The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Thursday it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan.
The PIP was required as a result of a 2007 federal review of state child welfare cases. All 50 states are required to complete the three-fold review, comprised of statewide assessments, on-site analysis of a random number of various cases and a review of child welfare practice data. The review indicated the state was not meeting several key compliance steps, including adoption, training and the availability of services necessary to reunify children and families.
DCS developed a proposal which included 11 data goals and 133 compliance steps necessary to meet and exceed the federal assessment benchmarks. In 2009, DCS began implementing its PIP into practice. On Oct.18, the Chicago Region V office of the Administration of Children and Families informed DCS that it had successfully completed the program.
“This is an important milestone for Indiana’s children and families,” said James W. Payne, DCS Director. “The completion of the PIP highlights the continued evolution of the state’s child welfare system but also demonstrates the commitment of the men and women working each day to ensure the safety of Indiana’s abused and neglected children while at the same time changing our culture from a placement system to a permanency system.”
Indiana is the first of six states within Region V to complete its PIP requirements and its successful implementation is being recognized by other states as a guidepost for child welfare practice reform. Region V states are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.