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Beginning in 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has authorized Child Welfare (Title IV-E) Waiver Demonstration Projects to provide States with opportunities to use Federal funds to test innovative approaches to child welfare service delivery and financing. Unlike competitive discretionary grants, waiver demonstration projects do not provide additional funding to carry out new services; rather they allow more flexible use of Federal funds in order to test new approaches to service delivery and financing structures, in an effort to improve outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare system.

In 2012, Pennsylvania's Office of Children, Youth and Families and five self-selected counties (Allegheny, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Philadelphia, and Venango) proposed a demonstration project to DHHS. DHHS subsequently approved the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Demonstration Project as well as projects from eight other states. The number of counties grew to six in July 2014 when Crawford County joined the Project Counties may continue to apply to join the Project through July 2015.

The Project is being carried out in FY 2013-2018. Pennsylvania's Project focuses on implementing or expanding the use of family engagement strategies, conducting comprehensive assessments of child and family needs and strengths, and utilizing evidence-based practices (EBPs) in each of the participating counties to improve placement decisions and child and family functioning.

The University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Resource Center is the evaluator for the Demonstration Project. The evaluation is testing the hypothesis that the flexible use of title IV-E funds to develop a new case practice model focused on family engagement, assessment, and the expanded use of EBPs driven by local needs will lead to improved placement decisions and child and family functioning and will ultimately result in improved safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families involved in the State's child welfare system. The evaluation consists of three components: a process evaluation, an outcome evaluation, and a cost analysis.

Pennsylvania's Waiver Application
CWDP Information Guide
CWDP Evaluation Liaisons

Family Engagement Resources:


       Family Engagement Study Overview
       Baseline Form
       Family Conference Survey
         - Spanish Version
       Facilitator Face Sheet        
       Follow-Up Form
   User's Guide
   Frequently Asked Questions
   Instructional Video

Pennsylvania's Child Welfare Demonstration Project Newsletters:
   2019 Newsletters
   July 2019
   June 2019
   May 2019
   April 2019
   January 2019
   2018 Newsletters
   2017 Newsletters
   2016 Newsletters
      December 2016
      November 2016
      October 2016
      September 2016
      August 2016
      July 2016
      June 2016
      May 2016
      April 2016
      February 2016
      January 2016
   2015 Newsletters
      December 2015
      November 2015
      October 2015
      September 2015
      August 2015
      July 2015
      June 2015
      May 2015
      April 2015
      March 2015
      February 2015
      January 2015
   2014 Newsletters
      December 2014
      November 2014
      October 2014
      September 2014
      July 2014
      June 2014
      May 2014
      April 2014
      March 2014
      February 2014
      January 2014
   2013 Newsletters
      December 2013
      November 2013
      October 2013
      September 10, 2013
      August 23, 2013