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Detailed Information on the
Child Welfare Services Assessment

Program Code 10003549
Program Title Child Welfare Services
Department Name Dept of Health & Human Service
Agency/Bureau Name Administration for Children and Families
Program Type(s) Block/Formula Grant
Assessment Year 2006
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 88%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 50%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $287
FY2008 $282
FY2009 $282

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Working with grantees and other agency partners to support and improve child welfare program evaluation. Milestone: Provide information and technical assistance on evaluation at FY 2008 waiver demonstration project and grantees meeting.

Action taken, but not completed Milestone: Assess impact/utility of changes in grant announcements to determine if changes should be maintained or revised for FY 2008. Milestone to be completed October 2008.
2006

Implementing and reporting on a new efficiency measure focused on reducing the length of time needed to approve state CFSR program improvement plans.

Action taken, but not completed Milestone: National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement will provide technical assistance to at least another 7 states on the use of the new CFSR program improvement plan development curriculum by the end of FY 2008. Milestone to be completed September 2008.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Implementing and reporting on a new efficiency measure focused on reducing the length of time needed to approve State Child and Family Service Review (CFSR) program improvement plans. Milestone: Review and approve the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement's final draft of the CFSR program improvement plan development curriculum.

Completed Milestone completed February 2007.
2006

Working with grantees and other agency partners to support and improve child welfare program evaluation. Milestone: Include technical assistance and information on evaluation at annual grantees meeting.

Completed Milestone completed May 2007.
2006

Implementing and reporting on a new efficiency measure focused on reducing the length of time needed to approve state CFSR program improvement plans. Milestone: National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement will provide technical assistance to at least 7 states on the use of the new curriculum by the end of FY 2007.

Completed Milestone completed September 2007.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Nine states or jurisdictions will be in substantial conformity on Safety Outcome Measure 1: "Children are first and foremost protected from abuse and neglect" by the end of FY 2010. To be in substantial conformity with this measure, states must achieve desired outcomes in 95 percent of reviewed cases as well as meet national standards for rates of maltreatment recurrence and the absence of abuse and/or neglect in foster care.


Explanation:The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements (listed in the PART response). In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. Determinations of substantial conformity in the CFSR are based on multiple sources of information, including the State's statewide self assessment, an onsite review of a sample of cases, onsite interviews with key stakeholders, and, for certain outcomes, performance on data indicators for which there are national standards. During the first round of the CFSR, for a State to be found in substantial conformity on an outcome, the state needed to have met the national standard for any applicable national data indicators associated with the outcome and 90 percent of cases reviewed onsite needed to be rated as a strength. Any outcome on which the State was not in substantial conformity was required to be addressed through a PIP. At the conclusion of the PIP, a determination is made on whether all actions required by the PIP were completed and whether agreed upon improvements in quantifiable outcomes were met. If so, then the State is determined to be "penalty free." However, substantial conformity cannot actually be determined until the completion of the next onsite review. Hence, to determine whether the first round of program improvement has resulted in an increased number of States being in substantial conformity, it will be necessary to complete the second round of onsite CFSR. Furthermore, during the second round of CFSRs the standard for the onsite portion will be raised from 90 percent of cases being rated a strength to 95 percent of cases. In addition, national standards for data indicators are being changed, with the standards of performance on safety being raised and new composite measures relating to permanency being used for the first time.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 6 states
2016 9 states Nov-16
2010 9 states Nov-10
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Five states or jurisdictions will be in substantial conformity with Permanency Outcome Measure 1: "Children have permanency and stability in their living situation" by the end of FY 2010. To be in substantial conformity with this measure, states must achieve desired outcomes in 95 percent of reviewed cases as well as meet National Standards for: rates of timeliness and permanency of reunification, timeliness of adoptions, achieving permanency for children in foster care, and the rate of placement stability in foster care.


Explanation:Determinations of substantial conformity in the CFSR are based on multiple sources of information, including the State's statewide self assessment, an onsite review of a sample of cases, onsite interviews with key stakeholders, and, for certain outcomes, performance on data indicators for which there are national standards. During the first round of the CFSR, for a State to be found in substantial conformity on an outcome, the state needed to have met the national standard for any applicable national data indicators associated with the outcome and 90 percent of cases reviewed onsite needed to be rated as a strength. Any outcome on which the State was not in substantial conformity was required to be addressed through a PIP. At the conclusion of the PIP, a determination is made on whether all actions required by the PIP were completed and whether agreed upon improvements in quantifiable outcomes were met. If so, then the State is determined to be "penalty free." However, substantial conformity cannot actually be determined until the completion of the next onsite review. Hence, to determine whether the first round of program improvement has resulted in an increased number of States being in substantial conformity, it will be necessary to complete the second round of onsite CFSR. Furthermore, during the second round of CFSRs the standard for the onsite portion will be raised from 90 percent of cases being rated a strength to 95 percent of cases. In addition, national standards for data indicators are being changed, with the standards of performance on safety being raised and new composite measures relating to permanency being used for the first time.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 0 states
2010 5 states Nov-10
2016 5 states Nov-16
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Twenty states or jurisdictions will be in substantial conformity with the systemic factor "Case Review System." Systemic factors measure a state's capacity to achieve safety and permanence for children and well-being for children and their families. This measure examines state effectiveness in five separate aspects of the Case Review System.


Explanation:Determinations of substantial conformity in the CFSR are based on multiple sources of information, including the State's statewide self assessment, an onsite review of a sample of cases, onsite interviews with key stakeholders, and, for certain outcomes, performance on data indicators for which there are national standards. During the first round of the CFSR, for a State to be found in substantial conformity on an outcome, the state needed to have met the national standard for any applicable national data indicators associated with the outcome and 90 percent of cases reviewed onsite needed to be rated as a strength. Any outcome on which the State was not in substantial conformity was required to be addressed through a PIP. At the conclusion of the PIP, a determination is made on whether all actions required by the PIP were completed and whether agreed upon improvements in quantifiable outcomes were met. If so, then the State is determined to be "penalty free." However, substantial conformity cannot actually be determined until the completion of the next onsite review. Hence, to determine whether the first round of program improvement has resulted in an increased number of States being in substantial conformity, it will be necessary to complete the second round of onsite CFSR. Furthermore, during the second round of CFSRs the standard for the onsite portion will be raised from 90 percent of cases being rated a strength to 95 percent of cases. In addition, national standards for data indicators are being changed, with the standards of performance on safety being raised and new composite measures relating to permanency being used for the first time.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 13 states
2010 20 states Nov-10
2016 20 states Nov-16
Annual Outcome

Measure: Each fiscal year, an increasing number of states with a closed out Program Improvement Plan (PIP) will be penalty free on Safety Outcome Measure 1: "Children are first and foremost protected from abuse and neglect." In order for a state to be designated penalty free it must address all findings identified in its most recent Child and Family Service Review (CFSR) by completing all agreed to actions and meeting quantifiable outcomes within specified time frames.


Explanation:The CFSR is the primary mechanism to measure performance in the child welfare system. It measures current State performance and requires progress towards improvements through Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). These reviews were mandated by the Social Security Amendments of 1994 to serve as performance based incentive system for title IV-B and IV-E. The Department developed a review process and outcome measures in response to the changes in the law in order to assess the performance of States in operating child protection and child welfare systems. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements (listed in PART document). In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. However, if they fail to improve, a financial "penalty" is assessed. States that demonstrate continuous improvement are termed "penalty free."

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 4 states
2005 10 states 11 states
2006 18 states 20 states
2007 38 states 30 states
2008 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-08
2009 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-09
2010 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-10
Annual Outcome

Measure: Each fiscal year, an increasing number of states with a closed out PIP will be penalty free on Permanency Outcome Measure 1: "Children have permanency and stability in their living situation." In order for a state to be designated penalty free it must address all findings identified in its most recent CFSR by completing all agreed to actions and meeting quantifiable outcomes within specified time frames.


Explanation:The CFSR is the primary mechanism to measure performance in the child welfare system. It measures current State performance and requires progress towards improvements through Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). These reviews were mandated by the Social Security Amendments of 1994 to serve as performance based incentive system for title IV-B and IV-E. The Department developed a review process and outcome measures in response to the changes in the law in order to assess the performance of States in operating child protection and child welfare systems. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements (listed in PART document). In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. However, if they fail to improve, a financial "penalty" is assessed. States that demonstrate continuous improvement are termed "penalty free."

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 4 states
2005 10 states 11 states
2006 18 states 20 states
2007 38 states 29 states
2008 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-08
2009 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-09
2010 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-10
Annual Outcome

Measure: Each fiscal year, an increasing number of states with a closed out PIP will be penalty free on the systemic factor "Case Review System." In order for a state to be designated penalty free it must address all findings identified in its most recent CFSR by completing all agreed to actions and meeting quantifiable goals within specified time frames.


Explanation:The CFSR is the primary mechanism to measure performance in the child welfare system. It measures current State performance and requires progress towards improvements through Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). These reviews were mandated by the Social Security Amendments of 1994 to serve as performance based incentive system for title IV-B and IV-E. The Department developed a review process and outcome measures in response to the changes in the law in order to assess the performance of States in operating child protection and child welfare systems. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements (listed in PART document). In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. However, if they fail to improve, a financial "penalty" is assessed. States that demonstrate continuous improvement are termed "penalty free."

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 4 states
2005 10 states 11 states
2006 18 states 20 states
2007 38 states 30 states
2008 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-08
2009 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-09
2010 90% stts w clsd PIP Oct-10
Annual Outcome

Measure: For those children who had been in care less than 12 months, maintain the percentage that had no more than two placement settings.


Explanation:This measure (stability while in foster care) relates to children who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care; this trauma can be aggravated further when a child is moved from placement setting to placement setting while in care. It is, therefore, in the best interest of the child to keep the number of placement settings to a minimum. ACF expects that no less than 80 percent of the children experience no more than two placement settings during their first year in care. The data from this measure have been revised significantly due to the extensive re-submission of data by states, the maturing of Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems (SACWIS), and a revision to the programming for the measure. Contrary to previous conservative estimates, it is possible to have four out of five children experience no more than two placement settings during their first twelve months in foster care.

Year Target Actual
1998 Pre-baseline 71.0%
1999 Pre-baseline 78.0%
2000 Baseline 82.0%
2001 72.0% 83.0%
2002 60.0% 82.0%
2003 62.0% 82.6%
2004 80.0% 82.6%
2005 80.0% 82.8%
2006 80.0% 83.4%
2007 80.0% Oct-08
2008 80.0% Oct-09
2009 80.0% Oct-10
2010 80.0% Oct-11
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Decrease the percent of foster children in care 12 or more months with no case plan goal (including case plan goal "Not Yet Determined").


Explanation:This annual efficiency measure is computed from the number of foster children in care at least 12 or more months with either a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal divided by the total number of foster children who were in foster care at least 12 months or more. The targets reflect a steady annual decline of 0.5 percentage points for foster care children in care 12 or more months with a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 8.8%
2005 7.4% 8.3%
2006 6.9% 7.6%
2007 6.4% Oct-08
2008 5.9% Oct-09
2009 5.4% Oct-10
2010 0.5%pt under prv act Oct-11
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Reduce the time needed to approve State CFSR PIPs.


Explanation:The CFSR is the primary mechanism to measure performance in the child welfare system. It measures current State performance and requires progress towards improvements through Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). These reviews were mandated by the Social Security Amendments of 1994 to serve as performance based incentive system for title IV-B and IV-E. The Department developed a review process and outcome measures in response to the changes in the law in order to assess the performance of States in operating child protection and child welfare systems. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. Currently, the amount of time ACF takes to approve State CFSR PIPs varies widely and can impact program efficiency. Once the second round of PIPs concludes in 2008, ACF will take steps to reduce the amount needed to approve State CFSR PIPs.

Year Target Actual
2008 Baseline Oct-08
2009 TBD Oct-09
2010 TBD Oct-10
2011 TBD Oct-11

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The title IV-B, subpart 1, Child Welfare Services' (CWS) purposes are stated in the law at Section 425 of title IV-B of the Social Security Act (the Act) as follows: "The term "child welfare services" means public social services which are directed toward the accomplishment of the following purposes: (A) protecting and promoting the welfare of all children, including handicapped, homeless, dependent, or neglected children; (B) preventing or remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems which may result in, the neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children; (C) preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems, assisting families in resolving their problems, and preventing breakup of the family where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible; (D) restoring to their families children who have been removed, by the provision of services to the child and the families; (E) placing children in suitable adoptive homes, in cases where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate; and (F) assuring adequate care of children away from their homes, in cases where the child cannot be returned home or cannot be placed for adoption. CWS accomplishes these purposes by awarding formula grants to States which allow States flexibility to design child welfare programs and policies and direct Title IV-B funds to programs that best meet particular States' needs.

Evidence: Child Welfare Services, title IV-B of the Social Security Act: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws/safe2003.htm Regulations for Title IV-B (45 CFR, Sections 1355 and 1357; see 45 CFR 1357.10 for scope and definitions) http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1355_02.html http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1357_02.html

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Reports of child abuse and neglect (often referred to as child maltreatment) remain an unfortunate reality in our society. The need to investigate allegations and take actions necessary to protect children is an accepted responsibility of government. There is a common agreement within our society that adults should provide safety, a permanent family, and well-being for all children. When these are not provided by families, the American people, through the title IV-B law and regulations, empower others to take action. Child maltreatment is defined by Federal law as serious harm (neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse or neglect) caused to children by parents or primary caregivers, such as extended family members or babysitters. Child maltreatment can also include harm that a caregiver allows to happen (or does not prevent from happening) to a child. In general, child welfare agencies do not intervene in cases of harm to children caused by acquaintances or strangers. These cases are the responsibility of law enforcement. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Child Maltreatment 2004 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006) publication, each week, Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies in the United States receive more than 50,000 referrals alleging that children have been abused or neglected. During 2004, an estimated 3 million referrals, including 5.5 million children, were made to CPS agencies. In 2004, an estimated 872,000 children were determined to be victims of child abuse or neglect. If a family is unable to respond to prevention services or the emergency nature of the maltreatment warrants, a child enters the foster care system by being removed from their home and placed with an adult who will provide for their safety and well-being. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) 518,000 children were in foster care on September 30, 2004; 304,000 children entered foster care during FY 2004. In addition, over 50,000 adoptions took place in FY 2003 as agencies sought to provide permanent homes for foster care children unable to return to their own homes.

Evidence: To link to the entire Child Maltreatment Report: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm04/index.htm To link to the entire AFCARS reports: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#afcars

YES 20%
1.3

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: It is the State title IV-B agency that manages the child welfare system and assumes the governmental responsibility for keeping children safe. The agency oversees the case management of those children who have been reported as abused or neglected and makes the decision, with judicial/court oversight, to remove children from their homes. The agency also determines whether the family may ultimately care for their child(ren) or whether parental rights should be terminated to allow for other permanency outcomes. In between these decisions, the child welfare system is responsible for finding, referring, and managing family function improvement services and programs that are designed to assure "safety, permanency, and well-being" for all children. CWS funding is available for a broad array of child welfare system functions. States are given a significant amount of flexibility in determining the use of these funds and encouraged through title IV-B of the Social Security Act and the title IV-B regulations to coordinate and collaborate with multiple programs funded at all levels of government, including private funds, to address the varied needs of families. In fact, in order to receive the title IV-B formula grant funds allotted to each State, a Child and Family Services Plan describing the services provided, the collaborative efforts made, and the numerous programs coordinated to address the varied needs of families must be submitted and approved by ACF. These programs and funding streams are used to develop a continuum of services to meet the needs of families either at risk of involvement or involved in the child welfare system. For example, in the continuum of care system that child welfare agencies manage, the beginning of the continuum includes primary prevention, information to the public and to mandatory reporters about the obligation to report child maltreatment, a "hotline" where child abuse is reported, and the State agency organization that responds when prevention is insufficient to protect children. Although the CAPTA funds much of the front end of the continuum, it is the IV-B agency that has the authority to work with families to prevent removal of their children, attend to children who must be removed from their homes, operate foster care programs, and make decisions concerning permanency for children, utilizing its CWS funds to accomplish these goals. Although CWS funds can be used for all children, funding is limited by a capped formula grant. Because there are many and varied needs of families at risk of child abuse or neglect involved in the child welfare system, and title IV-B funding is limited, title IV-B managers utilize other programs and funding streams from the Act. For example, TANF may provide additional funds through direct transfer of program funds or through individual "child only" payments or payments to relatives who are caring for a child outside the foster care system. Also, SSBG funds and State and local funds may be used for foster care payments in addition to funds from the title IV-B, subpart 1. However, unlike CWS funds, each of these funds has restrictions such as income eligibility limits (TANF), age limits (CFCIP), spending focused on primary programs (PSSF), or multiple and competing interests (SSBG). Many organizations, both public and private, also work with the IV-B agency to strengthen families and keep children safe. Public agencies contract and collaborate with private child welfare agencies and community-based organizations to provide services to families, such foster care, residential treatment, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, parenting skills classes, employment assistance, and financial or housing assistance. Often caseworkers cobble services together according to both family need and service availability because no one program or one funding source can meet the variety of needs. (Please see CWS PART Document submitted to OMB for complete answer.)

Evidence: Child Welfare Services, title IV-B of the Social Security Act: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws/safe2003.htm Regulations for Title IV-B (45 CFR, Sections 1355 and 1357; see 45 CFR 1357.10 for scope and definitions) http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1355_02.html http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1357_02.html

YES 20%
1.4

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: Key components of program design??State flexibility and a system of services and programs to match family needs managed through individual family caseworkers from the State Child Welfare agency??promote effectiveness and efficiency in the program. Title IV-B's purpose statements identify what the funds are for while allowing maximum State flexibility in working towards the best interest of children and families. Within general Federal requirements, States determine how their child welfare system is administered. Given the variation in State and local child welfare programs, CWS's flexibility allows States to craft effective and efficient programs that best fit the needs and priorities of the children and families. It also allows States to make adjustments in response to changing circumstances, such as economic conditions, drug use epidemics, etc. A more rigid program design would hamper States' ability to address local conditions and test innovative approaches. One flaw within the Act, however, is that the maximum amount of title IV-B, subpart 1 funds that States may spend for foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance, and for child care needed for employment or training for employment is limited to the amount they received of their share of the $56.5 million in title IV-B funds available in 1979. Section 423(c)(1) of the Act states that "No payment may be made to a State under this part, for any fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1979, with respect to State expenditures made for (A) child day care necessary solely because of the employment or training to prepare for employment, of a parent or other relative with whom the child involved is living, (B) foster care maintenance payments, and (C) adoption assistance payments, to the extent that the Federal payment with respect to those expenditures would exceed the total amount of the Federal payment under this part for fiscal year 1979." The law seems dated due to the fact that funding over the past 26 years has increased significantly and yet the amount of funds that can be spent on the above mentioned items remains unchanged. In addition, the costs of the three items listed above have also increased significantly, but States are unable to utilize CWS funds for them beyond the 1979 amount.

Evidence: GAO Report, September 2003; Enhanced Federal Oversight of Title IV-B Could Provide States Additional Information to Improve Services http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03956.pdf Major Program Instructions (PI) for the Child and Family Services 5-year plan: ACF-CB-PI-04-01, incorporating instructions for the third 5-year plan, issued February 2, 2004 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0401.htm ACF-CB-PI-05-04, current year instructions, issued April 29, 2005, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0504.htm ACYF-PI-94-03, first PI instructing States on the Child and Family Services Plan submittal, issued January 18, 1994: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi9403.htm ACYF-CB-PI-98-02 incorporating the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi9802.htm ACYF-CB-PI-99-07, incorporating the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), issued March 25, 1999: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi9907.htm ACYF-CB-PI-02-05, incorporating the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act issued May 10, 2002: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0205.htm ACYF-CB-PI-03-07, clarifying Maintenance of Effort issue for title IV-B, subpart 1, issued November 20, 2003: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0307.htm

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Child abuse and neglect occurs at all economic levels, at all ages of childhood, and in all communities. Title IV-B has no eligibility restrictions; in fact Federal law and regulation prohibit eligibility restrictions and contain clear guidance on the purpose of the funds. States choose allowable activities that directly address the program's purpose and that are best suited to their individual own communities and demographics. There is no limit on administrative costs and most States spend the majority of the funds on agency staff who perform the activities of the program. As stated above, the program does limit the amount of CWS funds a State may spend on foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, and child day care necessary solely because of the employment or training to prepare for employment, of a parent or other relative with whom the child involved is living. This limitation does compel States to expend funds in other areas of the child welfare continuum.

Evidence: ACYF-CB-PI-03-07, clarifying Maintenance of Effort issue for title IV-B, subpart 1, issued November 20, 2003 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0307.htm GAO Report, September 2003; Enhanced Federal Oversight of Title IV-B Could Provide States Additional Information to Improve Services http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03956.pdf

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: Long Term Strategic Goal #1: By FY 2008, the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process will have resulted in the States' demonstrating continuous improvement by having 90 percent of the individual outcomes that they are expected to achieve (328 of 364 total indicators) remaining penalty free. This long-term measure is based on the commitment to review States performance and improvements through the CFSR process. The CFSR is the primary mechanism to measure performance in the child welfare system. It measures current State performance and requires progress towards improvements through Program Improvement Plans (PIPs). These reviews were mandated by the Social Security Act Amendments of 1994 to serve as performance based incentive system for title IV-B and IV-E. The Department developed a review process and outcome measures in response to the changes in the law in order to assess the performance of States in operating child protection and child welfare systems. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements (listed below). In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. The total number of indicators (364) referenced in the long-term goal above reflect the number of jurisdictions (52) multiplied by the number of outcomes (7). The specific outcomes and their seven associated measures are as follows: (Safety Outcomes): children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect and children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate; (Permanency Outcomes): children have permanency and stability in their living situations and the continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for children; and (Child and Family Well-Being Outcomes): families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children's needs; children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs; and children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. However, if they fail to improve, a financial "penalty" is assessed. States that demonstrate continuous improvement are termed "penalty free." Long Term Strategic Goal #2: Increase the adoption rate from the baseline in FY 2005 (percentage to be inserted in the fall when FY 2005 adoption numbers are finalized) to 10.56 percent in FY 2011. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and other Federal legislation enacted during the last 25 years have promoted the adoption of children from the public child welfare system when reunification is not possible. Therefore, this permanency option, when appropriate for the child, has long been a goal of the Children's Bureau. The Children's Bureau has been tracking adoptions since 1995 and has conducted national campaigns such as "Adoption 2002" and currently "Adopt US Kids" to increase the number of children adopted from the foster care system. (Please see CWS PART Document submitted to OMB for complete answer.)

Evidence: Adoption and Safe Families Act: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=105_cong_bills&docid=f:h867enr.txt.pdf (page 13 of 22) Child and Family Services Reviews: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/index.htm#cfsr Child Welfare Outcomes Annual Report: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cwo02/index.htm

YES 12%
2.2

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: Targets and Timeframes for Long Term Strategic Goal #1: The Children's Bureau completed the first round of CFSR on-site reviews between FY 2001 and the end of FY 2004, which included all 52 jurisdictions (50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico). By FY 2008, all States will have completed the full review process (consisting of a statewide assessment, an on-site review, and the implementation and completion of a PIP) and the time period available to improve performance will have passed. If a State is determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome, they are provided an opportunity to improve their performance. The Children's Bureau reviews each State's progress through quarterly and annual progress reports on program improvement plans and assesses penalties as appropriate throughout the period as State's follow their individual timeline for completion of their PIP activities. The 90 percent target of 328 outcomes [(7 outcomes x 52 jurisdictions) x .9] for penalty-free performance, as well as the number of activities that need to be performed by States in order to achieve this status, is very ambitious. Prior to the CFSRs, the Federal government had not conducted systematic on-site monitoring of State child welfare programs in over five years. Given this extensive lapse of time, the fact that this target is for the first cycle of reviews, and that the number of goals is high, the achievement of a 90 percent non-penalization rate is very rigorous. Current baselines, which include findings for 52 jurisdictions, indicate that these are ambitious measures. To date, fifteen states have been determined to be penalty-free due to meeting their goals with regard to improvements in their outcomes. One State has received a notice of penalty due to the inability to reach their agreed upon outcome goals. Targets and Timeframes for Long Term Strategic Goal #2: A gradual increase in the adoption rate to 10.56 percent in FY 2008 is ambitious, but still realistic, due to several factors: 1) The rate of adoptions has leveled off since FY 2000 and is expected to increase more modestly in the future. In setting these adoption targets, it is important to note that significant proportions of the adoptions finalized from FY 1998 through FY 2000 were children who had been in the system for a long time and who represented a backlog of cases. With improved case-practice under the reforms implemented by ASFA, the large backlogs of adoption cases needing to be finalized have been completed. 2) Additionally, the age of children waiting to be adopted continues to increase, with almost half of the "waiting" children over the age of nine. The Children's Bureau's own analysis shows that for waiting children, beginning at between 8 and 9 years old, the probability of children continuing to wait exceeds the probability that they will be adopted. As younger children for whom adoption is appropriate are moved out of the foster care system, it is far more likely that the age distribution of waiting children will include even more children over the age of nine. While the field will have to adjust its work accordingly, it is also expected that this change in demographics will contribute to a slower rate of increase in adoptions. 3) Lastly, the proportion of children with a goal of adoption has also declined from 21.6% to 19.6% between FY 2001-2004. Several states have requested and received waivers to include guardianship as a permanency option (especially for older youth), and to date over 7,000 guardianships have been achieved. Also families, through emphasis on kinship care, family group conferencing and other methods communication, are finding creative ways to care for a child without a formal adoption. These trends combine make adoption placement more challenging. (Please see PART Document submitted to OMB for complete answer.)

Evidence: Child and Family Service Reviews: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/results

YES 12%
2.3

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: Both the annual and long-term performance measures are largely based on the results of Federal Child and Family Service Reviews (CSFRs) of State child welfare systems. The long term measures focus on child outcomes in the areas of safety, permanency and well-being, while the annual measures assess the capabilities of State child welfare systems to improve child outcomes in the same areas. CSFRs identify areas in which State systems need to be strengthened in order to improve child outcomes. States are required to design and implement program improvement plans (PIPs) to correct identified shortcomings. The annual performance measures set targets for increasing the numbers of States that have successfully implemented identified improvements - a necessary first step in order to improve child outcomes. There is also an annual measure that tracks States' progress in improving the array of services available to families through their child welfare system which links to a long term goal that States be in substantial compliance with program requirements for the providing needed services to families.

Evidence: FY2007 Administration for Children and Families Congressional Justification: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/olab/budget/2007/cj2007/cj2007.html

YES 12%
2.4

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: The baselines were established in FY 2000. Most targets have a five to seven percent improvement rate or a maintenance rate that reflects the trends. The Children's Bureau is careful that the targets are not so high in one area as to precipitate a reduction in another area, e.g. too many children going home rapidly may increase the rate of repeat maltreatment. Also, outside social factors such as the increase in methamphetamine usage, increase in homelessness, etc. affects this population and the Children's Bureau does not want to be unrealistic about how much influence that improvements in the child welfare system actually have on child abuse and neglect in families under stress. Please see performance measures' baselines, targets, and annual results as listed in PART response.

Evidence: ACF FY07 Congressional Justification http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/olab/budget/2007/cj2007/cj2007.

YES 12%
2.5

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: As stated in Section 1.3, in order to receive the title IV-B formula grant funds allotted to each State, a Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) describing the services provided, the collaborative efforts made and the numerous programs that together address the needs of families, must be submitted and approved by ACF. Regulations at 45 CFR 1357.15(l) require consultation with multiple stakeholders, and at 45 CFR 1357.15(m) coordination of services with all relevant service delivery systems. As part of the CFSP, States are required to provide long-term goals for their own child welfare system and the programs within. All partners commit to and work towards the annual and long term goals of the program, as a grant requirement as well as a reporting requirement. The CFSP requires collaborative efforts in order to meet the overall goals for children and families in each State. Federal Central and Regional Office staff, State agency program managers, local county workers, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and all others must be aware of the program goals and work to support them. In addition, all States support the long-term goal of the program by submitting to the Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSRs) and reporting data on outcomes annually. States also commit to and work toward performance goals by developing Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) when improvements are required due to substandard performance (defined as performance levels below the national standards identified in 2.4). States also report data to the National Child Abuse & Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption & Foster Care Analysis & Reporting System (AFCARS). Finally, State reports are used in the Child Welfare Outcomes Annual Report that is sent to Congress yearly.

Evidence: Final CFSR Reports: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/index.html Child Maltreatment 2002: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm03/index.htm Child Maltreatment 2004: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm04/index.htm Child Welfare Outcomes Annual Report: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cwo02/index.html AFCARS: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm Regulations pertaining to CFSPs: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1357_02.html State sample --Program Improvement Plans (PIP)

YES 12%
2.6

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: While the Children's Bureau funds various research and demonstration grants to experiment with child welfare program improvements, these studies are not focused on the Child Welfare Services program.

Evidence: Children's Bureau research and demonstration grants, Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations Projects information: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/index.htm#disc Sample Program Instruction regarding child welfare waiver demonstrations: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/pi0504.htm Examples of CFSR Statewide Assessments or CFSPs that include State evaluations of some of their programs: Oklahoma: http://www.okdhs.org/cfsd/cqi/okgeneral/cfsrsa2.htm Indiana: http://www.in.gov/dcs/cwrff/rff.html

NO 0%
2.7

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: HHS supports budget performance integration and the budget request to Congress includes an analysis of performance. Performance measures are discussed at: ACF Goal 2, Strategic Objective 6: Increase Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being of Children and Youth, p. 44 of the document "Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees." This piece of the Congressional Justification denotes the improvements or digressions of maltreatment of children via the GPRA indicators (which, as noted before, follow closely to the CFSR and Report measures). PSSF is in part an entitlement to States that awards formula grants and directs funds to the State programs and services that meet the PSSF objectives. While funds are allocated to States by formula, a State that does not meet performance goals is potentially subject to financial penalties. The annual performance measures set targets for the number of States that successfully complete program improvement plans (PIPs) to correct problems identified during Federal Child and Family Service Reviews. States that do not successfully implement PIPs within the proscribed time periods are subject to financial penalties.

Evidence: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/olab/budget/2006/cj2006/sec4_02_perf_anlys_2006cj.doc (See page 44.)

YES 12%
2.8

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: The Children's Bureau uses data collected from States and Tribes through the results of the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) and improved data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) to plan strategically for program changes and improvement and to revise and develop its long-term measures and ambitious performance targets as necessary. The selection of these performance goals is based on trend data derived from the AFCARS and on the findings from states being reviewed through the CFSRs. The Children's Bureau continues to provide training and technical assistance through a variety of methods to States and to review and monitor States in order to improve the long-term outcomes for children and families.

Evidence: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/olab/budget/2006/cj2006/sec4_02_perf_anlys_2006cj.doc (See page 44)

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 88%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: The Children's Bureau regularly collects timely and credible performance information in various ways from State and Tribal grantees including: 1) 5-year Child and Family Services Plans (CFSPs); 2) with annual updates referred to as the Annual Services and Progress Report (ASPR); 3) annual financial reports; and 4) (States only) case-level data about the families and children served (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) submissions) and; 5) the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) and subsequent Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). In assessing progress toward meeting CWS's performance targets, the agency supplements the information collected from grantees with data from national organizations and child welfare-related studies. The program is actively managed in accordance with legislative intent to ensure safety, permanency and well-being for children who have come in contact with the child welfare system. The above reports are analyzed to: ensure States are moving forward toward their goals, purposes, and programmatic requirements; collect data necessary to track performance measures; identify grantee training and technical assistance needs; provide information about the program to Congress and other stakeholders with interest in child welfare issues; and assist ACF in developing strategies for improved program performance including budget requests, research and technical assistance efforts, and new initiatives to help grantees make the best possible policy and program decisions. The Children's Bureau provides guidance and technical assistance to grantees through Regional Office State Liaisons, formal program issuances, national and regional meetings, conference calls, and its network of technical assistance contractors termed National Resource Centers (NRCs). (Please see CWS PART Document submitted to OMB for complete answer.)

Evidence: Sections 430 through 437 of the Social Security Act http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/cblaws/safe2003.htm CFSR and PIP instruments, instructions and reports on the CB website at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/index.htm#cfsr CFSP and APSR instructions: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/stateindex.htm Financial Report (SF-269) Available at: /omb/grants/sf269.pdf AFCARS Report: Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#afcars http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/trends.htm Examples of Data from National Organizations: http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/ http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/WhatsNew.cfm http://www.pewtrusts.com/

YES 11%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Federal managers, grantees, subgrantees and contractors are all held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results. ?? Federal Managers: The Program Implementation Division in the Children's Bureau has responsibility for the implementation and oversight of the title IV-B, subpart 2 program in collaboration with the ACF regional offices, in accordance with ACF's Statement of Organization and Functions. Performance standards are defined in employees' performance plans. Staff Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) plans specify relevant objectives and performance is rated accordingly. States are held accountable through the monitoring as indicated in Section 3.1. ACF takes corrective action to ensure that States comply with title IV-B requirements. ?? States: Once every three years States are subject to a Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), which informs all stakeholders in the process whether the State is functioning satisfactorily in regards to the safety, permanency and well-being of children and their families. Because the title IV-B programs as well as the other funding streams in the CFSP are the bulk of the service dollars for child welfare services, the CFSR is able to ascertain how well States are managing their programs by measuring outcomes against performance measures. States are required to develop Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) to address shortcomings identified in CSFRs. States that are found to have more serious deficiencies are subject to more frequent and intensive oversight and States that do not successfully implement PIPs on schedule risk financial penalties. The requirement that each agency have an annual audit that complies with OMB Circular A-133 and the Single Audit Act also helps ensure that grantees are held accountable for costs. ?? Subgrantees: States are responsible for holding subgrantees and State contractors accountable for performance. In order to remind States of their obligation to oversee subgrantees, as well as other obligations when accepting Federal funds, the ACF Grants Office has developed extensive "Terms and Conditions" that are included in the official title IV-B grant awards made to States. These terms and conditions, which grantees are required to comply with, specifically address the State's responsibility to inform grantees of Federal statutory and regulatory provisions and to hold them accountable for their expenditures of Federal funds, as well as their performance. ?? Cooperative Agreements: The Children's Bureau, through its designated project officers, ensures that its technical assistance providers comply with deliverable schedules, remain within project budgets, and provide quality services. An internet reporting system, the Technical Assistance and Training Information System (TATIS) captures data input by the National Resource Centers (NRCs) to track contractor services to States and Tribes.

Evidence: Children's Bureau Functional Statement, Redacted Employee Performance Plans, Email addressing withholding of grant awards identified in explanation Terms and Conditions FY 2005 Inherent Risk report Audit Compliance Supplement (FY 2005 request to OMB)

YES 11%
3.3

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?

Explanation: Consistent with the provisions of the Cash Management Improvement Act and the Anti-Deficiency Act, ACF routinely awards funds available by the first day of each quarter once the budget is passed by Congress and allocations are made. Information systems, including GATES and the new On-Line Data Collection System (OLDC), assist ACF in ensuring that funds are managed in a timely manner and for their intended purposes. The GATES grant management system calculates the amounts to be received by grantees using statistics provided by ACF staff and programming that reflects the statutory funding formulas. OLDC allows States to submit their financial reports (SF-269) electronically and includes edits that preclude States from submitting information on expenditures made in contravention with statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as reminders of certain program requirements. In addition, financial reports are reviewed by ACF Regional and Central Office fiscal staff to ensure that established spending time periods are met, State matching funds are adequate and unexpended funds are reported in time to be reallotted. The CFS-101 Request for Funds form that is completed yearly as part of the CFSP/APSR process, has a place for States to voluntarily relinquish funds for use by other States or to request additional funds if other States relinquish as funds not obligated at the end of the award year can be reallocated to States that request the additional funding. These procedures generally work very well, however in FY 2004 three States did not utilize their total grant and did not report it in time for reallotment. Regional Offices in whose jurisdiction these States reside were contacted and immediately took corrective actions, including working with their States to ensure appropriate budgeting and spending of their funds. Audit findings, when available, are resolved by ACF Regions, however it was noted under the "inherent risk" process that very few, if any, audits had findings. The Central and Regional Office staff provides routine technical assistance to States regarding the allowability of costs through written guidance in response to questions received from grantees. If the questions are of significance, the questions and answers are included in the Child Welfare Policy Manual.

Evidence: SF-269 (financial expenditure form) http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/grants/sf269.pdf Child Welfare Policy Manual: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/j2ee/programs/cb/laws_policies/laws/cwpm/index.jsp CFS-101 (Financial request form) GATES document Inherent risk report

YES 11%
3.4

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The core purpose of the IV-B programs is to provide the services, programs and supports necessary to help families raise their children, and if that is not appropriate, to attain a permanent loving home for a child. Due to the need for a rapid response to children's permanency needs, it is critical that the child and family be assessed and a case plan written detailing the actions to be taken toward the identified needs of the child and family. The sooner the assessment and case plan are completed, the sooner specific services can be provided and actions taken that will mitigate the circumstances identified within a family. There is a statutory requirement to have the plan in place by 12 months. ACF is proposing to measure efficiency for the program by tracking the proportion of children for which this requirement is not met. This annual efficiency measure is computed from the number of foster children in care at least 12 or more months with either a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal divided by the total number of foster children who were in foster care at least 12 months or more. A reduction in this ratio indicates that the appropriate interventions were initiated more quickly, resulting in a more efficient process and greater efficiency in service provision. The targets reflect a steady annual decline of 0.5 percentage points for foster care children in care 12 or more months with a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal.

Evidence: Competitive Discretionary Grants Program List http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/index.htm#disc Competitive Discretionary Grants Program List for FY 2003 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/discretionary/2003.htm Children's Bureau Express: http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/

YES 11%
3.5

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: In the Child Welfare field alone, the Federal government funds eight Federal/State programs (CAPTA, titles 1 and 2, and titles IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, and title IV-E (Foster Care Maintenance Payments and Adoption Assistance Payments, CFCIP, and ETV) of the Social Security Act) that support child welfare services from prevention through intervention via foster care or in-home services to after care and/or permanency through adoption or other permanent living arrangement. The Children's Bureau encourages collaboration at the Federal, State, and individual program levels both through regulation and through modeling collaboration. At the Federal level, the Children's Bureau works within its own office to coordinate programs and offer a seamless approach. The Bureau also partners with other programs within ACF and HHS, as well as colleagues in other Federal agencies, to maintain ongoing coordination and collaboration. For example, the Children's Bureau hosts the Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect in which specialists from various government agencies meet to inform each other of and exchange initiatives. Other collaborative efforts include co-funded research initiatives with other HHS agencies such as the Early Head Start and Child Welfare initiative and participation in a collaborative initiated by the Department of Labor concerning older foster youth and employment training issues. Also, since 2002, the Children's Bureau has been co-funding a technical assistance contract regarding substance abuse and its impact on the child welfare system with SAMHSA. The program facilitates the cross-system collaboration that is necessary to provide improved services to affected families. The Children's Bureau recognizes that it is imperative to work with other federally funded programs in order to secure adequate services. The Children's Bureau works with the Office of Child Support Enforcement and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to involve State directors for these programs in regional meetings sponsored by ACF and CMS. The goal of the meetings is to improve the cross program collaboration and coordination between CSE, Child Welfare and Medicaid so that all programs can better achieve national goals and outcomes. Another example of Federal collaboration is the TANF/CW priority area for FY2006. The Children's Bureau recently announced discretionary grant funding available for research and demonstration to begin in FY 2006. Federal regulations at 45 CFR 1357.15 (d), (l) and (m) require collaboration and coordination of services with stakeholders and other Federal programs that involve child welfare and require a description of the collaboration(s) in the CFSP. The State's CFSP must describe the consultation process, both internal and external, used to obtain involvement of others across the entire spectrum of the child and family service delivery system in the development of the plan. The description must explain how the collaboration process was coordinated with, or was a part of other planning processes in the State, and the resultant expected outcome. Recently, through the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, Congress added a provision that States describe their activities "to demonstrate substantial, ongoing and meaningful collaboration with State courts" in their CFSPs and added two programs for State Court improvements. In the 2004-2009 State Plans, State agencies reported collaborating and coordinating service delivery with a variety of agencies focused on the following: health, nutrition, mental health, substance abuse agencies, parental employment programs, Head Start, public education, tribal, labor, special needs, etc. to support children and families. Public/private partnerships are also utilized to support professional development initiatives, raising public awareness, and offering services. (Please see CWS PART Document submitted to OMB for complete answer.)

Evidence: Regulations on coordination with other governmental agencies: Consultation and Coordination http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1357_02.html Results of the CFSR : http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/results/index.htm Collaborative Grant announcement: http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?oppId=8594&mode=VIEW NCSACW website: www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov Agenda and participant list from the Federal Interagency Task Group on Child Abuse and Neglect

YES 11%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: ACF's financial management systems meet statutory and regulatory requirements and financial information is accurate and timely. Under OMB Circular A-133, independent auditors audit grantees annually. The Compliance Supplement available to auditors for the title IV-B programs detail the financial management requirements of the program and State auditors examine the day-to-day systems based on financial and programmatic requirements to include financial reporting. The Regional Office reviews and analyzes the related State SF-269 (annual expenditure claims) and expenditure patterns to ensure all funds are being spent. If necessary, the regulations at 45 CFR 1355.20 allows for a "partial review" that may be conducted at any time when it is discovered based on any information, regardless of the source, that a state may not be operating in conformance with state plan requirements. An inquiry to the state precedes a request for additional information that, if it confirms the non-conformity, will result in the State's having to implement a PIP. In response to one of the key elements of the President's Management Agenda, the Children's Bureau has recently completed its inherent risk assessment of the CWS program and examined the possibility of improper payments. It is assessed at low risk.

Evidence: Regulations on partial reviews: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1355_02.html SF-269 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/grants/sf269.pdf Inherent risk assessment of the CWS program Compliance Supplement Information

YES 11%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: As discussed throughout the PART response, the ACF Central and Regional Offices work on a continuous basis to encourage States and Tribes to administer their programs in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Regional Office staff consults with the Children's Bureau staff with questions and/or problems that arise within their regions. Feedback from various regions alerts Central Office staff to what may be a pervasive problem, enabling them to develop a response appropriate to the issue. Responses may be in the form of policy development and issuance or other responses as stated throughout this document. One example of a proactive measure is that the Children's Bureau convenes a monthly conference call with ACF regional office program and fiscal staff to discuss management issues. The Children's Bureau also offers training as needed such as the cost allocation training which will be provided to Regional program specialists in late April of 2006 as well as the CFSR trainings that are offered frequently. Technical assistance providers also present information about their expertise and services in these calls. Research and demonstration grants, best practices documents, conferences, and NRC information about effective programs helps States determine efficiencies; however, the program allows States to determine how the program will actually operate for them. The effectiveness of the States' strategies is shown in the progress reported in the APSRs and PIPs. For the CFSP/APSR process, States are to evaluate their strategies and programs against their own baselines and adjust programs/processes to improve progress toward their own goals. The CFSR/PIP process is much more elaborate, with national standards that the State must meet. Specific activities and benchmarks are identified for improvement in the PIP and quarterly progress reports that identify interim progress steps are required. If progress is not adequate or goals are not met within one year (with an extension to two years if necessary), penalties are assessed based on a formula written in regulation.

Evidence: Children's Bureau's Technical Assistance Network: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ccb/ta/index.htm Financial Report (SF-269) Available at: /omb/grants/sf269.pdf Child Welfare Policy Manual: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/index.htm#cwpm

YES 11%
3.BF1

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: As discussed in other questions, the Children's Bureau has a number of oversight requirements related to reporting, financial management, and program implementation. The ACF Regional Office (RO) designates responsibility for each program among available staff, either by state or by program area. RO program staff is responsible for providing program guidance and direction. The RO receives annual reports from States and Tribes, and quarterly reports if the State is under a PIP that gives some description as to how they implement the CWS program and the nature of the services that are being provided (children and families served, number and types of providers, etc.) Through review of these reports, ACF staff monitors the grantees on a regular basis and work with grantees where problems arise. As discussed previously, Federal oversight includes a reading, analyzing, commenting on and requiring improvements in the yearly APSR. States update plans and report on activities through this document and Regional Offices, who work with States on an ongoing basis, are able to accurately and adequately assess State activities and determine whether title IV-B funds are being spent on allowable activities. Also, the overall CFSR process allows the Regional and Central Offices to assess in depth, through week-long, on-site reviews, the quality of States' child welfare systems and adherence to the CFSP and the title IV-E State plans by reviewing and analyzing actual cases and assessing outcomes and performance measures. For example, in the outcome measures category, CFSR findings indicated that a very large number of States were not meeting their mental health well-being measure, but many were meeting the education well-being measure. In the systemic factors category, CFSR findings indicated 45 states (87%) achieved substantial conformity in the item rating their Statewide Information System (SACWIS), and 45 states (87%) were rated "Strength" in this area.

Evidence: CFSRs: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/index.htm#cfsr http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/results/pip_presentation_final/sld001.htm Federal Reporting Systems: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/systems/index.htm Sample Program Improvement Plan

YES 11%
3.BF2

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: As described in 3.1, data on the activities and expenditures of grantees is collected on a regular basis and made available to the public. Program performance is publicized, usually on an annual basis, in the following ways: CFSR Reports, Child Welfare Outcomes Report, AFCARS data, annual Congressional Justification, the Report to Congress, and meetings with stakeholders, such as the State/Tribal Meeting. This information is published through the Children's Bureau website, the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the National Adoption Information Services Clearinghouse. These websites are accessible to the public and all receive thousands of "hits" per year. In addition States are required to make their CFSP/APSR available to the public and most have them on their State website.

Evidence: The CFSR Final Reports, Child Welfare Outcomes Report and AFCARS data reports are available on the Children's Bureau website: www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb The Congressional Justification is available online: www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/olab/budget The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse website is: http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/ The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/ Example of CFSP/APSR available on States websites (State of Oklahoma Child and Family Services Plan Annual Progress and Services Report) http://www.okdhs.org/cfsd/CQI/okchildwelfare/apsr6_03.htm

YES 11%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: All three of CWS's long-term goals demonstrate progress towards meeting long-term goals. However, the program's progress in achieving long-term goals is determined to be small extent because the program does not yet have data on how many States will achieve substantial conformity. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements. CWS's long-term goals reflect States' progress in achieving substantial conformity in the domains of permanency and safety, as well as their progress on one systemic factor. Determinations of substantial conformity in the CFSR are based on multiple sources of information, including the State's statewide self assessment, an onsite review of a sample of cases, onsite interviews with key stakeholders, and, for certain outcomes, performance on data indicators for which there are national standards. During the first round of the CFSR, for a State to be found in substantial conformity on an outcome, the State needed to have met the national standard for any applicable national data indicators associated with the outcome and 90 percent of cases reviewed onsite needed to be rated as a strength. Any outcome on which the State was not in substantial conformity was required to be addressed through a PIP. At the conclusion of the PIP, a determination is made on whether all actions required by the PIP were completed and whether agreed upon improvements in quantifiable outcomes were met. If so, then the State is determined to be "penalty free." Currently, only one State will be penalized for not improving enough to meet their Program Improvement Plans (PIP) goals. Other States are in various stages of implementing their PIP. PIP completion in all States will occur by FY 2008. However, to determine whether the first round of program improvement has resulted in an increased number of States being in substantial conformity, it will be necessary to complete the second round of onsite reviews scheduled to begin in 2007. Based on its first round of the CFSR, the program has established a baseline and set ambitious targets for all its long-term performance goals. These targets are particularly ambitious as the second round of CFSRs will be even more rigorous than the first. The standard for the onsite portion will be raised from 90 percent of cases being rated a strength to 95 percent of cases, and national standards for data indicators will be changed, with the standards of performance on safety being raised and new composite measures relating to permanency used for the first time.

Evidence: Child and Family Services Review Technical Bulletin #1: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/tech_bull.htm Child and Family Services Reviews Fiscal Year 2007 Review Schedule: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/fy2007.htm Child Welfare Review Project Fact Sheet: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/fact_sheet.htm

SMALL EXTENT 8%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: In all cases, CWS has exceeded its annual targets for performance measures with an established baseline. This includes the measure: "For those children who had been in care less than 12 months, maintain the percentage that had no more than two placement settings" which surpassed its most recent target of 80 percent with a result of 83 percent. CWS has also surpassed its annual goals on all annual performance measures relating to the number of States with a closed out Performance Improvement Plan (PIPs) that have been designated "penalty free." As stated previously, the CFSR measures current State performance in operating child protection and child welfare systems and requires progress towards improvements through PIPs. The CFSR assesses outcome achievement across three broad domains of safety, permanency, and well-being, divided into seven outcome measurements. In doing so, the Children's Bureau assesses State activities associated with maintaining children safely in their own homes whenever possible, minimizing the risk of harm to children through placement in foster care, and moving children in foster care to permanency. States determined not to be in conformity with a particular outcome are provided an opportunity to improve their performance through their PIPs. However, if they fail to improve, a financial penalty is assessed. States that demonstrate continuous improvement are termed "penalty free." CWS's annual measures reflect States' progress in achieving "penalty free" status in the domains of permanency and safety, as well as their progress on one systemic factor. The annual targets reflect an expectation that at least 90 percent of the cumulative number of States with closed out PIPs will be designated "penalty free." In 2005 all of CWS's annual measures, based on CFSR outcomes, surpassed the goal of 10 "penalty free" States with an actual result of 11 "penalty free" States.

Evidence: Child and Family Services Review Technical Bulletin #1: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/tech_bull.htm Child and Family Services Reviews Fiscal Year 2007 Review Schedule: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/fy2007.htm Child Welfare Review Project Fact Sheet: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/cwmonitoring/general_info/fact_sheet.htm

YES 25%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: The core purpose of title IV-B is to provide the services, programs and supports necessary to help families raise their children, and if that is not possible, to attain a permanent loving home for a child. Because Federal funding is limited by the capped allocated amount, States must budget the funds so that they are utilized within the time frame they are given. A State is not able to count on a reallottment and excess expenditures are not reimbursable by the program; therefore States have the responsibility of implementing and utilizing the most efficient and cost effective delivery of services to families. ACF has proposed one efficiency measure for both title IV-B programs as well as for title IV-E foster care. Due to the need for a rapid response to children's permanency needs, it is critical that the child and family be assessed and a case plan written detailing the actions to be taken toward the identified needs of the child and family. This annual efficiency measure is computed from the number of foster children in care at least 12 or more months with either a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal divided by the total number of foster children who were in foster care at least 12 months or more. The targets reflect a steady annual decline of 0.5 percentage points for foster care children in care 12 or more months with a missing or "Not Yet Determined" case plan goal. Trend data for earlier years show that this percentage has gradually decreased since FY 2001.

Evidence: Evidence for trend data of decline will be available October 2006. Children's Bureau Express: http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect: http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/

LARGE EXTENT 17%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: The long-term and annual performance measures developed for this program provide a capability to assess program performance that is not available for some related programs with similar purposes. States are given a significant amount of flexibility, and encouraged through title IV-B of the Social Security Act and the title IV-B regulations, to coordinate and collaborate with multiple related programs funded at all levels of government, including private funds, to address the varied needs of families. In fact, in order to receive the title IV-B formula grant funds allotted to each State, a Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) describing the services provided, the collaborative efforts made, and the numerous programs coordinated to address the varied needs of families must be submitted and approved by the Administration for Children and Families. These programs and funding streams are used to develop a continuum of services to meet the needs of families either at risk of involvement or involved in the child welfare/foster care system. The Promoting Safe and Stable Families statute defines four specific program objectives within this continuum of care linked directly to the four service categories funded: family preservation, family support, time-limited reunification, and adoption support and promotion services and the performance measures for the program focus on outcomes linked back to these four service areas. Federal oversight looks at State performance in areas directly linked to the four program objectives. The ability to track child outcome measures linked to specific program objectives means that the program can provide better performance measures than similar or related State and local government or privately funded programs.

Evidence: Title IV-B programs (see section 425(a)(1) and section 430(b) of the Social Security Act: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/cblaws/safe2003.htm Regulations for Title IV-B (45 CFR, Sections 1355 and 1357; see 45 CFR 1357.10 for scope and definitions) http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1355_02.html http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/45cfr1357_02.html

YES 0%
4.5

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: In some cases, the evaluations listed under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families funding also apply to Child Welfare Services programs, depending on how the State is funding their services. Child Welfare Services funds are used so broadly and for so many purposes that targeting studies specifically to assess the impact of these funds would be very difficult. However, there are many issues associated with child welfare and numerous evaluations have been conducted to address issues such as workforce turnover, improve supervisor performance, enhance and improve caseworker tools, etc. "Promising practices" and "evidence-based practice" are terms the field is using to indicate that practice recommendations are being made are based on evaluations of successful programs and services. For example, a new handbook for child welfare: Child Welfare for the 21st Century: A Handbook of Practices, Policies, and Programs is based on the philosophical orientation that strengthening and supporting families is the best way to ensure children's safety, permanency, and well-being and identifies both promising practices and evidence-based practices, as well as ethical issues relevant to the 75 topics addressed. In addition, there are many agencies and child advocacy groups who look at the child welfare system as a whole and study and make recommendations for change. For example: "In 2003, the Pew Charitable Trusts launched a three-part policy initiative to help move children in foster care more quickly and appropriately to safe, permanent families and prevent the unnecessary placement of children in foster care. After a year of intensive analysis, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute recommended changes in the federal financing structure to facilitate the timely and safe movement of children from foster care to permanent families and to reduce the need to place children in foster care in the first place." The Trust recommends, briefly, a different funding structure for the system: 1) moving toward more flexible funding such as title IV-B funds (and away from the incentive for States to use title IV-E funding which pays States a higher Federal reimbursement rate for eligible children in foster care) and 2) more state agency and court collaboration for the benefit of children. Numerous other recommendations and the Children's Bureau's own efforts include a Child Welfare Program Option that would finance child welfare differently so that States could engage in more prevention and social services for families and rely on foster care less extensively.

Evidence: A New Handbook for Child Welfare: http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/articles.cfm?article_id=1079 Promising Practices: http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/title_page.cfm?section_id=4&issue_id=2005-12 Pew Charitable Trusts: http://www.pewtrusts.com/ideas/index.cfm?issue=30 http://www.pewtrusts.com/ideas/ideas_item.cfm?content_item_id=3312&content_type_id=7&page=7&issue=30&issue_name=Foster%20care%20reform&name=Grantee%20Press%20Releases

NO 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 50%


Last updated: 09062008.2006SPR