#Kids4Cash? Not anymore!
Profiles of the Active Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations
Prepared For: Children’s Bureau Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
James Bell Associates, Inc.
Demonstration Focus: Flexible Funding – Phase II
Approval Date: September 30, 2014
Implementation Date: October 1, 2014
California’s five-year waiver demonstration was originally implemented July 1, 2007 and was scheduled to end on September 30, 2014. The State received several short-term extensions thereafter and in September 2014 received an extension of an additional five years effective from October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2019.
Expected Completion Date: September 30, 2019
Interim Evaluation Report Expected: May 31, 2017
Final Evaluation Report Expected: March 31, 2020
California’s demonstration targets title IV-E-eligible and non-IV-E-eligible children ages 0–17,inclusive, who are currently in out-of-home placement or who are at risk of entering or reentering foster care.
Under Phase II of the demonstration the State is continuing implementation in Alameda and Los Angeles County Child Welfare and Probation Departments (Cohort 1). The State has expanded implementation in the following seven counties: Butte, Lake, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Sonoma (Cohort 2).
Through California’s waiver demonstration (referred to as the Title IV-E California Well-Being Project) the State receives a capped amount of title IV-E funds that it distributes in annual allocations to the participating counties, which then utilize their allocations to expand and strengthen child welfare practices, programs, and system improvements.
The State’s demonstration includes the following two core interventions:
1. Safety Organized Practice/Core Practice Model (SOP/CPM): Child welfare departments in participating counties will implement this intervention. CPM is a framework for integrated practice in child welfare and mental health agencies, service providers and community/tribal partners working with youth and families. The SOP/CPM intervention will be organized into foundational skills and core components. The foundational skills, which are common throughout all participating counties, include Solution Focused Interviewing, Appreciative Inquiry, and Cultural Humility. The core components/tools include Behaviorally Based Case Plans, Child’s Voice (Voice and Choice), Coaching, Safety Planning, and Teaming (Networks of Support). Use of the core components/tools are based on family need.
2. Wraparound: Probation departments in participating counties provide wraparound services to youth exhibiting delinquency risk factors that put them at risk of being removed from their homes and placed in foster care. The State’s Wraparound model is a family-centered, strengths-based, needs-driven planning process for creating individualized services and supports for the youth and family. Specific elements of the Wraparound model include case teaming, family and youth engagement, individualized strength-based case planning, and transition planning.
In addition to the project-wide interventions noted above, participating departments are implementing up to two child welfare and up to two probation interventions, at local discretion. These county-specific service interventions include but are not limited to, Kinship Support Services, Triple P, Enhanced Prevention and Aftercare, Functional Family Therapy, and Multi-Systemic Therapy.
The evaluation consists of three components: A process evaluation, an outcome evaluation, and a cost analysis. The process evaluation includes interim and final process analyses that describe how the demonstration was implemented and that identify how demonstration services differ from services available prior to implementation of the demonstration, or from services available to children and families that are not designated to receive demonstration services. The analysis will include a logic model that describes the demonstration’s objectives, the services or other interventions provided, and the way the intervention is linked to measurable outcomes. The State will implement an interrupted time series design for the evaluation of its waiver demonstration in which changes in key child welfare outcomes are tracked over time. Outcome patterns before and after implementation of the demonstration as a whole, will be analyzed to identify differences that may be attributable in part to the interventions implemented under the demonstration. For the two core interventions of SOP/CPM and Wraparound, the analysis will use case-level data to the extent possible to isolate the impact of these interventions from the effects of demographic, programmatic, and other external factors. The State’s outcome evaluation will address, at a minimum, changes in the following outcomes in all participating counties:
• Entries into out-of-home care;
• Entries into the most appropriate and least restrictive placement settings;
• Re-entries into out-of-home care;
• Recurrence of maltreatment;
• Re-offenses among children and youth on probation; and
• Child and family functioning and well-being as measured by assessment tools selected by the State.
To the extent available, the State’s evaluation will track all outcome measures in relation to gender, age, race, and as appropriate, placement type or setting.
To the extent feasible, the State will also conduct one or more quasi-experimental sub-studies of specific programs that are implemented under the waiver demonstration. The specific programs to be evaluated through these sub-studies, and the specific research methods for conducting them will be described in the State’s pending evaluation plan.
The State will collect data for the evaluation from the State’s automated child welfare information systems, child welfare agency case records, selected child and family assessment tools, and additional information sources as appropriate. Additional specifics will be described in the States pending evaluation plan.
The cost analysis will examine, at a minimum, the costs of the key elements of services received by children and families designated to receive demonstration services and will compare these costs with those of services available prior to the start of the demonstration, or that were received by the children and families that were not designated to receive demonstration services. The cost analysis will also include an examination of the use of key funding sources, including all relevant Federal sources such as titles IV-A, IV-B, IV-E and XIX of the Act, as well as State and local funds. The purpose of the analysis will be to compare the costs of services available through the demonstration with those of services traditionally provided to children and their families. Where feasible, a cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted to estimate the costs of each successful outcome achieved through the demonstration. This analysis will be conducted using one or more of the key outcome measures for which a statistically significant difference is identified.
Evaluation findings are pending the continued implementation of California’s waiver extension.
Information and reports for California’s demonstration are available online.