I want to update our partners and community leaders on an important change occurring at Kids Central.
As outlined in my letter from August 2015, Kids Central collaborated with our CMAs to restructure case management services in Circuit 5 (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties). To improve services and outcomes for children and families and as a response to stakeholder feedback, Kids Central identified two areas of opportunity for improvement. First, the continuity of care for children and family from case inception to case closure including adoption services. Secondly, realigning CMA geographic service areas based on natural community boundaries.
While analyzing the opportunity to restructure case management services, three factors played a significant role in the proposed design:
Today, dependency case management services in Circuit 5 are provided by two CMAs, each responsible for a defined geographic area, while adoption case management is provided by a single CMA responsible for the entire Circuit. Dependency case management services are provided by Children’s Home Society in Hernando, Lake, and Sumter Counties and by the Centers in Citrus and Marion Counties. Adoption case management, including the recruitment, training and approval of adoptive homes, is provided by Youth and Family Alternatives in all five counties.
Under the restructured service network, a single case management agency will be responsible for the provision of both dependency and adoption case management services in each of three geographic areas. The consolidation of dependency and adoption case management services will promote seamless service provision, improve permanency planning and streamline the adoption process. Service areas will fall along natural community boundaries: the Centers will continue to serve Marion County; CHS will continue to serve Lake and Sumter Counties; and Youth and Family Alternatives will provide case management services to Citrus and Hernando Counties. YFA was chosen as the result of a competitive procurement process. Alignment of service provision by these boundaries will result in caseload balance across the subcontract case management agencies as each provider will be responsible for approximately 700 children at any given point.
As part of the redesign, responsibility for recruiting, training and approving adoptive homes will transition to Kids Central. Kids Central is currently responsible for recruiting, training, and licensing foster parents in Circuit 5, this integration will ensure all recruiting efforts are aligned with system need, consistent, cohesive, and effectively leveraged to maximize both efficiencies and outcomes.
In addition to improving continuity of care, the new model will improve concurrent permanency planning efforts while strengthening our approach to the diligent recruitment of foster and adoptive homes. The combined service model will permit stronger engagement of relatives and non-relatives as potential caregivers across the life of a child’s case while facilitating placement and permanency efforts for youth in foster care. Further, the resulting caseload balance will enhance Kids Central’s ability to monitor and improve system-wide performance without placing too much emphasis on one or two entities.
Kids Central in collaboration with its CMAs developed a transition plan to ensure a seamless conversion to the new system of care structure. Starting in March 2016, the transition plan will begin and is anticipated to be completed in April 2016.
Kids Central, CEO