• Sept / Oct 2006
  • Vol. 7, No. 7

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Child Welfare Partnership

An ongoing partnership between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania has resulted in a number of positive reforms to the city's child welfare system. A report from the Fels Institute describes the development and work of the partnership between DHS project managers and university graduate students and faculty in four areas:

  • Implementation of a performance-based contracting (PBC) model for foster care services delivered by provider agencies under contract to DHS
  • Development of the DHS Permanency Initiative, involving extensive efforts to promote permanency outcomes for children in foster care
  • Projects and research that grew out of the Permanency Initiative, such as a child-specific permanency timeline
  • Lessons learned for performance management from the partnership

The work of the partnership has had positive results for the children of Philadelphia. Many service providers that contract with DHS are meeting or exceeding PBC expectations. Most importantly, an increase in adoptions and reunifications has led to a reduction in the population of children in the child welfare system.

To read the full report, Philadelphia Department of Human Services & Fels Institute Child Welfare Partnership: Implementing Performance Management and Enabling Partnership in Child Welfare, by A. Hollingworth and J. A. Roth, visit the Fels Institute website:

[Editor's note: this link no longer exists] 





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