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School partners with The Duke Endowment to support public-private partnerships in child welfare

Faculty members from the School of Social Work’s Family and Children’s Resource Program have received a $140,000 a grant from The Duke Endowment to support public-private partnerships in child welfare. The grant focuses on the implementation of a toolkit which guides county social services agencies (DSS) through a four-step, continuous quality improvement (CQI) process for achieving outcomes-focused partnerships with private agencies.

The current two-year project will pilot test and evaluate the toolkit in a learning community. In this effort, three public child welfare agencies (Cabarrus County DSS, Rowan County DSS, and Stanly County DSS) will each choose a private agency partner. Together these six agencies will work through the toolkit. The School of Social Work’s Mellicent Blythe, John McMahon and Laura Phipps will provide coaching and facilitation support to participating agencies and evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of this effort. Gary Nelson is the principal investigator.

This project will feature multiple in-person learning and implementation sessions for participating agencies, interspersed with robust coaching and technical assistance to facilitate the integration of the toolkit’s performance-based outcomes, quality indicators, and best practices into the standard approaches used by public agencies.

By John McMahon