Molly Tierney brings more than 25 years of experience to her role as Accenture's Child Welfare Industry Lead in North America. Her experience includes a decade leading the Baltimore City Department of Social Services—once considered among the worst systems in the country, especially with regards to foster care. While there, she adopted an unconventional perspective and posed a novel question to stakeholders.
“For too long, governments, stakeholders and case workers asked, ‘How do we fix the people?’ after removing a child from a home and placing them in foster care,” Molly recalls. “When we asked, ‘What’s the earliest point of intervention that child welfare services can engage to help keep families together?’ instead, we started yielding positive and measurable results.”
Within five years, the number of children in foster care was reduced by 72%; orphanage occupancy was reduced by 89%; and completed adoptions increased by 59%. Child welfare services once considered the worst became the leading model of change.