DHS COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT BOARD
SUPPORTING PHILADELPHIA'S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES‚Äč

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CHILD WELFARE REVIEW PANEL'S CALL TO ACTION REPORT (5/17/07)


The Community Oversight Board is monitoring the implementation of the following recommendations:

I. Mission and Values

DHS must develop a mission statement and core values that are centered on child safety.

DHS core values must embody the following principles:

Creating a culture of respect, compasions and professionalism.
Enhancing communication with and responsiveness to, stakeholders.
Instilling a greater sense of urgency among DHS staff and providers.
providing services that are readily accessible.
Fostering a culture of collaboration.
Providing culturally-competent services.
Creating a transparent agency

DHS must align prevention programs and resources with the mission and values developed in Phase One, and also with the core principle of ensuring child safety.

DHS must align more effectively in-home service programs and their utilization with the mission and values of DHS and with child safety.
II. Practice

DHS must implement and use an appropriate Safety Assessment tool.

Implement an adequate evidence-based safety assessment tool.
Conduct a safety assessment for every child within its care.

DHS must revise its policies around face-to-face contacts with children.

Immediate (within 2 hours) face-to-face visits with children 5 and under for whom a report of suspected abuse or neglect is recieved by the Hotline.
Monthly face-to-face contacts with children 5 and younger.
III. Leadership

DHS must establish a mechanism and process to establish ongoing community oversight.

DHS must ensure ongoing community participation and input into the improvements undertaken at DHS.

Continue to expand its emphasis on making DHS a more transparent agency.

DHS must take positive steps to enhance the healthiness of its infrastructure and staff morale.

DHS must enhance its ability to manage crisis, including strengthening processes related to child death reviews and increasing public access to information.