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The Office of Case Management coordinates and monitors case planning and service delivery among the Divisions, in support of Department goals and in accordance with a system of care philosophy.
OCM represents a Department perspective and the best interests of children through case management expertise and coordination of multidisciplinary cases, assessment, consultation, review and recommendation.
Quality Improvement Review Unit
The Quality Improvement Review Unit is dedicated to quality assurance and continuous quality improvement through assessing practice, compliance, and outcomes. The unit conducts reviews through a holistic lens with an focus on identifying opportunities to improve system processes to better meet the needs of those we serve.
Unit staff members include a program support supervisor, a management analyst, and three administrative case review specialists. The team provides comprehensive reviews and reports designed to assess practice and ensure compliance with standards and policies approved by the Department and consistent with best practices. This specialized unit has autonomy in reviewing the work of all operational divisions and their supports.
Administrative reviewers conduct reviews of specific cases, or case circumstances, and provide detailed reports that include findings and recommendations. The unit completes ongoing, regularly scheduled quality reviews, provides staff support to the Department Safety Council and provides a departmental perspective to various stakeholder review panels. Special reviews are also completed at the request of the Department Cabinet Secretary, divisions, Department Safety Council and external partners. The Quality Improvement Unit monitors and analyzes data to discern trends, identify service gaps, barriers and systems issues, and documents the progress made by the implementation of improvement plans.
Del C. 10 § 1009(j)
Delaware’s Mixing law was enacted to ensure that the placement of a juvenile adjudicated of specific serious misdemeanor acts or otherwise charged with or adjudicated of a felony act will neither represent an unreasonable and unmanageable physical risk to, nor conflict with the best interests of, dependent or neglected children in any residential shelter, group home, foster home, treatment center, institution or any other place designated as a temporary or permanent residential placement for children located in the State of Delaware, excluding accredited or licensed hospitals. Placement approval is required from the DSCYF Cabinet Secretary, a division director, or designee for serious misdemeanor acts and, additionally, Family Court for felony level or repeat offenders (three serious misdemeanor adjudications within a 24-month period).
Once all the requirements are met and the child is placed, reviews are conducted to assess potential risk the juvenile may pose to others in the home of facility and the program or caregiver’s ability to manage that risk. Mixing reviews are conducted by the Office of Case Management within 5 working days of the placement.
A listing of serious misdemeanor offenses applicable to the Mixing Law is located within the revised subsection of the Delaware code. DSCYF staff may also obtain this list as well as instructions for processing a Mixing request from the OCM Mixing Reviewer.
Department Safety Council (DSC)
The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families recognizes the importance of being a self-correcting agency with a constant focus on safety and quality of services. The Department Safety Council is a multi-disciplinary work group composed of two representatives from each Division. Representatives are appointed by the division directors. The purpose of the DSC is to ensure all incidents falling within the definition of a critical incident are reviewed for systems issues and opportunities for improvement. The DSC makes recommendations for more intensive reviews (Root Cause Analysis or an internal review) when potential system issues are identified. DSC members bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience and are strong advocates of practices and system improvements that contribute to improving child safety. The Office of Case Management (OCM) chairs and staffs the committee.
Tina Selby Ware, Telephone: 302/633-2581, Email: Tina.Ware@delaware.gov
Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
The Department recognizes the importance of being a self-correcting agency with a constant focus on safety and quality of services. In 1999, the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) process became a part of the Children’s Department quality assurance efforts. RCA is a multi-disciplinary process that gathers and examines information and identifies underlying system issues that, if corrected, could prevent similar incidents from occurring. The RCA process utilizes a team-approach which draws on the knowledge and skills of DSCYF staff identified as subject matter experts to complete this thorough review and analysis, determine root causes (if any), and make recommendations for system improvements. The Root Cause Analysis report and recommendations are presented to the Cabinet Secretary and division director(s). Upon approval of the report, the involved division(s) develops and implements an improvement plan designed to address identified system issues. The Office of Case Management oversees this process through conducting training for DSCYF staff, providing staff support to RCA teams, maintaining data on completed RCA reports and monitoring compliance and progress with the improvement plans.
Grants and Contracts Unit
The Department has established a consolidated contract unit within the Division of Management Support Services (DMSS) to provide contract oversight, streamline policies and practices and implement guidelines and procedures to improve efficiency, accountability and customer service.
Other Functions of the Office of Case Management
Constituent concerns, complaints and inquiries provide opportunities to identify possible problems and/or trends; and improve service provision, policy and practice. At the request of the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Case Management may be requested to review complaints or inquiries that reach the Office of the Secretary or the Office of Division Director. The Office of Case Management collects, records and reviews pertinent information to research the concern/complaint/inquiry and determine compliance with policy and procedure. Findings and recommendations are formulated based upon the information obtained and are reported to the Office of the Secretary.
Susan Burns, Telephone: 302/633-2676 | Email: Susan.Burns@delaware.gov
Placement Resource Team
The Placement Resource Team (PRT) is a multi-disciplinary working group composed of a representative from each division designated by the Division Director and empowered to commit the Division’s funds. The PRT collaborates on cases involving children and youth deemed difficult to place to identify the most appropriate placement resource for the youth and family while allocating costs associated with providing the necessary services between the appropriate divisions. The Office of Case Management facilitates meetings and monitors the status of presented cases.
Service Integration Fund
The Office of Case Management monitors activity and provides consultation and technical assistance regarding the Service Integration Fund. The Service Integration Fund was designed to enable staff to access resources for individualized services to assist families in meeting needs not covered by other funding sources. OCM distributes a monthly and annual report on the activity of this fund.