National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: Site Visits Report . Conditions that Sustain Reform

05/01/2003

The following section briefly describes factors that have played an important role in the agency's ability to sustain its reform efforts.

Development of Partnerships

The addition of the Community Services Review Team, development of the protocols and procedures for joint police and CPS investigations, and the hiring of permanent Guardians Ad Litem have furthered the development of partnerships among service providers, law enforcement, and the legal community. Dedicated staff for intake and sexual abuse investigations has also helped to forge stronger bonds with the community and the families who are being served. The intent is to continue to build on these partnerships.

Increased Staff Morale

Prior to the implementation of the changes outlined in this report, staff morale and retention was a significant problem. With turnover high and morale low, service delivery suffered. Since reform efforts have provided staff with more support, staff morale has improved and staff turnover has declined substantially. Staff reported that they enjoy their work and are staying on the job. This has resulted in a greater continuity of personnel, which translates into better continuity of care for the clients of the agency.

Training

Training for CPS investigators has been on-going, with specialized training for sexual abuse investigation. Joint training with local and State police has been instituted. As a result of recent change, the Child Welfare Educational Leadership program pays for staff to go back to school for a M.S.W. degree and pays for the agency to hire a temporary worker so that the agency will not be adversely affected by the workers' absence.

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