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Resolving Conflicts With Tech: 10 Strategies in Child Support Case Management

As a child support case manager, you play a pivotal role in ensuring children receive the support they need. However, managing child support cases can be complex, with many parties involved and the potential for conflicts. Fortunately, technology offers innovative...
by Casebook Editorial Team 15 min read
by Casebook Editorial Team 11 min read

What Is Intensive Case Management?

by Maryellen Hess Cameron 15 min read

How Can Workflows Support Home Visits?

Using Data for Enhanced Nonprofit Performance: Insights and Strategies

Whitepaper, Driving Nonprofit Impact With Data and Technology, synthesizes the findings from a survey Executive Directors of 27 agencies in human services.Survey Insights Data Utilization The survey illuminates a crucial gap, with 73% of agencies underutilizing data in...
by Casebook Editorial Team 7 min read

AI Tools for Human Services Nonprofits

Following are some AI tools for you to consider. There are many others available as well. These solutions will take some of the heavy lift off staff so your organization, and those you serve, can thrive! AI Solutions - Administrative With these tools, you can easily...
by Casebook Editorial Team 13 min read

Buy or Build Your Own Case Management System for Human Services?

You run a social services organization and you're keeping all of your records in a spreadsheet, and now you are wondering if the investment in a case management solution is right for you. You're probably already having trouble getting the reports you need and making...
by Andrew Pelletier 20 min read

Best Practices

The Ultimate Guide to Grant Funding Success

UPDATED for 2024: Discover best practices to securing grant funding with our comprehensive guide. From identifying opportunities to crafting winning proposals, we cover everything you need to succeed.

Download now and start your journey towards grant funding success.

Secure Your Funding Pt. 3 — Emphasis On The Data

So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public v...

Reporting Impact and Communicating to Grant Funders

The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

Capacity-Building Grants | Nonprofit Case Studies

In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building g...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

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Latest Blogs

All Foster Homes Are Not Created Equal in the Child Welfare System

To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a plac...
To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. Aren’t All Teenagers Angry? Yes, angry and hormonal teenagers are not unique to the foster care system. This was a fact that I often had to remind foster parents when they first received a teenage placement. Not every behavior is driven by the fact that the placement is a foster kid. In fact, I’d go ahead and make the unscientific claim that foster parents best suited to take teenage placement are those who have their own teenage kids with their own myriad of behaviors. That’s because they can recognize teenage behavior for what it is and they are not calling the office to complain the first time their foster kid drops a curse word in the house. Foster teens are not the first teens to sneak out of a window to meet up with a teen boy or a teen girl and they are certainly not the first teens to be caught with alcohol or marijuana. However, foster teens can often come with a history of trauma and lack of attachment that has been forged over years of involvement with the child welfare system. In fact, I found it rare that a teenager’s placement in foster care was their first brush with the system. As such, the teenage foster kid has more experience than the newly minted foster parent. The teens knew the rules and culture of foster care better than anyone and as such, they were not easy placements. For them to succeed, a special kind of foster parent was required and when those foster parents come around, they are worth 20 baby- seeking foster homes if I am being completely honest. As I said, not all foster homes are created equal. Training Does Not Make a Good Foster Parent Training is most certainly helpful when it comes to preparing new foster parents for what to expect. However, it is not the training that makes the average Joe foster ready to foster a teenage placement. Nor does compliance with every agency rule become the difference between a successful placement or a disruption. As long as they are not violating any of the safety protocols, I’ve found that foster parents who take ownership over their own home and scoff at some of the rules often compose some of the most loving and nurturing homes. Now, this is something I never would have told them at the time as a department administrator, but now that I’m out of the game I can speak the truth more freely.
by Jeff Edwards 11 min read

Fire for Effect: Using Evidence in Foster Care

Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a ...
Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the moral responsibility of child welfare agencies nationwide to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead them. There is No Debate About Evidence Based Practices Now, to be clear there is certainly a good and robust clinical debate about which EBPs were the most effective. Personally, I’d like to weigh in from time to time just to rustle the jimmies of the clinicians that an administrator has an opinion. Yet, for the most part I let clinical services do what they were designed to do. So when I say there is no debate about EBPs, what I really mean is that there is no debate on whether not the evidence should guide our decisions. Relying on good luck, fortune, and whatever clinical approach pops into your head at the moment seems criminally negligent given the young lives that we are asked to steward. On a good day the American foster care system must seem like a cruel game of Frogger to the youth that must endure and if they knew how many of the adults responsible for their care were guessing about their future they’d have another reason, among many, to be angry. The Moral Responsibility to Follow the Evidence If there is not evidence to support your approach or you are not actively gathering the evidence to evaluate your approach, then you don’t belong in the field. I’m amazed at how we take the most vulnerable youth in America and accept the notion that guessing and doing our best is sufficient. NASA doesn’t operate that way, billion dollar multinational corporations don’t operate that way and It confused me as to why some organizations would do anything other than follow the evidence. Keep in mind, this is not a knock on the actual clinicians as they can only be armed with the tools that administrators give them or allow them to use. In a previous life, I was, still am, a United States Marine. When the artillery is attempting to locate and destroy a target, there will be a variety of adjustments called out in between rounds. However, when artillery is locked on target, the call to “fire for effect” is given and all hell reigns down upon that unfortunate location. In the United States of America, when we find evidence for what works to transform the lives of most vulnerable children, there should be a nationwide call to fire for effect. Doing anything else is simply morally irresponsible. I do realize that I get to say that with ease as I’m no longer in that field, but through the power of writing I can at least sound out the call to action. So please subscribe to our blog below or follow us on Linkedin and let us all cry out “fire for effect” together for public and private agencies to follow the evidence.
by Jeff Edwards 13 min read

My Last Day in Child Welfare Services was One to Remember

Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Herna...
Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done. Were my career in child welfare services a movie, my final day played out like a rolling credits scene straight out of Hollywood. Not only was this day my last day on the job after over 13-years, but it was my last day in the city I had called home for nearly my entire life. I drove across the Hernando De Soto bridge which spanned the Mississippi River as the sunset and drove towards a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Memphis, TN, was my home and the location where I had the honor to work with an amazing agency that was literally transforming the face of child welfare services across the nation. Yet, I was tapped and drained of every last bit of energy I had to offer our nation’s youth. I prayed that there would be those to carry on the great cause, but as for me and my family, we were done.
by Jeff Edwards 3 min read

Why Child Welfare Agencies Should Stop Doing the Best They Can

Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genui...
Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could. Certainly, there are success stories in every state agency and private provider that spur every worker or therapist to give it their very best just one more time. As with any industry, child welfare recruits a myriad of employees with varying motivations. Yet, by and large, you find people who genuinely care about the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens. The Difference of a Day in Foster Care First and foremost, let’s set the stage for those frontline workers doing the best they can right now. You use every tool at your disposal, care greatly about the kids you serve, and the work follows you home more often than not. A national call for child welfare agencies to stop doing the best they can is also a call to equip you with everything you need to do the job well. The right tool backed by the evidence in your hands is a powerful agent of change in this nation. Agency leaders, policy makers, and decision makers must stop settling for the best that they can do on your behalf. If you were to survey frontline foster care and adoption workers throughout this nation on how many foster homes they needed to care for the number of children in the child welfare system, the answer would be a unanimous “more.” Follow that question by asking when you need them and the answer would likely be a unanimous “yesterday.” In many cases, the deficiency is not in the number of foster homes, but in the quality of foster homes and who they are willing to take. There is rarely a shortage of homes looking to love and serve a newborn infant or neglected toddler. Their angry 15-year-old sibling is a much harder placement. When a sibling group of 5 enters the child welfare system, the priority is to keep them together. The only problem is finding a home that has room for 5 children is difficult. Remarkably, there are homes that are willing to take such difficult and numerous placements, but they seem to always be in the pipeline. They are in the recruiting process or nearly finished with their homestudy and agency workers know with certitude that they will be an amazing parent to these children. Yet, when a child comes into care, they need the right placement to be ready today and not next week when the foster parent trainer returns from their much needed vacation. The Best Means Using the Best Evidence Everyone is doing the best they can to get these families ready in time, but coming up a little slow or a little late in America’s child welfare system can have cascading consequences for children. One wrong placement turns into another, then another, then another, and months or years can go by before siblings are ever reunited under the same roof. Doing the best one can wouldn’t be so tragic if there were not agencies who have followed the evidence, unlocked the funding, and dedicated themselves to performance based measures. There are enough indicators and enough agencies leading the way that following the trail of evidence seems morally responsible given what is at stake. Emanating out of Massachusetts General Hospital, Think:Kids is an organization that takes an evidenced based collaborative problem solving approach to working with challenging kids. While they have undoubtedly done the best they could, they promote the outcomes over the effort. Following the evidence, their approach leads to an 86% average reduction in physical restraints, a 74% reduction in the use of seclusion and 71% fewer self inflicted injuries in youth. Opening an “old school” orphanage in the face of such overwhelming data would almost seem criminal. Yet, we have no doubt that even the founders of orphanages of the past were indeed doing the best they could.
by Jeff Edwards 13 min read

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Human Services Software Configurable to Your Needs. Discover What's Possible with the power of Casebook.