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Alaska's Child Protection Program Improvement Plan Approved
Agreement with federal government a major milestone in improving services for abused and neglected children


September 03, 2003
Wednesday - 12:20 am

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), has approved the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) submitted by the Office of Children's Services to strengthen Alaska's system to protect abused and neglected children. The PIP addresses deficiencies identified in the Alaska Child and Family Services Review conducted by ACF last year. The agreement is effective September 1, 2003 and will run through August 2005.

The PIP contains numerous specific program improvements with clearly stated benchmarks that will allow both the state and the federal government to measure progress toward a more effective child protection system. The plan is designed to improve specific outcomes for children including protecting children from abuse and neglect, maintaining children in their own homes whenever possible, and assuring that children have permanency and stability in their living situations.

The plan also addresses systemic shortcomings within the child protection system relating to case reviews, the array of services provided, and foster and adoptive care licensing, recruitment and retention.

"I am extremely pleased with the approved plan," said Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Children's Services, Marci Kennai. "This document is our roadmap for the next two years and while the goals are certainly ambitious they are also achievable. I look forward to collaborating with our many community partners to ensure that the plan produces positive outcomes for Alaska's children."

A central element of the PIP is implementation of an Onsite Quality Assurance Review system designed to provide managers with the information necessary to assess progress towards achieving positive outcomes for children. Each quarter 50 randomly selected child protection cases will be reviewed using standards that measure children's safety, permanency and well-being.

"The PIP has built-in mechanisms to measure our progress toward our goals and to improve the accountability of the system," said Commissioner of Health and Social Services Joel Gilbertson. "All too often in government we simply take it as a matter of faith that improvements are being made. The Onsite Quality Assurance Reviews are a reality check. They will provide us critical information on an ongoing basis that will be invaluable to managers charged with improving the system, as well as informative for the Legislature and the public."

Copies of the Alaska Child and Family Services Review and the Program Improvement Plan can be obtained on-line at



Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services
Web Site


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