ERIC Number: ED439784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
From the Front Lines: Milwaukee's Child Welfare Community Speaks Out.
Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Inc., Madison.
In 1998, the State of Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services assumed responsibility for the Milwaukee County child welfare system. The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families has undertaken a multi-year, qualitative research project to monitor the state takeover. The three questions that this project seeks to answer are: (1) What parts of this new system, the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW), are working well? (2) What problems exist? and (3) What can be done to make improvements? This report summarizes information gathered during the first year of the project. The report presents the viewpoints of those individuals most closely associated with the system--clients and those who serve them. Following introductory sections that discuss national perceptions of child welfare, common problems experienced by child protective service systems, current innovations in child welfare reform, and the project's methodology, the report presents data gathered through a hotline, interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The findings are organized by participant group and address "What's Working?" and "Concerns." Child welfare staff indicated that technology, access to services, safety services, and foster parents were positive aspects of the system. Their concerns included paperwork, turnover rate, system fragmentation, training, and administration. Findings are also presented for community representatives, foster parents, and children's court personnel. An additional section presents funding and caseload data. The report concludes with the following recommendations: (1) improve the stability of services provided to children by reducing case transfers and worker changes; (2) reduce redundancy in required forms; (3) reduce turnover rate; (4) work to create a collaborative and collegial culture between BMCW and community agencies or systems; (5) reduce system fragmentation; (6) encourage cross-system communication and collaboration; (7) provide services for teens and teen parents; (8) identify need resources for children and families; and (9) improve support for foster parents. (Contains 10 references.) (EV)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Program Attitudes, Program Evaluation, Program Improvement, State Programs
Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, 16 N. Carroll St., Suite 600, Madison, WI 53703. Tel: 608-284-0580; Web site: http://www.wccf.org/publications.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Inc., Madison.
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin