In 2012, Eckerd Kids, already the Lead Agency in Pasco and Pinellas Counties, competed and was selected to be the Lead Agency in Hillsborough County after an unprecedented nine child deaths in less than three years in open cases. It was clear that a new approach was needed that would stem the tide of child deaths in open cases.
Eckerd Rapid Safety® was developed to solve this problem. Eckerd conducted a 100% review of the 1,500 open in-home and out-of-home child welfare cases in the county. Additionally, extensive research was conducted on the nine child death cases. From this review, critical case practice issues were identified that, when completed to standard, could reduce the probability of serious injury or death. Eckerd also identified common risk factors seen in highest risk situations.
How it Works
Each of the high probability cases is reviewed by Eckerd quality assurance staff utilizing the Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® tool, which focuses on the nine critical case practices. Eckerd uses technology company Mindshare to provide system overlay software that produces real time data and agency performance dashboards.
High risk cases are reviewed quarterly until case closure, removal of the children from the home, or when the youngest child turns three. If any safety concerns are identified during the review, Eckerd quality assurance staff meets with the case manager and supervisor within one business day to develop a plan to ensure any safety concerns are quickly mitigated and to provide immediate coaching and support for case management staff. Agreed upon tasks are then tracked to completion by Eckerd quality staff using an automated process that ensures accountability.
The results thus far are remarkable, demonstrated by comparison between baseline data and ongoing case reviews in Hillsborough County (data as of 12/31/15):
- No abuse related deaths in the population receiving in home services from Eckerd Kids since implementation of Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback®.
- 36% improvement in the sharing of critical case information among the various providers (mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence and others) that are assisting the family in the completion of their case plan. This information is used to document the extent of positive behavior change in the family, necessary to ensure child safety.
- 35% improvement in the effectiveness of supervisory reviews and follow-up by case managers on critical tasks that need to be completed, such as safety plans, home studies, and collateral contacts with case stakeholders.
- 25% improvement in the effectiveness of safety plans. For example, plans are more actionable, verifiable and less reliant on parental promises of changed behaviors.
- 22% improvement in the quality of the contacts that case managers have with the families and their children. For example, discussions are focused on real case issues and behavior changes the family is making.
- Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® has been recognized nationally for its promising results and was identified as a best practice by the Los Angeles County’s Blue Ribbon Panel Commission on Child Protection.
Currently the states of Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Oklahoma are working with Eckerd to develop a system-tailored approach to their child welfare and protection needs. Eckerd can provide the Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® System to your state or county child welfare systems at minimal cost. This would include:
- The research necessary to identify the cases to be reviewed
- Identifying critical case practices that need to be performed to standard in the case to ensure child safety
- A technology solution provided by Mindshare under contract with Eckerd to automatically select the cases and provide a data repository for the reviews and follow-up activities generated by the reviews
- Training for staff who will be executing the system
- Quarterly model fidelity reviews conducted by Eckerd to ensure the system is being used properly
- One year of system operation
For more information please contact Bryan Lindert, Senior Quality Director at (727) 461-2990 or email@example.com.