Since 2007, Casey Family Programs has had the privilege to work in close partnership with the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). To date, our efforts with DCS have supported several key initiatives, including:
- internal management development
- father engagement
- permanency roundtables (internal case consultations to identify innovative strategies to promote child permanency attainment)
- improvements in data analysis capacity
- identification and implementation of evidence based programs
- the use of private investigators to help identify familial resources for children
Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused solely on safely reducing the need for foster care and building hope for vulnerable children and families across America. Founded in 1966, it works to inspire, influence, and inform long-lasting improvements to the safety and well-being of children, families and the communities where they live.
We cannot achieve alone our goal to safely reduce the number of children in foster care. In our work across the country, we understand that when child welfare agencies and judicial systems work together, we can achieve even greater outcomes for children and families.
Since 2006, Casey Family Programs has adopted what we call the “2020 Strategy”. This strategy focuses on safely reducing the need for foster care in America and improving outcomes for children by enhancing the functioning of child welfare systems. This strategy seeks to:
- safely reduce the number of children in foster care by fifty percent by the year 2020
- reinvest savings to strengthen families and improve the child welfare system
- improve the path to self-sufficiency for youth in foster care through a focus on well-being–specifically education, employment, and mental health
Together with DCS, we have expanded our engagement to partner actively with the Indiana judicial system. Our work in Indiana is congruent with our national judicial engagement efforts to partner with judicial systems to support children remaining safely in their homes and to expedite timely exits to permanency, with full attention to child safety and well-being.
The common denominator between child welfare agencies and the judicial system is that both are focused on positive outcomes for children and families. Collaboration between child welfare agencies and other agencies serving children and families is critical to achieving a safe reduction in the number of children in foster care and strengthening the communities where they live. Our judicial engagement efforts involve judicial officers, court administrators, court improvement program leaders, guardians ad litem, case managers, Court Appointed Special Advocates and parent, child, and child welfare agency attorneys.
At the invitation of Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush, the chair of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, Casey Family Programs is ready and able to provide technical assistance and knowledge of best practices, connections with other states’ children’s commissions, access to national experts, data trend analysis, and many other types and levels of support that may be needed to support the work of the Commission.
Casey Family Programs is honored to work alongside DCS, the Commission, and key Indiana stakeholders in support of our mutual goals and commitment to Indiana’s children.