages of budget resources directly on youth

2) Increase the resources allocated directly to youth for material needs and savings through a Mandatory Allowance Program (MAP) that would provide the following:  Monthly allowance via direct deposit to all qualifying youth living in group homes  15-16 year olds receive $300; 17 and older receive $350 as long as they meet program standards for grades, school attendance, and enrichment program participation  All youth receive a base allowance of $150 a month regardless of MAP participation  All youth receive a mandatory savings allotment of $50

3) Increase the quality and quantity of youth development and life skills training and support. In particular, MAP would support teaching of financial skills essential to youth as they age out.

4) Improve academic support and resources for youth

Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out

The real performance indicators for CFSA – which don’t appear anywhere on the Cap Stat website -- are what happens to foster youth after they age out at 21. Are they in permanent

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families? In college? Making a livable wage? Are they living on the street? Couch hopping? In jail?

According to Child and Family Service’s own 2008 Quality Service Review about DC foster youth transitioning out of care, at the time of discharge from the system:6          

Only 14% have all the necessary resources to support themselves 66% suffer from mental illness or substance abuse 34% are pregnant or parenting 40% have their high school diploma 10% are enrolled in college 37% had identified an adult connection that would support them after leaving the system. 34% were living in independent apartments when they emancipated. 14% had documented physical medical needs requiring long-term attention. 59% had insufficient funds to cover their living expenses, 46% were unemployed

Although DC does not keep data on youth aging out, a 2007 study by the University of Chicago focused on foster youth in the Midwest found that 68% of men and 46% of women are arrested within one year of aging out and that the average earnings of a foster care youth during the first year after aging out is $7,000.7 The 88 youth who reside in residential treatment centers (RTCs) face even more significant burdens since they are cut off geographically from family and community support and then at age 21 sent back to DC to live on their own. Right now, CFSA funds two programs to support older youth during their 21st year, as they age out. For the past five years, the Community Collaboratives have been contracted to provide services to transitioning youth. We learned by reading the Oversight Responses that 6 Collaboratives were being paid $250,700 to serve 100 youth in 2009. This was news to YWP (and many of the Collaboratives) who told us that there were actually three Collaboratives (North Capitol, South Washington West of the River, Far Southwest) providing services to 55 youth during 2009. Our interviews with staff and leadership at these programs indicate that the Collaborative Aftercare program is pretty much a referral service. Youth come in and meet with staff or volunteers – who refer them to other organizations for services. There is no follow up, no tracking, no benchmarks, and little data available about outcomes or what youth learned or how they used the referrals.

Housing is a major obstacle for youth aging out of care – the majority of whom end up couch surfing or homeless. Currently, CFSA has one housing support program. Rapid Housing,

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administered by the Collaboratives, provides housing assistance for families with children and youth aging out of care through a $5,000 rental subsidy available to youth employed full-time or enrolled in school and working part-time to qualify for funds. For FY08, $750,000 was allocated, and 79 emancipating youth were served, along with 49 families. Although this program is important – it does not serve the neediest youth who are unlikely to have full time livable-wage jobs.

Recommendations: YWP supports the creation of a community-based, adult-youth run DC Foster Youth Transition Center (YTC) that would provide intensive training and support services for youth ages 15-25 in a nurturing environment that offered a range of services and training in life skills, academic strengthening, employment preparation and placement, housing, health, and relationship building. Built on a foundation of youth development programming, the Center would provide:    

Individualized support services for finishing high school and enrolling in college, connections to jobs and housing, financial management, and health care access. Group trainings that allow for peer-to-peer and interactive learning and build youth skills in self advocacy, leadership, health and wellness, and life skills. Youth-accessible hours as well as a hotline youth can call for quick help. Genuine commitment to youth by involving them on YTC staff and boards

Such a Center could be created and financially supported by consolidating several ineffective CFSA programs and contracts – mainly CKFL and the Collaborative Aftercare program. The Center would be awarded through a rigorous RPF process to a community based organization (or collaboration) with a record of successful youth outcomes, expertise in employment, education and youth development, and engaging youth as leaders and staff.

We also support the expansion of Rapid Housing to include the neediest transitioning youth who may not have full time employment. We are heartened to find out that CFSA is considering working with Covenant House to create more housing options for youth aging out. We urge them to pursue this.

Understanding and Enforcing Youth Rights

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Right now – there is no one place where all youth rights – as they are stated in case law, CFSA policy, group home and ILP regulations and other places – are listed and explained. Youth don’t know what they are entitled to so they can’t self advocate. Adult advocates are also missing key information. For the few youth who do know their rights -- when there is a violation, there is no consistent, neutral place to report. Understanding and enforcing youth rights is an essential first step in improving their lives in the system.

Recommendation: YWP supports legislation to create a Foster Youth Bill of Rights. We were pleased to read in the Oversight Responses that CFSA has been working on a Youth Bill of Rights and that it will be completed by May. Our youth have also been working on a similar project. Because this project – and having it completed ASAP – is so important, we would like to work on parallel tracks. Since CFSA’s Youth Advisory Board is taking the lead on this, it’s a great opportunity for our youth to work together. There are many great models for this work and many states (Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Texas, Nebraska and others) which have legislation already in place.

Improving Data collection and Public Reporting

The inability of CFSA to collect and share data and information in a consistent and accessible way is a significant obstacle to effective advocacy, good program design, public engagement, and quality services. The most consistent, reliable source of information any of us have about what is going on at CFSA are the reports from Center for the Study of Social Policy. These reports are essential to inform oversight efforts and advocacy work. The data situation has to be addressed asap. It creates a bad dynamic. We are spending all of our time trying to get data and information rather than problem solving. Our organizational experience trying to get information and data during the past three months, as we worked on developing the Yes Youth Can hearing in January was especially frustrating. We submitted a data and information request with about 50 items and received responses for 5.

Recommendation: We are recommending the CFSA be required to start collecting and publically sharing data and information on critical areas impacting older youth well being including education, employment, aging out, permanent relationships, health, and the quality of congregate care. This data should be shared through three website accessible report cards that are updated

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quarterly. We were happy to hear Dr. Gerald mention that the Young Advisory Board was putting together a congregate care report card as part of this work. This is an excellent idea and very much needed.

Soon, CFSA will be required by federal law to start collecting data on older youth. As of October 1, 2010 – CFSA will be required by federal mandate collect data for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) on each youth who receives independent living services, surveying youth on the following outcomes: 1) financial self-sufficiency; 2) experience with homelessness; 3) educational attainment; 4) positive connections with adults; 5) high-risk behavior; and 6) access to health insurance. We recommend that the data they are collecting as part of this federal requirement be made available on their website and updated annually.

1

Double the Numbers for College Success: A Call to Action for District of Columbia, October 2006. doublethenumbersdc.org. CFSA Annual Public Report, 2009; cfsa.dc.gov/cfsa/frames.asp?doc=/cfsa/lib/cfsa/pdf/fy_2008_annual_public_report.pdf Bay Area Social Service Consortium, 2007.

2

3

4

2007 Annual Progress and Services Report. Prepared by the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Support. DC Government Child and Family Services Agency for the US Children’s Bureau.

2008 Annual Progress and Services Report. Prepared by the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Support. DC Government Child and Family Services Agency for the US Children’s Bureau. “Audit of Child and Family Services Agency’s Congregate Care Contract Expenditures,” Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, April 1, 2008. 6 6 Youth Who Transitioned from DC’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation for Adulthood, CFSA Quality Improvement Administration, June 2008. Courtney, Mark E., Amy Dworksy, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, Judy Havlicek, Alfred Perez, and Tom Keller, Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 21, University of Chicago Center for Children, December 2007.
7 5

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Tosin A. Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator The Young Women’s Project Foster Care Campaign Testimony to the Committee on Human Services Child and Family Services Agency Oversight Hearing March 11, 2010 (revised August 15, 2010) Good afternoon Chairman Wells and Members of the Human Services Committee. I am Tosin Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator for the Foster Care Campaign (FCC), a program of the Young Women’s Project (YWP), a nonprofit organization that builds and supports DC young women and men leaders so they can improve their lives and transform their communities. FCC builds the power of older DC foster youth – training them as leaders and advocates to educate their peers and pushing for system reform. Since 1999, FCC has worked to expand the rights, opportunities, and leadership development of DC foster youth. FCC has cultivated dozens of youth leaders, trained hundreds of foster youth in self advocacy and system navigation, delivered numerous testimonies to City Council, convened hundreds of youth and adults in Leadership Institutes, released two youth-created Handbooks on rights and resources for youth in the DC foster care system, produced a video documentary focusing on permanency for DC youth entitled “A Journey of Uncertainty”, and led several successful youth-led campaigns including the creation of regulations for DC residential group homes. Today, I would like to present some concerns and recommendations FCC has regarding the permanency practices and outcomes of older DC foster youth. The Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has yet to identify standardized practices to improve permanency outcomes for older youth. The Committee on Human Services should address this issue as it has a responsibility to ensure the District has a fiscally responsible response to ensuring positive outcomes for youth in the care of CFSA. The Committee has provided leadership in addressing the issue of older youth permanence through the introduction of the Adoptions Reform Amendment Act; however, a response in how legislation will be supported by practice has yet to be identified by CFSA. Currently, minimal efforts have been made to address the barriers of achieving permanence for older youth, thus costing the district millions to continue high cost care which is not supported by positive youth outcomes. Adopting

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practices to address the issues of older youth permanence in the District can save hundreds of youth from the perils which await them when they exit District care without permanent supports while ensuring the District is taking fiscally responsible measures to improve agency performance. Failure to provide a strategic course to reduce the number of youth who age out of care has lead to a steady stream of young people who are on the path to emancipate from care. Youth who emancipate from District care are more likely to end up homeless, in jail, and on public assistance because they are not connected to a permanent family support network. During fiscal year 2009, 172 youth emancipated from the District’s foster care system1. We heard several of their stories during the January Youth Roundtable. We heard from Dax Jasper, who emancipated in October, speak of his struggles since losing his job but was fortunate to be spared from homelessness by residing with his friend’s family. Janice Watts, who emancipated in August with her son, spoke of how she was also spared from homelessness with support from Catholic Charities and after-care support from Sasha Bruce. Erica McCard, who emancipated in July, spoke of her success in a computer technology program despite having to sleep on her friend’s couch after she emancipated. Then there are those who were not present nor were not as fortunate. The tragedy that often plagues youth exiting foster care without permanence has been demonstrated this past year among two emancipated DC foster youth the Foster Care Campaign has been made aware of. One young man, who emancipated in February 2009, left his decadelong foster home placement to become homeless and incarcerated in less than one year. Dominique Curtis, mother of two, who left her independent living program in April 2009 without a sufficient transition plan, was found murdered several weeks after her emancipation. These stories illustrate the reality of what youth are faced with after aging out of the DC foster care system without permanent and reliable connections to adults to support them and provide them with permanent homes. Minimal efforts have been made to ensure older youth will achieve permanence beyond those required through the October 2008 stipulated court order. In following with a provision of the court order to complete reviews of all children with the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) for inclusion in the 2009 Strategy Plan, CFSA reviewed 722 out of more than 800 APPLA cases. According to Dr. Gerald’s January,

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22nd 2010 Youth Roundtable testimony, these reviews revealed 80 percent (578) of the youth already had an established or potential lifelong connection with at least one stable, caring adult and that 29 percent (167) of the adults confirmed those relationships. While 26 percent (178) have incorporated case plans with specific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships, only 5 percent (36) of the reviewed youth achieved permanence2. Little has been specified on how the agency will address continuing to work to identify permanent connections for youth who have been identified as not having any. CFSA’s standard practice with older youth is to prepare them to age out even as viable permanency options may still be available. Examples of this were demonstrated during the January Youth Roundtable as we heard from youth goaled APPLA, despite the availability of caring adults who could provide them a permanent home. Sarah Ocran was given the goal of APPLA despite her Godmother’s interest and efforts to have her placed in her home. Trey Jones hasn’t had any specific action incorporated in his case plan to place him among the numerous family members he has. A 2008 CFSA study, on youth aging out of the DC foster care system addresses the lack of focus on older youth permanence by raising the question on whether the child welfare system continually assessed family circumstances and consistently queried parents/guardians about other relatives who might have provided permanency for youth3. Kinship placements are essential to maintaining family connections and increase the likelihood of permanence. Despite CFSA’s 2009 performance plan to expedite permanency for youth through the expansion of kinship placements, CFSA did not reach this key performance indicator4. Falling short of the targeted 20 percent of kinship placements for children and youth, CFSA achieved an increase in kinship placements from 14.7 percent for fiscal year 2008 to 15.7 percent for fiscal year 20095. Of the 696 youth goaled APPLA at the end of the 2009 fiscal year, only 47 were placed in kinship homes6. Making kinship care a priority is a strategy identified for permanency planning for older youth. However the majority of older youth goaled APPLA in District care are placed in foster homes and high-cost congregate care settings. Foster homes may provide stability while youth are in care, however many foster parents do not provide youth the permanent homes youth need through adulthood. Case in point, the aforementioned young man who emancipated from his decade-long foster home to homelessness and incarceration shortly after leaving care. Despite the large sum of funds invested in congregate care, which has daily rates between $200 and $400

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per youth, these settings solely function to temporarily house youth and are not in any way a source of permanencei. Utilizing kinship placements as a more conventional and economically feasible means to achieve permanence for youth, would greatly improve the District current permanency performance with this population. An agency’s ability to achieve timely permanency for children and youth is a significant measure of the agency’s performance. According to the CFSA fiscal year 2009 performance accountability report, CFSA had a projected target to reach 48 percent of children in foster who achieve permanency; an increase from the 40.6 percent achieved in fiscal year 2008. Consequently, only 24.6 percent of children achieved permanency in the in the 2009 fiscal year.7 Data obtained from CFSA between August to October 2009 shows that out of almost 1,200 older youth aged 13 and older in District care in fiscal year 2009, only 15 exited care through adoption, 21 through guardianship, and 93 through reunification8 9. CFSA did not achieve any of its permanency related key performance indicators during fiscal year 2009. National and local models reflect that positive permanency outcomes can be achieved when agencies are willing to invest the time and money to address the barriers which keep older youth from permanent homes. One key initiative outlined in the fiscal 2010 performance plan is to increase and expedite youth permanency through contracting with Permanency Opportunities Program (POP), a program of Adoptions Together. This promising District model has shown that with concerted permanency planning, permanent outcomes for children and youth can be achieved. This contract however is limited to only 45 children for the 2010 fiscal year10. During this challenging fiscal year, it is important that CFSA has a strategic plan to improve permanency outcomes and while ensuring adequate funding will be available to support those efforts. A recommendation presented to the Council by FCC during the Adoption Reform Amendment Act hearing and recommended from the 2009 barriers to achieving permanency study report conducted by Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) is to provide social workers permanency training11. This may be one strategic method of ensuring case carrying workers have the knowledge and tools to navigate youth through the permanency process without CFSA needing to rely on contracting this work out of the agency. Family Search and Engagement (FSE) a practice developed by the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning at the Hunter School of Social Work has
i

Daily rate estimates taken from reviews of CFSA congregate care contracts

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demonstrated permanent outcomes for youth and cost-savings for jurisdictions which adopt this practice model12. Fostering Connections may provide 55 to 75 percent federal reimbursement for this type of training to public and private agency staff and a number of other stakeholders. CFSA should have a standardized practice that supports older youth to gain permanence. Based on present outcomes we have not seen evidence that this is an issue that is being prioritized nor is there a strategy in place to address this problem. Although APPLA numbers are decreasing, they’re only decreasing because youth are aging out of the system; not because they’re gaining permanenceii
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. The lack of permanence for emancipated youth creates

significant barriers in their development to become well functioning adults and further exacerbates barriers in their education, employment, as well as mental and physical long-term well being. We hope the Committee and CFSA have found this information insightful and will look further into our recommendations. Thank you for this opportunity to testify and we hope to continue to serve as a resource for you.

In Dr. Gerald’s January 2010 testimony, he states, “One of the happiest actions in my early days as CFSA director was signing an Administrative Issuance that put an end to automatic assignment of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement—or “APPLA”—as a goal for older youth. Over 15 months, our census of youth destined to age out without permanence dropped from a high of 850 to 678”. Analysis of Dr. Gerald’s statement found that this drop in youth goaled APPLA was not due to action taken to ensure youth would gain permanence but rather a consequence of the 172 youth goaled APPLA who aged out from care during FY09. According to the 2008 CFSA Annual Public Report there were 838 youth who were goaled APPLA at the end of FY08. With 172 APPLA youth transitioned from care during FY09, the number of youth to have remained APPLA should have been approximately 656 at the end of FY09 minus an additional 36 in which Dr. Gerald testified achieved permanence upon the comprehensive review of the 722 APPLA cases. However, according to the FY09 Annual Public Report the total number of youth who had a goal of APPLA at the end of FY09 was 700. This figure leaves the assumption that the agency is taking credit for the reduction in APPLA numbers simply due to the fact that APPLA youth are continuing to steadily transitioning out of care while additional youth are being authorized for to be goaled APPLA.

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End Notes:
FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 Testimony of Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Public Oversight Roundtable “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out”: January 2010, page 2 Retrieved from http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/cfsa/section/7/release/19043 3 Youth Who Transitioned from D.C.’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation to Adulthood, CFSA: June 2008, page 23 Retrieved from http://www.cfsa.dc.gov/cfsa/frames.asp?doc=/cfsa/lib/cfsa/scorecards/youth_who_transitioned_from_dcs_foster_care_system_a_ study_of_their_preparation_for_adulthood.pdf 4 FY09 Performance Plan Child and Family Services Agency, pages 2-4 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy09/CFSA.pdf 5 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: pages 3-5 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 6 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA, Placement type by goal: September 2009 page 2 7 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: pages 6 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 8 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: PLCO101MS-Ver 1.10 Summary, CFSA: August 2009 9 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 10 Agency FY2010 Performance Plan, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 4 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 11 Barriers to achieving permanency for children in long-term adoption or guardianship placements in the District of Columbia, Study Report, Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC: July 2009, page 4 12 Six Steps to Find a Family: A Practice Guide to Family Search and Engagement, Mardith J. Louisell, page 50-52. Retrieved from http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/SixSteps.pdf 13 Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia, CFSA: February 2009, page 30 14 CFSA 2009 Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia Retrieved from http://cfsa.dc.gov/DC/CFSA/About+CFSA/Performance/Annual+Report+2009
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U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia

Assessing Foster Care and Family Services in the District of Columbia: Challenges and Solutions March 16, 2010

Testimony of Nadia Moritz, Executive Director Tosin A. Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator, Foster Care Campaign Young Women’s Project Washington, DC

We at the Young Women’s Project thank you for the opportunity to present written testimony as part of this important hearing. This testimony is intended to compliment the personal story of Sarah Ocran, our youth staff member who is presenting her experience of trying to gain permanence in the DC foster care system. In addition to permanence, the testimony highlights several critical issues facing older youth in the DC foster care system.

We are both staff members of the Young Women’s Project and have worked since 1999 to develop the leadership and voice of young people in the DC foster care system.

The Young Women’s Project (YWP) is a multicultural organization that builds and supports DC teen women and girl leaders so that they can improve their lives and transform their communities. Since 1999, YWP has worked to expand the rights, opportunities, and leadership development of DC foster youth through the Foster Care Campaign (FCC). Each year, we develop 25-35 youth staff (most of whom are foster youth) as leaders, advocates, peer educators and organizers though a year-long program. They work side by side with adult staff to develop and

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move an ambitious agenda that seeks to advance foster youth well-being in seven critical areas: education, employment, health, permanence, self-reliance, safety net services, and self advocacy.

We’ve cultivated dozens of FCC youth leaders, training 100s of foster youth, delivered numerous testimonies to City Council, convened 100s of youth and adults in Leadership Institutes, released two youth-created Handbooks and a documentary, and sponsored several successful youth-led campaigns. In our first campaign in 2000, we worked with the Deputy Mayor=s office to write and advocate for foster care group home regulations which became law in September 2001. These regulations created a legal floor for improving the quality of life and enforcing the rights of teens in group homes.

FCC’s work is focused primarily on the unmet needs of older youth in the foster care system. Older youth are more than half of the youth in care population. Any meaningful system reform must address the needs of this group. CFSA’s inability to meet the basic needs of this group – in terms of providing supportive placements, connecting them to permanent homes, and preparing them to assume the responsibilities of adulthood -- is glaring evidence of its failure to meet its responsibilities as an agency.

Overview

As of 12.31.09, there were 2,103 children in CFSA’s care; 1,186 (or 56%) of them are ages 13-21. About a third of these older youth reside in congregate care: 159 in group homes, 162 in Independent Living Programs, and 88 in Residential Treatment Centers. Currently, 683 of these youth have the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) which positions them to emancipate from foster care without a permanent legal relationship like guardianship, adoption, or reunification. Each year, between 150-200 of these youth turn 21 and age out of the system.

Despite their numbers, older youth are not getting much attention. They are not part of the LaShawn Order, which has largely defined the strategic approach and activities of the agency. Older youth in the system do not demand the same level of oversight as younger children. Before they turn 21, they may not be in crisis. But that situation changes when they turn 21. Only 14% of 2

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youth aging out have all the necessary resources to support themselves. As a result, many youth face homelessness, incarceration, and a lifetime of reliance on public assistance.

Right now we are putting all of our attention and resources into keeping youth safe before they turn 21 – and doing very little to make sure that they can survive and thrive after 21.

The Good News

In working to improve the care and futures of older youth in the DC foster care system, there is a strong foundation of opportunity and many reasons to be hopeful:  We have youth who have persevered through incredible odds to accomplish so much – graduating from high school, enrolling in college, holding down jobs, and being responsible.  We have examples of incredible social workers who are providing excellent support for their youth in care.  We have great models of residential care who are preparing their youth for independence. Some of them are here today: Sasha Bruce, Latin American Youth Center.  We have CFSA leaders who are passionate about improving services for older youth.  We have money. DC taxpayers have proven themselves willing to spend more on our older youth in care than most states.  And we have time. DC is one of a handful of states that keeps its young people in the system until age 21. This gives us several years after high school graduation to get youth on the road to viability and self sufficiency

Further, Dr. Gerald and his staff have worked hard to improve the agency and have made progress in many areas. We appreciate CFSA staff’s accessibility, their commitment to older 3

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youth, and their willingness to meet, answer questions, and respond to the individual problems that we’ve brought to their attention. For example -- A number of the problems that were raised by individual youth in their testimonies during the Yes Youth Can Hearing on Older Youth organized by YWP with this Committee in January have been acknowledged and in some cases addressed by CFSA staff. We appreciate this effort.

At the same time we are gravely concerned about the inadequacy of CFSA’s response to the issues and challenges faced by the majority of older youth (and especially the ones who are not on TV or in committee hearings talking about their issues) who are aging out of the system at 21 without the knowledge, skills, permanent relationships, and supports they need to be selfsufficient, successful adults. To address these problems, we need data, goals, benchmarks, good program design, evaluation, and ultimately results. We also need a commitment to a meaningful public dialogue.

In order to begin to address our failures to prepare older youth, we must shift the way that we think about our investment in foster youth and their potential and the way we communicate it to them. Establishing expectations and goals are essential. One of the most striking and discouraging issues that our teen staff have run into again and again in their research and preparation is that CFSA does not have goals and benchmarks for older youth in several important areas including education, employment, preparing to age out, and developing permanent relationships. The absence of goals sends a very troubling message to our youth. It says we that we don’t think they can accomplish much. We need to change that message. They need to know we believe in their abilities.

Of course, there is the Cap Stat website and the CFSA performance indicators. While these include important information about investigations and social worker visits – the focus is on minutia. We have a system that is driven by box checking – and—at least in theory—holds itself accountable for checking those boxes. But it is missing the larger purpose. The real performance indicators for CFSA should be how many children are in permanent homes and what happens to foster youth when they age out at 21. Those are the only success indicators that have any real meaning. Box checking ducks our fundamental responsibility to prepare these children for life after they age out at 21. 4

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We are asking CFSA, the DC Committee on Human Services, and the child welfare community to take a step back and rethink the way we are approaching our work with older youth in the child welfare system. We have several suggestions about local DC legislative and regulatory initiatives that will help us do that.

Education and Employment

Education—and specifically college—is probably the single most effective strategy for increasing the life prospects and well-being for foster youth. Yet education seems to be absent from agency goals and data collection. After three months of inquiries (including data requests for our Older Youth Hearing) – we have no significant data or information about the education that older youth are receiving.

What we do know is that the rates of college enrollment are low. In May 2009, CFSA reported that 82 youth ages 18-23 were enrolled in college (community or 4-year programs): that’s about 8-10% of the total older youth population. This number is low compared to national foster youth enrollment rates of 13%, a DC youth enrollment rates of 29%, and national youth enrollment rates of 48%.1 What’s more troubling is that foster youth graduation rates are close to DC youth high school graduation rates (43% and 40% respectively). But college enrollment rates differ significantly: 29% for DC youth and 8-10% for foster youth.

Further, foster youth face many placement-related school barriers: When youth change placements -- 44% do once a year – they change schools and usually lose 3 to 6 months of their education.2 Group home rules and strict curfews often prohibit youth from taking part in after school activities. Further, most group homes and ILPs offer little educational support for youth residents. Although CFSA does not have data available on these issues, a 2007 study by the Bay Area Social Service Consortium found that foster youth experience reduced levels of engagement, increase expulsion and discipline problems and that 40-41% of foster youth repeat grades.3

Currently, CFSA has one program in place to address the educational and employment needs of older youth. Center for Keys for Life (CKL—which is now called the Office of Youth 5

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Empowerment) receives $1.1 million in federal grants through the Chafee program. CKL keeps a low profile. There are few materials, no website, little outreach, and limited accessibility. Youth have to be referred by their social workers. As a result, CKL reaches only a fraction of the older youth who need their services. In 2007 reports to Children’s Bureau, CKL reported serving 35 youth to achieve their academic goals; 30 in 2008;4 30 in 2009. That’s 3% of the older youth population.

The performance oversight questions asked as part of this hearing included inquires about goals, benchmarks, and outcomes for CKFL. There were none provided. CFSA did provide the total number of youth receiving educational services (30) and the total number receiving life skills training (436). However, there was no information about how many hours of training youth actually received, what they learned, or how they used it. Were the 436 youth participants in conferences or outreach activities or did they actually achieve some kind of outcome through the program. CFSA has not provided any kind of schedule of training or detailed description of training objectives, or any kind of comprehensive plan for this program.

Recommendation: Ten years of mismanagement is long enough. We fully support Chairman Wells proposal to reclassify the Center for Keys for Life as a community based program funded through a competitive RFP process for $1,091,992 in Chafee grant money. To ensure high quality youth-focused programming, the RFP will set a new precedent with a number of requirements including: 1) youth decision making; 2) community involvement; 3) youth-focused outcomes; 4) bi-annual collection and public sharing of youth outcome data; and 5) providing matching funds of 20% of the budget. An effective education-employment program for foster youth could be the foundation of a transition center that would provide additional support in these areas to youth aging out.

The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) is a federal grant program that provides up to $5,000 to foster youth enrolled in college, university and vocational training programs to support a range of educational needs. Administered by CKFL, this program received $207,052 in federal grants distributed to 123 youth in college and trade school for 2008. For many youth, especially those in vocational school, the ETV is the only source of financial aid that they have access to.

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Based on our experience with our own youth staff and dozens we’ve interviewed – this program is being administered in a way that undercuts youth’s attempts to further their education and violates federal guidelines. The program has no publically accessible guidelines, application procedures or website and has created a number of obstacles that discourage youth from seeking funding. Most youth we interviewed are not unaware ETV even exists and are misinformed about having to attend CKFL in order to receive funds. Youth who have tried to apply have been discouraged, rejected, and misinformed about deadlines and what is covered. One young woman who received the ETV and other financial aid complained about being harassed by a collection agency because her bills were not paid by CKFL. One young man we worked with was denied an application and advised by CKFL to sell drugs instead of going to school because he could make more money. One young woman who was denied an application for cosmetology school was not able to get approval before aging out and never had a chance to go to school. She is struggling to make ends meet with a child and no job. The list goes on…

Recommendation: Like CKFL, ETV should be run by an organization and staff whose intention is to get as many foster youth into school as possible. We recommend that the program be reclassified as a community based program funded through a competitive RFP process. To ensure high quality youth-focused programming, the RFP will set a new precedent with a number of requirements including: 1) youth and community involvement; 2) youth-focused goals and outcomes; 3) bi-annual collection and public sharing of youth outcome data; and 4) publically accessible guidelines and operating procedures.

Quality and Resource Allocation in Congregate Care

About a third of older youth reside in congregate care: 159 in group homes, 162 in Independent Living Programs, and 88 in Residential Treatment Centers. Currently, CFSA contracts with 22 group home providers, 9 independent living program providers, and 33 residential treatment centers. Although there has been some improvement in congregate care quality since the regulations were passed in 2001, in general these contractors continue to be overcompensated and underperforming.

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According to the 2008 Auditor’s report on congregate care, the median contract payout rate ranges from $73,000 to $174,000 per youth per year.5 This payout level is among the highest in the country. Since FCC started our work in 1999, contract award levels have doubled. Yet, facilities are not required to meet specific outcomes or contribute to youth development (personal, academic, employment) or well being, keep data, or even commit to keeping teen residents in care. During a time of budget cuts, it is essential to take a hard look at our contract rates and the quality of services we are getting and make a transition to performance based contracts. Further, resource allocation is in many cases is grossly disproportionate, with funds going to support large, expensive staffs while minimal resources are provided for youth. Staffing models seem to be based on a juvenile justice group home system that requires higher staff to resident ratios and an emphasis on security.

Although data on group home operations and impact is hard to come by, many of our teen staff and members complain of a range of quality of life issues. Meals are often skipped. Food is locked up and of poor nutritional quality. Transportation is inadequate. Allowance is often withheld when teens have jobs and provided at a minimal level (average is $10 a week) when they don’t. Disciplinary guidelines are inconsistently and unfairly enforced. Staff are often poorly trained, petty, and frequently violate youth confidentiality. Facilities lack basic infrastructure like hot water, fully working toilets, and rodent free kitchens. Further, youth do not have the financial support to buy clothes, get hair care, buy hygiene products, or buy school supplies.

Further, teens residing in residential care report very little development support. Counselors are rarely available. Youth training is sporadic and poorly delivered. Working computers with internet are rare as are tutors or academic support. Staff are unaware of youth rights or house regulations, are not adequately screened, and do not seem to be emotionally prepared to work with youth. Further, teens report frequent disruptions of privacy, no protection from theft or violent house mates, and unfair allowance withholding.

Recommendations: There are several issues that need to be addressed here.

First, the overall quality and orientation of group homes and ILPs need to be addressed and the transition made from a profit maximization (and so provide as little care as possible) model to 8

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proven, evaluated, results-oriented programs that can prepare our youth for college, employment, and self-sufficiency. We have a few successful youth development focused models (LAYC, Catholic Charities, and Sasha Bruce are three who we’ve worked with). We need to replicate and expand our existing models, attract new models to DC, and shut down the programs that are not producing positive outcomes.

Next, contractors need to be held to much more rigorous standards performance based outcomes, consistent and detailed financial statements, and collecting and sharing data with the public. We were glad to read in the Oversight Responses that the Human Care Agreements are moving forward but they have been for two years now. When will they actually be implemented? As of October 1, 2010 – CFSA will be required by federal mandate collect data for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) on each youth who receives independent living services and to collect demographic and outcome information on a specific cohort who they will follow through surveys at 17, 19, and 21. It’s critical that these data collection provisions are part of the congregate care contracts.

Finally, youth support needs must be addressed. We recommend expanding the scope of group home and ILP regulations (Chapter 62 and 63) to ensure that adequate resources are being devoted to youth care and development specifically in the areas of financial support, academic strengthening, and increased youth development support. These expanded regulations must focus on four main areas:

1) Require that group homes spend minimal percentages of budget resources directly on youth

2) Increase the resources allocated directly to youth for material needs and savings through a Mandatory Allowance Program (MAP) that would provide the following:  Monthly allowance via direct deposit to all qualifying youth living in group homes  15-16 year olds receive $300; 17 and older receive $350 as long as they meet program standards for grades, school attendance, and enrichment program participation  All youth receive a base allowance of $150 a month regardless of MAP participation  All youth receive a mandatory savings allotment of $50

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3) Increase the quality and quantity of youth development and life skills training and support. In particular, MAP would support teaching of financial skills essential to youth as they age out.

4) Improve academic support and resources for youth

Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out

The real performance indicators for CFSA – which don’t appear anywhere on the Cap Stat website -- are what happens to foster youth after they age out at 21. Are they in permanent families? In college? Making a livable wage? Are they living on the street? Couch hopping? In jail?

According to Child and Family Service’s own 2008 Quality Service Review about DC foster youth transitioning out of care, at the time of discharge from the system:6  Only 14% have all the necessary resources to support themselves  66% suffer from mental illness or substance abuse  34% are pregnant or parenting  40% have their high school diploma  10% are enrolled in college  37% had identified an adult connection that would support them after leaving the system.  34% were living in independent apartments when they emancipated.  14% had documented physical medical needs requiring long-term attention.  59% had insufficient funds to cover their living expenses,  46% were unemployed

Although DC does not keep data on youth aging out, a 2007 study by the University of Chicago focused on foster youth in the Midwest found that 68% of men and 46% of women are arrested within one year of aging out and that the average earnings of a foster care youth during the 10

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first year after aging out is $7,000.7 The 88 youth who reside in residential treatment centers (RTCs) face even more significant burdens since they are cut off geographically from family and community support and then at age 21 sent back to DC to live on their own. Right now, CFSA funds two programs to support older youth during their 21st year, as they age out. For the past five years, the Community Collaboratives have been contracted to provide services to transitioning youth. We learned by reading the Oversight Responses that 6 Collaboratives were being paid $250,700 to serve 100 youth in 2009. This was news to YWP (and many of the Collaboratives) who told us that there were actually three Collaboratives (North Capitol, South Washington West of the River, Far Southwest) providing services to 55 youth during 2009. Our interviews with staff and leadership at these programs indicate that the Collaborative Aftercare program is pretty much a referral service. Youth come in and meet with staff or volunteers – who refer them to other organizations for services. There is no follow up, no tracking, no benchmarks, and little data available about outcomes or what youth learned or how they used the referrals.

Housing is a major obstacle for youth aging out of care – the majority of whom end up couch surfing or homeless. Currently, CFSA has one housing support program. Rapid Housing, administered by the Collaboratives, provides housing assistance for families with children and youth aging out of care through a $5,000 rental subsidy available to youth employed full-time or enrolled in school and working part-time to qualify for funds. For FY08, $750,000 was allocated, and 79 emancipating youth were served, along with 49 families. Although this program is important – it does not serve the neediest youth who are unlikely to have full time livable-wage jobs.

Recommendations: YWP supports the creation of a community-based, adult-youth run DC Foster Youth Transition Center (YTC) that would provide intensive training and support services for youth ages 15-25 in a nurturing environment that offered a range of services and training in life skills, academic strengthening, employment preparation and placement, housing, health, and relationship building. Built on a foundation of youth development programming, the Center would provide:

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Individualized support services for finishing high school and enrolling in college, connections to jobs and housing, financial management, and health care access. Group trainings that allow for peer-to-peer and interactive learning and build youth skills in self advocacy, leadership, health and wellness, and life skills. Youth-accessible hours as well as a hotline youth can call for quick help. Genuine commitment to youth by involving them on YTC staff and boards

Such a Center could be created and financially supported by consolidating several ineffective CFSA programs and contracts – mainly CKFL and the Collaborative Aftercare program. The Center would be awarded through a rigorous RPF process to a community based organization (or collaboration) with a record of successful youth outcomes, expertise in employment, education and youth development, and engaging youth as leaders and staff.

We also support the expansion of Rapid Housing to include the neediest transitioning youth who may not have full time employment. We are heartened to find out that CFSA is considering working with Covenant House to create more housing options for youth aging out. We urge them to pursue this.

Understanding and Enforcing Youth Rights

Right now – there is no one place where all youth rights – as they are stated in case law, CFSA policy, group home and ILP regulations and other places – are listed and explained. Youth don’t know what they are entitled to so they can’t self advocate. Adult advocates are also missing key information. For the few youth who do know their rights -- when there is a violation, there is no consistent, neutral place to report. Understanding and enforcing youth rights is an essential first step in improving their lives in the system.

Recommendation: YWP supports DC legislation to create a DC Foster Youth Bill of Rights. We were pleased to read in the Oversight Responses that CFSA has been working on a Youth Bill of Rights and that it will be completed by May. Our youth have also been working on a similar project. Because this project – and having it completed ASAP – is so important, we would like to work on parallel tracks. Since CFSA’s Youth Advisory Board is taking the lead on this, it’s a great 12

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opportunity for our youth to work together. There are many great models for this work and many states (Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Texas, Nebraska and others) which have legislation already in place.

Improving Data collection and Public Reporting

The inability of CFSA to collect and share data and information in a consistent and accessible way is a significant obstacle to effective advocacy, good program design, public engagement, and quality services. The most consistent, reliable source of information any of us have about what is going on at CFSA are the reports from Center for the Study of Social Policy. These reports are essential to inform oversight efforts and advocacy work. The data situation has to be addressed asap. It creates a bad dynamic. We are spending all of our time trying to get data and information rather than problem solving. Our organizational experience trying to get information and data during the past three months, as we worked on developing the Yes Youth Can hearing in January was especially frustrating. We submitted a data and information request with about 50 items and received responses for 5.

Recommendation: We are recommending the CFSA be required to start collecting and publically sharing data and information on critical areas impacting older youth well being including education, employment, aging out, permanent relationships, health, and the quality of congregate care. This data should be shared through three website accessible report cards that are updated quarterly. We were happy to hear Dr. Gerald mention that the Young Advisory Board was putting together a congregate care report card as part of this work. This is an excellent idea and very much needed.

Soon, CFSA will be required by federal law to start collecting data on older youth. As of October 1, 2010 – CFSA will be required by federal mandate collect data for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) on each youth who receives independent living services, surveying youth on the following outcomes: 1) financial self-sufficiency; 2) experience with homelessness; 3) educational attainment; 4) positive connections with adults; 5) high-risk behavior; and 6) access

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to health insurance. We recommend that the data they are collecting as part of this federal requirement be made available on their website and updated annually.

Permanency for Older Youth

We are concerned that CFSA is not making meaningful progress toward improving permanency outcomes – especially for older youth. CFSA’s ability to achieve timely permanency for children and youth should be an important measure of the agency’s performance. Although APPLA numbers are decreasing, they’re only decreasing because youth are aging out of the system; not because they’re gaining permanence. In 2009, 1728 youth emancipated from District care. Based on current population numbers of youth goaled APPLA in District care, over 550 more youth will age out of DC foster care system between 2010 and 20139.

Currently, CFSA has a permanency target of 48 percent, a 7.4 increase from 2008. Yet, only 24.6 percent of children achieved permanency10. Data obtained from CFSA between August to October 2009 shows that out of almost 1,200 youth aged 13 and older, only 15 exited care through adoption, 21 through guardianship, and 93 through reunification (a total of 12%)11. Thus, CFSA did not achieve any this permanency performance indicator for older youth12. In the DC CFSA Oversight Hearing last week, several child welfare stakeholders testified about this problem. In regards to older youth, currently, minimal efforts have been made to address the barriers of achieving permanence for this population, thus costing the District millions for high cost care which is not supported by positive youth outcomes. Adopting practices to address the issues of older youth permanence in the District can save hundreds of youth from the perils which await them when they exit District care without permanent supports while ensuring the District is taking fiscally responsible measures to improve agency performance.

The failure to find permanent homes for older youth has lead to a steady stream of young people who are on the path to emancipate from care. Here are some of their stories. Youth who emancipate from District care are more likely to end up homeless, in jail, and on public assistance because they are not connected to a permanent family support network. In 2009, 172 youth emancipated from the District’s foster care system. In the January Youth Roundtable, we heard from Dax Jasper, who emancipated in October, speak of his struggles since losing his job but 14

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was fortunate to be spared from homelessness by residing with his friend’s family. Janice Watts, who emancipated in August with her son, spoke of how she was also spared from homelessness with support from Catholic Charities and after-care support from Sasha Bruce. Erica McCard, who emancipated in July, spoke of her success in a computer technology program despite having to sleep on her friend’s couch after she emancipated. Then there are those who were not present nor were not as fortunate.

Since joining YWP in 2008, I have had the privilege of working with about 33 DC foster youth who were staff members of our program. The majority of these youth had the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) and five have since emancipated from care. The day to day struggles of these youth –most of whom do not have permanent homes or adults to support them –have inspired FCC to take on permanency as part of our five point agenda. Last year, as a documentary film maker, I set out to identify the best practices in permanence and through this project hoped to find solutions to provide youth permanent homes. Unfortunately, after 17 hours of footage, I was unable to identify standardized best practices to ensure older youth in the District gain permanence; instead we found the standard practice of preparing youth to age out.

Two of our former FCC youth staff who emancipated this year continue to deal with lifethreatening obstacles. One young man, who emancipated in February 2009, left his decade-long foster home placement to become homeless and incarcerated in less than one year. Another was hospitalized with a life threatening illness and was helped by the efforts of his former ILP – who helped him to reestablish a permanent connection. The most tragic case is a friend of several of our teen staff members -- Dominique Curtis, mother of two, who left her independent living program in April 2009, was found murdered several weeks after her emancipation. These stories illustrate the reality of what youth are faced with after aging out of the DC foster care system without permanent and reliable connections to adults to support them and provide them with permanent homes. Accounting for more than half of the CFSA out-of-home population, a greater number of older youth 13 and up are on the path to emancipate from foster care rather than being placed in permanent homes.

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Minimal efforts have been made to ensure older youth will achieve permanence beyond those required through the October 2008 federal court stipulated order. In following with a provision of the court order to complete reviews of all children with the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) for inclusion in the 2009 Strategy Plan, CFSA reviewed 722 out of more than 800 APPLA cases13. According to Dr. Gerald’s January, 22nd 2010 Youth Roundtable testimony, these reviews revealed 80 percent (578) of the youth already had an established or potential lifelong connection with at least one stable, caring adult and that 29 percent (167) of the adults confirmed those relationships. While 26 percent (178) have incorporated case plans with specific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships, only 5 percent (36) of the reviewed youth achieved permanence. Little has been specified on how the agency will address continuing to work to identify permanent connections for youth who have been identified as not having any.

CFSA’s standard practice with older youth is to prepare them to age out even as viable permanency options may still be available. Examples of this were demonstrated during the January Youth Roundtable as we heard from youth goaled APPLA, despite the availability of caring adults who could provide them a permanent home. Sarah Ocran was given the goal of APPLA despite her Godmother’s interest and efforts to have her placed in her home. Trey Jones hasn’t had any specific action incorporated in his case plan to place him among the numerous family members he has. A 2008 CFSA study, on youth aging out of the DC foster care system addresses the lack of focus on older youth permanence by raising the question on whether the child welfare system continually assessed family circumstances and consistently queried parents/guardians about other relatives who might have provided permanency for youth14.

Kinship placements are essential to maintaining family connections and increase the likelihood of permanence. Yet CFSA’s kinship placements have steadily declined -- from 19.8 percent in 2006 to 15.7 in 200915. CFSA fell short of its 2009 performance target to expand kinship placements by 20 percent.16 l17 The CFSA 2010 fiscal year performance plan does not prioritize improving kinship placements as a key performance indicator18. Nationally kinship placements account for about 24 percent of placements for children and youth in foster care19. DC’s 2009 rate was about 7%: 47 out of the 696 DC foster youth goaled APPLA were placed in kinship homes20.

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CFSA has identified kinship care a priority strategy for permanency planning for older youth. Yet the majority of older APPLA youth are placed in foster homes (many without an intention to continue as a resource parent after emancipation) and high-cost congregate care settings21. Foster homes may provide stability while youth are in care, however many foster parents do not provide youth the permanent homes youth need through adulthood. Congregate Care placements are expensive and not required to contribute to permanence in any way. Utilizing kinship placements as a more conventional and economically feasible means to achieve permanence for youth would greatly improve outcomes.

The agency’s 2010 performance plan does not address the systemic barriers to permanency for DC foster youth. One initiative outlined in the plan is to increase and expedite youth permanency through contracting with Permanency Opportunities Program (POP), a program of Adoptions Together22. This promising model has shown that with concerted permanency planning, permanent outcomes for children and youth can be achieved. But the program only reaches 45 children. Older youth permanence however, has been addressed in the 2010 performance plan through the refinement of existing youth services model23; however it is unclear how those existing models relate to improved permanency outcomes for youth. The Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) tool, indicated in the performance plan as a permanency initiative, is a tool to help young people prepare for adulthood not a tool to support youth to achieve permanence.

It is important that CFSA develop a strategic plan to improve permanency outcomes and ensure adequate funding to support those efforts. National and local models reflect that positive permanency outcomes can be achieved when agencies are willing to invest the time and money to address the barriers which keep older youth from permanent homes. We agree with the recommendation by the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) study – that social workers should receive permanency training24. This may be one strategic method of ensuring case carrying workers have the knowledge and tools to navigate youth through the permanency process without CFSA needing to rely on contracting this work out of the agency. Family Search and Engagement (FSE) a practice developed by the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning at the Hunter School of Social Work has demonstrated permanent outcomes for youth and cost-savings for jurisdictions which adopt this practice model25. 17

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Fostering Connections may provide 55 to 75 percent federal reimbursement for this type of training to public and private agency staff and a number of other stakeholders.

CFSA should have a standardized practice that supports older youth to gain permanence. We have not seen evidence that this issue is being prioritized or that there is a strategy in place to address this problem. Youth 13 and up account for about 55 percent of the CFSA out-of-home population. The majority (58 percent) of these youth have a permanency goal of APPLA26; 74 percent of older youth have been in care for more than 24 months27. These youth are the least likely to be adopted or matched with legal guardians and thus have limited options for permanence. On the issue of older youth lingering in care, Dr. Gerald stated during the 2010 CFSA Performance Oversight Hearing that, “Once you have the youth in care, it is much more difficult to get older youth out of care, and easier to really keep them in care.” We would like to know how the Agency plans to address this challenge. The lack of permanence for emancipated youth creates significant barriers to youth becoming well functioning adults and further exacerbates barriers their in education, employment, as well as mental and physical long-term well being.

Recommendations: We have three recommendations for improving permanency outcomes for older youth in the DC foster care system:

1) Establish programs that support older youth to gain permanence: Currently youth understanding of how permanence benefits them as young adults is limited. Many are under the impression that they should have all the knowledge, skills, and tools to be successfully independent at 21. This false impression of adulthood should be addressed through education. At FCC, most of our foster youth staff learned about permanence at YWP rather than from their caseworkers. FCC programs support youth understanding of the importance of permanence and how not having permanent supports can negatively impact youth in the long-run. One youth stated that he thought it would be embarrassing for a youth to rely on adults after 21, but now he realizes it is normal. Providing youth outlets to process the normalcy of significant adult support beyond 21 is important to removing barriers to explore legal permanence options for older youth.

Promising practices show older youth can achieve permanence when practice is centered on the needs of this population. Some of these practices involve education of youth, adults, greater 18

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focus on teen specific recruitment strategies, etc. One model program, Voices to Permanency/ Teens2Homes in Ohio improves permanency outcomes for older youth through peer groups, summer camps, circles of support, mentors, and trainings for child welfare support workers and family members28. Through this program older youth have become more open to permanence and several have gained permanence. The Tennessee Youth Advisory Council (TYAC) utilizes foster youth alumni peer advocates to educate and mentor youth currently in care. The Advocates attend meetings to ensure foster youth understand their options and are able to advocate for what they need. The current District pilot program, Permanency Opportunities Project (POP), is already working to make permanence a realization for 65 children and youth for the 2010 fiscal year and another 45 children and youth in the 2011 fiscal year. POP is utilizing best practice case mining and other permanence related efforts to identify youth connections. POP has been able to get around permanency barriers social workers have been unable to resolve.

2) Build youth relational skills: Older youth need the knowledge and skills to explore their permanence options. Due to the many fragmented relationships foster youth endure, youth often lack the skills necessary to build healthy support networks. A 2008 study on relational permanence from the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall, states that relational skills are some of the most crucial assets threatened by a childhood experience of trauma and abuse, separation from biological family, and ambiguous ties to a family system29. There are few structured educational opportunities to support youth needs to build relational skills in the District. For example, the Ansell-Casey curriculum currently used the Office of Youth Empowerment to provide life skills training to youth in care has a limited focus on relationship building and provides no curriculum focusing on permanency.

3) Educate and train workers: In order to support permanency for older youth, workers must be trained and educated on how to best work with children and resource parents to meet the long term permanency needs of youth. The 2009 study conducted by Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) identified resolving children’s concerns around permanency as one of the greatest barriers social workers face in the permanency process30. According to the CFSA Office of Training Services report, there are few trainings provided to District child welfare workers on permanence and none on permanence for older youth31.

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YWP supports the FAPAC study recommendation to provide social worker training to address children’s adoption related concerns and fears. As the front line staff who have the most contact with youth, it is imperative workers have the skills needed to steer youth towards permanence; rather than support youth to make decisions about their long term well-being based on youth desire to be independent from caretakers and therefore placed in Independent Living Programs. Permanency related trainings for District child welfare workers can be supported through Title IV-E federal funding.

We hope the Senate sub-committee found this information insightful and will look further into our recommendations. Thank you for this opportunity to present testimony and we hope to continue to serve as a resource for you.

End Notes

1

Double the Numbers for College Success: A Call to Action for District of Columbia, October 2006. doublethenumbersdc.org. CFSA Annual Public Report, 2009; cfsa.dc.gov/cfsa/frames.asp?doc=/cfsa/lib/cfsa/pdf/fy_2008_annual_public_report.pdf Bay Area Social Service Consortium, 2007.

2

3

4

2007 Annual Progress and Services Report. Prepared by the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Support. DC Government Child and Family Services Agency for the US Children’s Bureau. 2008 Annual Progress and Services Report. Prepared by the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Support. DC Government Child and Family Services Agency for the US Children’s Bureau.

5 “Audit of Child and Family Services Agency’s Congregate Care Contract Expenditures,” Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, April 1, 2008. 6 6 Youth Who Transitioned from DC’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation for Adulthood, CFSA Quality Improvement Administration, June 2008. 7 Courtney, Mark E., Amy Dworksy, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, Judy Havlicek, Alfred Perez, and Tom Keller, Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 21, University of Chicago Center for Children, December 2007.

FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: PLCO101MS-Ver 1.10 Summary, CFSA: August 2009 10 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 6 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 11 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 12 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 5-6 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 13 Testimony of Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Public Oversight Roundtable “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out”: January 2010, page 2 Retrieved from http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/cfsa/section/7/release/19043 14 Youth Who Transitioned from D.C.’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation to Adulthood, CFSA: June 2008, page 23 Retrieved from http://www.cfsa.dc.gov/cfsa/frames.asp?doc=/cfsa/lib/cfsa/scorecards/youth_who_transitioned_from_dcs_foster_care_system_a_stu dy_of_their_preparation_for_adulthood.pdf 15 FY08 Performance Plan, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 4 Retrieved from http://oca.dc.gov/oca/lib/oca/performance_indicators/cfsa_plan_fy08.pdf
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FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 5 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 17 ibid 18 Agency FY2010 Performance Plan, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 4-5 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 19 Foster Care Statistics, Child Welfare Information Gateway: February 2009, page 3. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster.cfm 20 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA, Placement type by goal: September 2009 21 ibid 22 Ibid, page 6 23 Ibid, page 4 24 Barriers to achieving permanency for children in long-term adoption or guardianship placements in the District of Columbia, Study Report, Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC: July 2009, page 4 25 Six Steps to Find a Family: A Practice Guide to Family Search and Engagement, Mardith J. Louisell, page 50-53. Retrieved from http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/SixSteps.pdf 26 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: PLCO101MS-Ver 1.10 Summary, CFSA: August 2009 27 Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia, CFSA: February 2009, page 30 28 http://www.bellefairejcb.org/adoption-foster-care-autism/teens-2-homes/ 29 A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime Relational Permanence Among Young Adults with Foster Care Backgrounds, Gina Miranda Samuels, Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago: 2008, page 11 Retrieved from http://www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/old_reports/415.pdf 30 Barriers to achieving permanency for children in long-term adoption or guardianship placements in the District of Columbia, Study Report, Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC: July 2009, page 4 31 CFSA Training Services FY2007 Report/FY2008 Plan, September 2007, page 2-10

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Tosin A. Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator The Young Women’s Project Foster Care Campaign Testimony to the Committee on Human Services Child and Family Services Agency Oversight Hearing March 11, 2010 (revised August 15, 2010) Good afternoon Chairman Wells and Members of the Human Services Committee. I am Tosin Ogunyoku, Senior Program Coordinator for the Foster Care Campaign (FCC), a program of the Young Women’s Project (YWP), a nonprofit organization that builds and supports DC young women and men leaders so they can improve their lives and transform their communities. FCC builds the power of older DC foster youth – training them as leaders and advocates to educate their peers and pushing for system reform. Since 1999, FCC has worked to expand the rights, opportunities, and leadership development of DC foster youth. FCC has cultivated dozens of youth leaders, trained hundreds of foster youth in self advocacy and system navigation, delivered numerous testimonies to City Council, convened hundreds of youth and adults in Leadership Institutes, released two youth-created Handbooks on rights and resources for youth in the DC foster care system, produced a video documentary focusing on permanency for DC youth entitled “A Journey of Uncertainty”, and led several successful youth-led campaigns including the creation of regulations for DC residential group homes. Today, I would like to present some concerns and recommendations FCC has regarding the permanency practices and outcomes of older DC foster youth. The Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has yet to identify standardized practices to improve permanency outcomes for older youth. The Committee on Human Services should address this issue as it has a responsibility to ensure the District has a fiscally responsible response to ensuring positive outcomes for youth in the care of CFSA. The Committee has provided leadership in addressing the issue of older youth permanence through the introduction of the Adoptions Reform Amendment Act; however, a response in how legislation will be supported by practice has yet to be identified by CFSA. Currently, minimal efforts have been made to address the barriers of achieving permanence for older youth, thus costing the district millions to continue high cost care which is not supported by positive youth outcomes. Adopting

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practices to address the issues of older youth permanence in the District can save hundreds of youth from the perils which await them when they exit District care without permanent supports while ensuring the District is taking fiscally responsible measures to improve agency performance. Failure to provide a strategic course to reduce the number of youth who age out of care has lead to a steady stream of young people who are on the path to emancipate from care. Youth who emancipate from District care are more likely to end up homeless, in jail, and on public assistance because they are not connected to a permanent family support network. During fiscal year 2009, 172 youth emancipated from the District’s foster care system1. We heard several of their stories during the January Youth Roundtable. We heard from Dax Jasper, who emancipated in October, speak of his struggles since losing his job but was fortunate to be spared from homelessness by residing with his friend’s family. Janice Watts, who emancipated in August with her son, spoke of how she was also spared from homelessness with support from Catholic Charities and after-care support from Sasha Bruce. Erica McCard, who emancipated in July, spoke of her success in a computer technology program despite having to sleep on her friend’s couch after she emancipated. Then there are those who were not present nor were not as fortunate. The tragedy that often plagues youth exiting foster care without permanence has been demonstrated this past year among two emancipated DC foster youth the Foster Care Campaign has been made aware of. One young man, who emancipated in February 2009, left his decadelong foster home placement to become homeless and incarcerated in less than one year. Dominique Curtis, mother of two, who left her independent living program in April 2009 without a sufficient transition plan, was found murdered several weeks after her emancipation. These stories illustrate the reality of what youth are faced with after aging out of the DC foster care system without permanent and reliable connections to adults to support them and provide them with permanent homes. Minimal efforts have been made to ensure older youth will achieve permanence beyond those required through the October 2008 stipulated court order. In following with a provision of the court order to complete reviews of all children with the permanency goal of APPLA (Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement) for inclusion in the 2009 Strategy Plan, CFSA reviewed 722 out of more than 800 APPLA cases. According to Dr. Gerald’s January,

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22nd 2010 Youth Roundtable testimony, these reviews revealed 80 percent (578) of the youth already had an established or potential lifelong connection with at least one stable, caring adult and that 29 percent (167) of the adults confirmed those relationships. While 26 percent (178) have incorporated case plans with specific actions to solidify permanent or connected relationships, only 5 percent (36) of the reviewed youth achieved permanence2. Little has been specified on how the agency will address continuing to work to identify permanent connections for youth who have been identified as not having any. CFSA’s standard practice with older youth is to prepare them to age out even as viable permanency options may still be available. Examples of this were demonstrated during the January Youth Roundtable as we heard from youth goaled APPLA, despite the availability of caring adults who could provide them a permanent home. Sarah Ocran was given the goal of APPLA despite her Godmother’s interest and efforts to have her placed in her home. Trey Jones hasn’t had any specific action incorporated in his case plan to place him among the numerous family members he has. A 2008 CFSA study, on youth aging out of the DC foster care system addresses the lack of focus on older youth permanence by raising the question on whether the child welfare system continually assessed family circumstances and consistently queried parents/guardians about other relatives who might have provided permanency for youth3. Kinship placements are essential to maintaining family connections and increase the likelihood of permanence. Despite CFSA’s 2009 performance plan to expedite permanency for youth through the expansion of kinship placements, CFSA did not reach this key performance indicator4. Falling short of the targeted 20 percent of kinship placements for children and youth, CFSA achieved an increase in kinship placements from 14.7 percent for fiscal year 2008 to 15.7 percent for fiscal year 20095. Of the 696 youth goaled APPLA at the end of the 2009 fiscal year, only 47 were placed in kinship homes6. Making kinship care a priority is a strategy identified for permanency planning for older youth. However the majority of older youth goaled APPLA in District care are placed in foster homes and high-cost congregate care settings. Foster homes may provide stability while youth are in care, however many foster parents do not provide youth the permanent homes youth need through adulthood. Case in point, the aforementioned young man who emancipated from his decade-long foster home to homelessness and incarceration shortly after leaving care. Despite the large sum of funds invested in congregate care, which has daily rates between $200 and $400

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per youth, these settings solely function to temporarily house youth and are not in any way a source of permanencei. Utilizing kinship placements as a more conventional and economically feasible means to achieve permanence for youth, would greatly improve the District current permanency performance with this population. An agency’s ability to achieve timely permanency for children and youth is a significant measure of the agency’s performance. According to the CFSA fiscal year 2009 performance accountability report, CFSA had a projected target to reach 48 percent of children in foster who achieve permanency; an increase from the 40.6 percent achieved in fiscal year 2008. Consequently, only 24.6 percent of children achieved permanency in the in the 2009 fiscal year.7 Data obtained from CFSA between August to October 2009 shows that out of almost 1,200 older youth aged 13 and older in District care in fiscal year 2009, only 15 exited care through adoption, 21 through guardianship, and 93 through reunification8 9. CFSA did not achieve any of its permanency related key performance indicators during fiscal year 2009. National and local models reflect that positive permanency outcomes can be achieved when agencies are willing to invest the time and money to address the barriers which keep older youth from permanent homes. One key initiative outlined in the fiscal 2010 performance plan is to increase and expedite youth permanency through contracting with Permanency Opportunities Program (POP), a program of Adoptions Together. This promising District model has shown that with concerted permanency planning, permanent outcomes for children and youth can be achieved. This contract however is limited to only 45 children for the 2010 fiscal year10. During this challenging fiscal year, it is important that CFSA has a strategic plan to improve permanency outcomes and while ensuring adequate funding will be available to support those efforts. A recommendation presented to the Council by FCC during the Adoption Reform Amendment Act hearing and recommended from the 2009 barriers to achieving permanency study report conducted by Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) is to provide social workers permanency training11. This may be one strategic method of ensuring case carrying workers have the knowledge and tools to navigate youth through the permanency process without CFSA needing to rely on contracting this work out of the agency. Family Search and Engagement (FSE) a practice developed by the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning at the Hunter School of Social Work has
i

Daily rate estimates taken from reviews of CFSA congregate care contracts

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demonstrated permanent outcomes for youth and cost-savings for jurisdictions which adopt this practice model12. Fostering Connections may provide 55 to 75 percent federal reimbursement for this type of training to public and private agency staff and a number of other stakeholders. CFSA should have a standardized practice that supports older youth to gain permanence. Based on present outcomes we have not seen evidence that this is an issue that is being prioritized nor is there a strategy in place to address this problem. Although APPLA numbers are decreasing, they’re only decreasing because youth are aging out of the system; not because they’re gaining permanenceii
13 14

. The lack of permanence for emancipated youth creates

significant barriers in their development to become well functioning adults and further exacerbates barriers in their education, employment, as well as mental and physical long-term well being. We hope the Committee and CFSA have found this information insightful and will look further into our recommendations. Thank you for this opportunity to testify and we hope to continue to serve as a resource for you.

In Dr. Gerald’s January 2010 testimony, he states, “One of the happiest actions in my early days as CFSA director was signing an Administrative Issuance that put an end to automatic assignment of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement—or “APPLA”—as a goal for older youth. Over 15 months, our census of youth destined to age out without permanence dropped from a high of 850 to 678”. Analysis of Dr. Gerald’s statement found that this drop in youth goaled APPLA was not due to action taken to ensure youth would gain permanence but rather a consequence of the 172 youth goaled APPLA who aged out from care during FY09. According to the 2008 CFSA Annual Public Report there were 838 youth who were goaled APPLA at the end of FY08. With 172 APPLA youth transitioned from care during FY09, the number of youth to have remained APPLA should have been approximately 656 at the end of FY09 minus an additional 36 in which Dr. Gerald testified achieved permanence upon the comprehensive review of the 722 APPLA cases. However, according to the FY09 Annual Public Report the total number of youth who had a goal of APPLA at the end of FY09 was 700. This figure leaves the assumption that the agency is taking credit for the reduction in APPLA numbers simply due to the fact that APPLA youth are continuing to steadily transitioning out of care while additional youth are being authorized for to be goaled APPLA.

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End Notes:
FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 Testimony of Roque R. Gerald, Psy.D. Public Oversight Roundtable “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out”: January 2010, page 2 Retrieved from http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/cfsa/section/7/release/19043 3 Youth Who Transitioned from D.C.’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation to Adulthood, CFSA: June 2008, page 23 Retrieved from http://www.cfsa.dc.gov/cfsa/frames.asp?doc=/cfsa/lib/cfsa/scorecards/youth_who_transitioned_from_dcs_foster_care_system_a_ study_of_their_preparation_for_adulthood.pdf 4 FY09 Performance Plan Child and Family Services Agency, pages 2-4 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy09/CFSA.pdf 5 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: pages 3-5 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 6 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA, Placement type by goal: September 2009 page 2 7 FY09 Performance Accountability Report, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: pages 6 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 8 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: PLCO101MS-Ver 1.10 Summary, CFSA: August 2009 9 FACES Data Retrieved from CFSA: Exits by Age 2008-2009, CFSA: October 2009, page 4 10 Agency FY2010 Performance Plan, Child and Family Services, Government of the District of Columbia: page 4 Retrieved from http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/Pdf.aspx?pdf=http://capstat.oca.dc.gov/docs/fy10/CFSA.pdf 11 Barriers to achieving permanency for children in long-term adoption or guardianship placements in the District of Columbia, Study Report, Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC: July 2009, page 4 12 Six Steps to Find a Family: A Practice Guide to Family Search and Engagement, Mardith J. Louisell, page 50-52. Retrieved from http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/SixSteps.pdf 13 Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia, CFSA: February 2009, page 30 14 CFSA 2009 Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia Retrieved from http://cfsa.dc.gov/DC/CFSA/About+CFSA/Performance/Annual+Report+2009
2 1

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1328 Florida Ave NW Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20009

Testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Assessing Foster Care and Family Services in the District of Columbia: Challenges and Solutions Ms. Sarah M. Ocran Vice President, Foster Care Campaign Young Women's Project March 16, 2010 Good morning, members of Congress and every one here today. My name is Sarah Ocran. I am 18 and have been part of the DC foster care system for the past two years. I also attend Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School in Washington, DC. Today I want to share my story about trying to get placed in a permanent home. I would also like to voice my opinion about permanency and its connection to living in group care.

Permanency is important to me because I want to have a network of people that I can depend on to love and support me for the rest of my life. Being in foster care has taken that away. For two years now, I have desired to live with my Godmother -- who is someone that is loving and supportive of me. The environment she creates is stress-free. My Godmother has a two bedroom apartment and she is willing to move so that I would have my own room. My Godmother is very stable to take care of me.

The reason why I’m not with my Godmother is because my old social worker never called my Godmother back and there was a lot of miss communication going on. So my Godmother became very frustrated with Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). Because I cannot live with my Godmother, I do not want to go off to college. I want to stay local because I’m scared that when I come back from school, I will not have a permanent place to call my home. When my Godmother first started the process to be licensed so I could live with her, I was never told how long it would take for me to transition to her house.

I currently live in a Supervised Independent Living Program (ILP), before then I lived in a group home for about a year. The ILP has both pros and cons. Living in my ILP has made it harder for me to focus on important things, such as college. I want to go out of state to college at North Carolina A&T. But I am afraid that when I return from my winter and summer breaks, I will not have a permanent place to call my home. If I was with my Godmother, I would not have to worry about where I would live when I come back from school breaks. The stress that I have now would be gone, because I can count on her to support and love me the way a teenager should be cared for.

Exhibit A-8

1

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1328 Florida Ave NW Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20009

Being in foster care takes away the opportunities I should have as a teenager. At my ILP I have to work, come home, cook dinner, and still do homework for school. I shouldn’t have to do all of this. When we have new girls come to our ILP for overnight stays, things in my apartment tend to come up missing. Sometimes I hate the fact that staff are in our apartment because they try to tell us how to live and what to do. But at my ILP I am able to have a room to myself. Having my own room means a lot to me because I am able to have my privacy and some alone time. And I don’t have to worry about anyone stealing my things from my room which happens when youth are living in group homes. I also have a good deal of responsibility that will prepare me for the “real world”. I like living in my apartment, but I don’t have the support I would have if I was living with my Godmother.

I feel that my time in the system is winding down and I’m not able to live my life the way that I want to. I’m growing up to fast. When I went to court on February 2, 2010, everyone said how much progress I had made. The judge, GAL, and social worker said that I exemplify a great level of independence and now that I am 18 years old and technically grown, I don’t need parents. They also said how I should be happy to live on my own and that they believed my Godmother showed no interest in me. So then my judge changed my permanency goal from guardianship with my Godmother to APPLA. My input was never considered and after court I went home to consider the change that was made to my goal.

During the past couple months – I’ve had some time to reflect on my experience in the system and trying to find a permanent home. I contemplated on how my social worker and I never talked once about what my permanency options are and if legal guardianship was something that I really wanted. I waited for a long time to move in with my Godmother. But as time passed by, I felt as though it wasn’t going to happen.

I had begun to think what if I move in with my Godmother and we get into a really bad argument and she decides to put me out. I wondered what would happen if she wouldn’t give me the money she received for me. I also thought what if she puts me out because I don’t fit in to her life style anymore. All of this was going though my mind and I didn’t know who to deal with it. I didn’t know how to communicate to my Godmother and tell her exactly what I was thinking. I didn’t want her to feel like I was wasting her time by making her go through the licensing process and for me to not even end up being there with her. I tried to find out what was going on from my social worker and by writing to CFSA’s Office of Youth empowerment – but my social worker could not even provide me with information to let me know why I was not approved to live with my Godmother and why I’m still not there.

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I don’t communicate with my Godmother that much anymore. Our communication has become some timey because I feel like I put her though all of this to get me and I’m not even there at her house. I also began to think maybe the judge was right and being with my Godmother was never a good place for me to live. I also lost hope because of the procrastination from CFSA. I now think that maybe my ILP is the best place for me because it feels like everyone gave up on me. I have been told that if I do well in my current ILP placement -- I will get my own apartment and I would eventually have a permanent apartment. I was given an option to move into my own apartment last month, but I didn’t feel I was ready so I said no because I know I need to stay focused on graduating from high school. Having my own apartment now sounds okay since I was scared about moving with my Godmother.

The time is slowly approaching for me to age out and I do not have stability. I turned 18 in December so I have less than three years until I age out of the DC system. It hurts because I really wanted to be with my Godmother but the system made it hard for me to be there.

I have three recommendations that I would like to share with the Senate that could help foster youth like me.

1) Social workers should be more experienced in all aspects of foster care.

2) There should be an extension on the age when youth age out because there are youth like myself who are lost and don’t know who to turn to for help but the streets.

3) Foster youth should have a transition center that will provide foster youth with resources like safety nets, education and permanency that should be funded by money given to CFSA.

4) CFSA should develop goals and better practice and organization for their work on permanence. If they were organized and tried harder -- they would be able to get youth like me into permanent homes when they have the chance. I feel like I had the chance last year to make the transition but because CFSA could not get it’s act together – that chance was squandered and now it may not be an option.

Thank you for your time

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FOSTER CARE CAMPAIGN Of the Young Women’s Project Nakea Paige CFSA Oversight Hearing March 11, 2010 Good morning my name is Nakea Paige, I am an eighteen year-old foster youth. I entered care when I was 14 and I have been in the system for four years. I attend Cesar Chavez and next year I will be attending Michigan State University to major in Biochemical Engineering. I am here to talk about my thoughts on permanency. My experience in the system has not been the worst compared to other people I know; however, it has not been as smooth as it could have been. I have been in one group home and two foster homes. Having lived in three different places within three years has been a scary experience. To often have to worry about if you will be living at that home the next day causes many people I know, including myself, to not want to have permanence but to get in independent living because we think that this is the best thing for us when it comes to permanence. When I was in a group home, I made the decision that I wanted to leave because I knew that I did not want to live in a group home forever. When I went to my first foster home, everything went fine for the first few months. Eventually things started to fall apart when the issue of money started to get involved. After the money issue rose, then signs of hatred and jealousy started to emerge as well. The thing that scared me the most was the fact that she had put in the 30 day notice for me to be removed from her home and I didn’t know it. Being that she wasn’t getting paid the full amount that she thought she was going to get paid she decided to put me out. She would start to pick petty fights with me over pointless issues and she eventually started to not care about my whereabouts. To know that money was the root of why she was doing foster care hurt me but at the same time it made me open my eyes to the fact that at any time I could be homeless or back in a group home. Both were things that I didn’t want to happen. I eventually moved to a new home three days after I found out that my foster mother had put in her notice for me to leave. Living with my new foster mother I have been able to

Exhibit A-9

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1328 Florida Ave NW Suite 2000, Washington, DC 20009

prosper in school and feel like I have a family outside of my biological family. I was able to prosper because my foster mom supported me and always told me that school was first and made sure that I understood that. My foster mom and dad make me feel welcome and talk to me about everything. This is a reason why I feel that this foster home is better than the old one I was living in. My foster mother works two jobs to support herself and she does foster care because she wants to actually be help to people in the system. Whereas at my old home, my foster mother was in it for the money and she made that obvious every time me or my foster sister would do something wrong. I have been told, by my new foster mother, that when I leave for school, I am always welcome to come back. Although I know that I am welcome when I lave for college, I have fears of leaving as well. My biggest fear about going off to school is the money. Although I have completed my FAFSA, DC TAG and LEAP and received a scholarship, I fear that one day I may not be able to pay for school because I won’t have money from a parent. Although I know I have a home when I come home from college I still feel that I do not have permanence. My foster mom have discussed permanence, however I declined guardianship or adoption because I did not want my mother to think that I didn’t love her because I would have another woman as my mother. Having permanence is important for me because it allows me to know that if times were to get tough, I will have a family to go to if I needed help. This has an effect on me because it causes me to not expand on my dreams for the fear of one day just being alone. I think that permanence is important because it allows people to feel a sense of security and assurance that when they need a home they have one to come to and don’t have to worry about being homeless. When I turn 21, I plan on continuing to pursue my college education and either living with my foster mom or live with my mom. The decision to possibly stay with mother has been a decision between me and her. The agency has not been doing anything to help us reach this goal. Although neither is guaranteed, those are the only options. Other than that, the only other option would be to get my own apartment. Thank you for your time.

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EXHIBIT B – PLAINTIFFS’ LIST OF EXHIBITS Pls.’ Date Author/Source Hrg. Ex. # FY2009- CFSA 1. 2010 2. 3. 4. 5. FY2009- CFSA 2010 FY2009 FY2010 FY2007 CFSA CFSA CFSA Dkt. No. Summary/Description

Response to Performance Oversight Questions (Round 1) Performance Oversight Responses to Questions (Round 2) Performance Plan Performance Plan Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Amendment Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Amendment Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia Annual Public Report: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Amendment Act of 2000 in the District of Columbia Performance Accountability Report Performance Accountability Report Annual Progress and Services Report 899 907-1 924-1 957-1 963 10181 Stipulated Order LaShawn A. v. Fenty Proposed Six-Month Plan for January 1 – June 30, 2009 LaShawn A. v. Fenty 2009 Strategy Plan Status Report on the District of Columbia’s 2009 Annual Plan The District of Columbia’s Second Status Report Status Report on the District of Columbia’s 2009 Annual Plan Policy Title: Establishing the Goal of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) Policy Title: Diligent Search

6.

FY2008

CFSA

7.

FY2009

CFSA

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

FY2008 FY2009 2008 10/07/08

CFSA CFSA CFSA

Filed Defendants 01/26/09 Filed Defendants 03/13/09 Filed Defendants 09/02/09 Filed Defendants 11/23/09 Filed Defendants 02/17/10 06/25/09 CFSA

18.

12/01/09 CFSA

Exhibit B

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Pls.’ Date Author/Source Hrg. Ex. # 19. 11/28/07 Audrey Sutton, Deputy Director, CFSA Program Operations 20. 21. 06/19/06 Audrey Sutton 11/13/06 Audrey Sutton

Dkt. No.

Summary/Description

Memorandum to CFSA Staff re: “Transition Interviews for Youth in Care”

Administrative Issuance CFSA-06-14 to CFSA Staff re: “Youth Connections Conferences” Administrative Issuance CFSA-06-18 to CFSA Staff re: “Assistance with Enrollment in Vocational School” Administrative issuance CFSA-06-9 to CFSA Staff re: “Post-Secondary Education and Training” Administrative Issuance CFSA-09-21 to CFSA and Private Agency Staff re: Completion of Education Assessments Email to Defendants and counsel re: “Proposed bridge plan,” including the attached comments to Defendants’ 01/25/09 “Proposed Targets for January 1 – June 30, 2009” 997 Letter to Judge Thomas F. Hogan re: Monitor’s disapproval of Defendants’ proposed “six month bridge plan” 03/04/09 Memorandum to Director Gerald re: Comments on 02/24/09 Strategy Plan Proposal Letter to Judge Thomas F. Hogan, attaching 2010-2011 Implementation Plan Draft Incorporating CSSP’s Recommendations (dated 06/14/10) Written testimony to the D.C. Council, Committee on Human Services, Public Oversight Roundtable, “Yes Youth Can: Confronting the Challenges of Aging Out” Written testimony to the D.C. Council, Committee on Human Services, Hearing, “Agency [CFSA] Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2009-2010”

22.

05/22/06 Audrey Sutton

23.

11/05/09 Cheryl Williams, Deputy Director, CFSA Office of Clinical Practice 01/26/09 Judith Meltzer

24.

25.

01/26/09 Judith Meltzer

26. 27.

Filed Judith Meltzer 03/13/09 06/14/10 Judith Meltzer

924-4 997

28.

01/22/10 Director Gerald

29.

03/11/10 Director Gerald

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Pls.’ Date Author/Source Hrg. Ex. # 30. 03/16/10 Director Gerald

Dkt. No.

Summary/Description

Written testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Hearing, “Assessing Foster Care and Family Services in the District of Columbia: Challenges and Solutions” Written testimony to the D.C. Council, Committee on Human Services, “Agency [CFSA] Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2008” “Number of Youth Aging out of Foster Care Continues to Rise; Increasing 64 percent since 1999” Analysis No. 1 Letter to Judith Meltzer, attaching proposed “2009 Annual Strategy Plan” (see Pls.’ Hrg. Ex. # 13) “Youth Who Transitioned from D.C.’s Foster Care System: A Study of Their Preparation for Adulthood” “Improving Outcomes for Older Youth in Foster Care” “Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Ages 23 and 24” “Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 21”

31.

02/25/09 Director Gerald

32.

01/31/10 Fostering Connections Resource Center 02/24/09 Director Gerald

33.

34.

06/2008

CFSA Quality Improvement Administration Casey Family Programs Chapin Hall at the Univ. of Chicago Chapin Hall at the Univ. of Chicago

35. 36.

2008 2010

37.

12/2007

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Center
for the June 14, 2010

Social

of

Study
The Honorable Thomas F. Hogan Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 4012 Washington, DC 20001 Dear Judge Hogan, Attached is the Monitor’s recommendation for the LaShawn A. v. Fenty 20102011 Implementation and Strategy Plans as required by the Court’s Order of April 20, 2010. In developing our proposed recommendations, we have carefully reviewed the plans submitted by Plaintiffs and Defendants in relation to the Court’s April 5, 2010 Order; the requirements of the LaShawn MFO; the mandates of Federal and District of Columbia law and our understanding of applicable child welfare performance standards in other jurisdictions. Additionally, we reviewed other child welfare consent decrees and their requirements, the Federal standards for child welfare performance and relied on CSSP’s years of experience working across the country with child welfare systems. We further assessed the proposed plans and action steps in relation to the most recent data available on current District of Columbia performance in order to make a recommendation on whether the proposed strategies and action steps were sufficiently targeted toward addressing the identified system performance problems. Additionally, we provided a prior draft of this plan to Plaintiffs and Defendants last week and considered their comments and made additional revisions. We also engaged in a consultative process with key community stakeholders in an effort to get their advice and input about appropriate recommendations to the Court. This was an important step and it provided valuable insights and feedback. It is clear that stakeholders continue to be very engaged in promoting better outcomes for children, youth and families involved with the District of Columbia’s child welfare system and have useful ideas on how to make the child welfare system more effective. There is also a willingness on the part of stakeholders to be a part of the solution.

Policy

1575 Eye Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 T 202 371-1565 F 202 371-1472

55 Exchange Place Suite 404 New York, NY 10005 T 212 979-2369 F 212 995-8756

www.cssp.org

Exhibit C

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In formulating our recommendations, significant efforts were made to balance the District of Columbia’s need for reasonableness and the desire for a roadmap to exit from Court oversight, with Plaintiffs and the community’s need for the District of Columbia to be held to high standards that are ambitious, achievable and sustainable. Plaintiffs and Defendants had many common elements in their plans, but each plan differed sometimes in small ways and often significantly in terms of their expectations for exit and sustainability. The attached documents represent the Monitor’s recommendations to the Court. Our recommendations accept many of the District of Columbia’s proposals, as well as some of Plaintiff’s proposals as they were submitted in the respective plans. In other areas, we propose a modified description of an outcome and/or exit requirement for greater clarity or to identify what we believe is necessary to measure an identified outcome. The attached documents also include as comments our rationale for various recommendations. (We are attaching one version with comments and one clean version without comments.) The framework we used in recommending specific exit requirements reflects our judgment as to the nature of the specific outcome and what is a reasonable expectation for performance in that area. The AIP set interim performance benchmarks and left open the question of what specific level of performance would constitute an acceptable performance level to determine compliance with a requirement. In general, for those outcomes that relate to the safety of individual children, we recommend an exit standard at 95% compliance. For those outcomes that involve core processes and functions of the public child welfare agency and/or core system performance requirements, we recommend an exit standard set at 90% compliance. For those outcomes that measure the quality of service provision or use qualitative measurement, we recommend an exit standard of 85% compliance. This is consistent with a framework that has been used in other Court decrees. Overall, our recommendations for 2010-2011 Implementation Plan represent what we believe are the minimum and feasible performance expectations the District of Columbia’s child welfare system in order to achieve the outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being for children and youth, consistent with the LaShawn MFO. One of the explicit goals of Defendants in their proposal was to ensure the plan provide clarity about the definition of outcomes and the measurement of performance. We agree with that goal. Wherever possible within our recommendations, we sought to define or clarify terms and explicitly state how a requirement would be measured. With respect to the proposed strategies and action steps, the District of Columbia’s proposal was intended to define their current thinking about actions to be taken, but to preserve flexibility to modify strategies based on implementation. In some cases, we determined that the language proposed was too vague to permit either Plaintiffs or the Monitor to understand sufficiently what was intended to be implemented and how it would be verified. In those instances, the Monitor’s recommended changes are in part designed to provide clarity about the actions that will be taken. In some cases, we collapsed strategies to reduce duplication and/or reordered things for ease of understanding and/or verification. Further, consistent

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with the Court’s Order of Ap 20, we ad pril dded timefra ames for com mpletion of S Strategy Plan n items that were not ongoing c s n commitment ts. The M Monitor’s re ecommended Strategy Pl also inclu d lan udes addition strategie to meet some nal es outco omes where we determin that the p w ned proposals de eveloped by the Defenda or Plaint ants tiffs were not sufficien to address the identifi barriers a issues. I several of the propose nt s ied and In f ed strate additions our recom egy s, mmendations incorporate recommend dations provi ided by key stake eholders. Wh we believe that the S hile Strategy Plan needs to be explicit in t n e terms of acti ions and ti imeframes so that the im mplementatio of strategies is verifia on able, we reco ommend that the t Court allow that the Strategy Plan can be modified at the Defend t t e t dant’s reques in consulta st ation with the Monitor, to preserve appropriate flexibility a to accom e e and mmodate the Defendant’s e desire to be able to quickly m e t modify strate egies when re esults are no being prod ot duced. The D Defendants requested in their plan th several re r hat equirements be moved fr from Outcom mes to Be Achieved to the Outco e t omes to be M Maintained se ection of the 2010-2011 Implementa e ation Plan. In some are we recom eas, mmend acce epting the Di istrict’s prop posal to mak that chang ke ge, based on our revi of curren data show d iew nt wing that the District of C Columbia’s c current perfo ormance is su ufficient to w warrant desig gnation of fi outcome achievemen In some inal e nt. instan nces in whic the Defendants propos this desi ch sed ignation, the Monitor did not accept the d District’s recomm mendation. I those inst In tances, perfo ormance data do not yet s a support consi istent perform mance at fin exit levels for the req nal quirements. Pleas let us know if you hav questions about the M se w ve Monitor’s pro oposed 2010-2011 Imple ementation and Strategy Plans. We a happy to meet with y at any tim to review the a y are you me w docum ments. Since erely,

Judith W. Meltze h er Court t-Appointed Monitor d Attac chment

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2010-2011 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN DRAFT INCORPORATING CSSP RECOMMENDATIONS
PREAMBLE The attached proposal for the LaShawn A. v. Fenty 2010-2011 Implementation Plan incorporates the Monitor’s recommendations, based on the Court’s Order of April 5, 2010; review and consideration of plans separately submitted by the District of Columbia (Defendants) and Children’s Rights Inc. (Plaintiffs); and recommendations from a range of external stakeholders who also reviewed both parties’ plans and submitted comments to the Monitor. The proposed plan is organized to include: Outcomes to Be Achieved, Outcomes to Maintained (those requirements where the District’s current performance meets proposed exit requirements) and the 2010-2011 Strategy Plan to Achieve Critical Safety, Permanency and Well-being Outcomes. Citations from Federal law, District of Columbia law and regulations, CFSA policy are included in a footnote attached to each requirement. For each outcome identified, the proposal recommends an exit requirement which defines the performance level, if achieved and sustained for a period of time to be determined by the Court, that the Monitor recommends as sufficient to justify a recommendation for the conclusion of court oversight of the District of Columbia’s child welfare system.1 The proposed Strategy Plan is intended to facilitate the Monitor’s understanding of the Defendant’s plans going forward and the Monitor’s ability to assess performance that meets the Court’s standard that permits compliance allowing for “insubstantial and justifiable modifications.” The Monitor recommends that the Court establish a twelve month sustainability timeframe for final achievement of exit requirements.2 The Monitor shall prepare and submit to the Court every 180 days an interim performance report setting forth (1) aggregate performance determinations in relation to the Outcomes to be Achieved and Outcomes to be Maintained and (2) findings regarding whether Defendants are making acceptable progress toward the exit requirements and in implementing the Strategy Plan.

1 The Monitor’s proposal does not include specific dates for exit for each requirement. It is assumed that all exit requirements are expected to be met by June 30, 2011. The Parties presented different proposals regarding sustainability. 2 The Monitor is recommending that the Court adopt a twelve month period of sustainability with the proviso that exit level performance be maintained absent substantial or unjustifiable deviation.

June 14, 2010

1

Outcomes to be Achieved

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SECTION I: OUTCOMES TO BE ACHIEVED TO ENSURE CHILD SAFETY PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY A. 1. INVESTIGATIONS3 a. Investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect shall be initiated or documented good faith efforts shall be made to initiate investigations within 48 hours after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment.4 Exit Requirement5: 95% of all investigations will be initiated within 48 hours or there will be documented good faith efforts to initiate investigations whenever the alleged victim child(ren) cannot be immediately located. b. Investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect shall be completed within 30 days after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment and the final report of findings for each investigation shall be completed within 5 days of the completion of the investigation.6 Exit Requirement: 90% of investigations will be completed and a final report of findings shall be entered in FACES within 35 days. c. [Moved to Outcomes to be Maintained] GOAL: CHILD SAFETY

Comment [A1]: 1. The Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to include definition of documented good faith efforts to initiate and to clarify the definition of good faith efforts to the language included in footnote #2. 2. The Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to leave the standard for initiation at 48 hours as it is consistent with local law which requires commencement within 24 hours and completion of initial phase within the following 24 hours. The LaShawn definition of initiation includes commencement and completion of the initial phase per DC law. Comment [A2]: Rationale: This is a child safety requirement where a 95% requirement is necessary and reasonable. Comment [A3]: The Monitor recommends accepting language change to be consistent with DC law. Comment [A4]: The Monitor recommends exit standard of 90% since some complex investigations may legitimately require more than 30 days to complete with a final report within 5 days. Comment [A5]: The Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal that the outcomes related to Investigations of Abuse and Neglect Involving Foster Homes and Institutions be moved to Outcomes to be Maintained Rationale: CFSA has been meeting this requirement and should be expected to continue to maintain performance.

d. For families who are subject to a new investigation for whom the current report of child maltreatment is the fourth or greater report of child maltreatment, with the most recent report occurring within the last 12 months, CFSA will conduct a comprehensive review
MFO II(B,F-G); MFO X(D)(1)(a); D.C. Code § 4-1301.04(b) (2010), § 4-1301.04(c)(3)(A) (2010), § 4-1301.06(a) (2010), § 4-1301.06(c)(1-2)(2010); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services, (VII)(C, W, Z) (9/30/03); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). 4 The 48 hour time period is consistent with local law (DC Code §§4-1301.04(a), (b) and (c) 2008 repl). Initiation of an investigation includes seeing all alleged victim child(ren) and talking with the child(ren) outside the presence of the caretaker. When the alleged victim child(ren) is not immediately located, documented good faith efforts to see the child within the first 48 hours shall include: 1.) visiting the child’s home at different times of the day; 2.) visiting the child’s school and/or day care in an attempt to locate the child if known; 3.) contacting the reporter, if known, to elicit additional information about the child’s location, 4.) reviewing the CFSA information system and other information systems (e.g. ACEDS, STARS) for additional information about the child and family; 5.) requesting assistance from CFSA’s diligent search unit to locate the child and family; and 6.) contacting the police for all allegations that a child(ren)’s safety or health is in immediate danger. See, DC Code §§4-1301.04(a), (b) and (c) (2008 repl). 5 Unless otherwise indicated, exit requirements shall be met by June 30, 2011. 6 The Court Monitor shall measure compliance with this requirement by validating FACES data regarding the percentage of all final reports of findings from investigations that were completed within 35 days after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment.
3

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of the case history and the current circumstances that bring the family to CFSA’s attention. Exit Requirement: 90% of the case records for families subject to a new investigation for whom the current report of child maltreatment is the fourth or greater report of child maltreatment, with the most recent report occurring within the last 12 months will have documentation of a comprehensive review. 2. ACCEPTABLE INVESTIGATIONS7 CFSA shall routinely conduct investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect. Evidence of acceptable investigations includes: a. Use of CFSA’s screening tool in prioritizing response times for initiating investigations; b. Interviews with and information obtained from the five core contacts – the victim child(ren), the maltreater, the reporting source (when known), medical resources, and educational resources (for school-age children); c. Interviews with collateral contacts that are likely to provide information about the child’s safety and well-being; d. Interviews with all children in the household outside the presence of the caretaker, parents or caregivers, or documentation, by the worker, of good-faith efforts to see the child and that the worker has been unable to locate the child; e. Medical and mental health evaluations of the children or parents when the worker determines that such evaluations are needed to complete the investigation, except where a parent refuses to consent to such evaluations. When a parent refuses to consent to such an evaluation, the investigative social worker and supervisor shall consult with the Assistant Attorney General to determine whether court intervention is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the child(ren); f. Use of risk assessment protocol in making decisions resulting from an investigation; and g. Initiation of services during the investigation to prevent unnecessary removal of children from their homes. Exit Requirement: 1. 85% of investigations will be of acceptable quality.
7 MFO II(H)-(L); D.C. Code § 4-1301.04 (2010), §4-1301.06 (b)(3)(B-D), §4-1303.01a(3A); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services, (VII)(C&S) (revised 9/30/03); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services (revised December 9, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007).

Comment [A6]: The Monitor has attempted to clarify the language and requirements on acceptable investigations below.

Comment [A7]: The Monitor recommends an exit requirement of 85% of investigations meeting all applicable quality measures.

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2. CFSA will ensure that: a. Pre-petition family team meetings shall occur prior to a child’s removal from his/her family in 70% of cases and b. Family team meetings shall be held before an abuse or neglect petition is filed in 70% of cases.

3. SERVICES TO FAMILIES AND CHILDREN TO PROMOTE SAFETY, PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING8 Appropriate services, including all services identified in a child or family’s safety plan or case plan, shall be offered and children/families shall be assisted to use services, to support child safety, permanence and well-being. CFSA shall provide for or arrange for services through operational commitments from District of Columbia public agencies and/or contracts with private providers. Services shall include : a. services to enable children who have been the subject of an abuse/neglect report to avoid placement and to remain safely in their own homes; b. services to enable children who have been returned from foster care to parents or relatives to remain with those families and avoid replacement into foster care; c. services to avoid disruption of an adoptive placement that has not been finalized and avoid the need for replacement; and d. services to prevent the disruption of a beneficial foster care placement and avoid the need for replacement. Exit Requirement: Appropriate services, including all services identified in a child or family’s safety plan or case plan, shall be offered and children/families shall be assisted to use services in 85% of cases.9 4. WORKER VISITATION TO FAMILIES WITH IN-HOME SERVICES10

Comment [A8]: The Monitor recommends an exit standard on FTMs that reflects the fact that per CFSA policy, pre-removal and removal FTMs are not applicable for families under certain circumstances including those where there are criminal allegations. Comment [A9]: The Monitor recommends adopting DC’s proposal to collapse former outcomes 3 and 23 into one outcome.

Comment [A10]: The Monitor’s proposed changes are intended to provide clarity and specificity to the outcome.

8 MFO III; D.C. Code § 4-1301.09(b) (2010); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01a(b)(7, 9, 10) (2010); D.C. Code § 41303.03(a)(3),(7),(13),(14) (2010); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(1)-(4), (8)-(9), (9A) (2010); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services (revised 9/30/03); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009) . 9 The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR implementation and pathway to safe case closure indicators, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable on both indicators, as applicable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale). 10 MFO III(B)(1); IPIII(3); CFSA Visitation Policy, (VII)(A) (revised April 28, 2010); CFSA Visitation Policy (revised April 2010); CFSA In-Home Practice Model, Quality Home Visitation (December 2007).

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a. A CFSA social worker or private agency social worker shall make at least one visit monthly to families in their home in which there has been substantiated abuse or neglect, with a determination that each child can be maintained safely in the home with services. b. A CFSA social worker, Family Support Worker, private agency social worker, or a Collaborative family support worker shall make a second monthly visit at a location of the family’s discretion. Exit Requirement: 95% of families will be visited monthly by a CFSA social worker or private agency social worker and 85% of families will be visited a second time monthly by a CFSA social worker, Family Support Worker, private agency social worker, or a Collaborative family support worker at a location of the family’s discretion. c. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker. Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit. 5. WORKER VISITATION TO CHILDREN IN OUT-OF-HOME CARE11 a. A CFSA social worker or private agency social worker with case management responsibility shall make monthly visits to each child in out-of-home care (foster family homes, group homes, congregate care, independent living programs, etc.). b. A CFSA social worker, private agency social worker, Family Support Worker, or nurse case manager shall make a second monthly visit to each child in out-of-home care (foster family homes, group homes, congregate care, independent living programs, etc.). c. At least one of the above visits each month shall be in the child’s home. Exit Requirement: 90% of children shall have twice monthly visits as defined above. d. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker.
11

Comment [A11]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section the visitation outcomes have not been fully met.

Comment [A12]: The Monitor recommends a 95% exit standard as monthly social worker visits in in-home cases are directly related to child safety. Monitor also recommends an 85% standard for the second required visit per month and recommends accepting DC’s proposal regarding acceptable workers in addition to the social worker.

Comment [A13]: The Monitor’s proposed changes are intended to provide clarity and specificity to the outcome.

Comment [A14]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section the visitation outcomes have not been fully met.

MFO IX(A-B); D.C. Code § 4-1405(b) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6003.2(b) (2007); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009).

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Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit. 6. VISITATION FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING A NEW PLACEMENT OR A PLACEMENT CHANGE12 a. A CFSA Social Worker or private agency social worker with case management responsibility shall make at least two visits to each child during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change. b. A CFSA social worker, private agency social worker, Family Support Worker, or nurse case manager shall make two additional visits to each child during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change. c. At least one of the above visits during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change shall be in the child’s home. d. At least one visit of the visits during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change shall include a conversation between the social worker and the resource parent to assess assistance needed by the resource parent from the agency. Exit Requirement: 90% of children newly placed in foster care or experiencing a placement change will have four visits in the first four weeks of a new placement or placement change as described above. e. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker. Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit.
Comment [A15]: This outcome includes the Monitor’s recommendations for clarity about visits for children with a new placement or placement change. The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to reduce the number of visits required during this timeframe, but accepts DC’s proposal that some of the visits can be accomplished by staff other than the assigned social worker.

12

MFO IX(A-B); D.C. Code § 4-1405(b) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6003.2(a, c) (2007); ); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Relationships with Resource Parents Policy (August 6, 2004).

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B. 7. RELATIVE RESOURCES13

GOAL: PERMANENCY

CFSA shall identify and investigate relative resources in all cases requiring removal of children from their homes. Exit Requirement: a. 90% of cases involving removal will invite known relatives to the Family Team Meeting (FTM).14 b. In 80% of cases involving removal where relatives express interest in being placement resource, CFSA will take immediate steps to assess the safety and appropriateness of the relative as a placement resource. 8. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN MOST FAMILY-LIKE SETTING15 a. Children in out-of-home care shall be placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to his or her needs. Exit Requirement: 90% of children will be in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to his or her needs. b. [Moved to maintenance] c. No child shall remain in an emergency, short-term, or shelter facility or foster home for more than 30 days. Exit Requirement: No child shall remain in an emergency, short-term, or shelter facility or foster home for more than 30 days
13

Comment [A16]: The AIP target was only interim and Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to lower exit standard. Monitor recommends exit standard of 90% of children. Comment [A17]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move outcome on children staying overnight in the CFSA building to the Outcomes to be Maintained section as this has not been a problem in the past two years. Comment [A18]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section.

MFO VI(A)(6); D.C. Code§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(B); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.1 (1990); CFSA Diligent Search Policy, (VII)(2) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Temporary Licensing of Foster Home for Kin Policy, (VII) (revised October 26, 2005); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Notice of Removal to Adult Relatives of Children and Youth Entering Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009). 14 In order to measure this, the Monitor will need data on all children at risk of removal or who have been removed during a specified time frame and the percentage of whom have an FTM and have a relative(s) invited to the FTM. 15 MFO VI(A); D.C. Code § 4-1301.09(d) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.3 (1990), 29, § 6256.4 (2001); IP VI(1)(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Notice of Removal to Adult Relatives of Children and Youth Entering Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009); CFSA Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) Policy (revised October 2, 2009).

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9. PLACEMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN16 a. Children under age 12 shall not be placed in congregate care settings for more than 30 days unless the child has special needs that cannot be met in a home-like setting and unless the setting has a program to treat the child’s specific needs. Exit Requirement: No child under 12 will be placed in congregate care settings for more than 30 days without appropriate justification that the child has special treatment needs that cannot be met in a home-like setting and the setting has a program to treat the child’s specific needs. b. CFSA shall place no child under six years of age in a group care non-foster home setting, except for those children with exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care.17 Exit Requirement: No children under 6 years of age will be placed in a group care non-foster home setting, without appropriate justification that the child has exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care. 10. VISITS BETWEEN PARENTS AND WORKERS18 a. For children with a permanency goal of reunification, in accordance with the case plan, the CFSA Social Worker or private agency social worker with case-management responsibility shall visit with the parent(s) at least one time per month in the first three months post-placement.19 b. A CFSA social worker, nurse cars manager, or the Family Support Worker shall make a second visit during each month for the first three months post-placement.20 Exit Requirement: 90% of parents will have twice monthly visitation with workers in the first three months post-placement.21

Comment [A19]: Monitor recommends against accepting CFSA’s definition of “exceptional needs” which includes sibling groups. The Monitor will work with CFSA to develop an acceptable definition of “exceptional needs” and will conduct individual review of case circumstances.

MFO VI(A)(8); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6256.2 (2001), § 6256.1 (2001). Based on an individual review, the Monitor will exclude children placed in a group care non-foster home setting that have exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care. 18 MFO VII(B)(6); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009); CFSA Elements of Good Documentation Tip-Sheet (November, 2009) 19 Exceptions are allowed when there is documentation that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency. 20 Exceptions are allowed when there is documentation that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency.
17

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11. VISITS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN22 There shall be weekly visits between parents and children with a goal of reunification unless clinically inappropriate and approved by the Family Court. In cases in which visitation does not occur, the Agency shall demonstrate and there shall be documentation in the case record that visitation was not in the child’s best interest, is clinically inappropriate or did not occur despite efforts by the Agency to facilitate it. Exit Requirement: 90% of children with the goal of reunification will have weekly visitation with the parent with whom reunification is sought.23 12. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS24 Children shall have permanency planning goals consistent with the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and District law and policy guidelines. Exit Requirement: a. 95% of children shall have permanency planning goals consistent with ASFA and District law and policy guidelines. b. Beginning July 1, 2010, children shall not be given a goal of APPLA without convening an FTM or LYFE meeting with participation by the youth and approval by the CFSA Director, or a court order directing the permanency goal of APPLA. c. 90% of youth ages 18 and older will have a plan to prepare them for adulthood that is developed with their consultation. No later than 180 days prior to the date on which the youth will turn 21 years old (or on which the youth will emancipate), a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child will be created that includes connection to specific options on housing, health insurance, and education and linkages to continuing adult support services agencies (e.g. Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security

21

This exit requirement excludes cases where it is documented that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency. 22 MFO VII(B)(7); D.C. Code§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(5); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009); CFSA Elements of Good Documentation Tip-Sheet (November, 2009) 23 This target excludes cases where it is documented that a visit is not in the child’s best interest, is clinically inappropriate or did not occur despite efforts by the Agency to facilitate it. 24 MFO VII(C-D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a)(6, 15) (2010); CFSA Establishing the Goal of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) Policy (revised June 25, 2009); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Permanence (July 2009).

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Income (SSI) and Medicaid), work force supports, employment services, and local opportunities for mentors.25 13. REDUCTION OF MULTIPLE PLACEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE26 Exit Requirements: a. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care at least 8 days and less than 12 months, 88% shall have had two or fewer placements. b. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care for at least 12 months but less than 24 months, 65% shall have had two or fewer placements. c. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care for at least 24 months, 75% shall have had two or fewer placement in that 12 month period. 14. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS27 a. CFSA shall have in place a process for recruiting, studying and approving families interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents that results in the necessary training, home studies, and decisions on approval being completed within 150 days of beginning training. Exit Requirements: 70% of homes licensed beginning October 1, 2010, will have been approved within 150 days. b. [Moved to maintenance] 15. LEGAL ACTION TO FREE CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION28 Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall have legal action initiated to free them for adoption within 45 days of their permanency goal becoming adoption. Exit Requirement: 1. Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall have legal action initiated to free them for adoption within 45 days of their permanency goal becoming adoption.
25

Comment [A20]: Monitor recommends modifying the exit standard to reflect placement history of long-staying youth (13.c.).

Comment [A21]: Monitor recommends changing the requirement to 150 days based on practice experience.

Comment [A22]: In recognition that some families will require more time to complete the licensing process, the Monitor recommends an exit standard at 70%. Comment [A23]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move the requirement on foster parent training opportunities to Outcomes to be Maintained section. Comment [A24]: Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this outcome to the Outcomes to be Maintained section because while CFSA and the Attorney General’s office are filing petitions for termination of parental rights, for a variety of reasons children are not legally free.

The requirement to develop a Transition Plan for youth exiting the foster care system is in federal law. See, The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (October 7, 2008). 26 MFO VI(A, B, D); IP VI(2); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 27 MFO XIV(F, G); MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(C); AIP(I)(14)(b); IP VI(3); D.C. Mun. Reg, tit. 29, § 6028.4-5 (2004). 28 MFO VIII(C)(3); IP (VIII)(1)(b).

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2. For 90% of children whose permanency goal is adoption, CFSA shall take and document actions by the assigned social worker and the Assistant Attorney General to facilitate the court’s timely hearing and resolution of legal action to terminate parental rights. 16. TIMELY ADOPTION29 a. Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall be in an approved adoptive placement within nine months of their goal becoming adoption.30 Exit Requirement: 1. For children whose permanency goal changed to adoption July 1, 2010 or thereafter, 80% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by the end of the ninth month from when their goal changed to adoption.31 2. For children whose permanency goal changed to adoption prior to July 1, 2010 who are not currently in an approved adoptive placement, 40% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by December 31, 2010 and an additional 20% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by June 30, 2011.
Comment [A25]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move the requirement on permanency planning team meetings to Outcomes to be Maintained section. Comment [A26]: The Monitor’s proposal attempts to clarify the reasonable efforts necessary to ensure that children exit to adoption timely. Additionally, the Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to measure the twelve month standard solely from the time of an adoption petition being filed.

b. [Moved to maintenance] c. CFSA shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that children placed in an approved adoptive home have their adoptions finalized within twelve (12) months of signed notification of an intent to adopt or the filing of the adoption petition.32 Exit Requirement: 1. By December 31, 2010, 90% of the 203 children in pre-adoptive homes as of October 1, 2009 will have adoption finalized or have documented reasonable efforts made to achieve permanence for the child.

MFO VIII(D)(1), (2)(d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01(a), § 4-1303.01a(b)(110; IP VIII(1-2). The Monitor will consider a placement an approved adoptive placement based on documentation of an intent to adopt or filing of an adoption petition or indication in the FACES service line of an adoptive placement. 31 This will be measured by looking at children who have had the goal of adoption for 10 months to ensure the full nine months have passed. 32 Reasonable efforts include: 1) ensuring the home is licensed as a pre-adoptive home (if not dually licensed); 2) requesting an adoption home study if needed; 3) responding to the Order of Reference; 4) preparing the child and biological parents for the adoption; 5) referring adoptive families to Family Intervention Services to assist/support families in their new role; 6) assessing post permanency needs and families’ readiness for adoption; 7) referring and acquainting families with the Post Permanency Family Center; 8) preparing for TPR trial if child is not legally free; 9) preparing an ICPC package if needed; and, 10) preparing the adoption final report. See, D.C. Code § 41303.01a(b)(11).
30

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2. 90% of the children in pre-adoptive homes will have adoption finalized or have documented reasonable efforts to achieve permanence within 12 months of a signed notification of an intent to adopt or the filing of the adoption petition. 17. CASE PLANNING PROCESS33 a. CFSA, with the family, shall develop timely, comprehensive and appropriate case plans in compliance with District law requirements and permanency timeframes, which reflect family and children’s needs, are updated as family circumstances or needs change, and CFSA shall deliver services reflected in the current case plan. b. [Moved to maintenance] c. Every reasonable effort shall be made to locate family members and to develop case plans in partnership with youth and families, the families’ informal support networks, and other formal resources working with or needed by the youth and/or family. d. Case plans shall identify specific services, supports and timetables for providing services needed by children and families to achieve identified goals. Exit Requirement: 85% of cases reviewed through the Quality Service Reviews (QSR) will be rated as acceptable.34 18. PLACEMENT LICENSING35 Children shall be placed in foster homes and other placements that meet licensing and other MFO placement standards and have a current and valid license. Exit Requirement: 95% of foster homes and group homes with children placed will have a current and valid license.
Comment [A27]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move the requirement on case plan development within 30 days to Outcomes to be Maintained section.

Comment [A28]: The Monitor recommends a 95% exit standard as this is a safety requirement.

33

MFO VII(A-B, D); D.C. Code § 4-1301.02(3) (2010), § 4-1301.09(b); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Case Planning (revised July 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (VII) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 34 The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR case planning process and pathway to safe case closure indicators, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable, as applicable, on both indicators, as applicable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale). 35 MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1402 (2010), §4-217.02, § 4-1303.03(a-1)(10), §7-217.02; § 7-2103, § 7-2105; D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, §§ 1638.2 (1990), 6206.1-5 (2001).

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C.

GOAL: CHILD WELL-BEING
Comment [A29]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section based on the Monitor’s findings from the Monitor’s most recent Assessment of Investigative Practice.

19. COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE REFERRALS FOR LOW & MODERATE RISK FAMILIES36 Exit Requirement: 90% of families who have been the subject of a report of abuse and/or neglect, whose circumstances are deemed to place a child in their care at low or moderate risk of abuse and neglect and who are in need additional supports, including short term crisis intervention, shall be referred to an appropriate Collaborative or community agency for follow-up.37 20. SIBLING PLACEMENT AND VISITS38 a. Children in out-of-home placement who enter foster care with siblings or within 30 days of their siblings should be placed with some or all of their siblings, unless documented that the placement is not appropriate based on safety, best interest needs of child(ren) or a court order requiring separation. Exit Requirements: 85% of children who enter foster care with their siblings or within 30 days of their siblings will be placed with some of their siblings.39 b. Children placed apart from their siblings should have at least twice monthly visitation with some or all of their siblings unless documented that the visitation is not in the best interest of the child(ren). Exit Requirement: 90% of children shall have monthly visits with their separated siblings and 75% of children shall have twice-monthly visits with their separated siblings.40 21. PLACEMENT WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE DISTRICT [Moved to maintenance]

Comment [A30]: The Monitor proposes adjusting the measure to include measuring sibling placement only for siblings who enter together or within 30 days of each other.

Comment [A31]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move this outcome to the Outcomes to be Maintained section as CFSA has been meeting this requirement and should be expected to continue to maintain performance.

36 37

MFO XV(A)(2); D.C. Code §§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(3)-(3A)(A) (2010), § 4-1303.03a (2010). Low and moderate risk cases for which CFSA decides to open an ongoing CFSA case are excluded from this requirement. 38 MFO VI(A)(5); MFO VII(B)(5)(m); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(5); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.8 (1990); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Maintaining Sibling Connections for Children and Youth in Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009). 39 This target excludes children where it is documented that such placement is not appropriate. 40 This target excludes children where it is documented that visitation is not in the best interest of childr(ren).

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22. ASSESSMENTS FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING A PLACEMENT DISRUPTION41 CFSA shall ensure that children in its custody whose placements are disrupted are provided with a comprehensive and appropriate assessment and follow-up action plans to determine their service and re-placement needs no later than within 30 days of re-placement. A comprehensive assessment is a review, including as applicable the child, his/her family, kin, current and former caregiver and the GAL, to assess the child’s current medical, social, behavioral, educational and dental needs to determine the additional evaluations/services/supports that are required to prevent future placement disruptions. Exit Requirement: 90% of children experiencing a placement disruption will have a comprehensive assessment as described above and an action plan developed.

23. SERVICES TO PROMOTE STABILITY [Combined with Outcome no. 3.] 24. HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE42 a. Children in foster care shall have a health screening prior to placement. Exit Requirement: 95% of children in foster care shall have a health screening prior to an initial placement or re-entry into care. 90% of children in foster care who experience a placement change shall have a replacement health screening. b. Children in foster care shall receive a full medical and dental evaluation within 30 days of placement. Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of children in foster care shall receive a full medical evaluation within 30 days of placement. 95% of children in foster care shall receive a full medical evaluation within 60 days of placement. 2. 25% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 30 days of placement. 50% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 60 days of placement. 90% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 90 days of placement.
Comment [A32]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to combine this with Outcome #3.

Comment [A33]: Monitor recommends 95% exit standard as this is a safety measure.

Comment [A34]: Monitor recommends these exit requirements on dental evaluations to allow CFSA a longer timeframe to schedule/access dental services, in recognition of resource barriers

41 42

MFO III(B)(3-4); MFO VI(C)(3); IP VI(1)(h). MFO VI(C); AIP(24)(c-d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a)(3), § 4-1303.03(d); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Investigations Policy (September 30, 2003); CFSA Relationship with Resource Parents Policy (August 6, 2004).

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c. Children in foster care shall have timely access to health care services to meet identified needs. Exit Requirement: 85% of cases reviewed through the Quality Service Reviews (QSR) will be rated as acceptable.43 d. CFSA shall provide caregivers with documentation of Medicaid coverage within 5 days of every placement and Medicaid cards within 30 days. Exit Requirement: 90% of children’s caregivers shall be provided with documentation of Medicaid coverage within 5 days of ever placement and Medicaid cards within 30 days. e. Medicaid coverage shall remain active for the entire time a child is in foster care. Exit Requirement: 95% of children shall have Medicaid coverage that is active for the entire time they are in foster care.
Comment [A35]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to eliminate these requirements regarding Medicaid coverage as the timely coverage and receipt of cards ensures access to medical care and is identified by resource parents as an essential support

43 The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR child status health/physical well-being indicator, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale).

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D.

GOAL: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY
Comment [A36]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to Outcomes to be Maintained section in recognition of proposed FY2011 budget reductions for communitybased services.

25. FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES44 The District shall provide evidence of financial support for community- and neighborhoodbased services to protect children and support families. Exit Requirement: The District shall provide evidence of financial support for community- and neighborhood-based services to protect children and support families. 26. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN45 The District shall implement the CFSA Resource Development Plan, which is to be developed by June 30, 2009 each year. The Resource Development Plan shall include all of the components listed in item 21b of the Outcomes to be Maintained section of this document. Exit Requirement: The District shall implement the CFSA Resource Development Plan, which is to be developed by June 30 each year. The Resource Development Plan shall include all of the components listed in Item 21b of the “Outcomes to be Maintained” section of this document. 27. POST-ADOPTION SERVICES46 CFSA shall make available post-adoption services necessary to preserve families who have adopted a child committed to CFSA. Exit Requirement: CFSA shall provide documentation that post-adoption services necessary to preserve families who have adopted a child committed to CFSA have been offered and made available to families in 90% of applicable cases.

Comment [A37]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section because while CFSA is creating a Resource Development Plan as required, many strategies identified in the plan have not been implemented.

Comment [A38]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section because available services have not been in place long enough to show sustained compliance and the need to verify whether an adequate array of postpermanency services is available.

44 45 46

MFO XV(C); AIP(25). MFO(XV)(B). MFO VIII(G); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(9) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg 1622.6 (1990); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Permanence (July 2009).

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28. CASELOADS47 a. The caseload of each worker48 conducting investigations of reports of abuse and/or neglect shall not exceed the MFO standard, which is 1:12 investigations. b. The caseload of each worker providing services to children and families in which the child or children in the family are living in their home shall not exceed 1:15 families. c. The caseload of each worker providing services to children in placement, including children in Emergency Care and children in any other form of CFSA physical custody, shall not exceed 1:15 children for children in foster care. d. [Deleted] e. The caseload of each worker having responsibility for conducting home studies shall not exceed 30 cases. f. There shall be no cases unassigned to a social worker for more than five business days, in which case, the supervisor shall provide coverage but not for more than five business days. Exit Requirement: 90% of investigators and social workers will have caseloads that meet the above caseload requirements. No individual investigator shall have a caseload greater than 15 cases. No individual social worker shall have a caseload greater than 18 cases. No individual worker conducting home studies shall have a caseload greater than 35 cases. 29. SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES49 a. Supervisors who are responsible for supervising social workers who carry caseloads shall be responsible for no more than six workers, including case aides of Family Support Workers, or five caseworkers. b. No supervisor shall be responsible for the on-going case management of any case.50
Comment [A39]: The Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to delete this requirement as CFSA’s no longer using permanency specialists in a case carrying role. Comment [A40]: The Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to Outcomes to be Maintained section.

47

MFO XI(A, F); AIP(28)(b, c, d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(d), § 4-1303.02a(e).

48

All requirements apply to both CFSA workers and private agency workers. All CFSA contracts with private agencies providing foster care services shall include performance expectations for visitation of children in foster care in compliance with MFO visitation requirements.

MFO XI(C, F); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(d), § 4-1303.02a(e); AIP(29)(b). Case assignment in FACES begins with assigning the case to a program manager then a supervisor who then assigns the case to a worker. At any point in time, it will appear in FACES as if a supervisor or program manager has a case assignment.
50

49

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Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of supervisors shall be responsible for no more than five social workers and a case aide or Family Support Worker. 2. 95% of cases are assigned to social workers. 30. TRAINING FOR NEW SOCIAL WORKERS AND SUPERVISORS51 a. New workers shall receive the required 80 hours of pre-service training through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training in assigned training units. b. New supervisors shall complete a minimum of 40 hours of pre-service training on supervision of child welfare workers within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility. Exit Requirement: 1. 95% of newly hired CFSA and private agency social workers shall receive 80 hours of pre-service training. 2. 95% of newly hired CFSA and private agency supervisors shall complete 40 hours of pre-service training on supervision of child welfare worker within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility. 31. TRAINING FOR PREVIOUSLY HIRED SOCIAL WORKERS, SUPERVISORS AND ADMINISTRATORS52 a. Previously hired workers shall receive annually a minimum of 5 full training days (or a minimum of 30 hours) of structured in-service training geared toward professional development and specific core and advanced competencies. b. Supervisors, administrators and other personnel who have any casework responsibility shall receive annually a minimum of 24 hours of structured in-service training. Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of CFSA and private agency social workers shall receive the required annual in-service training. 2. 90% of CFSA and private agency supervisors, administrators and other personnel who have any casework responsibility shall receive the required annual in-service training.
Comment [A42]: The Monitor recommends using the MFO training requirement. Comment [A41]: Rationale: The MFO requires all persons with responsibility for children in the plaintiff class must receive pre-service training. This would include FTM facilitators and coordinators, nurse case managers, family support workers, and case-carrying social workers.

51 52

MFO XIV(D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Training (July 2009). MFO XIV(D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Training (July 2009).

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32. TRAINING FOR FOSTER PARENTS53 a. CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive a minimum of 15 hours of preservice training. b. CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive 30 hours of in-service training every two years. Exit Requirement: 1. 95% of CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive a minimum of 15 hours of
pre-service training

Comment [A43]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to change the required in-service hours for foster parents to every two years.

2. 95% of foster parents whose licenses are renewed shall receive 30 hours of in service training. 33. QUALITY ASSURANCE [Moved to maintenance] 34. SPECIAL CORRECTIVE ACTION54 a. CFSA shall produce accurate monthly reports, shared with the Monitor, which identify children in the following categories: i. All cases in which a child has been placed in four or more different placements, with the fourth or additional placement occurring in the last 12 months and the placement is not a permanent placement; ii. All cases in which a child has had a permanency goal of adoption for more than one year and has not been placed in an adoptive home; iii. All children who have been returned home and have reentered care more than twice and have a plan of return home at the time of the report; iv. Children with a permanency goal of reunification for more than 18 months; v. Children placed in emergency facilities for more than 90 days; vi. Children placed in foster homes or facilities that exceed their licensed capacities or placed in facilities without a valid license vii. Children under 14 with a permanency goal of APPLA; and viii. Children in facilities more than 100 miles from the District of Columbia. b. CFSA shall conduct a child-specific case review by the Director or Director’s designee(s) for each child identified and implement a child-specific corrective action plan, as appropriate.
Comment [A44]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section. Comment [A45]: Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move 34.a.i. to the investigations outcome, but recommends against DC’s proposal to move/eliminate the remaining categories as there is no evidence that reviews of these categories are now being adequately conducted.

53 54

MFO XIV(F); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6026 (2001). MFO XIX; IP XIX.

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Exit Requirement: Required reviews will occur and corrective action plans will be developed and implemented, as appropriate, according to CFSA’s plan for conducting reviews for 90% of children identified in corrective action categories. 35. PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTING55 CFSA shall have in place a functioning performance based contracting system that (a) develops procurements for identified resource needs, including placement and service needs; (b) issues contracts in a timely manner to qualified service providers in accordance with District laws and regulations; and (c) monitors contract performance on a routine basis. Exit Requirement: Evidence of functionality and ongoing compliance. Evidence of capacity to monitor contract performance on a routine basis.56 36. INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN57 CFSA shall continue to maintain responsibility for managing and complying with the ICPC for children in its care. Exit Requirement: Elimination of the backlog of cases without ICPC compliance. 37. LICENSING REGULATIONS58 CFSA shall have necessary resources to enforce regulations effectively for original and renewal licensing of foster homes, group homes, and independent living facilities. Exit Requirement: Documentation of sufficient trained staff capacity to carry out policy and protocols related to foster home and congregate care facility licensing.

Comment [A46]: Monitor recommends against DC’s proposal to move this requirement to the Outcomes to be Maintained section.

38. PROVIDER PAYMENTS [Moved to maintenance]
MFO XVI(B). Functionality will be assessed by looking at the timely execution and renewal of contracts/Human Care Agreements in accordance with Performance Based Contracting standards for all placement and service agreements; the timely and effective monitoring of contracts/Human Care Agreements in accordance with CSA policy and monitoring protocols and evidence of decisions and actions to procure placements and services from providers that meet specified performance outcomes. 57 IP VI(6); D.C. Code § 4-1421 (2010), § 4-1422; § 4-1423, §4-1303.02a(c); CFSA ICPC Policy (October 2, 2009). 58 MFO XV(E).
56 55

Comment [A47]: The Monitor recommends accepting DC’s proposal to move this requirement to Outcomes to be Maintained section. Monitor also recommends dropping current requirement for monthly reports to the Court and substituting regular monitoring.

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39. BUDGET AND STAFFING ADEQUACY59 The District shall provide evidence that the Agency’s annual budget complies with Paragraph 7 of the October 23, 2000 Order providing customary adjustments to the FY 2001 baseline budget and adjustments to reflect increases in foster parent payments and additional staff required to meet caseload standards, unless demonstrated compliance with the MFO can be achieved with fewer resources. The District shall provide evidence of compliance with Paragraph 4 of the October 23, 2000 Order that CFSA staff shall be exempt from any District-wide furloughs and from any District-wide agency budget and/or personnel reductions that may be otherwise imposed. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 40. FEDERAL REVENUE MAXIMIZATION60 CFSA shall demonstrate compliance with Sections A and B of Chapter XVIII of the Modified Final Order concerning federal revenue maximization and financial development. Exit Requirement: Evidence of consistent claiming of all appropriate and available federal revenue.
Comment [A48]: The Monitor recommends moving this requirement to Outcomes to be Achieved based on DC’s recent and currently unresolved challenges with claiming federal revenue.

59 60

IP XVIII Outcomes (2-3). MFO XVIII(A-B).

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SECTION II: OUTCOMES TO BE MAINTAINED The following outcomes were included in the Outcomes to be Achieved Section of the Amended Implementation Plan and are proposed for inclusion here because CFSA has demonstrated sustained performance that meets required exit standards.

Comment [A49]: This section has been renumbered based on additional outcomes being moved from the above section.

A. PROTECTIVE SERVICES
1. ENTERING REPORTS INTO COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM61 CFSA shall immediately enter all reports of abuse or neglect into its computerized information systems and shall use the system to determine whether there have been prior reports of abuse or neglect in that family or to that child. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 2. MAINTAINING 24 HOUR RESPONSE SYSTEM62 CFSA shall staff and maintain a 24-hour system for receiving and responding to reports of child abuse and neglect, which conforms to reasonable professional standards. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 3. CHECKING FOR PRIOR REPORTS63 Child abuse and/or neglect reports shall show evidence that the investigator checked for prior reports of abuse and/or neglect. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

61 62 63

MFO II(C); IP II(6); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). MFO II(A); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). MFO II(C); CFSA Investigations Policy (VII)(C)(7)(b) (September 30, 2003); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009).

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4. REVIEWING CHILD FATALITIES64 The District of Columbia, through the City-wide Child Fatality Committee, and an Internal CFSA Committee, shall conform to the requirements of the MFO regarding the ongoing independent review of child fatalities of members of the plaintiff class, with procedures for (1) reviewing child deaths; (2) making recommendations concerning appropriate corrective action to avert future fatalities; (3) issuing an annual public report; and (4) considering and implementing recommendations as appropriate. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 5. INVESTIGATIONS OR ABUSE AND NEGLECT IN FOSTER HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS65 Reports of abuse and neglect in foster homes and institutions shall be comprehensively investigated; investigations in foster homes shall be completed within 35 days and investigations involving group homes, day care settings or other congregate care settings shall be completed within 60 days. Exit Requirement: 90% of reports of abuse and neglect in foster homes shall be completed within 35 days and within 60 days for investigations involving group homes, day care settings or other congregate settings.

64 65

MFO(II)(N); D.C. Code § 4-1371.03 (2010); CFSA Child Fatality Review Policy (March 18, 2009). CFSA Investigations Policy (VII)(C)(7)(b) (September 30, 2003).

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B. EMERGENCY CARE AND GENERAL ASSISTANCE
6. POLICIES FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS66 CFSA shall have in place policies and procedures for appropriate use of general assistance payments for the care of children by unrelated adults, including provision of any applicable oversight and supervision. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 7. USE OF GENERAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS67 CFSA shall demonstrate that District General Assistance payment grants are not used as a substitute for financial supports for foster care or kinship care for District children who have been subject to child abuse or neglect. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

C. PERMANENCY PLANNING AND PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN
8. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN MOST FAMILY LIKE SETTING68 No child shall stay overnight in the CFSA Intake Center or office building. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 9. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS69 CFSA should ensure training opportunities are available so that interested families may begin training within 30 days of inquiry. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

66 67

MFO V. MFO V. 68 Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007). 69 MFO XIV(F, G); MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(C); AIP(I)(14)(b); IP VI(3); D.C. Mun. Reg, tit. 29, § 6028.4-5 (2004).

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10. PLACEMENT WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE DISTRICT70 No more than 82 children shall be placed more than 100 miles from the District of Columbia. (Children placed in college, vocational programs, correctional facilities, or kinship or preadoptive family-based settings under the ICPC shall be exempt from this requirement.) Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 11. LICENSING AND PLACEMENT STANDARDS71 a. Children shall be placed in foster homes and other placements that meet licensing and other MFO placement standards. b. Children in foster home placements shall be in homes that (a) have no more than three foster children or (b) have six total children including the family’s natural children; (c) have no more than two children under two years of age or (d) have more than three children under six years of age. The sole exception shall be those instances in which the placement of a sibling group, with no other children in the home, shall exceed these limits. c. No child shall be placed in a group-care setting with a capacity in excess of eight (8) children without express written approval by the Director or designee based on written documentation that the child’s needs can only be met in that specific facility, including a description of the services available in the facility to address the individual child’s needs. d. Children shall not be placed in a foster care home or facility in excess of its licensed capacity. The sole exception shall be those instances in which the placement of a sibling group, with no other children in the home, shall exceed the limits. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of children.

70 71

MFO XV(D)(1),(5), XIX(A)(9); IP VI(1)(f). MFO XV(E), VI(A)(7, 10; D.C. Code § 4-1402 (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit.29, §§ 1638.2 (1990), 6206.1-4 (2001).

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12. CASE PLANNING PROCESS72 Case plans shall be developed within 30 days of the child entering care and shall be reviewed and modified as necessary at least every six months thereafter, and shall show evidence of appropriate supervisory review of case plan progress. Exit Requirement: 95% of case plans shall be developed within 30 days of the child entering care and shall be reviewed and modified as necessary at least every six months thereafter. 13. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS73 No child under the age of 12 shall have a permanency goal of legal custody with permanent caretakers unless he or she is placed with a relative who is willing to assume long-term responsibility for the child and who has legitimate reasons for not adopting the child and it is in the child’s best interest to remain in the home of the relative rather than be considered for adoption by another person. No child under the age of 12 shall have a permanency goal of continued foster care unless CFSA has made every reasonable effort, documented in the record, to return the child home, to place the child with an appropriate family member, and to place the child for adoption, and CFSA has considered and rejected the possibility of the child’s foster parents assuming legal custody as permanent caretakers of the child. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 14. TIMELY ADOPTION74 Within 95 days of a child’s permanency goal becoming adoption, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team to develop a child-specific recruitment plan which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource. Exit Requirement: For 90% of children whose permanency goal becomes adoption, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team to develop a child-specific recruitment plan which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource.

72

MFO VII(A-B, D); D.C. Code § 4-1301.02(3) (2010), § 4-1301.09(b); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Case Planning (revised July 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (VII) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 73 MFO XIX(A)(8), VII(C)(4); AIP II(8); CFSA Establishing the Goal of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) Policy ( June 25, 2004) 74 MFO VIII(D)(1), (2)(d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01(a), § 4-1303.01a(b)(110; IP VIII(1-2).

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15. POST-ADOPTION SERVICES NOTIFICATION75 Adoptive families shall receive notification at the time that the adoption becomes final of the availability of post-adoption services. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 90% of cases.

D. CASE REVIEW SYSTEM
16. FAMILY COURT REVIEWS76 A case review hearing will be conducted in Family Court at least every six months for every child as long as the child remains in out-of-home placement, unless the child has received a permanency hearing within the past six months. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance for 95% of cases. 17. PERMANENCY HEARINGS77 CFSA shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that children in foster care have a permanency hearing in Family Court no later than 14 months after their initial placement. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of cases.

E. CASELOADS, STAFFING, AND WORKER QUALIFICATION
18. USE OF MSWS AND BSWS78 Unless otherwise agreed, all social worker hires at CFSA shall have an MSW or BSW before being employed as trainees. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for all social work hires.

75 76 77

MFO VIII(G)(2); IP VIII(5). MFO X(B)(1)(c); D.C. Code § 16-2323 (2010); CFSA Administrative Review Policy (July 12, 2006). MFO X(B)(2); D.C. Code § 16-2323 (2010). 78 MFO XIII(A).

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19. SOCIAL WORK LICENSURE79 All social work staff shall meet District of Columbia licensing requirements to carry cases independently of training units. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for all social workers.

F. TRAINING
20. TRAINING FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS80 Adoptive parents shall receive a minimum of 30 hours of training, excluding the orientation process. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of adoptive parents.

G. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
21. NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN81 a. CFSA shall complete a needs assessment every two years, which shall include an assessment of placement support services, to determine what services are available and the number and categories of additional services and resources, if any, that are necessary to ensure compliance with the MFO. The needs assessment shall be a written report. The needs assessment, including the report, shall be repeated every two years. CFSA shall provide evidence of adequate Resource Development capacity within the Agency, with sufficient staff and other resources to carry out MFO resource development functions. b. The District shall develop a Resource Development Plan, which shall be updated annually by June 30th of each year. The Resource Development Plan shall: (a) project the number of emergency placements, foster homes, group homes, therapeutic foster homes and institutional placements that shall be required by children in CFSA custody during the upcoming year; (b) identify strategies to assure that CFSA has available, either directly or through contract, a sufficient number of appropriate placements for all children in its physical or legal custody; (c) project the need for community-based services to prevent unnecessary placement, replacement, adoption and foster home disruption; (d) identify how the Agency is moving to ensure decentralized neighborhood and community-based services; and (e) include an assessment of the need for adoptive families and strategies for recruitment, training and retention of adoptive families based on the annual assessment. The Plan shall specify the quantity of each category of
79 80

IP XI-XIII(10). MFO(XIV)(G). 81 MFO XV(B); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(10)(D & F) (2010).

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resources and services, the time period within which they shall be developed, and the specific steps that shall be taken to ensure that they are developed. CFSA shall then take necessary steps to implement this plan. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 22. FOSTER PARENT LICENSURE82 CFSA shall license relatives as foster parents in accordance with District law, District licensing regulations and ASFA requirements. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 23. QUALITY ASSURANCE83 CFSA shall have a Quality Assurance system with sufficient staff and resources to assess case practice, analyze outcomes and provide feedback to managers and stakeholders. The Quality Assurance system must annually review a sufficient number of cases to assess compliance with the provisions of the MFO and good social work practice, to identify systemic issues, and to produce results allowing the identification of specific skills and additional training needed by workers and supervisors. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

H. CONTRACT REVIEW AND PROVIDER PAYMENTS
24. MAINTAINING COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM84 a. CFSA shall develop and maintain a unitary computerized information system and shall take all reasonable and necessary steps to achieve and maintain accuracy. b. CFSA shall provide evidence of the capacity of FACES Management Information System to produce appropriate, timely, and accurate worker/supervisor reports and other management reports that shall assist the Agency in meeting goals of safety, permanence and well-being and the requirements of the MFO and Court-ordered Implementation Plan Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

82 83

MFO XV(F); CFSA Temporary Licensing of Foster Home for Kin Policy (revised October 26, 2005). MFO X(C). 84 MFO XVII(A-D).

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25. CONTRACTS TO REQUIRE THE ACCEPTANCE OF CHILDREN REFERRED85 CFSA contracts for services shall include a provision that requires the provider to accept all clients referred pursuant to the terms of the contract, except for a lack of vacancy. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 26. PROVIDER PAYMENTS86 CFSA shall ensure payment to providers in compliance with DC’s Quick Payment Act for all services rendered. Exit Requirement: 90% of payments to providers shall be made in compliance with DC’s Quick Payment Act for all services rendered. 27. FOSTER PARENT BOARD RATES87 There shall be an annual adjustment at the beginning of each fiscal year of board rates for all foster and adoptive homes to equal the USDA annual adjustment to maintain rates consistent with USDA standards for costs of raising a child in the urban south. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

85 86

MFO XVI(C). AIP(38). 87 MFO XV(D)(6)(a).

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SECTION III: STRATEGY PLAN THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2010 Pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the Court’s April 5, 2010 order, CFSA will implement the following Strategy Plan with specific action steps and targets designed to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for children and to reach and sustain the performance requirements of the MFO and the LaShawn A. 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. The strategies, specific action steps and targets in this plan are in critical areas related to outcomes including investigations, safe and stable reunification, licensing, training, adoption, services for youth aging out, placement stability, case planning, visitation and health and mental health services. The Strategy Plan and the specific actions steps and targets included therein are a means to achieving compliance with the mandated outcomes of the MFO and the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. The Strategy Plan primarily addresses the timeframe between June and December 2010. The plan and action steps and targets can be modified with prior consultation with the Monitor. By January 31, 2011, the District of Columbia, after consultation with the Monitor and Plaintiffs, will submit for Court approval an addendum updating the Strategy plan for the period from January through June 2011. A. GOAL: CHILD SAFETY

1. INVESTIGATIONS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 1 and 2) a. Policy 1. CFSA will review and modify if necessary its investigations policy to ensure clarity on the definition of quality investigations consistent with DC statute (including reasonable efforts to prevent removal and investigation of relative resources) and the definition included in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. 2. By September 2010, CFSA will complete a CPS investigations practice guide consistent with CFSA policy. 3. CFSA in collaboration with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will review the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and existing policy to modify policy as necessary to increase appropriate utilization of the CAC. Practices to implement the policy and MOU on the use of the CAC will be reflected in the CPS investigations practice guide. 4. In consultation with the Children’s Research Center (CRC), CFSA will recalibrate the risk assessment tool to address reliability of risk assessment process. b. Practice 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will develop the capacity needed to ensure that Family Team Meetings (FTMs) occur prior to a child’s removal unless the child is at imminent risk of harm or prior to filing a petition for removal with Superior Court.

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2. CFSA will identify any additional action steps necessary to implement the investigative practice recommendations from the Monitor’s report88 and implement such action steps or provide rationale as to why the Agency is choosing not to implement the recommendations. 3. CFSA will develop and define the process for comprehensive reviews of families with four or more reports of abuse and neglect which may include the investigations program manager, the current investigative worker, the Office of Clinical Practice, Collaborative workers and others who have prior familiarity with the family. 4. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will implement the comprehensive reviews of families with four or more reports of abuse and neglect which may include the investigations program manager, the current investigative worker, the Office of Clinical Practice, Collaborative workers and others who have prior familiarity with the family. 5. Investigators will seek the assistance of the CPS-assigned nurses and the Office of Clinical Practice professionals when needed for all investigations that present medical or mental health needs for the child(ren) and/or caregivers. c. Services During an Investigation 1. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will reinstitute the joint screenings of new investigations. 2. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will explore and address current barriers to referrals for supportive services during an investigation. 3. CFSA will expand access to and increase utilization of current services to families during the period of an investigation. 4. With the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, CFSA will develop a working group to determine an accurate baseline of potential referrals to the Collaboratives from CPS. 5. CFSA will conduct a case review of children who are removed from their home for short periods of time to determine alternative strategies for keeping children safely in their homes. d. Supervision of Practice 1. CFSA will ensure supervisory consultation in advance of the investigative worker going into the field to guide the social worker prior to initiating the investigation. 2. CFSA will ensure that program managers and supervisors review open investigations at the 18th day to discuss and resolve barriers to timely and safe closure, and document those efforts in the investigation file. 3. CFSA will ensure that investigations that exceed the 30-day time frame for completion have just cause, approved by a supervisor, reflected in FACES.NET beginning in June 2010.

88

An Assessment of the Quality of Child Abuse and Neglect Investigative Practices in the District of Columbia. (May 24, 2010) Center for the Study of Social Policy.

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4. CFSA will ensure that investigations that exceed the 30-day time frame for completion are reviewed weekly by supervisors and program managers to ensure safe closure as soon as possible. e. Training 1. By November 2010, the Child Protection Services (CPS) pre-service training curriculum will be completed and will reflect any changes to policy as well as the CPS practice guide. 2. Beginning December 2010 and on-going, the CPS pre-service training curriculum will be used for any new staff or supervisors assigned to investigations. 3. By December 31, 2010, all investigators and supervisors will be trained on the CPS investigations practice guide. f. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will ensure the effective, continuing use of CPS quality assurance measures: ChildStat (at least one investigation every six months), Grand Rounds (two open investigations reviewed per month) and the validation of five hotline call reviews per month 2. Beginning in July 2010, Quality Assurance (QA) staff will complete 10 reviews of randomly selected investigations each quarter for 12 months using a shortened version of the tool used by the Court Monitor. The sample will consist of investigations that have been closed within 15 days of the review date. The QA staff will work with the Court Monitor to validate these findings 3. CFSA will ensure that through weekly case reviews, program managers and supervisors will identify barriers and practice concerns related to the timeliness and quality of the investigations. This will include reviewing documented efforts to obtain information from collateral contacts and documentation of case staffings held with ongoing social workers, when applicable, to inform the investigation regarding the immediate safety of all children and the risk factors present for the child and family and to address safety issues identified by the investigator. 2. SERVICES TO FAMILES AND CHILDREN TO PROMOTE SAFETY, PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING (Strategies to Achieve Outcome 3) a. Practice 1. Beginning July 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that a team comprised of the assigned social worker, family support worker, and nurse care manager (for children in foster care) will in each case: a. assess and properly and timely identify service needs, b. make referrals for identified services (including those offered by the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives), and c. take any follow-up action to confirm access to and provision of identified services. 2. Beginning July 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that team meetings are held with the family and other team members within the first 30 days of case opening to identify service needs and to plan for service provision. June 14, 2010 33

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3. Beginning October 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that team meetings are held with the family and other team members at critical decision points throughout the life of the case (i.e. placement changes, significant life changes; permanency decision-making). b. Supervision 1. By July 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct verification of the identification of service needs and service provision through weekly supervision and through monthly continuous quality improvement case reviews completed by supervisors and program managers. Program managers will complete three reviews a month per program area and supervisors will complete two reviews a month per unit. c. Community-Based Services 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will develop targets of the number of families to be served in FY2011. 2. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, based on the targets developed, will ensure that resources and protocols are in place to meet the set targets. 3. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will convene the joint Implementation Committee and implement the findings of the recently completed Partnership for Community Based Services (PCBS) First Year Evaluation Report to enhance and sustain the functioning of the PCBS. 4. CFSA will identify additional revenues to fund the seven Collaborative Family Support Workers eliminated as a result of the FY2011 budget reductions. d. Service Array 1. CFSA will maintain the Rapid Housing program for families at risk of entering foster care or in need housing assistance for reunification. 2. By December 31, 2010, the District will either create 100 new Family Unification Program housing choice vouchers or present the Monitor with a plan to do so by the subsequent fiscal year. 3. VISITATION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 4, 5, 6, 10, and 11) a. Policy 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop policy indicating that social workers and other team members visiting families and children will assess the safety of children at every visit to families receiving inhome services and children in out-of-home care. 2. CFSA in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop a protocol to guide workers and other team members visiting families and children in the assessment of child safety at every visit. June 14, 2010 34

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3. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop a protocol to guide workers and other team members to discuss at every visit permanency goals and progress towards those goals, visitation requirements and schedules, and required action steps in the case plan. These discussions and the progress made by families will be reflected in the case notes for each visit. 4. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop visitation schedule template(s) to be used in worker and team member visits to families receiving in-home services, children in out-of-home placement, visits to parents and parent-child visits. 5. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will re-examine the current rules governing the use of supervised parent-child visitation to determine if a broader array of staff, contractors, relatives and foster parents could provide supervision and make revisions as needed. 6. CFSA will promulgate policy on criteria guiding the use of supervised and unsupervised visitation. b. Worker Visits to Families Receiving In-Home Services 1. Beginning August 1, 2010, for all new in-home cases, CFSA will engage the family in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where child and family visits will occur and the purpose of the visits.89 c. Worker Visits to Children in Out-of-Home Placement 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents and foster parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where caseworker-child visits will occur and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents or foster parents to participate in this conversation. d. Parent-Child Visitation 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social works will engage parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where parent-child visits will occur and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents to participate in this conversation. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will explore the feasibility, make recommendations and implement a plan for strategies to increase visitation between children and their parents. These strategies may include, but are not limited to, permitting visitation to occur in the parent’s home, expansion of community-based visitation centers, utilization of foster parents and/or relatives to supervise visitation, and utilization of contracted service providers to supervise visitation.
89

A visitation schedule does not preclude the ability of social workers to make unannounced visits.

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e. Visits to Parents 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where caseworker-parent visits will occur during the first three months post-placement and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents to participate in this conversation. 2. Beginning July, 2010, CFSA will use a case review process to analyze data and contact information regarding the parent and social worker visits to ensure that the visitation is supportive of the permanency goal and issues identified in the visits are addressed and documented in the case plan. Program managers will conduct monthly three (3) case reviews and supervisors will conduct two (2) case reviews on a random selection of cases. Programs managers and supervisors will meet on a weekly basis or more frequently as necessary with workers to address quality and non-compliance issues. 3. Beginning July 2010, the social worker, Nurse Care Manager, and/or Family Support Workers will update notes in FACES.net providing a status of the visit or state why the visit did not occur. At every visit, workers will discuss permanency goals, visitation requirements, and required action steps in the case plan during each parent/worker visitation and reflect the progress in the case notes. f. Supervision 1. CFSA will ensure that through weekly supervision or review of contact notes, supervisors are ensuring that workers are assessing for safety at every visit and documenting their findings. 2. CFSA will ensure that supervisors and program managers will complete monthly continuous quality activities to ensure documentation of the assessment of safety at each visit. Program managers will complete three reviews a month per program area and supervisors will complete two reviews a month per unit. 3. CFSA will ensure supervisory review of every child with a goal of reunification to ensure there is a written visitation plan and clear understanding among the family’s team as to the visitation plan. g. Training 1. CFSA will ensure workers and supervisors are trained on the use of the protocol for assessing a child’s safety at every visit. 2. CFSA will ensure workers and supervisors are trained on the use of the visitation template(s). 3. CFSA will ensure workers and other team members making visits are trained on the purpose of visits and how to connect each visit to the overall case plan and permanency plan. h. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will assure that by July 2010, private agencies develop and implement internal quality assurance systems for monitoring and evaluating their program

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performance on all visitation requirements and regularly develop and implement improvement strategies where necessary.

B.

GOAL: PERMANENCY

4. RELATIVE RESOURCES (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 7) a. Policy 1. By October 31, 2010, CFSA will implement all requirements of the Fostering Connections Act relating to the engagement of relatives as part of the routine Agency response to allegations of abuse or neglect in a family home. 2. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will propose and promulgate regulations (1) defining, consistent with federal law, which foster care licensing standards are “non-safety” in nature and, therefore, eligible for the exercise of waiver authority in relation to licensing kinship placements, (2) permitting temporary kinship licensing to be utilized in circumstances in which relative placement is determined to be in the best interest of the child and safety can be maintained, (3) age-appropriate policy and age-appropriate licensing standards for assuring kinship placement for 18-20 year olds under Family Court jurisdiction who wish to live with identified and qualified kin. In developing these regulations, CFSA shall reassess 29 D.C.M.R. § 6000.5 and whether its assignment of waiver authority to the Director remains appropriate. 3. CFSA will develop and promulgate policy regarding full implementation of the temporary kin licensing agreement with Maryland. b. Practice 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis ensure that social workers take reasonable action to identify and assess relative resources, including, but not limited to: a. coordinating the initial FTM for families experiencing a removal, identifying relatives and inviting them to attend the FTM, b. submitting a referral to the Diligent Search Unit when further assistance is needed, to expand the search to locate additional family members, c. conducting case mining and Family Finding activities to locate family members; purchasing search engines and access to information as indicated. c. Training 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will train all case-carrying social workers – including licensing workers, child protective services workers, and workers at CFSA and private agencies handling out-of-home cases – regarding new licensing regulations. CFSA will engage foster parents and other community stakeholders to provide this training jointly.

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5. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 8 and 9) a. Policy 1. Consistent with CFSA policy on placement of children and youth in the least restrictive, most family-like setting, placement of a child in a congregate care facility will require documentation of the absence of an available family placement and CFSA will develop a transition plan for all children placed in congregate care to move the child to a family-based setting within three months of placement in a congregate care facility. b. Placement Array 1. Beginning July 2010, a quarterly utilization review of available placement beds will be developed and implemented, categorized by provider, type of placement, and access patterns. Commensurate modifications will then be made to contracts to ensure consistent access to placements appropriate to each child’s needs. 2. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will reduce traditional congregate care placements by 30% through building and supporting family foster homes willing and capable of caring for older youth and sibling groups. 3. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will increase family foster care placements by 25% through building and supporting family foster homes willing and capable of caring for older youth and sibling groups. c. Quality Assurance 1. Beginning July 1, 2010, a monthly report of all children under the age of twelve in congregate settings reflecting the needs of each child and whether they meet the established criteria for this placement. For those that do not meet the criteria, corrective actions will be taken to immediately place the child in a more appropriate setting. 6. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 12) a. Policy 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will develop policies and protocols for linking transitioning youth to needed adult services (e.g. Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid), and work force supports and employment services, and local opportunities for mentors. b. Practice 1. Beginning June 1, 2010, CFSA independent living specialists will provide consultation to social workers managing caFAPPLAses of youth ages 16 – 17 to complete the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment. 2. By June 30, 2010, the Office of Youth Empowerment in partnership with CFSA and private agency social workers will begin facilitating Youth Transition conferences to plan for transition to adulthood and to explore other appropriate

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permanency goals for youth ages 18 to 20 that currently have an APPLA goal and no permanent or potential connection to an adult. 3. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will examine permanency options for youth ages 14 – 20 with an APPLA goal using best practices, e.g., permanency roundtables. c. Contracts 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will develop a Human Care Agreement solicitation seeking to engage one or more contractors with the specialized programs, organizational knowledge and experience and specially trained workforce required to provide effective, child-specific transitional services and supports to youth with an APPLA goal. The HCA solicitation will seek to purchase services to meet the array of needs identified in the review undertaken pursuant to subparagraph (a) immediately above. 2. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will award contracts to one or more qualified contactors to deliver the services described in the request for proposal described in subparagraph (b) immediately above. d. Quality Assurance 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will track and monitor the educational, employment, health and housing outcomes for youth with an APPLA goal. 2. Beginning June 1, 2010, CFSA, in partnership with Family Court through the Child Welfare Leadership Team, will monitor the number of youth given the goal of APPLA and will work with the Family Court to change the permanency goal for youth when guardianship and/or adoption opportunities are identified. 7. REDUCTION OF MULTIPLE PLACMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 13) a. Policy 1. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will centralize all placement decisions within the CFSA Placement Administration eliminating all moves between and within private agencies without CFSA approval. 2. CFSA will develop a placement policy to reflect all changes from the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan, all changes in the placement process from 2008 and describing how children are to be initially assessed and placed. b. Licensure 1. CFSA will dually license foster homes to serve as both traditional and therapeutic placements. c. Training 1. CFSA will train, prepare and compensate foster parents as co-trainers in the preservice training for workers. By September 1, 2010, foster parents will serve as co-trainers in pre-service training.

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2. CFSA, in collaboration with DMH and the Resource Parent Training Coalition, will develop and implement a skill-based curriculum for training all foster parents to provide therapeutic placements. 3. CFSA, in collaboration with DMH and the Resource Parent Training Coalition, will develop therapeutic foster parent competencies and ensure all training activities build these competencies. 8. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER PARENTS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 14) a. Policy 1. CFSA will review and seek to modify applicable regulations to better facilitate timely licensure, and to eliminate or waive the fire inspection fee. b. Licensure 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will modify and update administrative processes to facilitate a more timely licensing process. These include: a. beginning the home studies process earlier during pre-service training; b. beginning 30/60/90 day reviews of each applicant completed by the licensing supervisor and worker; and c. streamlining the required documents. 9. LEGAL ACTION TO FREE CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 15) a. Partnerships with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General 1. CFSA will work with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General to identify barriers to the timely termination of parental rights for children with a permanency goal of adoption and take all necessary steps to eliminate the barriers. 2. CFSA will work with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General to develop and track timeframes and benchmarks for the processing of petitions to terminate parental rights. 10. TIMELY ADOPTION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 16) a. Policy 1. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will formulate and publish official agency policy describing how permanency planning is to be undertaken and how permanency goals are to be facilitated and achieved including clarifying the roles of permanency specialists, social workers with case-management responsibility, private agency social workers and adoptions workers. b. Practice 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis assure the effective and routine use of the Permanency Opportunity Project model and High Impact strategy to achieve timely permanency for children. 2. For children not in an approved adoptive placement, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team meeting to develop a child-specific recruitment plan, June 14, 2010 40

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which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource. 3. CFSA social workers will provide the referral package to the matching unit to determine if a waiting family is a good match for the child; CFSA will ensure the matching unit sends the referral package to the recruitment unit if no available match for child specific recruitment. 4. Beginning June 1, 2011, CFSA recruitment staff will use web-based technology (e.g., social network sites) to locate potential adoption resources. 5. Beginning in October 2010, CFSA recruitment staff will conduct case mining and Family Finding activities to locate family members. CFSA will purchase search engines or access to information as indicated. c. Service Array 1. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will assess the current array of post-adoptive services and implement action steps to fill identified service gaps. In making this assessment, CFSA will review internal performance and program data and will consult with the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC), Adoptions Together and the Post-Permanency Center to identify priority needs. d. Supervision 1. The CFSA Out of Home and Permanency Administrators will conduct individual meetings with social workers and permanency specialists as needed to assess barriers and identify strategies to remove barriers that prevent permanence for those children with a goal of adoption and with an identified resource. Permanency specialists will track and follow-up on actions steps from the permanency barrier staffing every 30 days. 2. CFSA recruitment supervisors will review a daily management information system report to track children newly assigned the goal of adoption and working with social workers to complete the referral package if no adoptive resource is identified. e. Training 1. By June 2011, CFSA recruitment staff will be trained in case mining and family engagement to enhance capacity for identifying and engaging potential permanency resources. . f. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will develop definitions for and begin of tracking reasonable efforts to ensure that all children placed in an approved adoptive home have their adoption finalized within 12 months. 2. CFSA will review the status of any child with the goal of adoption without a current pre-adoptive placement to create or revise and implement a child specific recruitment plan. Follow-up meetings will occur every 60 days until a permanent resource is identified.

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11. CASE PLANNING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 17) a. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis ensure that existing case review processes (e.g. QSRs, Structured Progress Reviews, CQI Case Reviews, etc.) are utilized for children in foster care to ensure social work practice is directed toward the timely achievement of permanency (i.e. parent/ child visitation, sibling visitation, access to services required to remediate the risk to children in the home) 12. PLACEMENT LICENSING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 18) a. Foster Home Licensing 1. By June 30, 2010, implement an annual licensing and re-licensing calendar and protocol to ensure that all foster homes are licensed and re-licensed timely and accurately reflected in FACES that includes: a. a supervisory review of assigned foster homes due for licensure and re-licensure; b. the due dates and expiration dates for all foster home; and c. postcard reminders to all foster parents. 2. By September 30, 2010, create and implement a manual documentation protocol that serves as back-up tracking of foster parent compliance with required training. b. Congregate Care Licensing 1. By June 30, 2010, implement an annual licensing and re-licensing calendar and protocol to ensure that all congregate care facilities are licensed and relicensed timely and accurately reflected in FACES that includes: a. a supervisory review of assigned congregate care facilities due for re-licensure; b. the expiration dates for all group home and ILP licenses and the schedule of licensing activities and deadlines associated with each re-licensure; and c. memorandum reminders to the CEOs of congregate care facilities up for re-licensure. 2. By June 30, 2010, implement notification process to CFSA’s Placement Office, Contracts Office and the Congregate Care Contract Management Division in order to alert these offices of any concerns that may adversely affect a contractor’s license or the ability to place youth in a congregate care facility. c. Monitoring 1. By June 30, 2010, implement performance based monitoring of each private placement agency on a monthly basis, to include a full review of compliance with licensing and all placement standards followed with immediate corrective actions where indicated. June 14, 2010 42

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2. By September 30, 2010 as a process of monitoring congregate care provider agency compliance with title 29 DCMR chapters 62 and 63, CMPIA will notify the Office of Facility License to report any evidence of noncompliance with the licensing requirements, and ensure agencies develop and implement corrective actions. C. GOAL: CHILD WELL-BEING

13. SIBLING PLACEMENTS AND VISITS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 20) a. Policy 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents, foster parents and kinship caregivers in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where sibling visits will occur. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will explore the feasibility, make recommendations and create a plan for implementation of strategies to increase visitation between siblings placed apart. These strategies may include, but are not limited to, permitting visitation to occur in the parent’s home, expansion of community-based visitation centers, utilization of foster parents to supervise visitation, and utilization of contracted service providers to supervise visitation. b. Practice 1. Social workers and/or family support workers will follow-up weekly with caregivers to document sibling visitation that occurs outside of CFSA supervision (i.e. contacts children have in the school or community). c. Supervision 1. CFSA will ensure supervisory review of every child in foster care with siblings to ensure there is a written visitation plan and clear understanding among the family team as to the visitation plan. d. Quality Assurance 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will complete an evaluation of sibling groups to understand the barriers to placement and to determine how best to address these barriers.

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14. ASSESSMENTS FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING PLACEMENT DISRUPTIONS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 22) a. Policy 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will complete an Administrative Issuance that sets forth the actions to be taken when a placement disruption occurs, including the elements of a required replacement child assessment. The Administrative Issuance will include, but not be limited to, the following: a. Prior to replacement, children will receive a pre-placement health screening. b. Beginning July 2010, the social worker and the Nurse Care Manager, and the family support worker will be provided a record of the medical and behavioral health screening and any other information emanating from the replacement screening. c. Beginning July 2010, the social worker and/or family support worker will schedule a case consultation with the nurse care manager and placement services to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the child within 30 days of the disrupted placement to provide information on the social, behavioral, medical, dental and educational needs of the child. d. The social worker with the support of the nurse care manager and family support worker will identify appropriate services to address any outstanding medical, social, behavioral, dental or educational services required by the child and inform placement services. e. As part of the assessment, the social worker or other designated CFSA staff will consult with the former caregiver to assess reasons for placement disruption and the extent to which support services could have prevented the disruption. f. The social worker with the support of the nurse care manager family support workers and placement services will complete a follow-up action plan in the case notes. 2. By December 31, 2010, the Administrative Issuance will be used to develop CFSA policy on assessments for children experiencing placement disruptions. b. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will ensure that through monthly, random continuous quality improvement case record reviews, program managers and supervisors will determine if the assessments and plans are occurring and are addressing the child's needs. This is to be in addition to weekly supervision.

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15. HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 24) a. Policy 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will develop and promulgate agency policy regarding the Healthy Horizons Assessment Center and Nurse Care Management Model. This policy, among other things, will define the roles of the assigned social worker, nurse care manager and case aide in ensuring the provision of timely and appropriate medical, dental and mental health care for children in foster care b. Healthy Horizons Clinic 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will fully implement and staff the Healthy Horizons clinic. CFSA will operate an on-site screening center with licensed nurse practitioners for the completion of pre-placement screenings and comprehensive medical evaluations. The full array of responsibilities to be implemented are: a. Provision of medical and behavioral health screening services; b. Engagement of families to complete comprehensive medical, mental, and developmental biological family history. c. Comprehensive mental health screenings completed by colocated mental health professionals, except for those under age 1 and only with the involvement of the biological parent for those under age 8. d. Provision of medical, mental health and developmental information to social workers, family support workers, and colocated mental health professionals to provide a baseline history for providers; e. Serving as a medical information resource within the first month of placement. f. Medical assistants and/or nurse case managers will work with or follow-up with foster parents and social workers to make dental evaluation appointments. c. Nurse Care Managers 1. Beginning July 2010, nurse care managers and/or medical assistants will followup with foster parents and social workers to document the completion of the dental evaluations and to advocate for the dental healthcare of children. 2. By July 1, 2010, nurse care managers will be assigned to children in foster care at a ratio of 1:100. Nurse care managers are required to facilitate the provision of appropriate services to meet healthcare needs. In collaboration with the assigned social worker, the Nurse Care Manager will be responsible for: a. Coordinating and monitoring health care services over the life of the case. b. Ensuring active Medicaid coverage for the entire time the child is in foster care or otherwise facilitating needed health care. c. Teaming with foster parents and social workers to ensure compliance with required and necessary health care services.

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d.

e.

Engaging in systematic communication, education and coordination of care among health care providers, child welfare professionals and family supports. Ensuring medical plans are integrated into permanency case plans.

d. Needs Assessment and Implementation 1. By August 2010, CFSA and DMH will provide a public report on the development of mental health services to meet the recommendations of the 2007 Children’s Mental Health Needs Assessment including. 2. By December 31, 2010, the District will ensure that all services at the capacity and quantity as identified in the 2007 Children’s Mental Health Needs Assessment are available.

E.

GOAL: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY

16. TRAINING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 30 and 31) a. Pre-Service Training 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will review and revise the pre-service curriculum to ensure it builds the skills needed to implement the case practice model and protocol. 2. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of CFSA and private agency staff pre-service training data to ensure that staff pre-service training hours are being accurately tracked and monitored. b. In-Service Training 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will review and revise in-service training to ensure it builds the skills needed to implement the case practice model and protocol. 2. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of CFSA and private agency staff in-service training data to ensure that staff in-service training hours are being accurately tracked and monitored. c. Supervisory Training 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will modify its existing training tracking and monitoring system to better ensure: a. all newly hired CFSA supervisors complete the required training on child welfare supervision within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility; and b. training hours are accurately tracked and monitored.

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2. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, in collaboration with the private agencies, will strengthen and standardize the existing notification, tracking and monitoring system to ensure: a. timely notification of new private agency supervisor hires or internal promotions; b. timely enrollment of private agency supervisory staff in pre-service training; c. completion of supervisory pre-service training within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibilities; and d. accurate tracking and monitoring of training hours. d. Birth Parent, Foster Parent and Youth Inclusion 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will train, prepare and compensate birth parents, foster parents and youth to serve as co-trainers in pre-service training of the workforce. e. Practice Model 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will complete a revised Training Academy Plan with an enhanced focus on the practice model and incorporate additional training on teaming and improving the quality of visitation. 17. TRAINING FOR FOSTER PARENTS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 32) a. Policy a. By March 31, 2011, CFSA will propose changes to 29 DCMR § 6026 to align the training requirements to the licensing period. b. Training Curriculum a. CFSA will develop a specialized training curriculum to ensure all foster parents are offered training necessary to accept children with therapeutic needs per the action step to permit dual licensure for all foster placements. c. Quality Assurance a. Beginning December 31, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of foster parent training data to ensure that pre-service and in-service training hours for CFSA and private agency foster parents are being accurately tracked and monitored. 18. SPECIAL CORRECTIVE ACTION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 34) a. Quality Assurance 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will develop and implement a plan to review all children and families in special corrective action categories. The plan will include a timeframe for when these reviews will commence.

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19. PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 35) a. Congregate Care Contracts 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will award Congregate Care Human Care Agreements/Tasks Orders that include performance indicators and outcomes. 2. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct monthly site visits including: a. record reviews; b. physical plant inspections; c. surveys and interviews with staff and child/youth; and d. semi-annual evaluations of performance based contracts/human care agreements for congregate care services. b. Foster Care Contracts 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct a technical review of the business plan submissions for case management and family-based foster care services. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will award Case Management and Family-based Foster Care Human Care Agreements/Task Orders that include performance indicators and outcomes. 3. By April 1, 2011, CFSA will conduct monthly site visits including: a. record reviews; b. home safety inspections; c. surveys and interviews with staff, foster parents and child/youth; and d. semi-annual evaluations of performance based contracts for case management and family based foster care services. 4. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will take all necessary action, including any necessary hiring and training, to assure that adequate contract monitoring capacity exists to oversee private contractor performance. c. Quality Assurance 1. By July 2010, CFSA will ensure that private agencies develop and by December 31, 2010, private agencies will implement internal quality assurance systems for monitoring and evaluating their program performance and regularly develop and implement improvement strategies 2. Beginning January 2011, CFSA will assure that, as part of its semiannual assessment, the Contract Monitoring and Program Improvement Administration (CMPIA) provides feedback, technical assistance, and next step recommendations to private agencies to ensure continuous quality improvements are obtained and/or sustained 20. INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 36) a. Policy 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will seek written agreement with the Maryland Department of Human Resources designed to hold providers serving children in both jurisdictions accountable to complying with ICPC requirements. June 14, 2010 48

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b. Placement 1. By December 2010, centralize all placement moves within the CFSA Placement Administration. c. Contracts 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will execute performance based contracts and monitoring for Case Management and Family Based Foster Care Services, which include the expectation of timely licensing of foster homes and submission of documents for ICPC approval. d. Quality Assurance 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will ensure all documentation is submitted for approval of CFSA children currently placed in Maryland. 21. DATA AND TECHNOLOGY (Strategy Plan to Achieve All Outcomes) a. Data Capacity 1. Within 180 days of the Court’s Oder on the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan, CFSA, in consultation with the Monitor, will develop the capacity to produce accurate data on all commitments made in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. b. Data Sharing 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will publish on its website the expanded array of data relating to all commitments in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. 22. FEDERAL REVENUE CLAIMING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 40) a. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, with assistance from the federal revenue consultant, will submit a revised cost allocation plan to federal officials. b. By December 31, 2010, DHCF, in consultation with CFSA, will submit a revised Medicaid state plan amendment to federal officials to permit appropriate Medicaid claims in placement settings.

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2010-2011 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN DRAFT INCORPORATING CSSP RECOMMENDATIONS
PREAMBLE The attached proposal for the LaShawn A. v. Fenty 2010-2011 Implementation Plan incorporates the Monitor’s recommendations, based on the Court’s Order of April 5, 2010; review and consideration of plans separately submitted by the District of Columbia (Defendants) and Children’s Rights Inc. (Plaintiffs); and recommendations from a range of external stakeholders who also reviewed both parties’ plans and submitted comments to the Monitor. The proposed plan is organized to include: Outcomes to Be Achieved, Outcomes to Maintained (those requirements where the District’s current performance meets proposed exit requirements) and the 2010-2011 Strategy Plan to Achieve Critical Safety, Permanency and Well-being Outcomes. Citations from Federal law, District of Columbia law and regulations, CFSA policy are included in a footnote attached to each requirement. For each outcome identified, the proposal recommends an exit requirement which defines the performance level, if achieved and sustained for a period of time to be determined by the Court, that the Monitor recommends as sufficient to justify a recommendation for the conclusion of court oversight of the District of Columbia’s child welfare system.1 The proposed Strategy Plan is intended to facilitate the Monitor’s understanding of the Defendant’s plans going forward and the Monitor’s ability to assess performance that meets the Court’s standard that permits compliance allowing for “insubstantial and justifiable modifications.” The Monitor recommends that the Court establish a twelve month sustainability timeframe for final achievement of exit requirements.2 The Monitor shall prepare and submit to the Court every 180 days an interim performance report setting forth (1) aggregate performance determinations in relation to the Outcomes to be Achieved and Outcomes to be Maintained and (2) findings regarding whether Defendants are making acceptable progress toward the exit requirements and in implementing the Strategy Plan.

The Monitor’s proposal does not include specific dates for exit for each requirement. It is assumed that all exit requirements are expected to be met by June 30, 2011. The Parties presented different proposals regarding sustainability. 2 The Monitor is recommending that the Court adopt a twelve month period of sustainability with the proviso that exit level performance be maintained absent substantial or unjustifiable deviation.

1

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SECTION I: OUTCOMES TO BE ACHIEVED TO ENSURE CHILD SAFETY PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY A. 1. INVESTIGATIONS3 a. Investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect shall be initiated or documented good faith efforts shall be made to initiate investigations within 48 hours after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment.4 Exit Requirement5: 95% of all investigations will be initiated within 48 hours or there will be documented good faith efforts to initiate investigations whenever the alleged victim child(ren) cannot be immediately located. b. Investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect shall be completed within 30 days after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment and the final report of findings for each investigation shall be completed within 5 days of the completion of the investigation.6 Exit Requirement: 90% of investigations will be completed and a final report of findings shall be entered in FACES within 35 days. c. [Moved to Outcomes to be Maintained] GOAL: CHILD SAFETY

d. For families who are subject to a new investigation for whom the current report of child maltreatment is the fourth or greater report of child maltreatment, with the most recent report occurring within the last 12 months, CFSA will conduct a comprehensive review
MFO II(B,F-G); MFO X(D)(1)(a); D.C. Code § 4-1301.04(b) (2010), § 4-1301.04(c)(3)(A) (2010), § 4-1301.06(a) (2010), § 4-1301.06(c)(1-2)(2010); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services, (VII)(C, W, Z) (9/30/03); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). 4 The 48 hour time period is consistent with local law (DC Code §§4-1301.04(a), (b) and (c) 2008 repl). Initiation of an investigation includes seeing all alleged victim child(ren) and talking with the child(ren) outside the presence of the caretaker. When the alleged victim child(ren) is not immediately located, documented good faith efforts to see the child within the first 48 hours shall include: 1.) visiting the child’s home at different times of the day; 2.) visiting the child’s school and/or day care in an attempt to locate the child if known; 3.) contacting the reporter, if known, to elicit additional information about the child’s location, 4.) reviewing the CFSA information system and other information systems (e.g. ACEDS, STARS) for additional information about the child and family; 5.) requesting assistance from CFSA’s diligent search unit to locate the child and family; and 6.) contacting the police for all allegations that a child(ren)’s safety or health is in immediate danger. See, DC Code §§4-1301.04(a), (b) and (c) (2008 repl). 5 Unless otherwise indicated, exit requirements shall be met by June 30, 2011. 6 The Court Monitor shall measure compliance with this requirement by validating FACES data regarding the percentage of all final reports of findings from investigations that were completed within 35 days after receipt of a report to the hotline of child maltreatment.
3

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of the case history and the current circumstances that bring the family to CFSA’s attention. Exit Requirement: 90% of the case records for families subject to a new investigation for whom the current report of child maltreatment is the fourth or greater report of child maltreatment, with the most recent report occurring within the last 12 months will have documentation of a comprehensive review. 2. ACCEPTABLE INVESTIGATIONS7 CFSA shall routinely conduct investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect. Evidence of acceptable investigations includes: a. Use of CFSA’s screening tool in prioritizing response times for initiating investigations; b. Interviews with and information obtained from the five core contacts – the victim child(ren), the maltreater, the reporting source (when known), medical resources, and educational resources (for school-age children); c. Interviews with collateral contacts that are likely to provide information about the child’s safety and well-being; d. Interviews with all children in the household outside the presence of the caretaker, parents or caregivers, or documentation, by the worker, of good-faith efforts to see the child and that the worker has been unable to locate the child; e. Medical and mental health evaluations of the children or parents when the worker determines that such evaluations are needed to complete the investigation, except where a parent refuses to consent to such evaluations. When a parent refuses to consent to such an evaluation, the investigative social worker and supervisor shall consult with the Assistant Attorney General to determine whether court intervention is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the child(ren); f. Use of risk assessment protocol in making decisions resulting from an investigation; and g. Initiation of services during the investigation to prevent unnecessary removal of children from their homes. Exit Requirement: 1. 85% of investigations will be of acceptable quality.
7

MFO II(H)-(L); D.C. Code § 4-1301.04 (2010), §4-1301.06 (b)(3)(B-D), §4-1303.01a(3A); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services, (VII)(C&S) (revised 9/30/03); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services (revised December 9, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007).

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2. CFSA will ensure that: a. Pre-petition family team meetings shall occur prior to a child’s removal from his/her family in 70% of cases and b. Family team meetings shall be held before an abuse or neglect petition is filed in 70% of cases.

3. SERVICES TO FAMILIES AND CHILDREN TO PROMOTE SAFETY, PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING8 Appropriate services, including all services identified in a child or family’s safety plan or case plan, shall be offered and children/families shall be assisted to use services, to support child safety, permanence and well-being. CFSA shall provide for or arrange for services through operational commitments from District of Columbia public agencies and/or contracts with private providers. Services shall include : a. services to enable children who have been the subject of an abuse/neglect report to avoid placement and to remain safely in their own homes; b. services to enable children who have been returned from foster care to parents or relatives to remain with those families and avoid replacement into foster care; c. services to avoid disruption of an adoptive placement that has not been finalized and avoid the need for replacement; and d. services to prevent the disruption of a beneficial foster care placement and avoid the need for replacement. Exit Requirement: Appropriate services, including all services identified in a child or family’s safety plan or case plan, shall be offered and children/families shall be assisted to use services in 85% of cases.9 4. WORKER VISITATION TO FAMILIES WITH IN-HOME SERVICES10

MFO III; D.C. Code § 4-1301.09(b) (2010); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01a(b)(7, 9, 10) (2010); D.C. Code § 41303.03(a)(3),(7),(13),(14) (2010); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(1)-(4), (8)-(9), (9A) (2010); CFSA Investigations Policy, Intake and Investigative Services (revised 9/30/03); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009) . 9 The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR implementation and pathway to safe case closure indicators, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable on both indicators, as applicable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale). 10 MFO III(B)(1); IPIII(3); CFSA Visitation Policy, (VII)(A) (revised April 28, 2010); CFSA Visitation Policy (revised April 2010); CFSA In-Home Practice Model, Quality Home Visitation (December 2007).

8

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a. A CFSA social worker or private agency social worker shall make at least one visit monthly to families in their home in which there has been substantiated abuse or neglect, with a determination that each child can be maintained safely in the home with services. b. A CFSA social worker, Family Support Worker, private agency social worker, or a Collaborative family support worker shall make a second monthly visit at a location of the family’s discretion. Exit Requirement: 95% of families will be visited monthly by a CFSA social worker or private agency social worker and 85% of families will be visited a second time monthly by a CFSA social worker, Family Support Worker, private agency social worker, or a Collaborative family support worker at a location of the family’s discretion. c. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker. Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit. 5. WORKER VISITATION TO CHILDREN IN OUT-OF-HOME CARE11 a. A CFSA social worker or private agency social worker with case management responsibility shall make monthly visits to each child in out-of-home care (foster family homes, group homes, congregate care, independent living programs, etc.). b. A CFSA social worker, private agency social worker, Family Support Worker, or nurse case manager shall make a second monthly visit to each child in out-of-home care (foster family homes, group homes, congregate care, independent living programs, etc.). c. At least one of the above visits each month shall be in the child’s home. Exit Requirement: 90% of children shall have twice monthly visits as defined above. d. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker.
11

MFO IX(A-B); D.C. Code § 4-1405(b) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6003.2(b) (2007); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009).

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Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit. 6. VISITATION FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING A NEW PLACEMENT OR A PLACEMENT CHANGE12 a. A CFSA Social Worker or private agency social worker with case management responsibility shall make at least two visits to each child during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change. b. A CFSA social worker, private agency social worker, Family Support Worker, or nurse case manager shall make two additional visits to each child during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change. c. At least one of the above visits during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change shall be in the child’s home. d. At least one visit of the visits during the first four weeks of a new placement or a placement change shall include a conversation between the social worker and the resource parent to assess assistance needed by the resource parent from the agency. Exit Requirement: 90% of children newly placed in foster care or experiencing a placement change will have four visits in the first four weeks of a new placement or placement change as described above. e. Workers are responsible for assessing and documenting the safety (e.g., health, educational, and environmental factors, and the initial safety concerns that brought this family to the attention of the Agency) of each child at every visit and each child must be separately interviewed at least monthly outside of the presence of the caretaker. Exit Requirement: 90% of cases will have documentation verifying each child was seen outside the presence of the caretaker and that safety was assessed during each visit.

12

MFO IX(A-B); D.C. Code § 4-1405(b) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6003.2(a, c) (2007); ); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Relationships with Resource Parents Policy (August 6, 2004).

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B. 7. RELATIVE RESOURCES13

GOAL: PERMANENCY

CFSA shall identify and investigate relative resources in all cases requiring removal of children from their homes. Exit Requirement: a. 90% of cases involving removal will invite known relatives to the Family Team Meeting (FTM).14 b. In 80% of cases involving removal where relatives express interest in being placement resource, CFSA will take immediate steps to assess the safety and appropriateness of the relative as a placement resource. 8. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN MOST FAMILY-LIKE SETTING15 a. Children in out-of-home care shall be placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to his or her needs. Exit Requirement: 90% of children will be in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to his or her needs. b. [Moved to maintenance] c. No child shall remain in an emergency, short-term, or shelter facility or foster home for more than 30 days. Exit Requirement: No child shall remain in an emergency, short-term, or shelter facility or foster home for more than 30 days
MFO VI(A)(6); D.C. Code§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(B); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.1 (1990); CFSA Diligent Search Policy, (VII)(2) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Temporary Licensing of Foster Home for Kin Policy, (VII) (revised October 26, 2005); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Notice of Removal to Adult Relatives of Children and Youth Entering Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009). 14 In order to measure this, the Monitor will need data on all children at risk of removal or who have been removed during a specified time frame and the percentage of whom have an FTM and have a relative(s) invited to the FTM. 15 MFO VI(A); D.C. Code § 4-1301.09(d) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.3 (1990), 29, § 6256.4 (2001); IP VI(1)(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007); CFSA Notice of Removal to Adult Relatives of Children and Youth Entering Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009); CFSA Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) Policy (revised October 2, 2009).
13

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9. PLACEMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN16 a. Children under age 12 shall not be placed in congregate care settings for more than 30 days unless the child has special needs that cannot be met in a home-like setting and unless the setting has a program to treat the child’s specific needs. Exit Requirement: No child under 12 will be placed in congregate care settings for more than 30 days without appropriate justification that the child has special treatment needs that cannot be met in a home-like setting and the setting has a program to treat the child’s specific needs. b. CFSA shall place no child under six years of age in a group care non-foster home setting, except for those children with exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care.17 Exit Requirement: No children under 6 years of age will be placed in a group care non-foster home setting, without appropriate justification that the child has exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care. 10. VISITS BETWEEN PARENTS AND WORKERS18 a. For children with a permanency goal of reunification, in accordance with the case plan, the CFSA Social Worker or private agency social worker with case-management responsibility shall visit with the parent(s) at least one time per month in the first three months post-placement.19 b. A CFSA social worker, nurse cars manager, or the Family Support Worker shall make a second visit during each month for the first three months post-placement.20 Exit Requirement: 90% of parents will have twice monthly visitation with workers in the first three months post-placement.21

16 17

MFO VI(A)(8); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6256.2 (2001), § 6256.1 (2001). Based on an individual review, the Monitor will exclude children placed in a group care non-foster home setting that have exceptional needs that cannot be met in any other type of care. 18 MFO VII(B)(6); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009); CFSA Elements of Good Documentation Tip-Sheet (November, 2009) 19 Exceptions are allowed when there is documentation that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency. 20 Exceptions are allowed when there is documentation that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency.

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11. VISITS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN22 There shall be weekly visits between parents and children with a goal of reunification unless clinically inappropriate and approved by the Family Court. In cases in which visitation does not occur, the Agency shall demonstrate and there shall be documentation in the case record that visitation was not in the child’s best interest, is clinically inappropriate or did not occur despite efforts by the Agency to facilitate it. Exit Requirement: 90% of children with the goal of reunification will have weekly visitation with the parent with whom reunification is sought.23 12. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS24 Children shall have permanency planning goals consistent with the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and District law and policy guidelines. Exit Requirement: a. 95% of children shall have permanency planning goals consistent with ASFA and District law and policy guidelines. b. Beginning July 1, 2010, children shall not be given a goal of APPLA without convening an FTM or LYFE meeting with participation by the youth and approval by the CFSA Director, or a court order directing the permanency goal of APPLA. c. 90% of youth ages 18 and older will have a plan to prepare them for adulthood that is developed with their consultation. No later than 180 days prior to the date on which the youth will turn 21 years old (or on which the youth will emancipate), a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child will be created that includes connection to specific options on housing, health insurance, and education and linkages to continuing adult support services agencies (e.g. Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security

21

This exit requirement excludes cases where it is documented that the parent(s) is(are) unavailable or refuses to cooperate with the Agency. 22 MFO VII(B)(7); D.C. Code§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(5); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Visitation, p. 27 (July 2009); CFSA Engagement of Incarcerated Parents Policy (December 1, 2009); CFSA Elements of Good Documentation Tip-Sheet (November, 2009) 23 This target excludes cases where it is documented that a visit is not in the child’s best interest, is clinically inappropriate or did not occur despite efforts by the Agency to facilitate it. 24 MFO VII(C-D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a)(6, 15) (2010); CFSA Establishing the Goal of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) Policy (revised June 25, 2009); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Permanence (July 2009).

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Income (SSI) and Medicaid), work force supports, employment services, and local opportunities for mentors.25 13. REDUCTION OF MULTIPLE PLACEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE26 Exit Requirements: a. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care at least 8 days and less than 12 months, 88% shall have had two or fewer placements. b. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care for at least 12 months but less than 24 months, 65% shall have had two or fewer placements. c. Of all children served in foster care during the previous 12 months who were in care for at least 24 months, 75% shall have had two or fewer placement in that 12 month period. 14. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS27 a. CFSA shall have in place a process for recruiting, studying and approving families interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents that results in the necessary training, home studies, and decisions on approval being completed within 150 days of beginning training. Exit Requirements: 70% of homes licensed beginning October 1, 2010, will have been approved within 150 days. b. [Moved to maintenance] 15. LEGAL ACTION TO FREE CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION28 Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall have legal action initiated to free them for adoption within 45 days of their permanency goal becoming adoption. Exit Requirement: 1. Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall have legal action initiated to free them for adoption within 45 days of their permanency goal becoming adoption.
25

The requirement to develop a Transition Plan for youth exiting the foster care system is in federal law. See, The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (October 7, 2008). 26 MFO VI(A, B, D); IP VI(2); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 27 MFO XIV(F, G); MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(C); AIP(I)(14)(b); IP VI(3); D.C. Mun. Reg, tit. 29, § 6028.4-5 (2004). 28 MFO VIII(C)(3); IP (VIII)(1)(b).

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2. For 90% of children whose permanency goal is adoption, CFSA shall take and document actions by the assigned social worker and the Assistant Attorney General to facilitate the court’s timely hearing and resolution of legal action to terminate parental rights. 16. TIMELY ADOPTION29 a. Children with a permanency goal of adoption shall be in an approved adoptive placement within nine months of their goal becoming adoption.30 Exit Requirement: 1. For children whose permanency goal changed to adoption July 1, 2010 or thereafter, 80% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by the end of the ninth month from when their goal changed to adoption.31 2. For children whose permanency goal changed to adoption prior to July 1, 2010 who are not currently in an approved adoptive placement, 40% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by December 31, 2010 and an additional 20% will be placed in an approved adoptive placement by June 30, 2011.

b. [Moved to maintenance] c. CFSA shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that children placed in an approved adoptive home have their adoptions finalized within twelve (12) months of signed notification of an intent to adopt or the filing of the adoption petition.32 Exit Requirement: 1. By December 31, 2010, 90% of the 203 children in pre-adoptive homes as of October 1, 2009 will have adoption finalized or have documented reasonable efforts made to achieve permanence for the child.

MFO VIII(D)(1), (2)(d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01(a), § 4-1303.01a(b)(110; IP VIII(1-2). The Monitor will consider a placement an approved adoptive placement based on documentation of an intent to adopt or filing of an adoption petition or indication in the FACES service line of an adoptive placement. 31 This will be measured by looking at children who have had the goal of adoption for 10 months to ensure the full nine months have passed. 32 Reasonable efforts include: 1) ensuring the home is licensed as a pre-adoptive home (if not dually licensed); 2) requesting an adoption home study if needed; 3) responding to the Order of Reference; 4) preparing the child and biological parents for the adoption; 5) referring adoptive families to Family Intervention Services to assist/support families in their new role; 6) assessing post permanency needs and families’ readiness for adoption; 7) referring and acquainting families with the Post Permanency Family Center; 8) preparing for TPR trial if child is not legally free; 9) preparing an ICPC package if needed; and, 10) preparing the adoption final report. See, D.C. Code § 41303.01a(b)(11).
30

29

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2. 90% of the children in pre-adoptive homes will have adoption finalized or have documented reasonable efforts to achieve permanence within 12 months of a signed notification of an intent to adopt or the filing of the adoption petition. 17. CASE PLANNING PROCESS33 a. CFSA, with the family, shall develop timely, comprehensive and appropriate case plans in compliance with District law requirements and permanency timeframes, which reflect family and children’s needs, are updated as family circumstances or needs change, and CFSA shall deliver services reflected in the current case plan. b. [Moved to maintenance] c. Every reasonable effort shall be made to locate family members and to develop case plans in partnership with youth and families, the families’ informal support networks, and other formal resources working with or needed by the youth and/or family. d. Case plans shall identify specific services, supports and timetables for providing services needed by children and families to achieve identified goals. Exit Requirement: 85% of cases reviewed through the Quality Service Reviews (QSR) will be rated as acceptable.34 18. PLACEMENT LICENSING35 Children shall be placed in foster homes and other placements that meet licensing and other MFO placement standards and have a current and valid license. Exit Requirement: 95% of foster homes and group homes with children placed will have a current and valid license.

33

MFO VII(A-B, D); D.C. Code § 4-1301.02(3) (2010), § 4-1301.09(b); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Case Planning (revised July 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (VII) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 34 The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR case planning process and pathway to safe case closure indicators, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable, as applicable, on both indicators, as applicable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale). 35 MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1402 (2010), §4-217.02, § 4-1303.03(a-1)(10), §7-217.02; § 7-2103, § 7-2105; D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, §§ 1638.2 (1990), 6206.1-5 (2001).

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C.

GOAL: CHILD WELL-BEING

19. COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE REFERRALS FOR LOW & MODERATE RISK FAMILIES36 Exit Requirement: 90% of families who have been the subject of a report of abuse and/or neglect, whose circumstances are deemed to place a child in their care at low or moderate risk of abuse and neglect and who are in need additional supports, including short term crisis intervention, shall be referred to an appropriate Collaborative or community agency for follow-up.37 20. SIBLING PLACEMENT AND VISITS38 a. Children in out-of-home placement who enter foster care with siblings or within 30 days of their siblings should be placed with some or all of their siblings, unless documented that the placement is not appropriate based on safety, best interest needs of child(ren) or a court order requiring separation. Exit Requirements: 85% of children who enter foster care with their siblings or within 30 days of their siblings will be placed with some of their siblings.39 b. Children placed apart from their siblings should have at least twice monthly visitation with some or all of their siblings unless documented that the visitation is not in the best interest of the child(ren). Exit Requirement: 90% of children shall have monthly visits with their separated siblings and 75% of children shall have twice-monthly visits with their separated siblings.40 21. PLACEMENT WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE DISTRICT [Moved to maintenance]

36 37

MFO XV(A)(2); D.C. Code §§ 4-1303.03(a-1)(3)-(3A)(A) (2010), § 4-1303.03a (2010). Low and moderate risk cases for which CFSA decides to open an ongoing CFSA case are excluded from this requirement. 38 MFO VI(A)(5); MFO VII(B)(5)(m); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(5); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 1642.8 (1990); CFSA Visitation Policy (April 28, 2010); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Maintaining Sibling Connections for Children and Youth in Foster Care Administrative Issuance (December 2, 2009). 39 This target excludes children where it is documented that such placement is not appropriate. 40 This target excludes children where it is documented that visitation is not in the best interest of childr(ren).

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22. ASSESSMENTS FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING A PLACEMENT DISRUPTION41 CFSA shall ensure that children in its custody whose placements are disrupted are provided with a comprehensive and appropriate assessment and follow-up action plans to determine their service and re-placement needs no later than within 30 days of re-placement. A comprehensive assessment is a review, including as applicable the child, his/her family, kin, current and former caregiver and the GAL, to assess the child’s current medical, social, behavioral, educational and dental needs to determine the additional evaluations/services/supports that are required to prevent future placement disruptions. Exit Requirement: 90% of children experiencing a placement disruption will have a comprehensive assessment as described above and an action plan developed.

23. SERVICES TO PROMOTE STABILITY [Combined with Outcome no. 3.] 24. HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE42 a. Children in foster care shall have a health screening prior to placement. Exit Requirement: 95% of children in foster care shall have a health screening prior to an initial placement or re-entry into care. 90% of children in foster care who experience a placement change shall have a replacement health screening. b. Children in foster care shall receive a full medical and dental evaluation within 30 days of placement. Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of children in foster care shall receive a full medical evaluation within 30 days of placement. 95% of children in foster care shall receive a full medical evaluation within 60 days of placement. 2. 25% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 30 days of placement. 50% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 60 days of placement. 90% of children shall receive a full dental evaluation within 90 days of placement.

41 42

MFO III(B)(3-4); MFO VI(C)(3); IP VI(1)(h). MFO VI(C); AIP(24)(c-d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a)(3), § 4-1303.03(d); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Placement (July 2009); CFSA Investigations Policy (September 30, 2003); CFSA Relationship with Resource Parents Policy (August 6, 2004).

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c. Children in foster care shall have timely access to health care services to meet identified needs. Exit Requirement: 85% of cases reviewed through the Quality Service Reviews (QSR) will be rated as acceptable.43 d. CFSA shall provide caregivers with documentation of Medicaid coverage within 5 days of every placement and Medicaid cards within 30 days. Exit Requirement: 90% of children’s caregivers shall be provided with documentation of Medicaid coverage within 5 days of ever placement and Medicaid cards within 30 days. e. Medicaid coverage shall remain active for the entire time a child is in foster care. Exit Requirement: 95% of children shall have Medicaid coverage that is active for the entire time they are in foster care.

43

The Monitor will determine performance based on the QSR child status health/physical well-being indicator, for which 85% of cases will be rated acceptable (a score of 4 or higher on the 6 point QSR indicator scale).

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D.

GOAL: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY

25. FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES44 The District shall provide evidence of financial support for community- and neighborhoodbased services to protect children and support families. Exit Requirement: The District shall provide evidence of financial support for community- and neighborhood-based services to protect children and support families. 26. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN45 The District shall implement the CFSA Resource Development Plan, which is to be developed by June 30, 2009 each year. The Resource Development Plan shall include all of the components listed in item 21b of the Outcomes to be Maintained section of this document. Exit Requirement: The District shall implement the CFSA Resource Development Plan, which is to be developed by June 30 each year. The Resource Development Plan shall include all of the components listed in Item 21b of the “Outcomes to be Maintained” section of this document. 27. POST-ADOPTION SERVICES46 CFSA shall make available post-adoption services necessary to preserve families who have adopted a child committed to CFSA. Exit Requirement: CFSA shall provide documentation that post-adoption services necessary to preserve families who have adopted a child committed to CFSA have been offered and made available to families in 90% of applicable cases.

44 45

MFO XV(C); AIP(25). MFO(XV)(B). 46 MFO VIII(G); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(9) (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg 1622.6 (1990); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Permanence (July 2009).

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28. CASELOADS47 a. The caseload of each worker48 conducting investigations of reports of abuse and/or neglect shall not exceed the MFO standard, which is 1:12 investigations. b. The caseload of each worker providing services to children and families in which the child or children in the family are living in their home shall not exceed 1:15 families. c. The caseload of each worker providing services to children in placement, including children in Emergency Care and children in any other form of CFSA physical custody, shall not exceed 1:15 children for children in foster care. d. [Deleted] e. The caseload of each worker having responsibility for conducting home studies shall not exceed 30 cases. f. There shall be no cases unassigned to a social worker for more than five business days, in which case, the supervisor shall provide coverage but not for more than five business days. Exit Requirement: 90% of investigators and social workers will have caseloads that meet the above caseload requirements. No individual investigator shall have a caseload greater than 15 cases. No individual social worker shall have a caseload greater than 18 cases. No individual worker conducting home studies shall have a caseload greater than 35 cases. 29. SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES49 a. Supervisors who are responsible for supervising social workers who carry caseloads shall be responsible for no more than six workers, including case aides of Family Support Workers, or five caseworkers. b. No supervisor shall be responsible for the on-going case management of any case.50

47

MFO XI(A, F); AIP(28)(b, c, d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(d), § 4-1303.02a(e).

All requirements apply to both CFSA workers and private agency workers. All CFSA contracts with private agencies providing foster care services shall include performance expectations for visitation of children in foster care in compliance with MFO visitation requirements.
49 50

48

MFO XI(C, F); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(d), § 4-1303.02a(e); AIP(29)(b). Case assignment in FACES begins with assigning the case to a program manager then a supervisor who then assigns the case to a worker. At any point in time, it will appear in FACES as if a supervisor or program manager has a case assignment.

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Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of supervisors shall be responsible for no more than five social workers and a case aide or Family Support Worker. 2. 95% of cases are assigned to social workers. 30. TRAINING FOR NEW SOCIAL WORKERS AND SUPERVISORS51 a. New workers shall receive the required 80 hours of pre-service training through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training in assigned training units. b. New supervisors shall complete a minimum of 40 hours of pre-service training on supervision of child welfare workers within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility. Exit Requirement: 1. 95% of newly hired CFSA and private agency social workers shall receive 80 hours of pre-service training. 2. 95% of newly hired CFSA and private agency supervisors shall complete 40 hours of pre-service training on supervision of child welfare worker within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility. 31. TRAINING FOR PREVIOUSLY HIRED SOCIAL WORKERS, SUPERVISORS AND ADMINISTRATORS52 a. Previously hired workers shall receive annually a minimum of 5 full training days (or a minimum of 30 hours) of structured in-service training geared toward professional development and specific core and advanced competencies. b. Supervisors, administrators and other personnel who have any casework responsibility shall receive annually a minimum of 24 hours of structured in-service training. Exit Requirement: 1. 90% of CFSA and private agency social workers shall receive the required annual in-service training. 2. 90% of CFSA and private agency supervisors, administrators and other personnel who have any casework responsibility shall receive the required annual in-service training.

51 52

MFO XIV(D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Training (July 2009). MFO XIV(D); D.C. Code § 4-1303.02a(e); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Training (July 2009).

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32. TRAINING FOR FOSTER PARENTS53 a. CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive a minimum of 15 hours of preservice training. b. CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive 30 hours of in-service training every two years. Exit Requirement: 1. 95% of CFSA and contract agency foster parents shall receive a minimum of 15 hours of
pre-service training

2. 95% of foster parents whose licenses are renewed shall receive 30 hours of in service training. 33. QUALITY ASSURANCE [Moved to maintenance] 34. SPECIAL CORRECTIVE ACTION54 a. CFSA shall produce accurate monthly reports, shared with the Monitor, which identify children in the following categories: i. All cases in which a child has been placed in four or more different placements, with the fourth or additional placement occurring in the last 12 months and the placement is not a permanent placement; ii. All cases in which a child has had a permanency goal of adoption for more than one year and has not been placed in an adoptive home; iii. All children who have been returned home and have reentered care more than twice and have a plan of return home at the time of the report; iv. Children with a permanency goal of reunification for more than 18 months; v. Children placed in emergency facilities for more than 90 days; vi. Children placed in foster homes or facilities that exceed their licensed capacities or placed in facilities without a valid license vii. Children under 14 with a permanency goal of APPLA; and viii. Children in facilities more than 100 miles from the District of Columbia. b. CFSA shall conduct a child-specific case review by the Director or Director’s designee(s) for each child identified and implement a child-specific corrective action plan, as appropriate.

53 54

MFO XIV(F); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit. 29, § 6026 (2001). MFO XIX; IP XIX.

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Exit Requirement: Required reviews will occur and corrective action plans will be developed and implemented, as appropriate, according to CFSA’s plan for conducting reviews for 90% of children identified in corrective action categories. 35. PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTING55 CFSA shall have in place a functioning performance based contracting system that (a) develops procurements for identified resource needs, including placement and service needs; (b) issues contracts in a timely manner to qualified service providers in accordance with District laws and regulations; and (c) monitors contract performance on a routine basis. Exit Requirement: Evidence of functionality and ongoing compliance. Evidence of capacity to monitor contract performance on a routine basis.56 36. INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN57 CFSA shall continue to maintain responsibility for managing and complying with the ICPC for children in its care. Exit Requirement: Elimination of the backlog of cases without ICPC compliance. 37. LICENSING REGULATIONS58 CFSA shall have necessary resources to enforce regulations effectively for original and renewal licensing of foster homes, group homes, and independent living facilities. Exit Requirement: Documentation of sufficient trained staff capacity to carry out policy and protocols related to foster home and congregate care facility licensing.

38. PROVIDER PAYMENTS [Moved to maintenance]
55 56

MFO XVI(B). Functionality will be assessed by looking at the timely execution and renewal of contracts/Human Care Agreements in accordance with Performance Based Contracting standards for all placement and service agreements; the timely and effective monitoring of contracts/Human Care Agreements in accordance with CSA policy and monitoring protocols and evidence of decisions and actions to procure placements and services from providers that meet specified performance outcomes. 57 IP VI(6); D.C. Code § 4-1421 (2010), § 4-1422; § 4-1423, §4-1303.02a(c); CFSA ICPC Policy (October 2, 2009). 58 MFO XV(E).

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39. BUDGET AND STAFFING ADEQUACY59 The District shall provide evidence that the Agency’s annual budget complies with Paragraph 7 of the October 23, 2000 Order providing customary adjustments to the FY 2001 baseline budget and adjustments to reflect increases in foster parent payments and additional staff required to meet caseload standards, unless demonstrated compliance with the MFO can be achieved with fewer resources. The District shall provide evidence of compliance with Paragraph 4 of the October 23, 2000 Order that CFSA staff shall be exempt from any District-wide furloughs and from any District-wide agency budget and/or personnel reductions that may be otherwise imposed. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 40. FEDERAL REVENUE MAXIMIZATION60 CFSA shall demonstrate compliance with Sections A and B of Chapter XVIII of the Modified Final Order concerning federal revenue maximization and financial development. Exit Requirement: Evidence of consistent claiming of all appropriate and available federal revenue.

59 60

IP XVIII Outcomes (2-3). MFO XVIII(A-B).

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SECTION II: OUTCOMES TO BE MAINTAINED The following outcomes were included in the Outcomes to be Achieved Section of the Amended Implementation Plan and are proposed for inclusion here because CFSA has demonstrated sustained performance that meets required exit standards.

A. PROTECTIVE SERVICES
1. ENTERING REPORTS INTO COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM61 CFSA shall immediately enter all reports of abuse or neglect into its computerized information systems and shall use the system to determine whether there have been prior reports of abuse or neglect in that family or to that child. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 2. MAINTAINING 24 HOUR RESPONSE SYSTEM62 CFSA shall staff and maintain a 24-hour system for receiving and responding to reports of child abuse and neglect, which conforms to reasonable professional standards. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 3. CHECKING FOR PRIOR REPORTS63 Child abuse and/or neglect reports shall show evidence that the investigator checked for prior reports of abuse and/or neglect. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

61 62

MFO II(C); IP II(6); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). MFO II(A); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009). 63 MFO II(C); CFSA Investigations Policy (VII)(C)(7)(b) (September 30, 2003); CFSA Hotline Policy, Child Protective Services, (revised December 9, 2009).

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4.

REVIEWING CHILD FATALITIES64 The District of Columbia, through the City-wide Child Fatality Committee, and an Internal CFSA Committee, shall conform to the requirements of the MFO regarding the ongoing independent review of child fatalities of members of the plaintiff class, with procedures for (1) reviewing child deaths; (2) making recommendations concerning appropriate corrective action to avert future fatalities; (3) issuing an annual public report; and (4) considering and implementing recommendations as appropriate. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

5.

INVESTIGATIONS OR ABUSE AND NEGLECT IN FOSTER HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS65 Reports of abuse and neglect in foster homes and institutions shall be comprehensively investigated; investigations in foster homes shall be completed within 35 days and investigations involving group homes, day care settings or other congregate care settings shall be completed within 60 days. Exit Requirement: 90% of reports of abuse and neglect in foster homes shall be completed within 35 days and within 60 days for investigations involving group homes, day care settings or other congregate settings.

64 65

MFO(II)(N); D.C. Code § 4-1371.03 (2010); CFSA Child Fatality Review Policy (March 18, 2009). CFSA Investigations Policy (VII)(C)(7)(b) (September 30, 2003).

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B. EMERGENCY CARE AND GENERAL ASSISTANCE
6. POLICIES FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS66 CFSA shall have in place policies and procedures for appropriate use of general assistance payments for the care of children by unrelated adults, including provision of any applicable oversight and supervision. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 7. USE OF GENERAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS67 CFSA shall demonstrate that District General Assistance payment grants are not used as a substitute for financial supports for foster care or kinship care for District children who have been subject to child abuse or neglect. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

C. PERMANENCY PLANNING AND PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN
8. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN MOST FAMILY LIKE SETTING68 No child shall stay overnight in the CFSA Intake Center or office building. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 9. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS69 CFSA should ensure training opportunities are available so that interested families may begin training within 30 days of inquiry. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

66 67

MFO V. MFO V. 68 Family Team Meeting Policy (February 13, 2007). 69 MFO XIV(F, G); MFO XV(E); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(a-1)(4)(C); AIP(I)(14)(b); IP VI(3); D.C. Mun. Reg, tit. 29, § 6028.4-5 (2004).

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10. PLACEMENT WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE DISTRICT70 No more than 82 children shall be placed more than 100 miles from the District of Columbia. (Children placed in college, vocational programs, correctional facilities, or kinship or preadoptive family-based settings under the ICPC shall be exempt from this requirement.) Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 11. LICENSING AND PLACEMENT STANDARDS71 a. Children shall be placed in foster homes and other placements that meet licensing and other MFO placement standards. b. Children in foster home placements shall be in homes that (a) have no more than three foster children or (b) have six total children including the family’s natural children; (c) have no more than two children under two years of age or (d) have more than three children under six years of age. The sole exception shall be those instances in which the placement of a sibling group, with no other children in the home, shall exceed these limits. c. No child shall be placed in a group-care setting with a capacity in excess of eight (8) children without express written approval by the Director or designee based on written documentation that the child’s needs can only be met in that specific facility, including a description of the services available in the facility to address the individual child’s needs. d. Children shall not be placed in a foster care home or facility in excess of its licensed capacity. The sole exception shall be those instances in which the placement of a sibling group, with no other children in the home, shall exceed the limits. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of children.

70 71

MFO XV(D)(1),(5), XIX(A)(9); IP VI(1)(f). MFO XV(E), VI(A)(7, 10; D.C. Code § 4-1402 (2010); D.C. Mun. Reg., tit.29, §§ 1638.2 (1990), 6206.1-4 (2001).

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12. CASE PLANNING PROCESS72 Case plans shall be developed within 30 days of the child entering care and shall be reviewed and modified as necessary at least every six months thereafter, and shall show evidence of appropriate supervisory review of case plan progress. Exit Requirement: 95% of case plans shall be developed within 30 days of the child entering care and shall be reviewed and modified as necessary at least every six months thereafter. 13. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS73 No child under the age of 12 shall have a permanency goal of legal custody with permanent caretakers unless he or she is placed with a relative who is willing to assume long-term responsibility for the child and who has legitimate reasons for not adopting the child and it is in the child’s best interest to remain in the home of the relative rather than be considered for adoption by another person. No child under the age of 12 shall have a permanency goal of continued foster care unless CFSA has made every reasonable effort, documented in the record, to return the child home, to place the child with an appropriate family member, and to place the child for adoption, and CFSA has considered and rejected the possibility of the child’s foster parents assuming legal custody as permanent caretakers of the child. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 14. TIMELY ADOPTION74 Within 95 days of a child’s permanency goal becoming adoption, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team to develop a child-specific recruitment plan which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource. Exit Requirement: For 90% of children whose permanency goal becomes adoption, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team to develop a child-specific recruitment plan which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource.

72

MFO VII(A-B, D); D.C. Code § 4-1301.02(3) (2010), § 4-1301.09(b); CFSA Out-of-Home Practice Model, Case Planning (revised July 2009); CFSA Diligent Search Policy (VII) (revised December 1, 2009); CFSA Family Team Meetings Policy (February 13, 2007). 73 MFO XIX(A)(8), VII(C)(4); AIP II(8); CFSA Establishing the Goal of Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) Policy ( June 25, 2004) 74 MFO VIII(D)(1), (2)(d); D.C. Code § 4-1303.01(a), § 4-1303.01a(b)(110; IP VIII(1-2).

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15. POST-ADOPTION SERVICES NOTIFICATION75 Adoptive families shall receive notification at the time that the adoption becomes final of the availability of post-adoption services. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 90% of cases.

D. CASE REVIEW SYSTEM
16. FAMILY COURT REVIEWS76 A case review hearing will be conducted in Family Court at least every six months for every child as long as the child remains in out-of-home placement, unless the child has received a permanency hearing within the past six months. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance for 95% of cases. 17. PERMANENCY HEARINGS77 CFSA shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that children in foster care have a permanency hearing in Family Court no later than 14 months after their initial placement. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of cases.

E. CASELOADS, STAFFING, AND WORKER QUALIFICATION
18. USE OF MSWS AND BSWS78 Unless otherwise agreed, all social worker hires at CFSA shall have an MSW or BSW before being employed as trainees. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for all social work hires.

75 76

MFO VIII(G)(2); IP VIII(5). MFO X(B)(1)(c); D.C. Code § 16-2323 (2010); CFSA Administrative Review Policy (July 12, 2006). 77 MFO X(B)(2); D.C. Code § 16-2323 (2010). 78 MFO XIII(A).

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19. SOCIAL WORK LICENSURE79 All social work staff shall meet District of Columbia licensing requirements to carry cases independently of training units. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for all social workers.

F. TRAINING
20. TRAINING FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS80 Adoptive parents shall receive a minimum of 30 hours of training, excluding the orientation process. Exit Requirement: Ongoing compliance for 95% of adoptive parents.

G. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
21. NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN81 a. CFSA shall complete a needs assessment every two years, which shall include an assessment of placement support services, to determine what services are available and the number and categories of additional services and resources, if any, that are necessary to ensure compliance with the MFO. The needs assessment shall be a written report. The needs assessment, including the report, shall be repeated every two years. CFSA shall provide evidence of adequate Resource Development capacity within the Agency, with sufficient staff and other resources to carry out MFO resource development functions. b. The District shall develop a Resource Development Plan, which shall be updated annually by June 30th of each year. The Resource Development Plan shall: (a) project the number of emergency placements, foster homes, group homes, therapeutic foster homes and institutional placements that shall be required by children in CFSA custody during the upcoming year; (b) identify strategies to assure that CFSA has available, either directly or through contract, a sufficient number of appropriate placements for all children in its physical or legal custody; (c) project the need for community-based services to prevent unnecessary placement, replacement, adoption and foster home disruption; (d) identify how the Agency is moving to ensure decentralized neighborhood and community-based services; and (e) include an assessment of the need for adoptive families and strategies for recruitment, training and retention of adoptive families based on the annual assessment. The Plan shall specify the quantity of each category of
79 80

IP XI-XIII(10). MFO(XIV)(G). 81 MFO XV(B); D.C. Code § 4-1303.03(b)(10)(D & F) (2010).

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resources and services, the time period within which they shall be developed, and the specific steps that shall be taken to ensure that they are developed. CFSA shall then take necessary steps to implement this plan. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 22. FOSTER PARENT LICENSURE82 CFSA shall license relatives as foster parents in accordance with District law, District licensing regulations and ASFA requirements. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 23. QUALITY ASSURANCE83 CFSA shall have a Quality Assurance system with sufficient staff and resources to assess case practice, analyze outcomes and provide feedback to managers and stakeholders. The Quality Assurance system must annually review a sufficient number of cases to assess compliance with the provisions of the MFO and good social work practice, to identify systemic issues, and to produce results allowing the identification of specific skills and additional training needed by workers and supervisors. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

H. CONTRACT REVIEW AND PROVIDER PAYMENTS
24. MAINTAINING COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM84 a. CFSA shall develop and maintain a unitary computerized information system and shall take all reasonable and necessary steps to achieve and maintain accuracy. b. CFSA shall provide evidence of the capacity of FACES Management Information System to produce appropriate, timely, and accurate worker/supervisor reports and other management reports that shall assist the Agency in meeting goals of safety, permanence and well-being and the requirements of the MFO and Court-ordered Implementation Plan Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

82 83

MFO XV(F); CFSA Temporary Licensing of Foster Home for Kin Policy (revised October 26, 2005). MFO X(C). 84 MFO XVII(A-D).

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25. CONTRACTS TO REQUIRE THE ACCEPTANCE OF CHILDREN REFERRED85 CFSA contracts for services shall include a provision that requires the provider to accept all clients referred pursuant to the terms of the contract, except for a lack of vacancy. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance 26. PROVIDER PAYMENTS86 CFSA shall ensure payment to providers in compliance with DC’s Quick Payment Act for all services rendered. Exit Requirement: 90% of payments to providers shall be made in compliance with DC’s Quick Payment Act for all services rendered. 27. FOSTER PARENT BOARD RATES87 There shall be an annual adjustment at the beginning of each fiscal year of board rates for all foster and adoptive homes to equal the USDA annual adjustment to maintain rates consistent with USDA standards for costs of raising a child in the urban south. Exit Requirement: Ongoing Compliance

85 86

MFO XVI(C). AIP(38). 87 MFO XV(D)(6)(a).

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SECTION III: STRATEGY PLAN THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2010 Pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the Court’s April 5, 2010 order, CFSA will implement the following Strategy Plan with specific action steps and targets designed to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for children and to reach and sustain the performance requirements of the MFO and the LaShawn A. 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. The strategies, specific action steps and targets in this plan are in critical areas related to outcomes including investigations, safe and stable reunification, licensing, training, adoption, services for youth aging out, placement stability, case planning, visitation and health and mental health services. The Strategy Plan and the specific actions steps and targets included therein are a means to achieving compliance with the mandated outcomes of the MFO and the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. The Strategy Plan primarily addresses the timeframe between June and December 2010. The plan and action steps and targets can be modified with prior consultation with the Monitor. By January 31, 2011, the District of Columbia, after consultation with the Monitor and Plaintiffs, will submit for Court approval an addendum updating the Strategy plan for the period from January through June 2011. A. GOAL: CHILD SAFETY

1. INVESTIGATIONS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 1 and 2) a. Policy 1. CFSA will review and modify if necessary its investigations policy to ensure clarity on the definition of quality investigations consistent with DC statute (including reasonable efforts to prevent removal and investigation of relative resources) and the definition included in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. 2. By September 2010, CFSA will complete a CPS investigations practice guide consistent with CFSA policy. 3. CFSA in collaboration with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will review the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and existing policy to modify policy as necessary to increase appropriate utilization of the CAC. Practices to implement the policy and MOU on the use of the CAC will be reflected in the CPS investigations practice guide. 4. In consultation with the Children’s Research Center (CRC), CFSA will recalibrate the risk assessment tool to address reliability of risk assessment process. b. Practice 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will develop the capacity needed to ensure that Family Team Meetings (FTMs) occur prior to a child’s removal unless the child is at imminent risk of harm or prior to filing a petition for removal with Superior Court.

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2. CFSA will identify any additional action steps necessary to implement the investigative practice recommendations from the Monitor’s report88 and implement such action steps or provide rationale as to why the Agency is choosing not to implement the recommendations. 3. CFSA will develop and define the process for comprehensive reviews of families with four or more reports of abuse and neglect which may include the investigations program manager, the current investigative worker, the Office of Clinical Practice, Collaborative workers and others who have prior familiarity with the family. 4. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will implement the comprehensive reviews of families with four or more reports of abuse and neglect which may include the investigations program manager, the current investigative worker, the Office of Clinical Practice, Collaborative workers and others who have prior familiarity with the family. 5. Investigators will seek the assistance of the CPS-assigned nurses and the Office of Clinical Practice professionals when needed for all investigations that present medical or mental health needs for the child(ren) and/or caregivers. c. Services During an Investigation 1. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will reinstitute the joint screenings of new investigations. 2. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will explore and address current barriers to referrals for supportive services during an investigation. 3. CFSA will expand access to and increase utilization of current services to families during the period of an investigation. 4. With the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, CFSA will develop a working group to determine an accurate baseline of potential referrals to the Collaboratives from CPS. 5. CFSA will conduct a case review of children who are removed from their home for short periods of time to determine alternative strategies for keeping children safely in their homes. d. Supervision of Practice 1. CFSA will ensure supervisory consultation in advance of the investigative worker going into the field to guide the social worker prior to initiating the investigation. 2. CFSA will ensure that program managers and supervisors review open investigations at the 18th day to discuss and resolve barriers to timely and safe closure, and document those efforts in the investigation file. 3. CFSA will ensure that investigations that exceed the 30-day time frame for completion have just cause, approved by a supervisor, reflected in FACES.NET beginning in June 2010.

88

An Assessment of the Quality of Child Abuse and Neglect Investigative Practices in the District of Columbia. (May 24, 2010) Center for the Study of Social Policy.

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4. CFSA will ensure that investigations that exceed the 30-day time frame for completion are reviewed weekly by supervisors and program managers to ensure safe closure as soon as possible. e. Training 1. By November 2010, the Child Protection Services (CPS) pre-service training curriculum will be completed and will reflect any changes to policy as well as the CPS practice guide. 2. Beginning December 2010 and on-going, the CPS pre-service training curriculum will be used for any new staff or supervisors assigned to investigations. 3. By December 31, 2010, all investigators and supervisors will be trained on the CPS investigations practice guide. f. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will ensure the effective, continuing use of CPS quality assurance measures: ChildStat (at least one investigation every six months), Grand Rounds (two open investigations reviewed per month) and the validation of five hotline call reviews per month 2. Beginning in July 2010, Quality Assurance (QA) staff will complete 10 reviews of randomly selected investigations each quarter for 12 months using a shortened version of the tool used by the Court Monitor. The sample will consist of investigations that have been closed within 15 days of the review date. The QA staff will work with the Court Monitor to validate these findings 3. CFSA will ensure that through weekly case reviews, program managers and supervisors will identify barriers and practice concerns related to the timeliness and quality of the investigations. This will include reviewing documented efforts to obtain information from collateral contacts and documentation of case staffings held with ongoing social workers, when applicable, to inform the investigation regarding the immediate safety of all children and the risk factors present for the child and family and to address safety issues identified by the investigator. 2. SERVICES TO FAMILES AND CHILDREN TO PROMOTE SAFETY, PERMANENCY AND WELL-BEING (Strategies to Achieve Outcome 3) a. Practice 1. Beginning July 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that a team comprised of the assigned social worker, family support worker, and nurse care manager (for children in foster care) will in each case: a. assess and properly and timely identify service needs, b. make referrals for identified services (including those offered by the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives), and c. take any follow-up action to confirm access to and provision of identified services. 2. Beginning July 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that team meetings are held with the family and other team members within the first 30 days of case opening to identify service needs and to plan for service provision. June 14, 2010 33

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3. Beginning October 1, 2010, CFSA will ensure that team meetings are held with the family and other team members at critical decision points throughout the life of the case (i.e. placement changes, significant life changes; permanency decision-making). b. Supervision 1. By July 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct verification of the identification of service needs and service provision through weekly supervision and through monthly continuous quality improvement case reviews completed by supervisors and program managers. Program managers will complete three reviews a month per program area and supervisors will complete two reviews a month per unit. c. Community-Based Services 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will develop targets of the number of families to be served in FY2011. 2. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, based on the targets developed, will ensure that resources and protocols are in place to meet the set targets. 3. CFSA, with the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, will convene the joint Implementation Committee and implement the findings of the recently completed Partnership for Community Based Services (PCBS) First Year Evaluation Report to enhance and sustain the functioning of the PCBS. 4. CFSA will identify additional revenues to fund the seven Collaborative Family Support Workers eliminated as a result of the FY2011 budget reductions. d. Service Array 1. CFSA will maintain the Rapid Housing program for families at risk of entering foster care or in need housing assistance for reunification. 2. By December 31, 2010, the District will either create 100 new Family Unification Program housing choice vouchers or present the Monitor with a plan to do so by the subsequent fiscal year. 3. VISITATION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 4, 5, 6, 10, and 11) a. Policy 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop policy indicating that social workers and other team members visiting families and children will assess the safety of children at every visit to families receiving inhome services and children in out-of-home care. 2. CFSA in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop a protocol to guide workers and other team members visiting families and children in the assessment of child safety at every visit. June 14, 2010 34

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3. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop a protocol to guide workers and other team members to discuss at every visit permanency goals and progress towards those goals, visitation requirements and schedules, and required action steps in the case plan. These discussions and the progress made by families will be reflected in the case notes for each visit. 4. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will develop visitation schedule template(s) to be used in worker and team member visits to families receiving in-home services, children in out-of-home placement, visits to parents and parent-child visits. 5. CFSA, in consultation with families, youth, foster parents, kin and representative members of family teams, will re-examine the current rules governing the use of supervised parent-child visitation to determine if a broader array of staff, contractors, relatives and foster parents could provide supervision and make revisions as needed. 6. CFSA will promulgate policy on criteria guiding the use of supervised and unsupervised visitation. b. Worker Visits to Families Receiving In-Home Services 1. Beginning August 1, 2010, for all new in-home cases, CFSA will engage the family in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where child and family visits will occur and the purpose of the visits.89 c. Worker Visits to Children in Out-of-Home Placement 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents and foster parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where caseworker-child visits will occur and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents or foster parents to participate in this conversation. d. Parent-Child Visitation 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social works will engage parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where parent-child visits will occur and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents to participate in this conversation. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will explore the feasibility, make recommendations and implement a plan for strategies to increase visitation between children and their parents. These strategies may include, but are not limited to, permitting visitation to occur in the parent’s home, expansion of community-based visitation centers, utilization of foster parents and/or relatives to supervise visitation, and utilization of contracted service providers to supervise visitation.
89

A visitation schedule does not preclude the ability of social workers to make unannounced visits.

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e. Visits to Parents 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where caseworker-parent visits will occur during the first three months post-placement and the purpose of the visits. Social workers will document the discussion and the refusal or inability of parents to participate in this conversation. 2. Beginning July, 2010, CFSA will use a case review process to analyze data and contact information regarding the parent and social worker visits to ensure that the visitation is supportive of the permanency goal and issues identified in the visits are addressed and documented in the case plan. Program managers will conduct monthly three (3) case reviews and supervisors will conduct two (2) case reviews on a random selection of cases. Programs managers and supervisors will meet on a weekly basis or more frequently as necessary with workers to address quality and non-compliance issues. 3. Beginning July 2010, the social worker, Nurse Care Manager, and/or Family Support Workers will update notes in FACES.net providing a status of the visit or state why the visit did not occur. At every visit, workers will discuss permanency goals, visitation requirements, and required action steps in the case plan during each parent/worker visitation and reflect the progress in the case notes. f. Supervision 1. CFSA will ensure that through weekly supervision or review of contact notes, supervisors are ensuring that workers are assessing for safety at every visit and documenting their findings. 2. CFSA will ensure that supervisors and program managers will complete monthly continuous quality activities to ensure documentation of the assessment of safety at each visit. Program managers will complete three reviews a month per program area and supervisors will complete two reviews a month per unit. 3. CFSA will ensure supervisory review of every child with a goal of reunification to ensure there is a written visitation plan and clear understanding among the family’s team as to the visitation plan. g. Training 1. CFSA will ensure workers and supervisors are trained on the use of the protocol for assessing a child’s safety at every visit. 2. CFSA will ensure workers and supervisors are trained on the use of the visitation template(s). 3. CFSA will ensure workers and other team members making visits are trained on the purpose of visits and how to connect each visit to the overall case plan and permanency plan. h. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will assure that by July 2010, private agencies develop and implement internal quality assurance systems for monitoring and evaluating their program

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performance on all visitation requirements and regularly develop and implement improvement strategies where necessary.

B.

GOAL: PERMANENCY

4. RELATIVE RESOURCES (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 7) a. Policy 1. By October 31, 2010, CFSA will implement all requirements of the Fostering Connections Act relating to the engagement of relatives as part of the routine Agency response to allegations of abuse or neglect in a family home. 2. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will propose and promulgate regulations (1) defining, consistent with federal law, which foster care licensing standards are “non-safety” in nature and, therefore, eligible for the exercise of waiver authority in relation to licensing kinship placements, (2) permitting temporary kinship licensing to be utilized in circumstances in which relative placement is determined to be in the best interest of the child and safety can be maintained, (3) age-appropriate policy and age-appropriate licensing standards for assuring kinship placement for 18-20 year olds under Family Court jurisdiction who wish to live with identified and qualified kin. In developing these regulations, CFSA shall reassess 29 D.C.M.R. § 6000.5 and whether its assignment of waiver authority to the Director remains appropriate. 3. CFSA will develop and promulgate policy regarding full implementation of the temporary kin licensing agreement with Maryland. b. Practice 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis ensure that social workers take reasonable action to identify and assess relative resources, including, but not limited to: a. coordinating the initial FTM for families experiencing a removal, identifying relatives and inviting them to attend the FTM, b. submitting a referral to the Diligent Search Unit when further assistance is needed, to expand the search to locate additional family members, c. conducting case mining and Family Finding activities to locate family members; purchasing search engines and access to information as indicated. c. Training 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will train all case-carrying social workers – including licensing workers, child protective services workers, and workers at CFSA and private agencies handling out-of-home cases – regarding new licensing regulations. CFSA will engage foster parents and other community stakeholders to provide this training jointly.

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5. PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 8 and 9) a. Policy 1. Consistent with CFSA policy on placement of children and youth in the least restrictive, most family-like setting, placement of a child in a congregate care facility will require documentation of the absence of an available family placement and CFSA will develop a transition plan for all children placed in congregate care to move the child to a family-based setting within three months of placement in a congregate care facility. b. Placement Array 1. Beginning July 2010, a quarterly utilization review of available placement beds will be developed and implemented, categorized by provider, type of placement, and access patterns. Commensurate modifications will then be made to contracts to ensure consistent access to placements appropriate to each child’s needs. 2. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will reduce traditional congregate care placements by 30% through building and supporting family foster homes willing and capable of caring for older youth and sibling groups. 3. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will increase family foster care placements by 25% through building and supporting family foster homes willing and capable of caring for older youth and sibling groups. c. Quality Assurance 1. Beginning July 1, 2010, a monthly report of all children under the age of twelve in congregate settings reflecting the needs of each child and whether they meet the established criteria for this placement. For those that do not meet the criteria, corrective actions will be taken to immediately place the child in a more appropriate setting. 6. APPROPRIATE PERMANENCY GOALS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 12) a. Policy 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will develop policies and protocols for linking transitioning youth to needed adult services (e.g. Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid), and work force supports and employment services, and local opportunities for mentors. b. Practice 1. Beginning June 1, 2010, CFSA independent living specialists will provide consultation to social workers managing cases of youth ages 16 – 17 to complete the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment. 2. By June 30, 2010, the Office of Youth Empowerment in partnership with CFSA and private agency social workers will begin facilitating Youth Transition conferences to plan for transition to adulthood and to explore other appropriate

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permanency goals for youth ages 18 to 20 that currently have an APPLA goal and no permanent or potential connection to an adult. 3. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will examine permanency options for youth ages 14 – 20 with an APPLA goal using best practices, e.g., permanency roundtables. c. Contracts 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will develop a Human Care Agreement solicitation seeking to engage one or more contractors with the specialized programs, organizational knowledge and experience and specially trained workforce required to provide effective, child-specific transitional services and supports to youth with an APPLA goal. The HCA solicitation will seek to purchase services to meet the array of needs identified in the review undertaken pursuant to subparagraph (a) immediately above. 2. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will award contracts to one or more qualified contactors to deliver the services described in the request for proposal described in subparagraph (b) immediately above. d. Quality Assurance 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will track and monitor the educational, employment, health and housing outcomes for youth with an APPLA goal. 2. Beginning June 1, 2010, CFSA, in partnership with Family Court through the Child Welfare Leadership Team, will monitor the number of youth given the goal of APPLA and will work with the Family Court to change the permanency goal for youth when guardianship and/or adoption opportunities are identified. 7. REDUCTION OF MULTIPLE PLACMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 13) a. Policy 1. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will centralize all placement decisions within the CFSA Placement Administration eliminating all moves between and within private agencies without CFSA approval. 2. CFSA will develop a placement policy to reflect all changes from the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan, all changes in the placement process from 2008 and describing how children are to be initially assessed and placed. b. Licensure 1. CFSA will dually license foster homes to serve as both traditional and therapeutic placements. c. Training 1. CFSA will train, prepare and compensate foster parents as co-trainers in the preservice training for workers. By September 1, 2010, foster parents will serve as co-trainers in pre-service training.

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2. CFSA, in collaboration with DMH and the Resource Parent Training Coalition, will develop and implement a skill-based curriculum for training all foster parents to provide therapeutic placements. 3. CFSA, in collaboration with DMH and the Resource Parent Training Coalition, will develop therapeutic foster parent competencies and ensure all training activities build these competencies. 8. TIMELY APPROVAL OF FOSTER PARENTS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 14) a. Policy 1. CFSA will review and seek to modify applicable regulations to better facilitate timely licensure, and to eliminate or waive the fire inspection fee. b. Licensure 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will modify and update administrative processes to facilitate a more timely licensing process. These include: a. beginning the home studies process earlier during pre-service training; b. beginning 30/60/90 day reviews of each applicant completed by the licensing supervisor and worker; and c. streamlining the required documents. 9. LEGAL ACTION TO FREE CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 15) a. Partnerships with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General 1. CFSA will work with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General to identify barriers to the timely termination of parental rights for children with a permanency goal of adoption and take all necessary steps to eliminate the barriers. 2. CFSA will work with the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General to develop and track timeframes and benchmarks for the processing of petitions to terminate parental rights. 10. TIMELY ADOPTION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 16) a. Policy 1. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will formulate and publish official agency policy describing how permanency planning is to be undertaken and how permanency goals are to be facilitated and achieved including clarifying the roles of permanency specialists, social workers with case-management responsibility, private agency social workers and adoptions workers. b. Practice 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis assure the effective and routine use of the Permanency Opportunity Project model and High Impact strategy to achieve timely permanency for children. 2. For children not in an approved adoptive placement, CFSA shall convene a permanency planning team meeting to develop a child-specific recruitment plan, June 14, 2010 40

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which may include contracting with a private adoption agency for those children without an adoptive resource. 3. CFSA social workers will provide the referral package to the matching unit to determine if a waiting family is a good match for the child; CFSA will ensure the matching unit sends the referral package to the recruitment unit if no available match for child specific recruitment. 4. Beginning June 1, 2011, CFSA recruitment staff will use web-based technology (e.g., social network sites) to locate potential adoption resources. 5. Beginning in October 2010, CFSA recruitment staff will conduct case mining and Family Finding activities to locate family members. CFSA will purchase search engines or access to information as indicated. c. Service Array 1. By October 1, 2010, CFSA will assess the current array of post-adoptive services and implement action steps to fill identified service gaps. In making this assessment, CFSA will review internal performance and program data and will consult with the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC), Adoptions Together and the Post-Permanency Center to identify priority needs. d. Supervision 1. The CFSA Out of Home and Permanency Administrators will conduct individual meetings with social workers and permanency specialists as needed to assess barriers and identify strategies to remove barriers that prevent permanence for those children with a goal of adoption and with an identified resource. Permanency specialists will track and follow-up on actions steps from the permanency barrier staffing every 30 days. 2. CFSA recruitment supervisors will review a daily management information system report to track children newly assigned the goal of adoption and working with social workers to complete the referral package if no adoptive resource is identified. e. Training 1. By June 2011, CFSA recruitment staff will be trained in case mining and family engagement to enhance capacity for identifying and engaging potential permanency resources. . f. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will develop definitions for and begin of tracking reasonable efforts to ensure that all children placed in an approved adoptive home have their adoption finalized within 12 months. 2. CFSA will review the status of any child with the goal of adoption without a current pre-adoptive placement to create or revise and implement a child specific recruitment plan. Follow-up meetings will occur every 60 days until a permanent resource is identified.

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11. CASE PLANNING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 17) a. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will immediately and on an ongoing basis ensure that existing case review processes (e.g. QSRs, Structured Progress Reviews, CQI Case Reviews, etc.) are utilized for children in foster care to ensure social work practice is directed toward the timely achievement of permanency (i.e. parent/ child visitation, sibling visitation, access to services required to remediate the risk to children in the home) 12. PLACEMENT LICENSING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 18) a. Foster Home Licensing 1. By June 30, 2010, implement an annual licensing and re-licensing calendar and protocol to ensure that all foster homes are licensed and re-licensed timely and accurately reflected in FACES that includes: a. a supervisory review of assigned foster homes due for licensure and re-licensure; b. the due dates and expiration dates for all foster home; and c. postcard reminders to all foster parents. 2. By September 30, 2010, create and implement a manual documentation protocol that serves as back-up tracking of foster parent compliance with required training. b. Congregate Care Licensing 1. By June 30, 2010, implement an annual licensing and re-licensing calendar and protocol to ensure that all congregate care facilities are licensed and relicensed timely and accurately reflected in FACES that includes: a. a supervisory review of assigned congregate care facilities due for re-licensure; b. the expiration dates for all group home and ILP licenses and the schedule of licensing activities and deadlines associated with each re-licensure; and c. memorandum reminders to the CEOs of congregate care facilities up for re-licensure. 2. By June 30, 2010, implement notification process to CFSA’s Placement Office, Contracts Office and the Congregate Care Contract Management Division in order to alert these offices of any concerns that may adversely affect a contractor’s license or the ability to place youth in a congregate care facility. c. Monitoring 1. By June 30, 2010, implement performance based monitoring of each private placement agency on a monthly basis, to include a full review of compliance with licensing and all placement standards followed with immediate corrective actions where indicated. June 14, 2010 42

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2. By September 30, 2010 as a process of monitoring congregate care provider agency compliance with title 29 DCMR chapters 62 and 63, CMPIA will notify the Office of Facility License to report any evidence of noncompliance with the licensing requirements, and ensure agencies develop and implement corrective actions. C. GOAL: CHILD WELL-BEING

13. SIBLING PLACEMENTS AND VISITS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 20) a. Policy 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, for all initial placements and re-entries into foster care, social workers will engage parents, foster parents and kinship caregivers in the development of written visitation schedules outlining when and where sibling visits will occur. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will explore the feasibility, make recommendations and create a plan for implementation of strategies to increase visitation between siblings placed apart. These strategies may include, but are not limited to, permitting visitation to occur in the parent’s home, expansion of community-based visitation centers, utilization of foster parents to supervise visitation, and utilization of contracted service providers to supervise visitation. b. Practice 1. Social workers and/or family support workers will follow-up weekly with caregivers to document sibling visitation that occurs outside of CFSA supervision (i.e. contacts children have in the school or community). c. Supervision 1. CFSA will ensure supervisory review of every child in foster care with siblings to ensure there is a written visitation plan and clear understanding among the family team as to the visitation plan. d. Quality Assurance 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will complete an evaluation of sibling groups to understand the barriers to placement and to determine how best to address these barriers.

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14. ASSESSMENTS FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING PLACEMENT DISRUPTIONS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 22) a. Policy 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will complete an Administrative Issuance that sets forth the actions to be taken when a placement disruption occurs, including the elements of a required replacement child assessment. The Administrative Issuance will include, but not be limited to, the following: a. Prior to replacement, children will receive a pre-placement health screening. b. Beginning July 2010, the social worker and the Nurse Care Manager, and the family support worker will be provided a record of the medical and behavioral health screening and any other information emanating from the replacement screening. c. Beginning July 2010, the social worker and/or family support worker will schedule a case consultation with the nurse care manager and placement services to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the child within 30 days of the disrupted placement to provide information on the social, behavioral, medical, dental and educational needs of the child. d. The social worker with the support of the nurse care manager and family support worker will identify appropriate services to address any outstanding medical, social, behavioral, dental or educational services required by the child and inform placement services. e. As part of the assessment, the social worker or other designated CFSA staff will consult with the former caregiver to assess reasons for placement disruption and the extent to which support services could have prevented the disruption. f. The social worker with the support of the nurse care manager family support workers and placement services will complete a follow-up action plan in the case notes. 2. By December 31, 2010, the Administrative Issuance will be used to develop CFSA policy on assessments for children experiencing placement disruptions. b. Quality Assurance 1. CFSA will ensure that through monthly, random continuous quality improvement case record reviews, program managers and supervisors will determine if the assessments and plans are occurring and are addressing the child's needs. This is to be in addition to weekly supervision.

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15. HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 24) a. Policy 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will develop and promulgate agency policy regarding the Healthy Horizons Assessment Center and Nurse Care Management Model. This policy, among other things, will define the roles of the assigned social worker, nurse care manager and case aide in ensuring the provision of timely and appropriate medical, dental and mental health care for children in foster care b. Healthy Horizons Clinic 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will fully implement and staff the Healthy Horizons clinic. CFSA will operate an on-site screening center with licensed nurse practitioners for the completion of pre-placement screenings and comprehensive medical evaluations. The full array of responsibilities to be implemented are: a. Provision of medical and behavioral health screening services; b. Engagement of families to complete comprehensive medical, mental, and developmental biological family history. c. Comprehensive mental health screenings completed by colocated mental health professionals, except for those under age 1 and only with the involvement of the biological parent for those under age 8. d. Provision of medical, mental health and developmental information to social workers, family support workers, and colocated mental health professionals to provide a baseline history for providers; e. Serving as a medical information resource within the first month of placement. f. Medical assistants and/or nurse case managers will work with or follow-up with foster parents and social workers to make dental evaluation appointments. c. Nurse Care Managers 1. Beginning July 2010, nurse care managers and/or medical assistants will followup with foster parents and social workers to document the completion of the dental evaluations and to advocate for the dental healthcare of children. 2. By July 1, 2010, nurse care managers will be assigned to children in foster care at a ratio of 1:100. Nurse care managers are required to facilitate the provision of appropriate services to meet healthcare needs. In collaboration with the assigned social worker, the Nurse Care Manager will be responsible for: a. Coordinating and monitoring health care services over the life of the case. b. Ensuring active Medicaid coverage for the entire time the child is in foster care or otherwise facilitating needed health care. c. Teaming with foster parents and social workers to ensure compliance with required and necessary health care services.

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d.

e.

Engaging in systematic communication, education and coordination of care among health care providers, child welfare professionals and family supports. Ensuring medical plans are integrated into permanency case plans.

d. Needs Assessment and Implementation 1. By August 2010, CFSA and DMH will provide a public report on the development of mental health services to meet the recommendations of the 2007 Children’s Mental Health Needs Assessment including. 2. By December 31, 2010, the District will ensure that all services at the capacity and quantity as identified in the 2007 Children’s Mental Health Needs Assessment are available.

E.

GOAL: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND SYSTEM ACCOUNTABILITY

16. TRAINING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcomes 30 and 31) a. Pre-Service Training 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will review and revise the pre-service curriculum to ensure it builds the skills needed to implement the case practice model and protocol. 2. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of CFSA and private agency staff pre-service training data to ensure that staff pre-service training hours are being accurately tracked and monitored. b. In-Service Training 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will review and revise in-service training to ensure it builds the skills needed to implement the case practice model and protocol. 2. Beginning September 30, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of CFSA and private agency staff in-service training data to ensure that staff in-service training hours are being accurately tracked and monitored. c. Supervisory Training 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will modify its existing training tracking and monitoring system to better ensure: a. all newly hired CFSA supervisors complete the required training on child welfare supervision within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibility; and b. training hours are accurately tracked and monitored.

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2. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, in collaboration with the private agencies, will strengthen and standardize the existing notification, tracking and monitoring system to ensure: a. timely notification of new private agency supervisor hires or internal promotions; b. timely enrollment of private agency supervisory staff in pre-service training; c. completion of supervisory pre-service training within eight months of assuming supervisory responsibilities; and d. accurate tracking and monitoring of training hours. d. Birth Parent, Foster Parent and Youth Inclusion 1. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will train, prepare and compensate birth parents, foster parents and youth to serve as co-trainers in pre-service training of the workforce. e. Practice Model 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will complete a revised Training Academy Plan with an enhanced focus on the practice model and incorporate additional training on teaming and improving the quality of visitation. 17. TRAINING FOR FOSTER PARENTS (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 32) a. Policy a. By March 31, 2011, CFSA will propose changes to 29 DCMR § 6026 to align the training requirements to the licensing period. b. Training Curriculum a. CFSA will develop a specialized training curriculum to ensure all foster parents are offered training necessary to accept children with therapeutic needs per the action step to permit dual licensure for all foster placements. c. Quality Assurance a. Beginning December 31, 2010, CFSA will institute a quarterly quality assurance and reconciliation process of foster parent training data to ensure that pre-service and in-service training hours for CFSA and private agency foster parents are being accurately tracked and monitored. 18. SPECIAL CORRECTIVE ACTION (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 34) a. Quality Assurance 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will develop and implement a plan to review all children and families in special corrective action categories. The plan will include a timeframe for when these reviews will commence.

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19. PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 35) a. Congregate Care Contracts 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will award Congregate Care Human Care Agreements/Tasks Orders that include performance indicators and outcomes. 2. By December 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct monthly site visits including: a. record reviews; b. physical plant inspections; c. surveys and interviews with staff and child/youth; and d. semi-annual evaluations of performance based contracts/human care agreements for congregate care services. b. Foster Care Contracts 1. By August 1, 2010, CFSA will conduct a technical review of the business plan submissions for case management and family-based foster care services. 2. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will award Case Management and Family-based Foster Care Human Care Agreements/Task Orders that include performance indicators and outcomes. 3. By April 1, 2011, CFSA will conduct monthly site visits including: a. record reviews; b. home safety inspections; c. surveys and interviews with staff, foster parents and child/youth; and d. semi-annual evaluations of performance based contracts for case management and family based foster care services. 4. By September 30, 2010, CFSA will take all necessary action, including any necessary hiring and training, to assure that adequate contract monitoring capacity exists to oversee private contractor performance. c. Quality Assurance 1. By July 2010, CFSA will ensure that private agencies develop and by December 31, 2010, private agencies will implement internal quality assurance systems for monitoring and evaluating their program performance and regularly develop and implement improvement strategies 2. Beginning January 2011, CFSA will assure that, as part of its semiannual assessment, the Contract Monitoring and Program Improvement Administration (CMPIA) provides feedback, technical assistance, and next step recommendations to private agencies to ensure continuous quality improvements are obtained and/or sustained 20. INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 36) a. Policy 1. By September 1, 2010, CFSA will seek written agreement with the Maryland Department of Human Resources designed to hold providers serving children in both jurisdictions accountable to complying with ICPC requirements. June 14, 2010 48

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b. Placement 1. By December 2010, centralize all placement moves within the CFSA Placement Administration. c. Contracts 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will execute performance based contracts and monitoring for Case Management and Family Based Foster Care Services, which include the expectation of timely licensing of foster homes and submission of documents for ICPC approval. d. Quality Assurance 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will ensure all documentation is submitted for approval of CFSA children currently placed in Maryland. 21. DATA AND TECHNOLOGY (Strategy Plan to Achieve All Outcomes) a. Data Capacity 1. Within 180 days of the Court’s Oder on the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan, CFSA, in consultation with the Monitor, will develop the capacity to produce accurate data on all commitments made in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. b. Data Sharing 1. By December 31, 2010, CFSA will publish on its website the expanded array of data relating to all commitments in the 2010-2011 Implementation Plan. 22. FEDERAL REVENUE CLAIMING (Strategy Plan to Achieve Outcome 40) a. By September 30, 2010, CFSA, with assistance from the federal revenue consultant, will submit a revised cost allocation plan to federal officials. b. By December 31, 2010, DHCF, in consultation with CFSA, will submit a revised Medicaid state plan amendment to federal officials to permit appropriate Medicaid claims in placement settings.

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