As part of its five-year goals, DCYF has a mission to focus on relatives as caregivers with three innovative approaches. These cultural shifts are due in large part to New Hampshire's 2003 Child and Family Service Review (CFSR) and subsequent Program Improvement Plan (PIP). Recently, DCYF has added Permanency Planning Teams (PPT) to each of the Department's 12 district offices in order to break down barriers between the different staff functions and ensure that the child's permanency goals are achieved. Team members include staff from Child Protection, Foster Care, and Independent Living, Adolescent and Adoption workers. A new permanency worker position has been added and he/she facilitates the meetings and carries a reduced caseload in order to be available for consultation. In April 2008, the state hired a Relative Care Specialist to assist relative care providers. During the past year, this worker has developed a database of relative providers as well as a handbook/resource guide with a list of community services available to relative providers. Finally, DCYF contracted with Easter Seals for a connection specialist embedded in each of the Department's 12 district offices in January 2007. These specialists have case mining expertise and research a child's case file to identify relatives willing to care for foster children. Read more.
The Fostering Connections Resource Center gratefully acknowledges the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators for providing these summaries of state approaches. Please visit NAPCWA for the complete implementation summary.