Quality Improvement Practices and Tools

The following tools should be helpful in day-to-day supervision and quality improvement.

Minnesota Child and Family Service Reviews (MnCFSR)

Tools: The following tools are used in preparation for and during a MnCFSR.
Outcomes and Indicators poster (PDF):
A listing of the safety, permanency and well-being outcomes and performance items assessed during a MnCFSR.
Minnesota Child and Family Service Review (MnCFSR) Review Instrument
: This tool is used to evaluate outcomes for children in the areas of safety, permanency and well-being.

MnCFSR Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Addendum (PDF) was developed in consultation with county/tribal partners to more closely examine outcomes for American Indian children in the child welfare system. Effective January 1, 2013, cases involving children who are enrolled or eligible for enrollment in American Indian tribes are reviewed using the MnCFSR case review instrument and the ICWA Addendum.

County Self Assessment Update (PDF): For the second round of the MnCFSR, counties review their original self assessments and provide updates and ratings on systemic factors. The document includes an examination of key practice areas and child welfare data, including agency performance on federal data indicators. (February 2008).

Program Improvement Plan Development:

PIP Resources: Access PIP Tips, Qualitative Case Review and Consultation Guides, and other resources for program improvement planning.

Additional MnCFSR Information:

2005 Year End Report: Minnesota Child and Family Service Review (PDF)
2004 Year End Report: Minnesota Child and Family Service Review (PDF)

2003 Year End Report: Minnesota Child and Family Service Review (PDF)

Quality Practices Spotlight:

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Active Efforts and Best Practices (PDF) – This guide is intended to provide guidance to county social workers on ways to improve and sustain best practices when working with American Indian children and families.

Methamphetamine Medical Protocols – A number of counties have developed medical protocols for responding to reports of children found at Methamphetamine lab sites. Click on the link to be directed to the Minnesota Department of Health’s website that contains examples of such protocols as well as examples of city and county ordinances and other resources related to Methamphetamine. A “Summary of Protocols” (PDF) is also available on the Department of Health’s website. (spotlighted 2/05)

“Visitation / Family Access Guidelines” (PDF) – developed by Olmsted County Community Services Department, Child and Family Services Division (spotlighted 1/05)

“Parents Expectations of Caseworkers” (PDF) – Children and Family Research Center (spotlighted 11/04)

“Signs of Safety” – Turnell article spotlighted 06/03 (PDF)

Child Welfare Workload Study

A Workload Study by an independent consultant for DHS provides counties and tribes with a system for assessing staffing needs and examining the correlation between staff resources and the achievement of outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system. The study analyzes how caseworkers spend their time and the nature of the activities they performed. The study also examines the role of child welfare supervisors, how they spend their time and the impact of changes in activities on their retention. Results of the Workload Study led to the development of the Workload Study Analytic Tool, which enables county and tribal agencies to regularly assess staffing needs in light of improving outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system. Relevant tools and background documents are as follows:

Workload Study Analytic Tool (Excel)Measures (Excel)Administrator’s Reference Guide and System Documentation (PDF)User’s Reference Guide (PDF)Workload Study: Final Report (PDF)

For more information about the Workload Study or the analytic tool, or to obtain technical assistance in using the tool, call (651) 431-4661.

DHS Compliance Checklists:

Using compliance checklists to review case files is one way in which supervisors can assist social workers in their practice and monitor agency compliance with state statutes and rules. Click on any of the underlined titles below to be directed to that specific checklist.
MnCFSR Checklist for Children Under State Guardianship (PDF)
is a compliance checklist supervisors can use to review adoption cases.

Adoption Process Checklist for Children Under State Guardianship (PDF) was developed by the DHS Adoption Unit, in collaboration with county adoption workers. The checklist is designed as a tool for adoption workers. The checklist begins at termination of parental rights and outlines the steps required to finalize the adoption of a child under state guardianship.

Child Protection Program Logic Model for Supervisors:

One of the strategies in the state’s Program Improvement Plan was to develop a guide for supervisors that focused on best practice in quality assurance. The Child Protection Program Logic Models for Supervisors were developed by department staff with an advisory group of county supervisors. C.P. Supervisor’s Guide (PDF)

Federal Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review:

Minnesota's Guide to Substantial Compliance (PDF)

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