Concurrent planning in public child welfare agencies: Oxymoron or work in progress?edit
Concurrent planning is used increasingly in child welfare practice as one strategy to expedite permanency for children. The strategy was developed in small, private agency contexts utilizing comprehensive and intensive services; how and with what success concurrent planning concepts have been implemented by large public child welfare bureaucracies is not known. This study examines the implementation of concurrent planning in six county child welfare agencies in a large western state. Quantitative data were extracted from case files of a sample of 885 children entering out-of-home care before and after implementation of concurrent planning legislation. Interviews and focus groups with 180 individuals (including agency social workers, supervisors, and court personnel) from the same counties contextualize these findings. Results from the study help to identify factors that may facilitate or hinder successful implementation.