CHILD WELFARE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
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WHAT IS THE PENNSYLVANIA CHILD WELFARE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT?
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:
Tools:Family Engagement Study Overview
Family Conference Survey
- Spanish Version
Facilitator Face Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions
Pennsylvania's Child Welfare Demonstration Project Newsletters:May 2018