Stakeholder Interview Guide

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STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEW GUIDE OMB Control No: 0970-0214in the onsite review and including those issues in section II of the Stakeholder Interview Guide.

Child and Family Services Reviews

    Stakeholder Interview Guide

    August 2000

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Administration for Children and Families

    Administration on Children, Youth and Families

    Children’s Bureau


     Expiration date: 04/30/2003

General Instructions

    Stakeholder interviews will be conducted in the local review sites and at the State level. Those individuals to be interviewed are selected from the stakeholders who participated in the development of the State’s Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) required at 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1357.15(1), including courts,

    administrative review bodies, children’s guardians ad litem, and other individuals or bodies assigned

    responsibility for representing the best interests of the child. The following core stakeholders must be


    State Stakeholders Local Stakeholders

    State child welfare director Local child welfare agency administrator

    State child welfare program specialists Foster parent(s)

    State court system representative Juvenile court judge

    Major tribal representatives Law enforcement representative

    State administrative review bodies Social worker(s) from the local agency

     Guardian(s) ad litem

     Local administrative review bodies

? Additional stakeholders at both State and local levels may be interviewed, as needed. The various types of

    additional stakeholder representatives who may be interviewed are listed in the review procedures manual.

? This interview guide identifies core questions that should be covered in stakeholder interviews in each

    review site. While each individual stakeholder may not be able to address each core question, the

    combination of interviews in each site should cover the core questions. Following each core question is a list

    of possible stakeholders who may be able to address the particular issue. However, reviewers will need to

    make judgments about which of the questions to be covered should be pursued with each individual


? Each core question is followed by a list of exploratory issues that reviewers should pursue, as appropriate, in

    the interview. As with the core questions, some of the exploratory issues will be more or less applicable to

    individual stakeholders.

? In addition to the core questions, the Regional Office team leader, in collaboration with the State and the

    Central Office, will be responsible for identifying any State-specific issues from the statewide assessment

    that need further examination through stakeholder interviews in the onsite review and including those issues

    in section II of the Stakeholder Interview Guide.

? Notes from the interviews are recorded on the Stakeholder Interview Guide forms. Notes from all

    stakeholder interviews are summarized by the reviewer on a single form. The forms are used by the review

    team to complete the Summary of Findings Form at the end of the onsite review. The forms must be

    submitted to the designated team member at the end of the onsite review.

    ? Interviews should be kept to around an hour in length.


    Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions,

    conducting interviews, and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond

    to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.



    August 2000 A. Interviewer(s):

    B. Dates of Interviews:

     C. County and State Reviewed:

    Persons or Groups Interviewed

     Type of

    Name of Person or Group Interviewed Title Stakeholder

     State Local


Item 1. Safety Outcomes for Children (All stakeholders)

    Core Question: Describe the extent to which services provided by the agency to children for whom the agency has care or custody help ensure that they are safe and protected from abuse and neglect and that their safety and health are the primary concerns in the agency’s interventions.

    Exploratory Issues

    ? How does the agency address health and safety as the primary concerns in placement and reunification decisions? ? How is the safety of children in foster care placement addressed?

    ? How effective is the agency in identifying and responding to factors that place children at risk of maltreatment? ? What is the agency’s capacity to respond timely and effectively to incoming reports of child maltreatment? ? How effective are the agency’s interventions in protecting children from maltreatment?


Item 2. Permanency Outcomes for Children (All stakeholders)

    Core Question: Describe the extent to which children in foster care achieve permanency and stability in their living situations and

    reach their designated permanency goals in a timely manner.

    Exploratory Issues

    ? What process does the agency use to determine whether children in care for 15 of the past 22 months should have parental rights

     terminated or have an exception made?

    ? Under what circumstances are exceptions made to the termination of parental rights (TPR) requirements? ? How does the agency engage in concurrent planning and what are the results?

    ? What services are in place to help children in care achieve permanency in a timely manner? ? What measures are in place to remove barriers to interjurisdictional adoptions?

    ? For children experiencing delays in foster care or adoptive placements, to what are the delays attributable?


Item 3. Well-Being Outcomes for Children and Families (All stakeholders)

    Core Question: Describe the extent to which families are supported to meet the needs of their children and the educational,

    emotional, mental, and physical health needs of children are adequately addressed through the agency’s interventions. Exploratory Issues

    ? In what ways do children and their parents or guardians participate in case planning activities with the agency? ? How are the educational needs of children in the agency’s care or responsibility routinely addressed through case planning or

    collaboration with the education system?

    ? What measures are in place to ensure that the physical health and medical needs of children in the agency’s care or responsibility

    are identified and addressed?

    ? What measures are in place to ensure that the emotional and mental health needs of children in the agency’s care or responsibility are identified and addressed?


    Item 4. Agency Responsiveness to Community (State and county agency staff, external stakeholders) Core Question: Describe the agency’s responsiveness to expectations and needs of this community (or State if interviewing State-level stakeholder) as they relate to the agency’s mission.

    Exploratory Issues

    ? What are the strengths and needs of the agency’s ability to respond to the community’s (State’s) expectations about protecting

     children from maltreatment?

    ? How effective is the agency in serving all relevant populations in the community (State), e.g., racial and ethnic groups, age groups,

     rural vs. urban populations?

    ? In what ways does the agency collaborate with other child- and family-serving agencies in the community (State), particularly

     those serving the same populations of children and families as the agency?

    ? How does the agency incorporate input from community (State) stakeholders into its planning, policies, and practices? ? How does the community view the agency’s mission?


Item 5. Information System Capacity (State and county agency staff)

    Core Question: Describe the capacity of the State (or county) agency’s information system to support the work of staff at the local

    level (State and local levels, if interviewing State-level staff).

    Exploratory Issues

    ? How adequate is the information provided through the information system in assisting workers, supervisors, and managers in their

     daily work?

    ? What is the capacity of the information system to determine status, demographics, location, and goals for all children in foster care

     in the county (or State)?

    ? What is the capacity to identify and track children and families served in programs other than foster care, e.g., Child Protective

     Services (CPS), inhome services?

    ? How uniform is the State’s information system capacity on a statewide basis? ? What are the gaps/needs in the information system from both local and State perspectives?


Item 6. Quality Assurance (State and county agency staff)

    Core Question: Describe the effectiveness of the agency’s provisions for quality assurance in promoting satisfactory outcomes for children and families.

    Exploratory Issues

    ? Describe the agency’s standards that ensure that children in foster care placements are provided quality services that protect their

     health and safety?

    ? How does the agency monitor implementation and compliance with the standards?

    ? Describe the agency’s quality assurance system for child welfare services.

    ? How effective are the county agency’s (or State’s) quality assurance measures in:

    ? Helping ensure that children in the county (or State) are protected from maltreatment?

    ? Helping ensure that children in foster care achieve permanency on a timely basis?

    ? Involving individuals outside the county (or State) agency in evaluating outcomes for children and families, e.g., service ? recipients, service providers, advocates, etc.? ? What is the reporting and evaluation capacity of the quality assurance system?


Item 7. Staff and Provider Training (State and county agency staff, local external stakeholders)

    Core Question: Describe the extent to which staff of the agency and service providers, particularly foster families, are trained and

    prepared to carry out the agency’s mission and help families and children achieve satisfactory outcomes. Exploratory Issues

    ? What are the strengths and needs of the training provided to:

    ? Agency staff (at all levels) in preparing them to work with families and children or otherwise carry out the agency’s mission? ? Foster and adoptive parents in preparing them to work with children and their families and with staff of the agency and to

     prepare them to care for children placed in their homes?

    ? Other service providers used by the agency in preparing them to work with children and families in a manner that is

     consistent with the agency’s mission and goals? ? What is the level of consistency of the training curricula used by the agency with the agency’s goals in the community or State? ? Are there differences between preservice and inservice training for staff and providers?


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