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Pennsylvania Permanency Barriers Project


Pennsylvania Permanency Barriers Project. Anne Marie Lancour. Heidi ... 2004 Pennsylvania contracts with ABA for largest Permanency Barriers Project to date. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pennsylvania Permanency Barriers Project

Pennsylvania Permanency Barriers Project
Anne Marie Lancour Heidi Redlich Epstein Mimi
Laver Brenda Shum Andrea Khoury Debra
Jenkins David Kelly Kathleen McNaught Honorable
Stephen Rideout (ret.) Kristin Kelly
American Bar Association Center on Children and
the Law
History of the Project
  • 1989 Termination Barriers Project began with
    funding from the New York State Department of
    Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health
    and Human Services.
  • 1991 NYS Office of Children and Family Services
    continued to fund the Termination Barriers
    Project for the next 13 years.
  • 2004 The project was successfully completed in
    20 small, medium, and large counties throughout
  • 2004 Pennsylvania contracts with ABA for
    largest Permanency Barriers Project to date.
  • 2004 KY and WY contracts with the ABA for the
    Permanency Barriers Project
  • 2005 ABA wins Adoption Excellence Award for
    work on the NY Permanency Barriers Project

Goal Reduce childrens stay in foster care
  • Approach
  • Locally developed action plans
  • Small steps that add up
  • Permanency planning focus
  • Key Components
  • Permanency Planning Specialist
  • Advisory Board
  • ABA Project Director

Project Tasks
  • The project undertakes five major tasks
  • Identifying and analyzing delays
  • Interactively developing recommendations and
    implementing reforms
  • Establishing written protocols, procedures, and
    providing multidisciplinary training
  • Monitoring reforms and changes and
  • Sharing project results throughout the state.

Reform Efforts
  • Early identification of childrens needs
  • Refining court procedures in permanency planning
  • Legal analysis and technical assistance
  • Training the child welfare agency and legal staff
  • Sharing information with other counties and states

Problems Causing Delays
  • Missing or unidentified parents
  • Relatives entering case late
  • Increase in adolescent population
  • Lack of training on permanency planning issues
  • Lack of written procedures
  • Late starts in offering services
  • Inadequate concurrent planning
  • Difficulty in obtaining evaluations and/or expert
  • Delays in court procedures

Current PA Project Counties
  • Blair
  • Lackawanna
  • Lycoming
  • McKean
  • Montgomery
  • Northampton
  • Philadelphia
  • Venango
  • York
  • Warren

Past PA Project Counties
  • Luzerne County
  • Cumberland County
  • Northumberland County
  • Berks County
  • Mifflin County
  • Lancaster County
  • Huntingdon County

New York Results
New York Results Average Time Saved in 20
Counties 15 months Total Money Saved 15,272,000
Pennsylvania Results
Project AchievementsBlair County
  • The Barriers to Permanency Project has permitted
    Blair County to develop a Family Treatment Drug
  • The Project Director in Blair County has
    facilitated the countys participation in the
    upcoming National Drug Court Institute Training
    to develop a family treatment court model.
  • A family treatment drug court will provide
    coordinate services, track progress, and
    encourage accountability for substance abusing

Project AchievementsNorthampton County
  • Northampton County successfully utilized the
    Barriers to Permanency Project to improve
    collaboration and communication between the
    Agency and the Court.
  • The Agency and the Juvenile Court developed an
    Interim Court Directive/Permanency Plan which is
    prepared at the conclusion of every permanency
    hearing and distributed to families before they
    leave court.
  • The Interim Directive outlines expectations of
    both the family and the agency and eliminates
    delays in service referrals.

Project AchievementsLackawanna County
  • Lackawanna County successfully utilized the
    Project to introduce a new court procedure to
    increase accountability and expedite permanency.
  • The Agency and the Juvenile Court created an
    informal Dependency Compliance Conference which
    documents and tracks compliance by both the
    agency and family.
  • DCC hearings track both success and failure and
    permits an immediate response when a family
    starts to struggle.
  • More frequent and meaningful reviews of family
    progress promotes concurrent planning.

Project AchievementsYork County
  • York County has used the Project to implement a
    90-day multidisciplinary case conference process.
  • The 90-day case conference seeks to promote
    permanency, engage families, frontload services,
    and encourage cross-system collaboration.
  • The case conference is used in every new case 90
    days after removal from the home to evaluate
    progress, review service referrals, and prepare
    for the first permanency hearing.

Questions/Contact Information
  • Anne Marie Lancour
  • ABA Center on Children and the Law
  • 740 15th Street, NW
  • Washington, DC 20005
  • (202)662-1756 (phone)
  • (202)662-1755 (fax)