TFI Celebrates Child & Family Case Management Outcomes
Topeka, KS – The safety and well-being of Kansas children is of the utmost importance. TFI, Foster Care Case Management provider for the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) works diligently each day to strengthen children and families and meet the needs of foster children in Areas 4 & 8, a 26-county area covering southeast and southcentral Kansas.
Helping vulnerable children and families oftentimes takes a village. This was recently demonstrated by the collaboration & dedication of TFI staff, foster parents and a biological parents.
Eve* came into TFI’s care at one month old with medical needs and was placed with foster parents Wayne* and Kassie*. Wayne and Kassie embodied both the beauty and difficulty of what being a foster parent is. They took excellent care of Eve, but they also worked hard in partnership with her biological mother to help her learn and understand how to be a mother to a small child with medical needs.
These foster parents went above and beyond expected levels of care, taking in a special-needs infant and caring for her through the subsequent year while going out of their way to support the biological parent as the time for reintegration drew closer and closer. At the same time, Eve’s mom was working hard at her reintegration tasks, utilizing the services she was introduced to and learning to live on her own as a single parent.
The foster family included Eve’s mom and maternal grandmother in dining out, medical appointments, and other activities. And, together with the case team, the foster family decided that one of the best ways they could help Eve’s mom get used to being a full-time mother was to have her stay overnight at their home to observe how they care for her at all times of the day or night. This occurred several times and helped this young mother develop more and more confidence in her ability to take care of a very young child.
Eve was reintegrated with her mother just before the holidays as a result of her mother’s commitment to learning, her foster parents’ commitment to their success and the support of the team in their efforts to work together.
This story is one example of how TFI works diligently to best serve Kansas children and families. The work TFI does in partnership with DCF and other community stakeholders has made a significant difference for our community’s children and families. Below are a few additional key outcomes TFI has recently seen:
Keeping Siblings Together
While many states are seeing a decrease in siblings being placed together, TFI has seen an increase in youth being placed with at least one sibling, from 73% statewide in FY19 to 80% (area 4) and 75% (area 8). This serves as a protective factor for youth and promotes social- emotional and academic development for youth.
Increasing Kinship Placements
TFI is a leader when it comes to providing safe relative and kinship placements. There has been a significant increase in children being placed with a relative or kinship provider. In FY19 statewide, only 32.5% of children in out of home care were placed with a relative or kinship provider. Currently, 48% of youth in Area 4 and 50% in Area 8 are placed with kin. The current statewide performance is 44%.
TFI is committed to reducing the number of placements for youth in out-of-home care. Areas 4 and 8 boast significantly lower placement moves per the federal performance measure, compared to the current statewide average, resulting in 1 to 2 less moves per youth. Less placements means stability and more timely permanencies for the youth we serve.
- Childhood safety is our top priority. We have worked diligently to improve safety for the youth we serve in Areas 4 and 8. For area 4, TFI has maintained at 2.13 victimizations, compared to the statewide average of 3.42 victimizations (measured by confirmed allegations of abuse & neglect, per 100,000 days in care). In Area 8, TFI has brought down the victimizations by over 5 points during the past year, from 8.98 to 3.7. The national average of victimizations is 9.2.
- TFI recognizes the value of connection and consistent contact between our staff and youth, as it leads to more timely permanency. TFI has been able to maintain and often exceed the performance standard of 95% for face-to-face contact, with youth at 96.7% for area 4, and 98.5% for area 8. Additionally, 90% or more of these contacts occurring with the residence, compared to the 50% performance standard.
- TFI strives to ensure every child is placed in a safe and secure environment and has the lowest runaway rate in Kansas, reflecting only 10% of youth missing from placement in the state are TFI youth. Additionally, TFI has the lowest number of incidents of youth without a placement over the past year.
- TFI is dedicated to youth reaching academic success, and we know educational continuity and grade promotion contributes to that goal. Areas 4 (32.8%) and 8 (25.5%) are leaders in keeping youth in the same school, compared to the statewide average of 23.9%. We are also exceling in promoting youth to the next grade level at 94.4% (area 4) and 90.6% (area 8), compared to the goal of 70% and statewide average of 90.6%.
TFI remains committed to helping create stronger children and families and brighter, healthier communities. You can help TFI keep children close to home in their local communities. To learn more about TFI or about how you can make a difference in the life of a child by becoming a foster parent, please visit www.tfifamily.org.
*Identifying information changed to protect the anonymity of the child.
TFI is a leading child welfare agency providing experience, compassion, quality services and care. We provide various types of services in the community and have more than 50 years of experience in providing child welfare services including foster care services, group home care, case management, independent living, psychiatric residential treatment center, behavioral health, adoption services, visitation services, and aftercare services. TFI has more than 1,000 employees providing services in five states.