401 NW 2nd Avenue. South Tower, 10th Floor Miami, FL 33128 305-455-6000 www.OurKids.us We create safe havens for children and families through adoptions and foster care About Us Created in 2002, Our Kids is the non-profit lead agency for Community Based Care (CBC) in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Since May 2005, we have been providing foster care and related services in Miami and the Florida Keys. These services were previously performed by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Our Kids is proud of our unique Community Leadership Model. The members of our diverse Board of Trustees were specifically selected to represent the communities of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in the creation, development and oversight of a privatized, local foster care system. Our Kids pioneered the concept of maintaining a board of community leaders that are completely divested and independent of our network of direct service providers. Mission The mission of Our Kids is to oversee and lead a coordinated system of care, delivering excellence to abused, abandoned and neglected children and their families in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Vision Our Kids vision is that at-risk children in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties grow up in safe, permanent families. Sample of Outcomes Our Kids strives to provide the very best services to the children and families we serve. Reduction of children in Out of Home Care 3,300 Almost 40% reduction in OHC population 3,000 2,700 2,400 2,100 1,800 1,500 Jun '06 Jun '07 Jun '08 July '09 June '10 June '11 Number of adoptions 480 420 360 300 240 180 120 Our Kids has finalized over 2000 adoptions since the inception of Our Kids in 2005 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 Adoption Target % of Children seen each month Actual Adoptions Our Kids Statewide 100.00% 99.00% 98.00% 97.00% 96.00% 95.00% 94.00% FY '05 FY '06 FY '07 FY '08 FY '09 FY '10 FY '11 Innovations Staff Training and Curriculum Development Maintaining highly trained personnel is a critical piece in child welfare. This past year Our Kids revamped it training by partnering with the Miami Police Department and Department of Children and Families. In September, nearly two dozen new child welfare case managers and child protective investigators completed a pioneering pre-service training and will begin ensuring the welfare of thousands of children and families in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. This groundbreaking program is the result of an ongoing initiative to deliver the most advanced training to current and future protective investigators and case managers. Continuing the Development Using Evidence Based Tools This year Our Kids continued region-wide training in the use SDM (Structured Decision Making). CPIs, CLS, Our Kids, our network of diversion and case management agencies use the tools to assess risk and safety. The Quality Assurance team at Our Kids is also working with our partners to develop a more structured and standardized home visit form. Meeting Housing Needs for Transitioning Youth Our Kids partnered with Citrus Health Network and provided 158 students housing and supportive services; 64 students were provided housing and in home coaching services. Our Kids received more than $100,000 in support from the HAND program for housing for our youth. Additionally we have provided additional funding to Citrus and Lutheran Services to offer additional housing resources to our clients. Emmaus Place is a transitional housing program proving beautiful one bedroom apartments for seven young men between the ages of 19 to 23 who have aged out of the foster care system and are Road to Independence (RTI) clients of Our Kids in Miami-Dade County. To be admitted to Emmaus Place, young men must have demonstrated the cognitive, physical, and emotional capacity to potentially live independently. Emmaus Place is a unique partnership within the child welfare system. Our Kids, as the lead foster care agency, provides the linkage to all youth who are potential residents and communicates with the full case management agencies that have direct supervision of the youth. Camillus House, a community leader in providing services to marginalized population, provides beautifully furnished and renovated apartments at affordable rents. Casa Valentina, with great success housing young women aging out of foster care, provides case management to the Emmaus Place residents. Over the past year, the three partner agencies have further developed their relationships with organizations from across the county serving foster youth and called upon them to enhance services provided to the residents. Reduction of children aging out of foster care As a result of focused community efforts with CLS, GAL and Judges the number of children with a goal of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) decreased from 2010 to 2011 by 54%, while the population ages 14 to 17 decreased by 9% during the same period. This reduction will ensure youth do not age out of foster care, but instead find permanent and supportive families. System Enhancements Medical Enhancements The Our Kids Nurse Case Management program recognizes that children in foster care have special health care needs and therefore, the team strives to promote access to quality health care services. We collaborate with board certified physicians in Miami-Dade & Monroe County to assist in meeting the medical needs of our children. Introduced in 2009, the team consists of Pediatric Nurses, a Dental Care Coordinator and Medical Resource Support Staff. The team provides: Ongoing support and education to foster parents and case workers to promote quality, access and timeliness of medical services. Refer medically complex children to Medical Foster Care. Compile healthcare information on an ongoing basis to keep children healthy and safe. Form collaborations with local hospitals and healthcare providers involved in children’s health. Outcomes During the first quarter of fiscal 09-10, 42% of children received preventive dental within 30 days; by the 4th quarter the number increased to 79%. 1380 children ages 3-17 years of age were scheduled for an initial dental examination. Partnering with Miami Children’s Hospital, over 378 children received dental services via the Mobile Dental Unit. Recruited a pro-bono dentist, Dr. Jorge E. Velazquez that provided initial dental exams and cleanings as well as discounted restorative services. Dr. Brilliant continues to provide PROBONO orthodontic treatment to Independent Living clients. Partnering with the Miami Lighthouse Heiken Children’s Vision program, 176 children received free vision exams and glasses. Thirteen children received free eye exams and glasses with Dr. Adam Clarin. Recruited 2 additional pro-bono vision providers: Dr. Adam Clarin and Dr. Karl Ellins. 2147 children were scheduled within 72 Hours of removal for an Initial Health Screening. 1906 children were scheduled for a Pediatric Comprehensive Medical Evaluation/Child Health Check-Up. Strategic Initiatives Family Finders Vision – All kids know who they are, where they came from and where they’re going. Mission - Creating hope, fulfilling dreams by connecting families. Family Finders provides youth with a connection to their community and extended family. This is an excellent strategy to help ground them and provide a sense of belonging. In 2007, Our Kids received funding for a three year demonstration project through a generous grant from The Children’s Trust. With this grant the Family Finders Program serves children in foster care and young adults who have aged out of foster care in Miami-Dade County. Since October of 2007 we have served 632 youth, and of those, 345 made a connection with extended family. Twenty-two youth have been permanently placed with a family since November of 2008. Safety through use of Technology Last year, Our Kids continued to innovate with the use of technology in child welfare. Two pilot projects were launched. Our Kids, in close collaboration with Children’s Legal Services, launched a pilot program in District 11 called PenPal. The project provides a “digital pen” to each attorney to use in court. The digital pen scans the updates to the case and wirelessly transmits them to the Our Kids computers for upload to FSFN. The successful pilot is now being considered for adoption with CLS attorneys across the state. School Based Video Tele-Court Conference School Based Video Tele-Court Conference (VTC) allows students to participate in a video court conference from school without having to miss a day of school. Tele-Court is a service that makes it easy for attorneys to schedule, and for the Court to manage and conduct telephonic court appearances. Engaging Families for Success Our Kids along with our DCF partners are committed to preserving families whenever possible by utilizing early and intensive intervention services. In October of 2010, Our Kids Intake participated in the creation of DCF’s local Family Preservation Protocol. This protocol brought local enthusiasm and rejuvenated the Our Kids’ Family Preservation System of Care. Since its inception Our Kids has provided families the opportunity to receive intensive in-home services, but as of October 2010 the numbers of referrals to our Family Preservation and Diversion Programs have doubled. In Fiscal Year 2009 – 2010, approximately thirty six percent (36%) of Intakes received were for Family Preservation Services. This number almost doubled in the 2010-2011 fiscal year where approximately sixty-eight percent (68%) of Intakes received were for Family Preservation Services. This is an increase in kids and families served by our programs. Case Scenario Our Kids received a referral from the abuse hotline about a family that was neglecting their children. It was a family who only spoke Mandarin. Two of the children (7 and 8) were autistic and one child (5) was not autistic but was non-verbal. Although the family had lived here for a long time, they were very isolated. There was writing all over the walls and exposed electrical wires throughout the house. The fridge did not work. The conditions were deplorable. At any other time this would have been an immediate removal, but instead we got our Safe At Home (SAH) staff to go out to the home within two hours of the referral. When our staff arrived the father was drunk and the mother had blood on her forehead indicating that there may have been a fight between the two of them earlier that afternoon. The mother was extremely withdrawn and she told SAH that she could not speak English. The father who was intoxicated told the SAH staff that their presence made him very nervous and that was the reason why he got drunk before his arrival. SAH was able to get a Mandarin interpreter to come to the home who was associated with a local church. The family was connected to this church for on-going support. The mother did in fact speak some English. They painted the families walls and worked on behavioral issues. It turns out that the writing on the wall was done by the children who did not have rule, structure or routine. The father was depressed about having lost his job and he started to show improvement in his decreased alcohol consumption. They were able to provide the family assistance through flex funds in order to make the deplorable environment hospitable again. They spent hours working with this family. One day they worked for 8 hours on cleaning and painting. By the end of the six weeks the mother actually smiled when the SAH Staff arrived at their home and the five year old was verbal. The Pregnancy Prevention Bench Card The Pregnancy Prevention Bench Card was developed in a partnership between National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Our Kids was selected as a national demonstration site to develop and evaluate an implementation plan, materials and workshop protocols for the effective use of the bench card. Our Kids is providing leadership in this area in recognition of the alarming rate of pregnancy within our child welfare system. The bench card is designed to incorporate Judge’s unique position to alter this trajectory of early unplanned pregnancy. When effectively implemented, Judges ca ensure that case plans include measures aimed at assisting youth to make informed and responsible decisions. Throughout this effort, Our Kids is collaborating with community partners and programs to present training to all serving our youth with the goals of increasing their knowledge of adolescent sexual development and skills necessary to appropriately discuss sexual health issues. Young Parents Project Our Kids is partnering with FSU Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy to provide court involved young mothers and their children with intensive home visitation that targets the overall health and developmental needs. Skilled professional staff offers care coordination and outreach including intensive clinical services supporting mother child relationship development, and the development of a safe and nurturing home, early screening, referrals, and intervention. YPP supports positive life changes for these complex young families to stop the intergenerational cycle of poverty, court involvement and early parenting. The first year of the YPP program demonstrated a significant increase in the percentage of children in full custody of their parents increased from 14.3% to 63.2%. Additionally, the program produced a reduction in low birth weight babies, improved health care utilization and a decrease in subsequent births. Healthy Teen Coordinators Through the leadership of the Board’s Prevention Subcommittee, Our Kids began monitoring the incidence of teenage pregnancy to ensure appropriate pre/post natal care. This initiative is leading to improved foster parent training, awareness and teen education Healthy Teen Coordinators provide age appropriate medically accurate sex education information to our teens, making certain they make the best personal decisions and avoid risky behavior. They work with staff, foster parents and teens using their deep understanding of community resources to offer guidance and make referrals. The Coordinators all strive to develop trust and create enduring relationships with our teens, becoming a real resource to them as they become adults. Last year, Healthy Teen Coordinators along with staff from many agencies participated in a three day training on Making Proud Choices, an evidenced based curriculum which provides medically accurate sex education to our teens. Now that they are certified facilitators of the curriculum, the Healthy Teen Coordinators have presented the eight hour program several times and all teens who have participated have reviewed the classes very favorably. Our goal is to provide teens with the tools and knowledge required to make their best personal decisions and avoid risky behaviors. Healthy Teen Coordinators work with staff, foster parents and teens using their deep understanding of community resources to offer guidance and referrals. Staff and foster parents attended classes on adolescent sexual development at conferences and workshops held throughout the year to raise their awareness of the issues facing our youth and best practices to incorporate into their work. “Follow My Child” - The Our Kids Medical Passport. The last two years have been an exciting and successful time in the development of the Medical Passport at Our Kids; many important steps have been accomplished, we have learned many lessons and are moving forward with a strategic plan for prototype development. With the experience of implementing “Health Shack” an interactive personal health record designed for teens, we were able to refine it and developed our personal health record software prototype to be used system-wide – we are calling it, “Follow My Child”.. We designed “Follow My Child” to address the barriers raised by medical professional in focus groups we conducted. We put the exact information they requested into the report – nothing more and nothing less. The summary health information is available in a one-page report specifically designed for physicians and health care providers. The electronic medical passport is updated daily by nurses and case managers and can be securely accessed and printed by foster parents and case workers prior to the medical visit. The medical passport report can be scanned into the physicians own electronic health care record or simply added to the medical file. It does not require the physician or the office staff to learn a new system, log-on to another system or make a financial investment. We have designed, implemented and are currently evaluating our prototype. Our next step is to help educate foster parents on the use and benefits of “Follow My Child”. For our foster parents, it will require a greater level of commitment to their foster children’s healthcare. We want to design training materials and hire highly competent staff to deliver instruction and offer encouragement to the foster parents. We know that often foster parents are forced to make medical decisions with fear and trepidation because of inadequate health information and will recognize the benefits of participating.
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