Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® was developed to stem the tide of child deaths in Hillsborough County, Florida after an unprecedented nine child deaths in less than three years in open cases. Eckerd Kids, already the Lead Agency in Pasco and Pinellas counties, competed and was selected to be the Lead Agency of Hillsborough in 2012. Eckerd Kids then conducted a 100% review of the 1,500 open in-home and out-of-home child welfare cases in the county as well as extensive research on the nine child death cases. From this review, Eckerd Kids identified common risk factors seen in highest risk situations. Eckerd Kids also identified critical case practice issues that, when completed to standard, could reduce the probability of serious injury or death.
Since then, Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® has been recognized for its success by organizations such as the US Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities and the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee. Eckerd Kids is available to consult with state and county child welfare systems on ways to replicate Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® for their location.
How it Works
Each of the high probability cases is reviewed by Eckerd Kids quality assurance staff utilizing the Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® tool, which focuses on critical case practices. Eckerd Kids uses a 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 Kids 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 Kids quality staff using an automated process that ensures accountability.
“Eckerd Kids has led the way in using data to better protect children, and I am encouraged that more states are doing the same.”
Chairman Vern Buchanan, House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee
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® is being recognized nationally for its promising results:
- In 2016, Eckerd Kids testified in front of the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.
- Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® has been nationally recognized by the US Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). Download their Report.
- Eckerd Kids has been invited to present information about Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® by national child welfare entities such as Casey Family Programs, Child Welfare League of America, The American Enterprise Institute and the National Association of Social Workers.
- Since 2014, the program has been noted in multiple publications such as The Chronicle of Social Change.
- Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® has been identified as a best practice by the Los Angeles County’s Blue Ribbon Panel Commission on Child Protection.
- Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® has been recognized as a leader by US Representative Vern Buchanan.
Currently the states of Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Oklahoma are working with Eckerd Kids to develop a system-tailored approach to their child welfare and protection needs. Eckerd Kids can provide the Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback® System to your jurisdiction 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 Kids 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 Kids to ensure the system is being used properly
- One year of system operation