Kansas Family Preservation Services
Family Preservation Services (FPS) are part of the public/private partnership in Kansas that began in 1996. The state contracts include five state regions, each managed by a private not-for-profit entity operating under a system of case rate payments based on performance. Currently, two agencies provide Intensive Family Preservation Services in Kansas: DCCCA, Inc., and St. Francis Community Services.
Kansas has tracked provider performance on child welfare outcomes since 1996. These outcomes can be reviewed at http://www.srskansas.org/CFS/datareports09.html. Required outcomes under the current set of contracts in effect as of July 2009 include:
- 95% of all families referred shall be engaged timely in family preservation services as indicated by a case plan completed and signed within 20 days of referral. (FY 2009 = 93.5%)
- 95% of families will not experience substantiated abuse or neglect during the first 180 days of family preservation participation (FY 2009 = 98.5% over 365 days)
- 95% of families will not have a child placed outside the home into the foster care program during the 365 day referral period. (July 2008-January 2009 = 84.2%)
- 90% of babies are born substance free to women referred to FPS for reason of substance abuse during pregnancy (new outcome-data not yet available)
- Payments to Family Preservation Contractors
The case rate is the total payment per family and is paid in equal thirds contingent on engaging the family with a signed case plan and preventing the removal of any children in the family. The first payment is earned when the family develops and signs the case plan by the 20th day after referral. If any child is removed from the home on or prior to the 45th day after referral, the second and third payments are not paid. If any child is removed after the 45th day, but on or prior to the 90th day, the third payment is not paid. In FY2010, the average case rate for 12 months of case responsibility is $3,833.
Model of Services
The most recent set of contracts includes a requirement to implement a model of intensive family preservation services based on family-centered practice. Initially, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) makes a determination that one or more children in the family are at risk of out of home placement. SRS then sends a referral to the contractor responsible for the service area in which the family resides. The 365-day contracted case management period, also called "the referral period," includes services to eliminate the barriers to children remaining safely at home. A comprehensive assessment process, including the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS), evaluates family attributes for safety, in-home permanency and well-being. The family helps to define barriers for children remaining safely at home and identifies ways to overcome these barriers. Contractors involve immediate, extended and kin family members as well as non-custodial parents, as active partners in case planning.
Contractors are required to contact a referred family within 24 hours and meet in person with the family within two business days. Additional in-home services to families based on the comprehensive assessment include safety planning and core support services such as day care, respite care, employment, housing and homemaking. Each family is entitled to up to $500 in hard goods that can include, for example, exterminator services, head lice treatment, clothes, utilities, rent and deposits, bus passes and car repairs. Family Preservation staff members are available to provide services and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week.