2008 Collaboration Round Table
The Child Welfare Collaboration Round Table September 3rd and 4th 2008: Sharing Innovation
3rd Floor at the OACAS, Learning Studio,
The Collaborative Round Table 2008 was an attempt to strengthen Transformation Initiatives in Ontario's Children's Aid Societies and Aboriginal Child Welfare Agencies by exploring the substantive program issues that provide for the development of strong collaborative and strength based child welfare agencies.
The idea to meet for two days and share experiences initiated by members of the OACAS Project, Child Welfare in Ontario: Developing a Collaborative Intervention Model (2006) - many of whom were able to participate. There was an understanding that many agencies have adjusted to Transformation by adapting their own set of unique best practice approaches. Sharing these ideas via presentations would provide a general understanding of the actual policies, procedures, position papers and actions that many have taken. Invited guests could provide theoretical overviews and give parallel processes from other provincial jurisdictions. It was also believed that in the continued sharing of new ideas and programs we will be less vulnerable to the retractive cycle in Child Protection that Rocci Pagnello (Leeds Grenville) and Gary Dumbrill (McMaster University) had previously talked about in the OACAS Enhancing Collaboration Provincial Project Parts 1 and 2.
There were a total of 39 attendees and they consisted of Front line Workers, Supervisors, Directors of Services, Executive Directors, OACAS senior staff, Inter-Provincial Guests and University Professors. The OACAS was an active participant in this event and have kindly agreed to help with subsequent roundtables in subsequent years.
A list of the presentations with their supporting documentation and PowerPoint presentations is provided below in sequential order. This included two excellent presentations - one from New Brunswick and one from Nova Scotia that really helped us look at the development of our parallel efforts in similiar programs. In addition, some agencies have contributed successful collaborative endeavors for us to share even though they were not able to attend and present them. This information on a variety of topics is listed in policy and procedural format at the end of Day 2 below. The Round Table contributors and participants have kindly agreed to share any and all information with the Child Protection field in general as other children at risk, their families and communities will benefit. The reader is free to implement, cut and paste, modify or adapt the experiences and documentation already created.
Copies of this CD and the original OACAS Child Welfare In Ontario: Developing A Collaborative Intervention Model CD are also available by contacting the Brant CAS I.T. Coordinator, Robert Price at 519-753-8681 ext. 364, who was the creator of this Collaboration Roundtable CD.
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Day 1September 3, 2008
9:15 a.m. - 4: 00 (or so) p.m.
The thirty nine Roundtable Participants and Presenters to the Collaboration Roundtable (2008) introduced themselves and shared their initial thoughts on both the need to collaborate and on Transformation. Andy Koster, the Executive Director of Brant, along with David Rivard, the Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto provided the purpose and overview of this first Collaborative Round Table.
A Context: Perspectives on Transformation and Collaboration
Gary Dumbrill was a major contributor to both Phases of the OACAS Collaboration Project and a major academic editor. Although he had been previously grounded as a front line worker and supervisor in child welfare, he provided an overview of child welfare in Ontario from his present academic perspective as a professor of social work. He has also contributed the presentation that he made previously to the field at the Differential Response Symposium.
McMaster University School of Social Work
1. Update on CAS Leadership Challenges within Transformation & Collaboration
David Rivard was the 'Champion' who was assigned by the Local Directors Section for the OACAS Collaboration Project. He provided his insight into how a collaborative culture could be gradually attained within a Children's Aid Society. Although there was no Powerpoint for his presentation, he spoke of his own unique experiences at attempting to move towards a 'Servant leadership' approach. He believes that supervisors among others remain central to any move towards a collaborative environment and attaining the best practices of Transformation. To this end, he has contributed a Powerpoint presentation that he developed for the Supervisor's Symposium that was held in 2007 in the hope that it can be used by agencies to inspire their mid-managers to a collaborative vision and approach. In addition he also provided an outline in PowerPoint, a poster presentation that he had prepared along with Phyllis Lovell, Allan Moyle (OACAS) and Andy Koster at the 2008 OACAS Conference. Finally there is another Powerpoint entitled "Changing the Picture", which agencies may also wish to use or adapt when lookinag at succession planning.
2. The Development of a Clinical Approach to Supervision Training for Management Staff
Hamilton Children’s Aid Society and McMaster University School of Social Work
3. A Family Violence Project
This presentation shows how there can be comprehensive, collaborative programming between a CAS and various community organizations that deal with domestic violence. As the program develops the actual working relationships between the partnering organizations becomes more vibrant.
4. New Brunswick's Transformation of their Child Welfare System
New Brunswick is changing its child welfare system at the request of its Minister. The changes are wide ranging and include Signs of Safety and a mandatory use of Family Group Decision Making prior to the use of CFSA protection applications. This powerpoint provides some information on their initiatves and priorities.
5. Nova Scotia's Computerized Case Management System – management tool and outcome measurement
Nova Scotia has developed an automated child welfare recording and management information system that integrates investigation, case management, resource matching, outcomes, and family support involvement. It has just been successfully integrated across the province in both CAS and government run departmental child welfare offices.
6. Examining Agency Child and Performance Outcomes in an Accountability Framework
This is the beginning journey of a CAS to develop a public scorecard containing a number of indicators based on the Child Welfare Matrix outcomes of Safety, wellbeing, and permanence while also looking at three additional Performance Measures including Timeliness of Recording, Relationship with the Community and Collaboration. The initial work was based on a Framework that was released in a draft to the field by the Child Welfare Secretariat in 2007. Rhonda Hallberg was retained to move this project forward due to her previous experience in the Provinical Q-Net Committee and her extensive years as a front line worker, supervisor and Director of Services.
*Discussion and Networking*
September 4, 2008
Agency Updates Continued:
7. A Front Line Perspective on the Effects and Challenges of Transformation & Collaboration
Michael Mulroney was a member of the OACAS Collaboration Project. He works on a high risk young parent unit and also teaches child welfare at Carleton University. . Not only did he provide the first hand experiences of a Front Line Worker but he held a focus group for front line staff that was attended by approximately 40 workers in over twenty CAS agencies. In this forum, workers were asked about their hopes and fears and changes to a collaborative approach and to child protection (child welfare) in general. Their responses were used in Phase 2 of the Collaboration Project which provided some guidance to how a Collaborative environment could be attained. Michael talked at the Round Table regarding where he and other front line workers perceived collaboration and transformation to be. He stressed that many workers felt encouraged by the changes and had the feelings of truly helping children and their families. He indicated that they now thought that most people could respond to a strength based response. He and others worry about caseload sizes and the significant amount of paperwork which is still somewhat overwhelming even though it is better. He felt that the electronic recording system needed to improve and to be less repetitive. He also indicated that some of the clinical tools provided to assess clients were not actually being used to a significant degree.
8. Internal Collaborations: Looking to Integrate Transformation and to Ensure Alignment
This is an interesting perspective on how an organization can examine itself to see how it is aligned to meet its stated goals.
9. (a) Making Outcomes the Starting Point for Intervention and Management
This presentation outlines the results of a collaborative attempt by agency staff to define their own child outcomes as an organization and then to measure them on an individual case basis over time. This is helping them to determine how the agency itself is actually performing in regard to those stated child outcome measures. There are many interesting aspects to this approach including the fact that it looks at the children themselves in a manner to which agency staff can invest.
(b) Deciding to not use Outside Paid Resources and the Consequences
Although there was not enough time for Raymond Lemay to provide an account of this decision, he has submitted his Powerpoint presentation with the invitation for anyone to call him at Prescott-Russell for more information.
10. An Outline of the Efforts to Create an Agency Environment Conducive to Clinical Supervision including the Development of a Clinical Supervision Manual for all Agency Staff
This is an attempt by a CAS to integrate clinical supervision for all staff using the OACAS M6A, the McMaster University Clinical Supervisor’s course (see above) in a transfer of learning approach. It was also developed in concert with Diversity and AOP provisions and new H.R. procedures.
11. A First Nation's Perspective on Adapting Differential Response and the Child Protection Standards to an Aboriginal Agency and its Communities
Weechi-it-te-win Child and Family Services is a very successful child welfare agency that provides services to First Nations in areas of Treaty Three. Its unique service delivery model is well-established. This presentation shows the adaptation of government policy to an Aboriginal framework and language rather than the other way around. In this creative manner, the agency has attained a greater sense of meaningful congruency with the requirements of Transformation while attaining and then retaining, the major goal of cultural competence.
12. Reinforcing the use of Family Conferencing and Family Group Decision-Making
This presentation shows the results of an agency’s commitment to the use of Family Group Decision-making throughout the organization. Guelph has also provided some of its supporting documentation.
13. An Update on the Research Project funded by Ministry of Children to look at whether child risk is actually reduced when there is a collaborative working relationship between child welfare workers and their clients. This is a nine CAS agency analysis of a research project funded the the Ministry of Children.
This is a nine CAS agency analysis of a research project funded the Ministry of Children. It involves both intake and family services files reviewed at several points in time.
Additional Submitted Material That May be of Interest to Child Welfare Agencies engaged in Similar Projects
Documents Submitted By the Hamilton CAS
Documents Submitted By the Hamilton Catholic CAS
*Discussion and Wrap-up*
Collaboration Think Tank, September 3 and 4, 2008