May 3, 2016 Philly.com
By: Julia Terruso
Seven child-welfare workers in Philadelphia were fired in February and March in connection with at least two false reports about home visits, according to state officials.
Rachel Kostelac, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said three were workers from Community Umbrella Agencies contracted by the city to handle cases, and four were with subcontracted foster-care agencies.
The report of the firings followed remarks Friday by a state DHS official, who said child-welfare workers in Philadelphia had falsified reports in response to high caseloads.
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Advocacy in a Dynamic Child Welfare System
The Legal Intelligencer April 24th, 2016
Written by Tracey Thomasey
Since 2012, the Philadelphia child welfare system has been transitioning to a new model of service delivery using Community Umbrella Agencies (CUA) to work with families through an Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC) initiative. IOC has moved responsibility for foster care and in-home family services to 10 CUAs that are based in local communities so that families and providers can build familiarity with each other.
The initiative was launched with the first two CUAs opening in 2012 in North Philadelphia neighborhoods where child welfare caseloads have been the highest and most challenging. As of fall 2014, all 10 CUAs were fully operational, so that all new cases and most of the existing cases are now being serviced by CUA workers.
As with any significant system reform, the shift to community-based agencies has had challenges, including a high turnover rate among CUA workers, difficulty sharing information between entities, as well as monetary and social service resources that are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing child welfare system. We must ask ourselves: In a dynamic child welfare system, how do advocates assist children, families and the system in reaching their individual and collective potentials?
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By Pat Loeb
April 5, 2016 PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s child welfare system is suffering from overloaded case workers, who often lack the tools and training they need to protect children, according to advocates and officials inside and outside the system.
Many of the problems, ironically, arise from an effort to improve the system by transferring case management to community-based non-profits, known as Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs).
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The Philadelphia child welfare reform initiative “Improving Outcomes for Children” continues to show promise, but the work is certainly not done yet. The Support Center for Child Advocates offers analysis and recommendations to Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney and his Transition Team. We look forward to working with members of the new administration, to the success of its programs and for the well-being of all the children and families of our community.
To read Frank Cervone’s full memo to Mayor-elect Jim Kenney please click here: Child Welfare and the Mayoral Transition