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INTEGRATED SERVICES AND PARTNERSHIPS

Integrated Services and Partnerships Description

The Integrated Services and Partnerships Unit supports the implementation of place-based partnerships involving County and non-County partners with the purpose of improving outcomes for children and their families through an integrated system of services and non-service supports. Partnerships are based on a comprehensive, collaborative approach to information sharing, data-driven decision making, identification of systemic barriers to integrated services, and the development of strategies to address them.

The Unit also supports the implementation of County-based collaborative efforts, such as the Family and Children’s Index, the Katie A. Settlement, and the Linkages Service Integration Initiative.

COMMUNITY-BASED PARTNERSHIPS: DEMONSTRATION INITIATIVES

Magnolia Place Network

The Magnolia Place Demonstration Initiative is one of seven demonstration sites in which the County is testing a set of innovative approaches that support families through an integrated system of services, information sharing, and community-based supports.  

The Initiative serves the neighborhoods of West Adams, Pico Union, and the North Figueroa Corridor and consists of a partnership between County departments and an inclusive collaborative of local service providers and non-service partners known as the Magnolia Place Network (Network).  Serving as the hub of the Network is the Children Bureau’s Magnolia Place Family Center, which houses a number of service partners, including the County Departments of Child Support, Children and Family Services and Public Social Services.   

Current Network efforts include: (1) implementing a set of universal intake and referral processes for shared clients; (2) developing an automated client referral, tracking, and customer service satisfaction system; (3) piloting a Continuous Quality Improvement review process; and (4) establishing a dashboard (a graphical synopsis) that tracks progress made toward achieving several measures of community well-being.  In combination, these efforts will ensure that clients receive quality services and supports that are tailored to their needs, generate cost savings through enhanced efficiencies, and result in better outcomes for children and families.

County-City of Pomona Partnership Project

The CEO in partnership with the First Supervisorial District is working to establish an integrated service partnership with the County of Los Angeles, City of Pomona, Pomona Unified School District, Pomona Police Department, and Assemblywoman Grace Napolitano’s Office to maximize resources and achieve better outcomes for children and families living in the Pomona Service Area.

The County is exploring piloting a client-navigator system to orient families to services/supports available through the County and the local partners. The Pomona Partnership is one of seven demonstration sites in which the County is testing a set of innovative approaches that support families through an integrated system of services, information sharing, and community-based supports.

8300 South Vermont

The 8300 Vermont Initiative is one of seven demonstration sites in which the County is testing a set of innovative approaches that supports families through an integrated system of services, information sharing, and community-based supports. The following County departments are co-located at 8300 Vermont: Child Support Services (CSSD), Children and Family Services (DCFS), Mental Health (DMH), and Public Social Services (DPSS).  These departments are working together to identify opportunities to coordinate and integrate services for shared clients and/or their families.

COUNTY-BASED COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

The Family and Children's Index (FCI)

FCI is the name of the County’s interagency database designed to keep children safe from child abuse and neglect. FCI provides Children’s Social Workers investigating allegations of abuse with a comprehensive picture of a family’s situation through the timely exchange of information with other participating agencies.

Allowed by State law, FCI contains basic identifying information about families and children who have had contact with public agencies (such as children services, health services, law enforcement, mental health services, probation, schools, and social services agencies) and who have been identified as being at risk for possible abuse or neglect. Participating agencies use specific criteria to regularly add basic identifying information about “at risk” families into the database.  Based on the results of a search into the database, authorized professionals from participating agencies are “pointed” to other participating agencies to exchange more detailed information about the family and/or the child that they have had contact with.

CEO-SIB, in partnership with the Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect and a team of managers from participating agencies oversee the operation, budget, and evaluation of FCI.  Efforts are underway to expand FCI participation to other County and non-County agencies. FCI is hosted and maintained by the Internal Services Department.

Current FCI participating agencies include:

  1. District Attorney
  2. Department of Children and Family Services
  3. Department of Mental Health
  4. Probation Department
  5. Department of Public Health
  6. Department of Public Social Services
  7. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Katie A. Settlement

In December 2002, a class action lawsuit was filed against the State and County alleging that children in contact with the County’s foster care system were not receiving mental health services to which they were entitled.  In July 2003, the County entered into a settlement agreement ensuring that class members:

  1. Promptly receive necessary individualized mental health services in their own home, a family setting, or the most homelike setting appropriate to their needs;
  2. Receive care and services needed to prevent removal from their families or dependency, or when removal cannot be avoided, to facilitate reunification and to meet their needs for safety, permanence, and stability;
  3. Be afforded stability in their placements, whenever possible; and
  4. Receive care and services consistent with good child welfare and mental health practice, and the requirements of law.

The settlement agreement established a court-appointed advisory panel (Panel) to assist the County in developing plans to meet the obligations of the agreement.  In 2008, the County developed a five-year Strategic Plan that consolidates the efforts from two previous plans – the Enhanced Specialized Foster Care Mental Health Services Plan (County Plan) approved by the Board in 2005 and the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) approved by the Board in 2007.  The Board of Supervisors approved the conceptual framework of the Strategic Plan at the October 14, 2008 Board Meeting and a subsequent detailed implementation plan was submitted to the Board on March 27, 2009. 
The CEO's role in the project is to monitor the County's implementation of the five-year Katie A. Strategic Plan in fulfillment of the settlement agreement. 

For additional information, please go to the Katie A. Website at http://www.lacdcfs.org/katieA/index.html

2-1-1

The 2-1-1 dialing code provides County residents with health and human services, and general and specialized information and referral (I&R) services.  These I&R program services are available twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. 

These services are contracted through the Information and Referral Federation of Los Angeles County, Inc., dba 211 LA County.  211 LA County also provides residents access to hotline services for Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse, Safely Surrendered Baby, and Countywide Emergency Services; warm transfer services for Child Abuse Hotline and ACCESS services; as well as referral services for Code Enforcement in County unincorporated areas.

Linkages Initiative

The Los Angeles County Linkages Initiative is an inter-departmental service coordination partnership between the Departments of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Public Social Services (DPSS) working together to strengthen families, ensure child safety, promote well-being and sustain self-sufficiency.  Linkages targets families who are involved with Child Welfare Services in DCFS and the CalWORKs Program of DPSS.

In April 2005, DPSS and DCFS joined the Statewide effort Child Welfare and CalWORKs Partnership Project, also known as Linkages, that was designed by the California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF).  The Linkages model is aimed at fostering practices to integrate child welfare and public assistance programs in California, and to increase prevention services. 

The Los Angeles County Linkages model focuses on the following five strategies to promote service coordination:

  1. Family Preservation Services for Welfare-to-Work Participants;
  2. Enhanced service coordination for eligible DCFS families simultaneously involved in CalWORKs/Gain and Family Reunification Services (AB 429);
  3. DCFS Screening Tool for potential eligibility to DPSS programs;
  4. Integration of CalWORKs expertise into DCFS Team Decision Meetings; and
  5. Increased access to CalWORKs for relative caregivers through integration of DPSS eligibility staff at the Kinship Support Centers.

Two other Linkages strategies are being finalized that will improve the coordination of services for homeless families as well as CalWORKs sanctioned families currently being served by both departments.

Linkages was launched in Los Angeles County in March 2006 and fully implemented in 17 DCFS Regional Offices and corresponding DPSS District Offices and 7 Gain Regions in November 2009.   Efforts to evaluate Linkages by examining the service delivery, service coordination for mutual DCFS and DPSS cases, and Child Welfare and CalWORKs outcomes are currently underway. The evaluation will be completed in Spring of 2010.

For more information on the Statewide Linkages effort visit: www.cfpic.org

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