It looks like the besieged folks down at the Division of Children and Families weren’t too happy about having to post their annual performance grades on the Governor’s Mass Results accountability web page this year. They thought they could pull a fast one by leaving off 11 of the 12 annual performance measures they established last year when they posted their self-reported performance evaluation.[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]Given the horrific series of highly publicized administrative failures at DCF over the past year, Pioneer Institute decided to take a look at what grades the Governor’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ gave DCF on its 2013 performance measurements.[/quote]
Under the Governor’s Mass Results program, each of his eight Secretaries were required to establish specific measurable performance goals for their departments and then to report the measured results on the state’s website one year later. When he launched the Mass Results program last year, the Governor said that he was “asking government to articulate what success looks like and be accountable for results, is something every citizen should expect.”
On the Administration and Finance webpage, Secretary of A&F, Glen Shor, posted a video saying “Governor Patrick launched the Mass Results program which brings together key initiatives to make government, more effective and more open . . . these plans set up key goals and include a set of performance measures that will be used to evaluate results.”
Given the horrific series of highly publicized administrative failures at DCF over the past year, Pioneer Institute decided to take a look at what grades the Governor’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ gave DCF on its 2013 performance measurements that had been established in the (EOHHS) strategic plan. The plan set forth the following measurable performance indicators:
|1) % of children kept safe from repeat maltreatment|
|2) % of children living in foster care and residential placement kept safe from abuse or neglect by their caretakers|
|3) # of Children Awaiting Resolution of Disposition|
|4) Average length of time for kids on CARD list|
|5) High school graduation rate for youth in state custody|
|6) School attendance rate for youth in state custody|
|7) MCAS passage rate for youth in state custody|
|8) % of children in out-of-home placements who are placed with kin|
|9) % of children with goal of adoption who are adopted within 24 months|
|10) % of children in DCF open cases who are living-at-home|
|11) % of children who return home will not re-enter out-of-home care within 12 months|
|12) % of children exiting out-of-home care who returned home-to-parents|
But when it came time to report back to the Governor and the public as to how well DCF was doing against its goals, the dog apparently ate most of the report card.
Only 1 of the 12 performance measures identified in the plan were reported on in the performance report issued last month. And it happens that DCF fared “close” on that measure (reference #8 above):
|% of children in out of home placements who are placed with kin||26.9%||26.0%||Stable||28.5%|
|Close to Target FY13 vs FY12|
What about the top item on the list, Governor? How about measuring the percent of children kept safe from repeat maltreatment? Or the percent of children living in foster care and residential placement kept safe from abuse or neglect by their caretakers?
If keeping children in out of home placements with kin is the top priority, and remember, this report was generated in January, well after the lapses in DCF services were brought to light, the state is sadly off mark.