MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
As the community-based care lead agency for Circuit 5, Kids Central strives every day to embrace our purpose of building better lives. This is possible through our programs, customer service,
quality assurance, and community relations. During the 2013-14 fiscal year, Kids Central continued to concentrate on improving outcomes and achieving results, which in turn allows us to change the lives of the children, family, and communities we serve. By utilizing best practices, evidenced-based programming, strategic planning, and measurements, Kids Central can quantify its impact.
As a result of last year’s re-engineering of our Diversion Programming, we spent the year installing three new evidenced- based programs. Nurturing Parent, Family Connections, and Family Behavior Therapy joined the current line of up evidence-based and evidence-informed programs, Family Group Decision Making and Family Finding. The utilization of evidence-based services aligned the Diversion Program with family-centered practices replicable in diverse geographic/ demographic settings. The transformation provides a road map to Child Protective Investigators (CPIs) and Diversion staff, promotes consistency in practice, and aligns the “right” service with a family’s identified needs.
My letter in last year’s annual report detailed Kids Central’s beginning on the Sterling journey. The journey will continue through the next fiscal year. After receiving a grant from the Alliance for Children and Families Strategy Counts initiative in December 2012, Kids Central employed use of the Baldrige Criteria and Six Sigma processes to tackle some of the organization’s greatest barriers: community engagement, recidivism, and foster home licensing time. The Sterling model and criteria are the foundation and framework that aligns internal business requirements with a results-oriented road map to improve results. It’s a balanced approach so we can view Kids Central from seven principled and proven criterions. Focusing on all of the criteria allows us to understand and manage performance across the entire organization and avoid becoming myopic and only focusing on short- term priorities. In short, adopting the Sterling framework helps us avoid complacency!
Foster parents are the backbone of Kids Central. To improve the foster parent licensing process, Kids Central completed a DMAIC project which included data stratification, process mapping and other techniques. The team identified barriers slowing the process down and implemented new policies and procedures.
The team successfully reduced the licensing time, making more foster homes available for children who have been neglected and abused. Licensing time was reduced from 210 days to less than 100 days. Kids Central has seen impressive results, including licensing over 50 new foster homes this year. The results were impressive, and I am looking forward next year.
During this year’s annual Florida Sterling Council Conference, Kids Central’s team presented in the showcase competition highlighting its results reducing the foster home licensing time. Of the six competing teams in the Sterling Team Showcase, Kids Central was the runner-up. Kids Central was also awarded a Governor’s Best Practice Award for Strategic Evidenced-Based Benchmarking by the Florida Sterling Council. In addition, the Kids Central showcase presentation was recognized with an award for the Greatest Customer Impact.
At the closing of the fiscal year, the Kids Central Board of Directors unveiled a new mission statement: “Protecting children, supporting families, and engaging communities.” The new mission is a more accurate depiction of Kids Central’s scope, business model and strategic direction. It gets to the core of why Kids Central exists and why we do what we do.
This short, succinct mission clearly states our fundamental purpose as a community-based organization. It is important to remember that Kids Central’s core mission remains caring for the abused, neglected and abandoned children as the lead agency; however, the new mission reflects our broadened responsibility as a community support organization.
I am excited to see the developments and achievements Kids Central will continue to make. Together we are striving to build a stronger system of care for greater community and client impact. Through these initiatives, new programs, and an outcomes focus, Kids Central is Changing Lives. As the organization continues to grow and respond to its customers’ needs, I believe Kids Central is recognized as one of the best community based care lead agencies in the State of Florida.
Chief Executive Officer
Kids Central, Inc.