As with most of our work, Partners for Our Children works closely with many other organizations to drive policy change. Together, we have been instrumental in passing important legislation over the last few years. Below are a few key successes:
- Performance-Based Contracting. This requires the public child welfare agency to create contracts that measure the actual performance of services rather than just requiring service completion. Service providers will have to prove their services are benefiting the families they serve before they can receive payment from the state.
- Monitoring Child Welfare System Performance. The child welfare system is now required to report their performance around child safety, permanency (finding a permanent home in a timely manner) and overall well-being. This allows us to better understand how the system is working for the children it serves.
- Open Source Parenting Program. There are few parenting programs in the child welfare system, and those available are costly. These programs are often required for parents whose children are in foster care. POC is in the process of developing a free, evidence-based parenting program - Strive - and the state committed funding to pilot the program in 2015. We expect to double the number of families who receive an evidence-based program, which in turn will improve outcomes for many more families.
In addition, we have also played a role in extended foster care, youth homeless prevention, expanding home visiting to more families, improving foster youth's education outcomes, formalizing the Parents for Parents Program (a program where parents who have been involved with the child welfare system work with parents who are currently involved), and more.