Summary Is Chronicle Focuses On The Inspiring Story Of Progress And Change Made By The Department Of Children And Family Services (DCFS) Of Alameda County, California.



Summary is chronicle focuses on the inspiring story of progress and change made by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of Alameda County, California. Casey Family Programs has had a long partnership with Alameda County through Casey’s provision of services for the county’s families in the areas of mental health, employment, permanency, and reunification. We had been a strong supporter of the efforts of Alameda County’s foster care system, and admirers of their accomplishments. —James Edmondson, Managing Director Field Offices, Casey Family Programs Many of Alameda County’s ground-breaking e orts in foster care were initiated by Chet Hewitt, thendirector of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, and these e orts have continued under the current leadership. e work being done by Alameda’s DCFS, Hewitt, and his team came to the attention of Casey Family Programs in 2005. e county had dramatically lowered (by 40 percent) the number of youth coming into the child welfare system from 2000 to 2007. Alameda County’s success in reducing the number of youth in their child welfare system is in alignment with Casey’s goal of cutting the number of children and youth in foster care in half by the year 2020. Alameda County’s sweeping change was a direct outcome of strong leadership, old-fashioned risk-taking, a demand for accountability, and the unflinching courage to create unprecedented alliances within the Alameda County community. Once new partners were on board, Hewitt and his team were able to inspire them to help create a child welfare system that truly responds to the needs of all children and their families first through intervention, then through an allocation of resources. eir goal was to safely return children in the system to a loving family as quickly as possible. Alameda County DCFS’s ingenuity and innovative tactics impacted everyone at every level, from the frontline workers to labor to top-level management and local government o cials. At a time when many state and local governments are facing severe budget cuts and funding for child welfare and social services are at an all-time premium, Casey Family Programs believes there is the opportunity for other systems to learn from the methodology that Alameda County, Hewitt, and his management team used to create change. Casey understands the importance of sharing powerful examples of successful leadership and team building as well as highlighting original approaches to creating community support. e story of Alameda County’s DCFS is an impressive example of the fundamental change that is possible within child welfare. 

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