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Improving Outcomes for Children and Families in Allegheny County - Research Documents

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is committed to safely reducing the number of children in out-of-home placements by integrating children’s services and improving outcomes for children who enter the DHS system through the Improving Outcomes for Children and Families Initiative. This department-wide service integration plan helps to ensure that all child-serving systems within the county plan together as one system to determine what services are appropriate for a child and his or her family.

The specific goals of the DHS Improving Outcomes Initiative were articulated in a pdf.gif proposal to Casey Family Programs, a national foundation focused on improving the child welfare system, in 2008. Casey and local foundations embraced the concept and provided operational funding assistance. Since that time, DHS has been capturing system-wide and individual-level data about child outcomes to continuously measure the initiative’s success. 

pdf.gif Transforming Lives Through Systems Integration 
Bruce Barron
Data current through 2010. Published 2011.
The Department of Human Services contracted with a writer, Bruce Barron, to document the “Improving Outcomes” Initiative. This first report summarizes the history of the principles that led to the development of the initiative and highlights how the impressive systemic changes the Department has brought about can lead to unmistakable transformations in the lives of the children and families they serve.

pdf.gif Informing the Design of the DHS “Improving Outcomes for Children and Families” Initiative 
Emily Sturman, Alexa Seretti and Erin Dalton
Data current through 2008. Published 2011.
Stakeholders designing an integrated child-serving system wanted to find answers to questions such as “How many children in Allegheny County are in out-of-home care?” “Where in the county do these children live prior to out-of-home placement?” and “What are the major entry points to out-of-home care?" to help shape the implementation of the initiative. DHS examined child welfare placement data and trends in point-in-time placement 1996-2008 to answer these questions and others. Potential areas of focus for the initiative were identified based on the conclusions drawn from the findings in this report.

DHS Improving Outcomes for Children and Families Initiative Quarterly Reports

While service integration at the systems level is paramount to the Improving Outcomes Initiative, several specific interventions, like the High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW), are being implemented to integrate services at the child-level. The quarterly reports provide descriptive data on these interventions to monitor their implementation. 

pdf.gif October, 2010
pdf.gif April, 2010
pdf.gif January, 2010 
pdf.gif October, 2009
More information about the Improving Outcomes for Children and Families in Allegheny County Initiative