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Nearly one in five children currently in care was in out-of-home care previously. A significant number of families are fractured and re-fractured when children come in and out of foster care. Stable and nurturing families can bolster the resilience of children and ameliorate negative impacts on their developmental outcomes, which, in time, can ensure these children will grow to be healthy, contributing members of society. These protective factors cannot be nurtured sufficiently with the instability and re-traumatization that accompanies re-entry into foster care. To improve Colorado practice, the CDHS Division of Child Welfare is partnering with county departments, Casey Family Programs, National Implementation Research Network and Eckerd to launch the “Sustained Permanency Project.”
The purpose of the Sustained Permanency Project Exploratory Committee is to develop a “Terms of Reference,” a documented memorandum of understanding that carefully outlines the vision and purpose of the group, the scope of work and deliverables for which the group will be held accountable, roles and responsibilities for all members, communication protocols, operational processes, and decision-making authority. It is anticipated that a major activity of the exploration team will be to support the development of a theory of change that outlines the goals, assumptions, risks and benefits, core activities, and expected outcomes of a predictive analytics practice model. The theory of change will guide the development of specific practices and evolve over subsequent phases of testing, feedback and revisions. The exploration team is expected to meet twice a month for six months.
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The exploration team should include 10-15 individuals from the Colorado child welfare system who have the time, collective expertise, and ability to inform decisions related to the development of a predictive analytics practice model to reduce reentries into out-of-home care.