Innovative Practices Online Public Voting

Online voting is open from September 17 - 21, 2018. The online public voting period accounts for up to 5% of the total evaluation criteria for the top 5 vote receivers. You may vote for one or all of the case studies by clicking from one to five stars and then clicking SEND.


Family Builders by Adoption - Youth Acceptance Program

Case Study Abstract: Family Builders has developed an intervention—the Youth Acceptance Project—that works with the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and gender non-conforming children and youth in foster care. The intervention serves as a family preservation and family reunification tool, assisting families who are struggling with the sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression of their child. Family advocates use a psycho-educational model to address the misinformation, resistance, fear, and grief that families often struggle with; ultimately moving families to a place of acceptance of their child. The intervention is based on research that documents the impact and harm that families can create when they are not accepting of their child. The result is families that become accepting and affirming of their children. The intervention reduces the time that children spend in foster care and reunites children with their families.

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Foster Care Coalition of Greater St. Louis, Inc. dba Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition - 30 Days to Family®

Case Study Abstract: The youngest victims of the opioid epidemic are children in foster care. The last time the child welfare system was stretched this thin was during the crack epidemic, and children suffered. Many spent their entire childhoods in foster care, aging out at 18 to harrowing outcomes. This time, we know better. 30 Days to Family®, created by the St. Louis-based Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, brings urgency and innovation to a system groaning under the weight of chronic underfunding and epidemic rates of removal. Years of experimentation and rigorous evaluation have made the Coalition national experts in in the work of family-finding and relative connection. 30 Days to Family® is a field-leading and effective response to the opioid epidemic. Plus, the program saves child welfare agencies at least $300,000 per year. The purpose of 30 days to Family® is to place children with relatives within 30 days of entering foster care. We do this by developing a family tree with an average of 150 relatives, identifying at least two placement options, and helping the family create a plan for stability. Rarely can non-profits offer programmatic solutions to complex problems. However, 30 Days to Family® delivers. That’s why it's being replicated in 17 sites around the country, in Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia. New York and Washington, DC will be online by the end of 2018. This innovative program continues to attract national attention, and new calls come in weekly to join our wait-list for replication. We are applying to the Council on Accreditation's Innovative Practices Award in hope of gaining national visibility for this program, inspiring and invigorating others by showing the imaginative, systems-changing work in behalf of our community's most vulnerable children.

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St. Mary's Home for Children - STAAR Project: Serving Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Case Study Abstract: The state-wide, community-based Supporting Teens and Adults At-Risk (STAAR) Project serves victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) through intensive treatment to male and female clients under age 26. Services include a variety of clinical interventions, case management, and intensive care coordination. In this case study, we discuss the case of Kara and her family. At referral she was fifteen with a history of aggressive outbursts, self-injurious behavior, intermittent suicidal ideation and multiple hospitalizations. She had been a victim of child sexual abuse, child pornography, bullying and human trafficking. Kara and her parents received individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, case management and STAAR’s unique program components: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP); Survivor-Mentorship; a CSEC-specific group, My Life, My Choice (MLMC) Group; and Families Impacted by Sexual Abuse (FISA) Curriculum. Our case study describes the six months of treatment provided and our utilization of a trauma-informed and harm-reduction lens. Combined with our 24/7 on-call services and safety planning, we saw Kara’s emotional regulation improve, her ability to tolerate frustration improve, her school attendance improve, her substance use decrease, and her run-away behaviors gradually reduce over time. She flourished in MLMC group, forming a bond with an adult Survivor-Mentor and engaging with peers successfully. Kara’s participation in EAP was a turning point in her treatment, allowing her to talk about her own story in a non-threatening way. Case management was equally important. Kara’s Case Manager was able to assist in navigating the legal system. She felt empowered to participate in the ongoing legal case against those who exploited her. Case management also included family education through FISA. Through this curriculum, the family altered their approaches to parenting to better meet the needs of an adolescent who had experienced complex trauma. Kara is an example of the success of STAAR. Though there were set-backs, including run-away episodes, a hospitalization, school non-compliance and substance use, after each the family and treatment team adjusted to move forward. Kara successfully maintained in her home with no further instances of victimization. The STAAR Project is the only program in the state of RI offering this unique combination of services for survivors of human trafficking and CSEC.

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Tulsa CARES - Tulsa CARES Wrap-Around Service Approach to Care for Those Living with HIV

Case Study Abstract: Each individual living with HIV has a unique diagnosis and a unique story with their own unique set of needs. The agency works with the client and physician to seamlessly integrate care while helping the client to better understand their illness, and work to reduce barriers to care and successful treatment. Tulsa CARES unique wrap around services are designed to reduce barriers related to access to medical care, stable housing, mental health care, proper nutrition and social support. Addressing each of these challenges for a very vulnerable low income population allows clients to focus on viral suppression, empowerment and quality of life. Specific services include a food pantry, prescription assistance, individual and group therapy, rent/mortgage and utility assistance, assistance in signing up for health insurance, and much more – all necessary to reduce the barriers to care and overall improved health. Wrap around services at Tulsa CARES benefit an individual at every stage of life, offering stability and support, higher viral suppression rate, and greater success in disease management. This unique model of care resulted in 88 percent of Tulsa CARES clients reaching and/or maintaining undetectable.

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Catholic Charities of Buffalo, N.Y. - Valuing Offender Accountability: Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Program for Men - A NY Model for Batterer Programs

Case Study Abstract: Generally accepted, the goal of batterer programs has been traditionally, to fix men, give them the tools they need to stop their abuse, so they can stop their abuse of women with whom they are partnered. The New York Model for Batterer Programs has explored these questions for years in order to answer, “to what degree is this possible?” Our answer is: “No, not necessarily!” Another question: Batterer Programs hold men accountable and to what degree? The New York Model for Batterer Programs answer is: Yes! But, not without mandates that will reliably impose consequences for non-compliance with orders to attend and complete the program. Over 30+ years of evolution, the New York Model is grounded in research and practice for batterer programs. This narrative presents some of the history, current underpinning and guiding principles; program requirements; how a New York Model program functions within the context of a Coordinated Criminal and Civil Justice Response to men’s violence against an intimate female partner. The New York Model clearly delineates the roles and relationship between the courts and batterer program, including other elements of the domestic violence community that are essential in order for offender accountability to be achieved. There is a significant emphasis on critical relationships between New York Model programs, local domestic violence programs, and the social change efforts of the battered women’s movement. This narrative discusses how the New York Model for Batterer Programs has evolved, and continues to remain grounded in an anti-oppression, anti-racist perspective.

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HeartShare Human Services of New York, Roman Catholic Diocese Brooklyn - The Training Collaborative

Case Study Abstract:Collaboration can lead to innovation. This is exactly what happened when three large, high-quality organizations (ADAPT Community Network, HeartShare Human Services, and Services for the UnderServed) in the New York City area partnered to form the Training Collaborative in response to the evolving transformational changes within the field. Since the program’s inception, three additional New York City organizations (Cerebral Palsy of New York State, Lifespire, and Birch Family Services) have joined, and the program has also been successfully expanded to the Rochester and Albany regions. The Collaborative aims to equip emerging leaders in the field with knowledge and leadership skills that align with the New York State DSP Core Competencies. Our training series stimulates creativity and innovation in practice, enhances excellence, increases overall knowledge of participants, and promotes the Code of Ethics in activities and decision making processes. The Training Collaborative is mission driven in our work, our beliefs, and our training. Data shows that our participants are highly engaged with the workshops and leave the program with a heightened sense of personal self-improvement as a leader, better understanding of the Core Competencies, and knowledge of best practices to share with colleagues at their respective agencies and integrate into their everyday work. As a result, the Collaborative promotes self-direction and choice, and enhances personal quality of life for the individuals we support.

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Private Organization Accreditation

White's Residential & Family Services is Indiana's largest social services agency offering accredited and comprehensive residential, foster care, independent living, adoption, and home-based services.


Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
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