Case managers - who enter the field of child welfare to engage children and families - are much more effective when they're able to regularly interact with the children and families in their care. Increased effectiveness = better outcomes for kids.
But administrative burdens prevent significant interaction and face time - 43 percent of a case manager's time is spent on administrative tasks.
- A case manager works an average of 52 hours/week.
- 22 hours - nearly three full days - are spent in front of a computer.
- Only 25 percent of time is spent face to face with clients.
What's more: Florida's Department of Children and Families has launched an overhaul of child welfare practice as it prepares to launch the Florida Safety Decision-Making Model, which will dramatically change practices at the abuse hotline, in protective investigations and in ongoing services. It will require case managers to spend more face-to-face time with clients ... but the system isn't resourced to allow case managers to spend additional time with children and families, and this could prevent successful implementation of the new practice model.
Children's Home Society of Florida supports public policy that:
- Requests legislative appropriation to increase the number of child welfare case manafers throughout the state
- Helps caseload management
- Allows case managers to increase face-to-face time with children and families
- Goal for quality practice in child welfare: 12 children per case manager
- Reduces the administrative burden on case managers. Limit the amount of data collected to federally mandated data and key legislative outcomes for child welfare
- Increases the ratio of time case managers spend face to face with clients
- Positively impacts job satisfaction and retention
- Directly correlates with improved outcomes for children and families
- Directly correlates with children's stability and permanent living situations
- Requests the legislature establish a Paperwork Reduction and Outcome Improvement Task Force
- Recommend to the legislature best practices and/or initiatives that will improve outcomes for kids in the child welfare system
- Focus on accountability and outcomes driven by successful practice rather than unnecessary paperwork
- Requires the Department of Children and Families to conduct a fiscal impact analysis when adding data requirements for case managers to track in FSFN
- Requires the Department of Children and Families to provide accessibility to raw data in FSFN for all providers and community-based-care lead agencies
- Drive improvement within Florida's child welfare system
- Identify gaps in service, areas of concern and best practices for replication
- Allow child- and family-serving organizations to manage internal reporting and processes necessary to monitor performance
- Ensures resources (tools, positions, career opportunities, salary) allocated to child protective investigators and case management are balanced to ensure greater stability in the system
- Promotes the sharing of information across state agencies, including the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Children and Families (and allows providers access through FSFN) so case managers do not have to track down hard copies of documents