InDHSS: Employee Newsletter


August 2010


Gregory Davis of Casey Family Programs leads the Wasilla field office in root cause analysis during a two-day planning session recently.

Poised for greatness

By Travis Erickson
Field Administrator

After several years of struggling with understaffing, dramatic increases in the number of children placed in out-of-home care, staff turnover, and challenging community relationships, the Wasilla Field Office is tackling these challenges head-on with the help of Casey Family Programs.

To do this, participants are using a process called compression planning, a formal method of developing a plan of action that must be launched quickly, but not leave out critical elements of the planning process such as inclusion of important participants and consideration of the root causes of the problems being addressed.

Their current plan focuses on four key areas: responsiveness to the community; timely documentation; the increase in number of children placed in out-of-home care; and caseworker visits with children and parents. As the process moves forward and problems are solved, focus will shift to additional areas of concern.

I participated in the first two-day planning session, and, to quote myself, “It was great to have external facilitators help walk us through the process. All levels of staff were included — front-line workers, supervisors and managers — and they were all able to actively participate in the selection of priorities and strategies. We’re already seeing improvements with members of the community and I can’t wait to see what comes next!”



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