A new 2-year project with the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) enables the SSW's Institute for Innovation and Implementation to support the implementation of evidence-based practices across Maryland. Begun in 2019 and building upon earlier work with the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project, this work helps DHS meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. The Institute is providing this support through technical assistance and training, as well as implementation, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement activities. The goal of this work is to improve the array of services provided through child welfare including home- and community-based services, as well as evidence-based and promising practices, substance use treatment services, and programs to support specific populations of children, youth, and young adults.
Through this project, the Institute is also providing technical assistance to providers of residential care for children and child placement agencies on the use of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment tool and evaluating the use of CANS and CANS-Families across Maryland. The data from the use of CANS in 24 local departments of social service across the state will be collected and analyzed by the Institute to improve workforce development efforts. The Institute also will continue implementation of the Enhanced Youth Transitional Planning (E-YTP) model on the Mid-Shore of Maryland, developed under the federally funded Thrive@25 grant. E-YTP is a strengths-based, youth-driven transition planning process for older youth in foster care. Last, this project enables the Institute to collaborate with Bowie State University on a curriculum project to help prepare undergraduate students to implement Maryland’s new Integrated Practice Model, which provides an in-depth understanding of the impact of trauma on families, when they move into the workforce.
The work of this project includes numerous faculty and staff within the Institute’s Ruth Young Center for Maryland and leverages The Institute’s expertise in research and continuous quality improvement to support workforce development; customized training and technical assistance; and, systems design and financing in order to build effective services and supports for children and families involved with Maryland’s child welfare system.