How can child welfare agencies use safety science concepts during a crisis?
In 2018, child welfare leaders in jurisdictions formed the National Partnership for Child Safety (NPCS), a quality improvement collaborative focused on improving child safety and preventing child maltreatment fatalities through the use of safety science. Members of the collaborative have a shared goal of strengthening families and promoting innovations in child protection. The following presentations, shared at the May 13, 2020, NPCS Collaborative Virtual Convening (hosted by Casey Family Programs) share how four jurisdictions have implemented the principles of safety science during the time of COVID-19.
Franklin County (Ohio) Children Services’ #SavingGrace campaign was implemented in April 2020 in response to the impact COVID-19 was having on employees, their workload, and their families. Chip Spinning, executive director of Franklin County Children Services, and Kelly Knight, child welfare supervisor, share the main components of the agency’s safety science campaign and how #SavingGrace supports staff through the unchartered territory of COVID-19.
Jodi Hill-Lilly, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Shawn Wright, director of DCF’s Milford Office, introduce the agency’s safety culture framework, Safe & Sound. Safe & Sound invokes the agency’s racial justice work as a key component.
Tom Rawlings, commissioner of the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS), and Mary Havick, DFCS deputy director, discuss how the agency integrated psychological safety principles into its COVID-19 guidance and increased two-way communication with staff. They also describe how the agency collaborates with the state’s oversight Office of the Child Advocate and other critical partners to address systemic issues and prevent child deaths.