A Critique of the Evolving Biden Philosophy and Political Practice - August 2021

* The New, Unconditional Child [Tax] Credit
   Doug Besharov, University of Maryland

* Total Economic and Social Resources - Poor Families with Children Poor Families - 2018

   Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

  • Secretaries and their governors act as agents in the national political conversation and SIG Secretaries and Directors allocate over $200 billion annually that can be put to use promoting our objectives of work, healthy families and economic self-sufficiency.  This morning session with our best and most senior Washington thinkers is dedicated to understanding the philosophical and research basis for our own conservative views. We will review each of the important Biden initiatives on spending and policy to shed light on their deeper long -term consequences. How will the retreat from the idea of mutual obligation, e.g. work in exchange for benefits, affect individuals making life choices and the body politic? How will the explosion of new entitlements in all areas of the welfare state affect the responsibility of Americans to act as productive economic units and supportive family members? Our six panelists will each describe a topic followed by commentary and discussion among all the panel and our members. We will discuss what we can do as agency heads on our own with or without federal guidance.

Child Welfare New Developments - August 2021

* FFPSA and the IMD Issue

   Sean Hughes, Managing Partner of Governmental Relations at Social Change Partners

  • Naomi Riley is AEI’s child welfare expert and has been critical of aspects of Family First as enacted. Sean Hughes helped write and pass the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, and served as director of Congressional Affairs at the Child Welfare League of America.

Recruiting Foster Care Families - November 2020

* The Church and the Foster Care Crisis

   Bob J. Bruder-Mattson, President and CEO, FaithBridge Foster Care

Child Welfare - November 2018

Family First Prevention Services Act: Implementation Considerations

   Judge Jim Payne, PCG

  • This is a follow on session to our July half day on the Family First Preservation Act.  In addition to discussions about federal implementation, we will discuss how the regional offices are working with local jurisdictions, state and county to respond to questions and provide advice regarding Children’s Bureau directions.  

Child Welfare and New Family First Legislation - June 2018

Organizational Structure and the Family First Act of 2018
   Jim Payne, former Director, Indiana Department of Child Welfare and former Presiding Judge, Marion Superior Court Juvenile Division
Family First Prevention Services Act Opportunities
   Heather Baker, Public Consulting Group

  • The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act is the most consequential change to IV-E in more than a decade, and restructures how the state must provide services.  Funds are newly available for prevention, limits are placed on congregate care, new options are made available related to substance abuse treatment, and changes to foster care licensing are some.  We will discuss the opportunities and challenges for agencies who are just now learning of the implications of these changes.

Child welfare and Theory of Constraints - June 2018 

Getting Big Results in Social Services
   Kristen Cox, Executive Director, Utah Office of Management and Budget

  • A year ago, Utah’s Kristen Cox described for SIG members how the strategic application of a management intervention, Theory of Constraints, is used across Utah to increase the supply and effectiveness of citizen services at a lower cost.  Since she made this presentation she has worked to improve child welfare with these remarkable results:

  1. Caseworker direct engagement with families up 30%

  2. Case resolution 19% earlier and 11% more consistently

  3. Capacity up 20% so that point-in-time cases carried by workers are 20% fewer

  4. Surveyed worker morale up

  • She will describe how all this was accomplished over a relatively short intervention period. 

Child Support - December 2017

Recent Trends in Child Support Enforcement​​

   Robert Doar, American Enterprise Institute 

  • Various priorities among states such as child welfare and opioids seem to be contributing to less agency emphasis on child support.  Beyond that, there is a debate about the right balance between enforcement of collections and encouraging work among parents delinquent in their obligations.  What are some of the options?

Developing a SIG Child Welfare Proposal for State Flexibility​ - July 2017

Child Welfare Financing​​
   Don Winstead, SIG Consultant

  • During his service as FL Deputy Secretary for Children and Families, Don Winstead led the negotiation for the statewide IV-E child welfare waiver.  Between 2001 and 2005 he served as the HHS deputy assistant secretary for policy and evaluation in human services. In that capacity he helped develop the Bush Administration’s legislative 2004 proposal which would have allowed states to move to an alternative system for foster care, receiving funds in the form of flexible grants so as to create innovative child welfare plans an emphasis on prevention and family support.
  • Don will describe current state of affairs and lead a discussion of an alternative which would allow SIG states more flexibility and control.  

Child Welfare -  November 2016 

Presentation: Doug Besharov
   Doug Besharov, University of Maryland School of Public Policy; and first director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect
The Allegheny County Experience
   Marc Cherna, Director, Dept. Human Services, Allegheny County
Rethinking Consent Decrees
   John Bursch, Partner, Warner Norcross and Judd

  • Jim Payne will discuss the current state of affairs. Marc Cherna, the nationally recognized child welfare innovator from Allegheny County PA will discuss specific operational challenges and solutions.  Supreme Court litigant John Bursch will discuss proposed legislation which would curtail consent decrees which remain active for years and decades.

Advanced Analytics to Improve Child Welfare Practice and Outcomes
   Will Jones, Child Well Being Industry Consultant, SAS State and Local Government Practice

  • Rapid Safety Feedback uses predictive analytics to prioritize calls of suspected child abuse.  Predictive analytics in child protective services means assigning suspected abuse cases to different risk levels based on characteristics that have been found to be linked with child abuse. These risk levels can automatically revise as administrative data is updated. Administrative data may be as simple as school reports or could delve deeper into other information that the state holds: the parents’ welfare checks, new criminal offenses or changing marital status.

Marriage and Child Support - November 2016

* Are We Still Married? Family Structure and Family Policy in the Emerging Age of the Unformed Family      

   David Blankenhorn, President, Institute for American Values; and author of Fatherless America and The Future of Marriage  

  • From troubled family structures to the emerging age of the unformed family - - Ten trends that are influencing how public policy and human services programs must respond.        

Conference Materials: Child Welfare

**To view power point presentations and supporting materials, click on * bold, underlined title.

Secretaries' Innovation Group