Families and kids can’t wait for change. That’s why we focus on rapid improvements today while you keep building a better tomorrow.
The challenges facing every child welfare leader
The U.S. child welfare system is working to drive significant change. Key goals include reducing racial disproportionality and shifting to proactive, preventive services that support families and enable more children to stay safely at home.
But effecting systemic change isn’t a quick undertaking. And child welfare leaders still face the urgent demands of the day-to-day work. Managing critical incidents. Balancing workloads. Ensuring availability of resources like foster families.
Accenture recognizes the need to solve problems today while shaping a better tomorrow. We collaborate with our clients to deliver rapid-cycle change. Together, we listen carefully, identify root causes and then design and implement solutions quickly and effectively. We help understand and close gaps between how the organization is “supposed” to work and what’s really happening on the ground.
By rapidly solving short-term problems, child welfare organizations can maintain momentum for long-term transformation.
Challenge: improving casework equity
The Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division wanted to build momentum for change. Maximizing child welfare resources was key. Optimizing resources would require role clarity, defined responsibilities and an equitable distribution of work.
Accenture collaborated with the Children’s Division to define and identify worker roles. Data analytics on caseloads and workloads yielded insights on inequities and imbalances by worker levels, programs and regions. Complementing the analytics were workshops and 1:1 sessions with regional and executive leaders to identify opportunities to maximize resources. Accenture shared a tool for modeling workload scenarios by shifting staff in regions or programs.
This work resulted in equitable workloads and clarity of roles and responsibilities. That, in turn, has supported program efficiencies. It helped increase worker satisfaction and retention. And, most importantly, it enabled better outcomes for children and families.
“When you’re in the middle of a fire, it’s impossible to design a better building. We help our clients take the temperature down a few degrees, so they can focus more on enabling lasting change.”
— Molly Tierney
Challenge: implementing a new practice model
Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services, Children, Youth & Families (CYF) Division began implementing their practice model, Safe & Connected™, in 2017. But after more than four years of implementation, the practice change had not permeated the agency. Nor had it resulted in the desired outcomes for the families that CYF serves.
The organization collaborated with Accenture to create a strategic roadmap for fully integrating — and operationalizing — the practice model across the entire division over 18 to 24 months. The roadmap aligns with the agency’s core mission of ensuring safety, permanency and well-being for children. It also addresses key agency priorities to include equity and collaboration with community partners to create systemic change.
“Despite a strong vision, we struggled to maintain a dual focus on transforming for tomorrow while ensuring children’s safety today.We also believe we’ve found a solution.”
— Michael A. Becketts, Director – Fairfax County Department of Family Services
Challenge: onboarding caseworkers and supervisors
The Ohio Department of Job & Family Services collaborated with Accenture to create a standardized onboarding training curriculum for new caseworkers and supervisors. Accenture conducted working sessions with state and county subject-matter experts to assess and design a new curriculum. The resulting approach addresses the needs of the day-to-day worker and supervisor — while keeping front and center the state’s priority of diversity, equity and inclusion.