Court Monitor Pre-Certifies Social Worker Caseloads Monitor's Report Cites "Significant Progress Has Been Made" With Remaining Measures
For the first time since Federal Court oversight began in 1991, the Department has achieved pre-certification of social worker caseloads, according to a report issued on 2/3/20 by the Office of the Court Monitor.
The report says "this is a notable achievement for the state" and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and credits "support from Governor Lamont, OPM (Office of Policy and Management) and the state legislature." The report also says, "It already appears from recent monitoring that meeting this benchmark (caseload standards) is now having a positive impact on the family and child related outcome measures that remain" to be met.
With this pre-certification, the remaining measures of investigations, case plans, needs met, and in-home visitation will continue to be the focus of the Department towards the goal of full compliance. The report notes that "pre-certification" -- the process for approval required under the Juan F. Exit Plan -- is currently underway for investigations and also that the "Department has shown progress" with the segments of the "needs met" goal.
DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes said meeting the caseload goal is a necessary pre-requisite for the Department to conduct quality work.
"First, in the context of the Juan F. Exit Plan, I am pleased that the Court Monitor can "pre-certify" that the Department has achieved maintaining caseload standards. This measure is truly fundamental to all our work. Appropriate staffing equates to better safety decisions, risk assessments and timely intervention for children and families. As we ask our social workers to involve children, families and communities more fully as partners in our work, we must ensure that staff have the necessary time and support to do so. Thus, reasonable caseloads are critically important. Tremendous appreciation and thanks to Governor Lamont, the Office of Policy and Management, and the Connecticut Legislature for their steady and substantial support this past year."
Read the latest Court Monitor's Report here
Read the Commissioner's Statement here