A Collaborative Initiative for Supervising Foster Care Children

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

San Bernardino County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Children and Youth (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

In April 2020 during the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency, San Bernardino County Children and Family Services (CFS) and the Preschool Services Department (PSD) initiated a collaborative long-term program to ensure adequate supervision for children who are temporarily in CFS’ facilities awaiting regular foster care placement. After a specialized training, a crop of interested PSD staff started providing supervision for children in the custody of CFS pending regular foster care placement. Designed to increase support for Social Workers (SWs) trying to cope with an increasing number of children awaiting placement, this program is not only meeting its primary objective, it is providing the added benefits of improving staff morale and employee retention, enhancing the compensation earned by participating PSD staff and reducing the risk of abuse or neglect of foster care children in San Bernardino County. The outcome is a coordinated effort whereby PSD staff have so far provided over 5,800 hours of supervision for children transitioning from unsafe home environments into safer foster care placements. Additionally, this collaborative initiative gave much needed support to SWs and other CFS staff and provided opportunities for PSD staff to voluntarily work overtime hours and earn additional income to meet their families’ financial needs.

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