Review panel finds families supported in Western Wyoming
by Department of Family Services (DFS)
April 2, 2007
A recent citizen review panel found social services in Afton, Evanston, Jackson, Kemmerer and Pinedale are supportive of families, and that’s thanks, at least in part, to lower caseloads.
The review was done March 19-21 by the Wyoming Citizen Review Panel, a non-profit organization based in Cheyenne that works with the Wyoming Department of Family Services and citizens to assess child protection and juvenile services. The process is called a mini-Child and Family Services Review, and it’s modeled after the federal CFSR program. Reviewers focus on safety, permanency and well-being and consider how systems work together to help families and what service providers do to strengthen families in crisis.
In those Western Wyoming communities, reviewers looked at randomly selected cases and reviewed case actions between Jan. 1, 2006 and June 30, 2006. The reviews looked at nine cases in Afton, Evanston, Jackson, Kemmerer and Pinedale. Reviewers used the same scoring tool as in other mini-CFSRs conducted annually in Wyoming.
Families told reviewers they were given the support they needed to enroll in substance abuse treatment, address mental health counseling, or guide their child back onto an educational tract. The recent review showed support often came from DFS caseworkers, but family members frequently told reviewers help from their church, the county’s attorneys and teachers made the difference for their family.
”One of the differences here that really jumps out at me is child protection workers and juvenile services are really looking at families and finding ways to engage families,” said Glennda Lacey, DFS social services quality assurance manager. “They are making the effort on family-centered practice.”
Reviewers also found record keeping was comprehensive “something federal reviewers consider during the CFSR “in each of the five juvenile probation cases reviewed. There was less comprehensive documentation in some of the child protection case files,” Lacey added.
”One of the things I think we see in this part of the state is a lower caseload (compared to other Wyoming regions), and that means a better delivery of services,” said Kelly Hamilton, executive director of the Wyoming Citizen Review Panel. “One of the issues always is caseloads.”
The next mini-CFSR will be in conjunction with Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe Tribal social services agencies and are scheduled for later this month.
To learn more about becoming a citizen reviewer, call the Wyoming Citizen Review Panel at 307-632-0032.