Sustainability

Successful sustainability begins with a common vision of the work and the desired outcomes that agencies, communities, and states are collectively trying to accomplish and embed in the policy and practice landscape. As those in child welfare continue to work to improve well-being, safety and permanency outcomes for children and families, there are new interventions, approaches, and strategies that have been identified. Child welfare agencies and administrators, judges, private providers, communities and states are regularly working to integrate and sustain these innovative approaches—including research-based infant-toddler court teams—as part of regular practice that has the capacity to improve outcomes for as many children and families as possible.  When engaging in sustainability planning, it is essential to consider sustainability as soon as the work is underway and throughout all stages of the work, including: engaging collaborators, gathering and sharing evidence of effectiveness, and identifying existing resources, financing streams, and current policies that will support the work. 

As the research-based infant-toddler court teams that are engaged with the QIC-CT developed plans to sustain within their community and state, their work is being guided by their goals and common vision. The common vision frames planning and implementation and includes sustaining culture, behavior, policy and practice changes in order to better meet the needs of infants, toddlers and families. The following resources address the sustainability work that systematically address the partners/collaborations that will support the work going forward; current public and private resources that exist or can be redeployed to this work; strategies for ongoing public and private financing; policy changes that undergird and support the work and data and other evidence that make the case of effectiveness and improved outcomes. 

NEW! Preparing A Funding Ask: Four Easy Steps
This resource provides support for sites seeking funding to sustain an aspect of a team based on the Safe Babies Court Team approach. Specifically, this document outlines a simple process to follow and provides a series of questions to answer to prepare for making a funding ask.

Child Welfare: Building, Developing, and Leveraging Collaborations
The second in a series of sustainability briefs from the QIC-CT, this brief focuses on the importance of collaboration in sustaining practice change. Each of the QIC-CT sites has developed and is continuing to create new collaborations to implement and sustain the SBCT approach in their local communities, which are highlighted in case studies throughout this brief.

Sustaining New Approaches in Child Welfare: A Framework for Sustainability for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams
The first in a series of sustainability briefs from the QIC-CT, this brief lays out a framework for sustainability and the key elements necessary to understand and leverage in order to sustain—and institutionalize—a new approach, practice, and/or delivery model. While each site faces unique opportunities and challenges that impact their strategies for sustaining the work, the guiding questions in this brief are intended to help frame local thinking and sustainability planning.

Sustainability of the QIC-CT Infant-Toddler Court Teams

A Worksheet: Planning for Sustainability
This worksheet, developed by the QIC-CT and adapted from the Children's Bureau, serves as a tool for sustainability planning for infant-toddler court teams.     

Maximizing Medicaid Financing for Children in Child Welfare
Presented to the QIC-CT infant-toddler court teams stakeholders at a team meeting in 2015, this presentation, developed by First Focus, presents strategies for maximizing Medicaid financing for families and young children in the child welfare system.

Relevant Resources 

A Framework To Design, Test, Spread, and Sustain Effective Practice in Child Welfare
Developed by the Children’s Bureau, this is a practical guide for strengthening child welfare systems. It describes a process for exploring problems in child welfare, developing interventions, building evidence about their effectiveness, integrating effective interventions into routine child welfare practice, and continually improving on their delivery. The framework is designed to promote better integration of evaluation with program and policy decision-making and to encourage stronger partnerships between child welfare stakeholders.

Federal, State, and Local Spending to Address Child Abuse and Neglect in SFY 2012. This report, prepared by Child Trends, presents findings from the most recent iteration of the biennial survey of state child welfare agencies (the 8th), which examined federal, state, and local child welfare expenditures in state fiscal year (SFY) 2012. The findings are also available online at www.childwelfarepolicy.org where stakeholders can access tables or view the survey’s national and state‐level results in multiple displays.

Building Sustainability in Demonstration Projects for Children, Youth, and Families
This toolkit, prepared by the Institute for Educational Leadership with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is designed to provide ideas and linkages to other resources that will enable demonstration sites to build on their success and sustain effective efforts beyond the life of the grant. It offers case study examples and a variety of tools communities may want to use as they consider plans for sustaining, replicating or “scaling-up” reform efforts.

Building and Sustaining Child Welfare Partnerships
The National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care, established by the Children’s Bureau, developed a series of action briefs on key leadership topics for administrators and program managers responsible for systems change initiatives. These action briefs highlight key findings from the leadership study, share lessons learned by Systems of Care grantees, and outline key steps for initiative leaders to advance systems and organizational change.