Colorado’s Administrative Review Division (ARD) serves as an independent third-party review system under the auspices of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). The ARD is the mechanism responsible for the federally required Case Review System and a portion of the Quality Assurance System for the Division of Child Welfare (DCW) and the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC). Our mission is to create a safe and promising future for our children by strengthening the communities, people and systems that work to make that change possible. The ARD works closely with Colorado’s counties to train, measure and assess adherence to State and Federal regulations. Such regulations are in place to help prevent unnecessary moves for children in foster care and to assess and encourage that the needs of families and children are being appropriately addressed. The ARD believes our mission will be realized by facilitating reviews, as a neutral third party, that provide a comprehensive discussion of the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in out-of-home placement, those who are receiving in-home services, and those who are the subject of referrals.
The most prominent of the ARD’s requirements are the administrative case reviews, which are required every six months for each child in out-of-home foster care. However, the ARD conducts a large variety of reviews each year. During SFY 2010, the ARD completed a total of 12,484 reviews. Included in that number were 9,039 Child Welfare Administrative Reviews, 453 DYC Administrative Reviews, 1,582 Quality Assurance Reviews (In-Home Services and Assessment Reviews) and 1,410 Screen-Out Reviews (reviews of screened-out referrals). The ARD is staffed with 24.2 FTE, all of whom are employees of the State of Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Performance and Strategic Outcomes.
The ARD’s review systems and staff allow and ensure impact at every level and every decision point—the referral, the assessment, in-home services and out-of-home services—within the child welfare and DYC systems. These reviews directly and positively affect outcomes for children and families, facilitate cooperative and reciprocal relationships with caseworkers and client managers, and encourage evolution at the systemic level.
Our reviews embrace each review participant’s role and perspective regarding the child’s permanency goal, progress toward that goal, and the time frames within which those goals must be accomplished. Our role is to identify and document what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do to help facilitate the most positive outcome possible for each child. The children served within our child welfare and youth corrections systems are our ultimate clients, and our duty to positively affect their experiences within our systems is taken seriously. The ARD directly impacts each child reviewed by:
- Supporting, enhancing and informing casework processes and practice as well as child welfare policies,
- Assessing the efforts of all parties to facilitate permanency in order to prevent foster care drift,
- Informing systems-level improvement through the analysis of aggregate-level data, methodologically sound research, and program evaluation services, and
- Reinforcing promising practices through individualized training, technical assistance; and identifying exemplary caseworker/client manager efforts to facilitate positive outcomes within each case.
The ARD is nationally recognized for its quality assurance and improvement processes. The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement requested that the ARD conduct a webinar to highlight its continuous quality improvement model and its application within the field of child welfare. In addition, past assessments of Colorado’s Child Welfare System have identified the ARD as the most trusted source of information, the most accurate source of information, and the timeliest provider of communication. Stakeholders also identified that they were most likely to choose the ARD as their consultant regarding policy and best practice.
Please click the link below for more information about the Administrative Review Division in Colorado.
The NFCRC is excited to add Michigan to the list of states participating in the Placement Stability Project. Welcome!
The NFCRC is pleased to announce that Oklahoma will be participating in the latest data collection project on placement stability for children in foster care. Oklahoma, an NFCRC member state, joins other member states Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, and Maryland on this project. Welcome!
The NFCRC is excited to begin its second data collection project! This project, which will run from July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, will focus on placement stability for children in foster care. The instrument developed to collect this data has been designed to track the number of moves experienced by children in foster care and the reasons those moves occurred. Further, the instrument allows reviewers to distinguish between child-related, provider-related and systemic issues as reasons for placement change, while also gathering information regarding moves that occurred for positive reasons. Additionally, the instrument will collect data regarding service provision for foster care providers and the children in their care, and will identify whether each child’s current placement appears to be a good match.
Participating states for this project include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, and Maryland. However, it’s not too late for your state to join! If your state is interested in participating in this project, please email Marc Mackert at Marc.Mackert@state.co.us. We’d like to have as many states participate as possible!
Click here to view a PDF version of the Placement Stability Instrument.
Delaware operates a citizen review program. Originally established in 1978 as the Foster Care Review Board, the name was changed to Child Placement Review Board in 2001 when the Board began to conduct reviews of adjudicated youth as well as children in the state’s foster care system. The review program is statewide, includes an Executive Committee, 14 review committees and over 80 volunteers. The work of the Board is supported by a professional staff of eight people.
Volunteers are appointed by the Governor and must have a background of working for the interests of children and their welfare through community service or professional experience. Volunteers are appointed for 3-year terms (with no term limits) and serve on individual review committees which meet through the state. Although it is housed in the state’s Administrative Offices of the Court (AOC), it operates independent of the court system and the Department of Children, Youth and their Families.
Please click the link below to read Delaware’s annual report for Fiscal Year 2009-2010:
Click here to visit Delaware’s web page.
The National Foster Care Review Coalition (NFCRC) is proud to release the final report from our inaugural data project: Meeting the Educational Needs of Children in Foster Care: A National Perspective. The report contains information gathered from 20,469 reviews conducted in seven different member states:
- Arizona: Foster Care Review Board
- Colorado: Administrative Review Division
- Delaware: Child Placement Review Board
- Kentucky: Citizen Foster Care Review Board
- New Mexico: Child Abuse and Neglect Citizen Review Board
- Oklahoma: Foster Care Review Board
- Oregon: Foster Care Review Board
The report contains findings covering several different areas: Early Education, Enrollment, Educational Progress, Educational Stability, and Special Education services. It also makes five recommendations for improving educational outcomes for children served through foster care.
Welcome to the National Foster Care Review Coalition’s new home on the web! We will still provide our regular resources through the Pages on this site. In addition, we are excited to be able to provide more dynamic content through regular updates. We’ll try to keep you informed on our data projects, individual member accomplishments, and objective analysis on child welfare related news and topics. We hope you enjoy our new home, and check back often. Or better yet, feel feel to subscribe via RSS feed by using the links on the right!