This report, based on the insights and innovations of nine county teams in California, offers a new conceptual model for supporting youth in and transitioning from foster care. Highlighting Youth-Adult Partnerships and a 360° approach, youth, caregivers, child welfare agencies and their community partners worked together in creating the practice, policy and data strategies brought together in the report. In youth's words, this hands-on approach "connects us in real ways to all the things we need in life through the people we have relationships with."

This report and the Collaborative for ILP Transformation were made possible by the leadership and support of the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership, with day-to-day coordination and support provided by Child and Family Policy Institute of California and New Ways to Work. Thank you to all the youth, caregivers, county and community partners whose passion and creativity helped steer the road toward transformation and youth-adult partnerships.

From 2008-2010, the Child and Family Policy Institute led a partnership between Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, and the California Department of Social Services. This partnership supported 14 county-level teams and a state-level team in California to intensively address the issues of disproportionality and disparities in outcomes for African American and American Indian children and families involved with the child welfare system. This final report presents promising practices at the direct service level, successful strategies for agencies doing race and culture focused work, and lessons that were learned from these 15 teams and the project broadly.

System Improvement Plans

CFPIC, under a contract with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has completed a thorough assessment of the first year of System Improvement Plans (SIPS). This report provides an analysis of the first System Improvement Plans submitted by all 58 California counties in response to the requirements established in the Child Welfare System Improvement and Accountability Act established under AB 636 (Chapter 678, Statutes of 2001). The legislation set forth a revolutionary approach that established a dynamic county planning process for the continual improvement of outcomes for children and families. In addition it defined statewide goals and required the identification of performance measurements for monitoring outcomes and improvements over time. The key findings reflect the outcomes after the first full year of the counties implementation of their SIPs. The report provides insight into the goals and strategies targeted by the counties and provides an overview of county performance on state and federal measures. In addition, a synopsis of the successes and challenges faced by the counties during the implementation process is presented. Finally, there is an accounting of the areas where additional resources and support are needed to improve outcomes for California’s children and families. The Executive Summary, the Full Report and attachments are posted here and on the CDSS Website.

A research study on the experiences of foster youth who have received permanency and family finding services in their counties of origin. The goal of the study was to examine youths' perspectives on the services they received from their county child welfare agency. Youth were recruited from Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. This study was funded by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and ran from June 2009-June 2010. Administrative oversight for the grant was provided by the Child and Family Policy Institute of California.

This report by Casey Family Programs details significant process enhancements arising from the application of the breakthrough series collaborative to the implementation of differential response in California.

In June, 2006, the Child and Family Policy Institute of California completed an evaluation of the 11 Pilot County implementation of the Child Welfare Services Improvements. This report, which was commissioned by the California Department of Social Services, provides information about the background, framework, and early implementation of the Statewide Safety Assessment System, Differential Response System, and Permanency and Youth Transitions System, and offers observations and conclusions about the future implementation of these Child Welfare Services Improvements.

This report provides an understanding of the broad collaborative work that is underway to improve California’s child welfare system.