What is the Permanency From Day One Grant?
The Permanency from Day One Grant (PFD1) is a $7.7 million grant awarded to Washington State in 2018 by the Children’s Bureau. Washington State was one of just five states chosen for this grant and is the only public child welfare agency chosen as a grantee. This five-year grant began in October of 2018 and will end Sep. 30, 2023.
The PFD1 grant outlines a data-driven approach to align and support the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) and Court Improvement Plan (CIP). The grant will address systemic barriers to permanency and will increase engagement between workers and families, including parents, youth, and extended kin. With increased engagement the grant strives to achieve greater child and family involvement in case planning which will result in individualized case plans that meet the needs of children and families. In addition, this greater engagement will reach the extended family network, aiding in early relative identification and engagement so as to increase the likelihood of permanent placements with kin. An external evaluation of the interventions will be conducted by the Kempe Center at the University of Colorado.
There are two target populations for the Permanency From Day One grant interventions:
- All families/cases in the intervention offices for whom a child/youth has become dependent during the intervention period.
- All “legally free” youth, statewide, who are not in their permanent home and are developmentally able to participate in choosing their potential permanent home.
Intervention #1 – Enhanced Permanency Planning Meetings
The first grant intervention is a random control trial that will provide Enhanced Permanency Planning Meetings for some Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS) cases in offices participating in the grant. Eligible cases will be run through a randomization tool to determine if they will receive the Enhanced Permanency Planning Meetings or the office’s ‘business as usual’ permanency planning meetings.
Enhanced Permanency Planning Meetings will be scheduled, facilitated and documented by a neutral facilitator embedded in each intervention office, provided by the grant. This intervention will include an expedited timeline such that the first meeting will occur within 30 days of the establishment of dependency. Each successive meeting will occur within 90 days of the previous meeting. Meetings will continue to occur every 90 days throughout the life of the case until it is dismissed by the court.
Benefits of Enhanced Permanency Planning Meetings include:
- Increased understanding of the dependency process.
- Clarification on roles and responsibilities.
- An increase in kinship placement and family connections.
- Inclusion and teaming.
- Increased accountability.
Intervention #2 – Enhanced Youth Recruitment
The second grant intervention is Enhanced Youth Recruitment (EYR). This intervention will add to the ways in which DCYF recruits permanent homes for youth. The EYR strategy includes reverse matching, where profiles of foster parents will be shared with youth, allowing youth to help identify the family with whom they would like to live. EYR will have three reverse matching events each year. Matching events may be held virtually due to COVID.
EYR will also add a “recruitment plan” for each child needing recruitment of a permanent home. This plan will be documented in FamLink. DCYF case workers will continually update the court about the efforts DCYF is making to recruit permanent homes for the youth on their caseload.
Benefits of EYR are:
- Garnering buy-in from foster youth who will have more choice in their future family.
- Increased ability for transparency and accountability for DCYF recruitment duties.
- Creating new opportunities for foster families to put profiles out for review will increase matching.
- Finalizing more permanent plans for foster youths and thereby shortening their length of stay.
Debbie Marker, Grant Administrator
Jessyka Bastin - Spokane Valley
Tracie Arnold - Spokane Central
Annie Kurtz - Spokane North/ OICW
Sarah Cope - OICW/West Seattle/King West
Sarah Shaffer - Martin Luther King Jr.
Shannon Quinn - King East/King SE
Hiring in process - King SW
Sarah Shaffer - Onboarding Lead
Paula McJohnson - Centralia/Shelton