August 4-6 | Seattle, Washington

The goal of the NGA Center Policy Academy on Safely Reducing the Number of Children in Foster Care is for participating states to develop a two-year strategic plan to safely reduce the number of children in foster care. The six states selected to participate in the Academy are Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

During this Academy meeting, teams of leaders from the six selected states had an opportunity to work with national and state experts to improve outcomes for children and youth who come to the attention of the child welfare system. State teams began to develop a two-year strategic plan—including a framework for assessing progress—to safely reduce the number of children in foster care. The plans focus on the goals of reducing the number of children entering care, shortening length of stay for those in care, and/or improving permanency outcomes to reduce returns to care as well as strategies for sustaining effort overtime.
Participating teams brought with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, and there was ample opportunity to interact with, and learn from, each other.


Achieving and Sustaining a Reduction in Foster Care: Lessons from the Field

Tracking Progress and Measuring Outcomes Towards Reduction
Approaches for using data to drive and measure performance.

  • Larry Brown, independent consultant, Larry Brown Associates
  • Susan Smith, director, Measurement and Evaluation, Casey Family Programs
  • Don Winstead, deputy secretary, Florida Department of Children and Family Services

Assessing and Addressing Disproportionality in Child Welfare
Discussion of disproportionality including the link with the reduction goal.

  • Representative Eric Pettigrew, Washington State Legislature
  • Joyce James, assistant commissioner for Child Protective Services, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Barbara Needell, research specialist, University of California
  • Fred Wulczyn, research fellow, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago

Developing an Integrated, Family-Focused, Community-Based Service Delivery System
We know the right “buzz words” but how do you make it happen?

Reducing Entry into Foster Care

  • Brenda Lockwood, program consultant, Child Safety & Permanency, Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Melissa Baker, director, Strategic Consulting, Casey Family Programs
  • Improving Permanency Outcomes
    Discussion of approaches that lead to safe and lasting permanency for children in foster care.
  • Larry Brown, consultant, Larry Brown Associates
  • Charles (Dee) Wilson, University of Washington