The 2009 NCANDS State Advisory Group Meeting was Successfully Held June 21-22 in the Washington D.C., Area

Representatives from 16 states were in attendance at the meeting. Presentation topics included an Interim Report to the Congress on the Feasibility of a National Child Abuse Registry; Capturing Response Time and Other Agency File Issues; and three state panels comprised of Quality and Comprehensiveness, Differential Response Approaches to CPS, and Revisiting Services from a Response Disposition Perspective.

WRMA Completes Phase 2 and Begins Phase 3 of the Ohio Child Care Assessment Project

In June 2009, WRMA completed the second phase of assistance to the Ohio Bureau of Child Care and Development for the development of a new, integrated child care system. The project is being performed by WRMA, under subcontract to Optimum Technology, Inc. In Phase 1, the consulting team met with state, county, and provider agency staff to identify the required business functions for the new child care system. This work resulted in a full set of system requirements. Phase 1 also produced an assessment of implementation options and a preliminary project plan for the new system. Phase 2 was just completed and focused on reviewing the proposed system design and additional project planning for the eligibility and payment modules. These modules will be implemented as the first components of the new system. The upcoming Phase 3 project will assist the Bureau of Child Care and Development in evaluating the business process changes that users will face with the implementation of the first components of the new system. Phase 3 is expected to run from July to December 2009. The efforts of the consulting team have allowed Ohio to move forward with a cost-effective, “fast-track” development effort and with the least possible disruption to the Bureau’s many concurrent responsibilities.

WRMA partners with the Casey Family Programs and the California Alliance of Child and Family Services to Evaluate the Impact of Residentially-Based Services in California.

California Assembly Bill (AB) 1453 required the Department of Social Services to convene a workgroup of designated public and private stakeholders to develop a plan for transforming the current system of group care for foster children or youth, and for children with serious emotional disorders, into a system of residentially-based services. The development of a new statewide system of residentially-based services was initiated in 2008, and in 2009 Casey Family Programs and the California Alliance of Child and Family Services partnered with WRMA to evaluate the impact of these services in seven California counties. Outcomes of interest include achievement of permanency and child safety and well-being. Moreover, fiscal data will be collected to assess the impact of the program costs to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC). Data collection is schedule to occur through 2010 and will culminate with reports to the California State Legislature.

Article on Housing First Programs Published

An article by Carol Pearson of WRMA, Ann Elizabeth Montgomery, formerly of WRMA, and Gretchen Locke of Abt Associates, “Housing Stability Among Homeless Individuals with Serious Mental Illness Participating in Housing First Programs”, was published in the Journal of Community Psychology (Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 404-416). The article presents findings from an exploratory study of three programs that used the Housing First approach to provide permanent supportive housing for single, homeless adults with serious mental illness and often co-occurring substance-related disorders. Housing First provides access to housing, which is intended to be permanent without requiring sobriety or psychiatric treatment. Findings from the three programs indicated that the Housing First approach may help the hardest-to-serve chronically homeless population achieve housing stability. Of the 80 participants tracked over 12 months, 84% remained enrolled in the Housing First program for one year following program entry. One half of those spent every night in their Housing First unit, while the others spent some time in other living environments. For more information click here.

WRMA selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Program Support Center/Division of Acquisition Management to Receive an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Task Order Contract

WRMA has been awarded a new five-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract under which the firm is eligible to perform policy and program assessments, administrative studies, data collection and analysis, performance measurement, technical assistance, and other auxiliary services the Department of Health and Human Services and all government agencies seeking to utilize this vehicle. The Program Support Center has been awarding ID/IQ contracts since the mid 1980s. ID/IQ contracts were previously awarded to WRMA in 2002 and 2005. WRMA successfully completed 15 task orders under these vehicles.