DHS COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT BOARD
SUPPORTING PHILADELPHIA'S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
As an advisory body to the Mayor and the Department of Human Services, the COB fulfills three interconnected roles – independent assessors, expert advisors, and community advocates – for the purpose of improving safety, permanency, and well being for Philadelphia’s vulnerable children and youth.
The COB’s mandate includes promoting continuity of actions through a period of political and administrative transition. The Call to Action cited persistent themes regarding problematic DHS practice and performance that remained unresolved and had been documented in numerous reports and studies over a 20-year period. Continuity is crucial to assure that reforms called for in the Call to Action and other reports take place.
The charge of the COB is to monitor DHS's implementation of the recommendations of the Panel. The recommendations were designed to improve the ability of the organization to respond to child maltreatment and to increase the safety of children by:
Clarifying the mission and values of the organization with safety as the core function and aligning resources with the new mission.
Improving the consistency and quality of practice by adopting new safety assessment protocols, increasing face-to-face contact with children, conducting family team conferences and clarifying roles and responsibilities of public and contract staff.
Increasing accountability of DHS for its performance and enhancing the oversight of providers.
Strengthening leadership by improving morale of staff, increasing transparency and communicating with the multiple stakeholders in the child protection system.Type your paragraph here.