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Child Welfare Services Stakeholder Group Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of the CWS Stakeholders Group?
Who is on the CWS Stakeholders Group?
What are the long range plans for the CWS Stakeholders Group?
What are the deliverables and timeframes?
What are CWS Stakeholders Group subcomittees?
What issues are being explored within the four different subcommittees?

What is the purpose of the CWS Stakeholders Group?

The purpose of the Child Welfare Services (CWS) Stakeholders Group is to examine the current processes and outcomes of the public Child Welfare Services program in California and determine the desired directions and goals for the program.

The CWS Stakeholder Group will identify common values with respect to the care of abused and neglected children and their families, create a vision for California’s children, and identify necessary programmatic and organizational changes. These proposed changes will be designed to enhance and improve the quality of child welfare services in California.

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Who is on the CWS Stakeholders Group?

The goal of the Stakeholders Group is not to do "business as usual," but rather to improve the way we serve abused and neglected children in California. It was important to include individuals on the CWS Stakeholders group who represent a wide variety of interested parties and a culturally diverse population. The CWS Stakeholders Group is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:

  • Consumers of child welfare services
  • Former foster youth and foster families
  • Advocates for foster children, youth and parents
  • Public and private providers of services
  • Federal, State, and County administrator
  • Supportive Services representatives from health services, mental health, alcohol and drug, developmental services, and from the Department of Finance
  • Court and legal community
  • California State Legislature
  • California Department of Education
  • Research institutions
  • Foundations

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What are the long range plans for the CWS Stakeholders Group?

In its examination of the current processes and outcomes of the public child welfare services system in California, the Child Welfare Services Stakeholders’ Group will determine the desired directions and goals for the CWS system over the next three years. It is likely that this group will also participate in the implementation of some aspects of the recommendations beyond the initial three-year period.

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What are the deliverables and timeframes?

  • An updated mission statement and vision statement for California’s Child Welfare Services system. The new mission and vision statements will be completed by June 2001.
  • The CWS Stakeholders Group is charged with developing a specific set of outcomes for children and families served by the Child Welfare Services system. The outcomes will be finalized by June 2001.
  • For the short term, the CWS Stakeholders Group will develop a set of recommendations for consideration by the Director of the California Department of Social Services regarding immediate improvements that can be made in the Child Welfare Services program. The delivery date for these recommendations is June 2001.
  • The CWS Stakeholders Group will develop a comprehensive set of recommendations for consideration by the Director of CDSS regarding a strategic plan for Child Welfare Services over the next three to five years. The three to five year CWS Strategic plan will be delivered by October 2001.
  • The CWS Stakeholders Group will develop an evaluation plan to measure the progress in achieving the above mentioned recommendations. The evaluation plan will be submitted by October 2001.
  • The CWS Stakeholders Group will provide progress reports on the implementation of the action items based on the evaluation criteria. These brief progress reports will be available for distribution beginning June 2001, and continue through life of the Stakeholders Group.

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What are CWS Stakeholders Group subcomittees?

The CWS Stakeholders group is made up of four subcommittees. Each subcommittee will tackle different segments of the State CWS system. The current subcommittees and their purposes are:

  • Human Resources:The human resources subcommittee is looking at the issue of recruitment, training, and retention of social workers. This subcommittee’s main purpose is to maximize expertise of social workers and other direct service providers so that the capacity of the system to serve children and families is enhanced.
  • Rules and Regulations: This subcommittee is reviewing the current rules and regulations in the State CWS system and looking at ways to streamline them.
  • Flexible Funding: This subcommittee is reviewing the different funding streams in the CWS system and will make recommendations on how the counties can increase their funding base for CWS.
  • Child Welfare Services and the Courts: This subcommittee has identified areas where the relationship and communication between the social workers and court administrators are challenged. This committee will develop recommendations that will improve the current relationships between the courts and CWS.

In year two of the CWS Stakeholders Group, the members plan to add two more subcommittees to the Stakeholders Group. The two new subcommittees will be the Public Awareness/Education and the Primary Prevention subcommittee.

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What issues are being explored within the four different subcommittees?

The goal of the Human Resources Subcommittee is to propose an improved CWS Human Resources system that builds capacity in social welfare. This system will include professional development and a comprehensive quality driven service delivery system, which meets the needs of children and families.

The goal of the Rules and Regulations Subcommittee is to streamline applicable rules and regulations so that they are aligned with the Vision, Mission and Values of the Child Welfare Services program.

The goal of the Flexible Funding Subcommittee is to develop a proposed comprehensive, flexible and collaborative funding system that effectively uses all resources and is based on incentives for achieving desired outcomes for children and families.

The goal of the Child Welfare Services and the Courts Subcommittee is to identify the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the court system that deal with child welfare matters, including but not limited to dependency, delinquency, probate and mental health courts. In addition, this subcommittee will recommend improved processes that promote collaborative decision making, provision of mandated services, and alternatives to dispute resolution, to ensure that the views of all parties have been considered and respected in determining the best interest of the child.

The goal of the Committee of the Whole Stakeholders Group is to develop the recommended Mission, Vision, Values and Re-Design of a Comprehensive Child Welfare Services System, from early intervention through permanency and emancipation.

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If you would like to provide your suggestions or comments to any of the four subcommittees on the CWS Stakeholders Group, you may send us an e-mail at : cwsstakeholders@dss.ca.gov .