The State central office and its various local agencies play a significant role in pre-review preparation. The central office will assign a senior State staff person to serve as the State Team Leader, who then provides oversight to the State Onsite Review Team and liaises with the Children's Bureau Regional Office and the Child Welfare Reviews Project (CWRP) in making logistical arrangements for the review. This includes participating in a series of review planning conference calls.
Other collaborative responsibilities that the State central office shares with the Children's Bureau include identifying and selecting the review sites used during the onsite review, assembling the State review team, identifying the in-home services cases that will be reviewed on site, and scheduling the case-related and stakeholder interviews.
The State central office and its local agencies are responsible for collaborating with the Children's Bureau Central Office, Children's Bureau Regional Office, and CWRP on a number of logistical arrangements for the onsite review. These include coordinating with CWRP to schedule the statewide exit conference by recommending meeting space and inviting participants.
The State central office will also collaborate with CWRP to identify:
- Lodging arrangements for Onsite Review Team members.
- Locations and times for nightly debriefings and the local site exit conference.
- Space for other scheduled meetings and review activities during the week.
- Transportation for review team members.
Review Site Selection
The State central office is also responsible for identifying the State's three review sites, one of which must include the State's largest metropolitan subdivision. The State central office selects these sites based on information obtained from the Statewide Assessment, then consults with the NRT Team Leader and Regional Office Team Leaders before final site selections are made.
Once a review site is selected, the State central office assigns to it a Local Site Coordinator responsible for making local arrangements and ensuring that case records are available onsite. The Local Site Coordinator should be an administrator from the site under review, or their designee. To avoid conflicts of interest, the Local Site Coordinator does not participate in team activities such as nightly debriefings or case-related interviews, but should be available to the team during regular working hours to handle any unexpected issues that may arise.
State Review Team
The State central office is also responsible for identifying State review team members. The State review team should include staff from the State's public child welfare agency as well as representatives from external partners. To avoid conflicts of interest, State review team members should not be assigned as State Local Site Leaders or reviewers in the same site where they work or have oversight responsibilities.
Once the State's review team is selected, the State central office provides information about each team member to the Children's Bureau Regional Office. The State central office then collaborates with the Children's Bureau Regional Office to place Federal and State review team members in review pairs. Each review pair is assigned to a review site at least 6 weeks before the onsite review.
In-Home Services Cases
The State central office collaborates with the Children's Bureau Regional Office to determine which cases in the State meet the definition of in-home services cases for inclusion in the "universe" of in-home services cases from which the review sample will be drawn. The State central office specifies the methods for identifying and compiling a list of cases that meet this definition and that fall within the period under review, then compiles this list and submits it to the Children's Bureau Regional Office at least 60-90 days before the onsite review.
Case-Related and Stakeholder Interviews
The total sample list of in-home services and foster care cases is transmitted by the Children's Bureau to the Local Site Coordinators. The local agencies managing the onsite review then examine the sample lists and schedule case-related interviews as appropriate. Following the State Team Training, which takes place 2 weeks before the review, the State central office submits the review team schedules for case record reviews and case-related interviews to the Children's Bureau Regional Office.
The State central office also collaborates with the Children's Bureau Regional Office to determine the number and composition of State and local stakeholder interviews to be conducted during the onsite review. Once this is established, the State central office makes appointments for Team Leaders to conduct interviews with stakeholders and submits a stakeholder interview schedule to the Children's Bureau Regional Office at least 2 weeks before the onsite review.