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CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE ) OF SPRINGFIELD-IN-ILLINOIS, an Illinois ) non-profit corporation, et al., ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) STATE OF ILLINOIS, et al., ) ) Defendants, ) ) SUSAN TONE PIERCE, et al., ) ) Intervening Defendants. )

Case No. 2011 MR 254 Hon. John Schmidt Presiding Judge


TO: Deborah L. Barnes, Esq. Assistant Attorney General 500 South Second Street Springfield, IL 62706 Tel. 217-782-5819 Fax 217-524-5091 Attorney for Defendants Brent D. Stratton, Esq. Chief Deputy Atty. General 100 W. Randolph, Ste. 10-100 Chicago, IL 60601 Tel. 312-814-6234 Fax 312-814-1436 Attorney for Defendants Harvey Grossman, Esq. Roger Balwin Fndn. Of ACLU 180 N. Michigan Ave., Ste.2300 Chicago, IL 60601 Tel. 312-201-9740 Fax 312-288-5225 Atty. for Intervening Defendants

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on Monday, September 26, 2011, at 12:30 p.m., the undersigned counsel for Plaintiffs herein will appear before the Hon. John Schmidt, Presiding Judge, in the courtroom usually occupied by him, or wherever else he may be sitting, or before any other Judge sitting in his stead, in the Sangamon County Courthouse in Springfield, IL, and then and there present Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider, Rehear, and Vacate the Summary Judgment Order of August 18, 2011, Dismissing Plaintiffs' Claims and Vacating the Preliminary Injunction, with supporting Declarations, copies of which previously have been filed and served on you, and Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Stay of Enforcement of the Court's Summary Judgment Order of 8/18/11, and for Reinstatement of the Preliminary Injunction to Preserve the Status Quo Ante Pending All Further Trial Court Proceedings and, If Need Be, Pending an Appeal, a copy of which is served on you herewith. An emergency now exists due to the newly-expressed desire of the Department of Children and Family Services not to wait for the Court's previously set October 5 hearing date but to transition the cases of the foster children in Catholic Charities care immediately. Said October 5 date was reportedly the earliest available date and time when Judge Schmidt's Clerk advised counsel that this matter could be fit into his courtroom schedule.

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____________________________________ One of the Attorneys for Plaintiffs Of Counsel: Thomas Brejcha Peter Breen Thomas More Society, A public interest law firm 29 South LaSalle Street ­ Suite 440 Chicago, IL 60603 Tel. 312-782-1680 Fax 312-782-1887 ARDC # 0288446 Attorney for all Plaintiffs Bradley E. Huff Richard Wilderson Graham & Graham, Ltd. 1201 South Eighth Street Springfield, IL 62703 Tel. 217-523-4569 Fax 217-523-4656 Attorneys for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Patricia Gibson Chancellor & Diocesan Counsel Diocese of Peoria Spalding Pastoral Center 419 NE Madison Avenue Peoria, IL 61603 Tel. 309-671-1550 Fax 309-671-1576 Attorney for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Peoria James C. Byrne Spesia & Ayers 1415 Black Road Joliet, IL 60435 Tel. 815-726-4311 Fax 815-726-6828 Attorney for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Joliet, Inc.

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David Wells Catherine A. Schroeder Thompson Coburn LLP One US Bank Plaza St. Louis, MO 63101-1611 Tel. 314-552-7500 Fax 314-552-7000 Attorneys for Catholic Social Services for Southern Illinois, Diocese of Belleville CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE AND EMERGENCY Thomas Brejcha hereby certifies that he is one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs herein and that he caused copies of the foregoing Notice of Motion to be served on all persons listed on the attached Service List by electronic delivery from [email protected] to the ascertainable email addresses of all said persons and by telefax to said persons' telefax addresses of record from telefax number 312-782-1887 and that due to the actions of defendant Department of Children and Family Services, a genuine emergency exists requiring immediate relief from this Court.


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CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE ) OF SPRINGFIELD-IN-ILLINOIS, an Illinois ) non-profit corporation, et al., ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) STATE OF ILLINOIS, et al., ) ) Defendants, ) ) SUSAN TONE PIERCE, et al., ) ) Intervening Defendants. )

Case No. 2011 MR 254 Hon. John Schmidt Presiding Judge

PLAINTIFFS' EMERGENCY MOTION FOR STAY OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE COURT'S SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER OF 8/18/11, AND FOR REINSTATEMENT OF THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO ANTE PENDING ALL FURTHER TRIAL COURT PROCEEDINGS AND, IF NEED BE, PENDING AN APPEAL Plaintiffs, the Catholic Charities entities for the four Roman Catholic Dioceses of Springfield-in-Illinois, Peoria, Joliet, and Belleville, hereby move for the following relief: (a) that this Court confirm that enforcement of its Summary Judgment Order, entered on August 18, 2011, has been stayed pending the Court's consideration and ruling on plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider, Rehear, and Vacate, etc., filed on Friday, September 9, 2011, pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1203(a)-(b), and any further proceedings that may be had before this Court; (b) that the preliminary injunction, entered on July 18, 2011, nunc pro tunc as of July 12, 2011, and vacated by the Court's Summary Judgment Order on August 18, 2011, be confirmed as reinstated, as its dissolution was integral to said Order that has been

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stayed pursuant to the above-cited statute, so as to preserve the status quo ante, pending the Court's ruling on the motion to reconsider, and any ensuing proceedings before this Court, and which would avert plaintiffs' demise by slow attrition if not by the immediate "mass transitioning" of foster children, as defendants now demand; and (c) if need be, and in the alternative, that the Court enter a stay, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 305(b), pending the plaintiffs' prompt filing and prosecution of an appeal of the Court's rulings herein, in the event that reconsideration is denied. In support whereof, plaintiffs state as follows: Introduction and Summary of Grounds for Entry of a Stay 1. Plaintiffs deem this motion vitally necessary in order to avert a genuine "emergency," as the defendants, the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) and its Director, Erwin McEwen, are now pressing the plaintiffs for an immediate mass "transitioning" of the many children (now numbering somewhere over 2,000) who remain in plaintiffs' foster care programs to different child welfare agencies, despite the fact that this Court's Summary Judgment Order must be deemed as stayed, pursuant to the above-cited statute, given plaintiffs' timely filing of their motion to reconsider, etc. 2. While this Court scheduled a hearing on plaintiffs' motion for October 5, 2011, the defendants are unwilling to stay their hand until that date for reasons that are unexplained, but which plaintiffs believe to be attributable to the fact that defendant, DCFS Director McEwen, recently announced his resignation from DCFS, to take effect as of September 30, 2011. Plaintiffs urge that this does not suffice as a legal justification for ignoring the statutory stay of the Court's judgment, as Mr. McEwen's successor may be equally capable of discharging the

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duties of his office, in accordance with law, as is Mr. McEwen himself, and there is no legally cognizable harm whatsoever that would flow from preserving the status quo ante, as plaintiffs' foster care and adoption programs have earned only superlative reviews from DCFS. 3. On the other hand, the stakes are enormously high for plaintiffs as well as for the public, as the immediate mass transitioning of all these children in plaintiffs' foster care program would sound the death knell for plaintiffs' claims, rendering them problematic if not wholly moot as it is difficult to envision that such a mass transitioning of child care arrangements could somehow be reversed or undone ­ as if to unscramble the eggs, where the "eggs" are fragile and vulnerable human beings ­ without undue complication and risk for the young people and families involved. Indeed, plaintiffs' claims might very well be ultimately vindicated and upheld upon a full and fair reconsideration by this Court, or failing such reconsideration, then on appeal. 4. Preservation of the status quo ante (including ongoing referral of new cases) is vital, too, to the existence of plaintiffs' own foster care programs and an immediate mass transitioning of children would be likely to destroy the continuity of current child placements for the thousands of children who are being taken care of by foster parents whom plaintiffs recruited to be part of their foster care programs. Such a drastic step is fraught with grave risks for the prospects of these young people, for whom social research (as well as common sense) amply show that stability and continuity are essential prerequisites for their optimal child development, and correspondingly, that destabilization, disruptions, and discontinuity pose egregious perils of great damage and lasting injury, not to mention sharply reducing their prospects for permanency ­ either returning to their family or finding a lifelong loving home within an adoptive family, or at least securing a stable situation with a foster family and continuously assigned social worker as well as counselors and other support staff. It would be tragic for these children if the

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defendants' imminently threatened mass "transitioning" had to take place before plaintiffs' claims could be fully and properly reconsidered, and/or, if need be, reviewed on appeal, and those mass "transitions" ended up traumatizing or otherwise damaging even a single child, when the transitions might well have been ruled in violation of law, as plaintiffs contend herein. 5. An immediate mass transitioning of children would also inflict severe blows on plaintiffs and their many hundreds of affected employees ­ trained professionals who have dedicated their working lives to the care and well-being of Illinois' neglected, abandoned, abused, and otherwise dependent infants and children, whom plaintiffs and plaintiffs' social workers and other staff members have served for as many as forty (40) years for DCFS, let alone for many decades (even millennia) before DCFS even existed. This is because, absent a stay and restoration of the status quo qnte, the plaintiffs' non-for-profit foster care "businesses" simply could not survive as DCFS has a monopoly on new case referrals for foster care. Plaintiffs' foster care programs, therefore, would have to be shut down, and adoptions would be minimized. These "shutdown expenses" and other inevitable "spillover costs" would inevitably impair plaintiffs' other charitable efforts and programs and lead to an unavoidable curtailment of services for poor and disadvantaged people who depend on Catholic Charities for vital services -all this at a time when news headlines widely (and loudly) proclaim that too many Americans' economic circumstances have newly thrust them beneath poverty levels. 6. Thus the upshot of defendants' imminently threatened mass transitions of cases to other providers along with the shutdown of plaintiffs' foster care program would be calamitous, not merely in pecuniary terms, but also in that plaintiffs' rights to exercise their religion, in practice and in good conscience ­ without retaliation or discrimination ­ would be irretrievably lost. And of paramount concern is that denial of a stay would be all too likely to wreak havoc on

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the lives and prospects of at least a good many of the thousands of children who have been placed under plaintiffs' care and oversight. Grounds for Plaintiffs' Motion for Emergency Stay 7. The Existence and Scope of the Stay Pending Reconsideration ­ Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1203(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure, it is provided that, "A motion filed in apt time stays enforcement of the judgment except that a judgment granting injunctive or declaratory relief shall be stayed only by a court order that follows a separate application that sets forth just cause for staying the enforcement." Here, as plaintiffs' post-judgment motion was timely filed on September 9, 2011, and the Court's Summary Judgment Order did not grant injunctive or declaratory relief, but rather vacated the preliminary injunctive relief which the Court previously had awarded to plaintiffs, the plaintiffs now urge that the Court should confirm that enforcement of its final judgment has been stayed. Furthermore, inasmuch as the vacation of the preliminary injunction was an integral part of that final judgment, that said preliminary injunction must be deemed to remain in effect, pending the Court's adjudication of plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider, Rehear, and Vacate the Summary Judgment Order, etc. 8. Request for a Stay, in the Alternative, Pending Appeal ­ Should this Court reject or overrule plaintiffs' post-judgment motion, plaintiffs are granted an appeal as of right, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 301, to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District. Should this Court, after considering plaintiffs' post-judgment motion, rule against the plaintiffs, then plaintiffs duly intend to initiate and perfect an appeal to the Appellate Court, and if need be, to the Illinois Supreme Court. Given the compelling reasons for entry of a stay pending such an appeal and the grave importance of the issues presented, plaintiffs urge that such a stay is fully

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warranted under the principles set forth in Stacke v. Bates, 138 Il..2d 295, 308-09 (1990), in order to preserve the status quo ante pending appellate review. 9. Application of the Principles for Granting or Denying a Stay in Stacke v. Bates ­ Whether to stay an appealable order is a matter of discretion for this Court, pursuant to the rules and principles laid down by our Illinois Supreme Court in Stacke v. Bates, supra, 138 Ill.2d at 301. The trial court, in the first instance, and thereafter the Appellate Court, must weigh multiple relevant factors including: the likelihood of success on appeal; the parties' balance of hardships; and the public interest. Stacke, 138 Ill.2d at 302-09. Stays are most commonly granted to keep the status quo ante intact pending appellate review. See, e.g., Jojan Corp. v. Brent, 307 Ill. App.3d 596, 609 (1st Dist. 1999). Ultimately, the decision whether to stay vel non will entail a balancing of all the relevant factors. Stacke, 138 Ill.2d at 308-09. The burden on the party who seeks entry of a stay is not to show any probability of success, but rather only a "substantial case" on the merits of the party's claim or claims. Also, that party must show that the balancing of all the equitable factors tips in favor of granting the stay. Id. Here, in the case at bar, not just some but all of the factors weigh decisively in favor of granting a stay so as to preserve intact the status quo ante pending further action by this Court, and/or by the Appellate Court, should an appeal be necessary. 10. Plaintiffs Have Made a Substantial Case on the Merits of Their Claims ­ Here, plaintiffs have adduced multiple compelling grounds warranting reconsideration and vacating of this Court's Summary Judgment Order, rendering it fraught with doubt, rather than "free from doubt," as mandated by Purtill v. Hess, 111 Ill.2d 229 (1986). Plaintiffs hereby refer to and incorporate the contents of their Motion to Reconsider, Rehear, and Vacate, etc., and only state these high points for the present:

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That the Court has erred in misconceiving the entire thrust that is common to all of plaintiff's claims, namely, that plaintiffs are not insisting that they, or anybody else, can force the government to contract with them, any more than a prospective employee or employee at will may "force" the government to hire him or her ab initio. Rather, on the contrary, plaintiffs contend ­ and the undisputed facts, including the uncontradicted verified allegations of the second amended & supplemental complaint, having the benefit of all favorable inferences therefrom, leave little if any room for doubt ­ that defendants would have renewed their contract with the plaintiffs, both parties having agreed to all proposed contract renewal terms, but for an illegal reason, the sole stated reason for their action! That is, defendants fired plaintiffs, suddenly refusing to countersign the very FY 2012 contracts that defendants had proposed to plaintiffs ­ for the demonstrably erroneous and lawless reason that they deemed plaintiffs in violation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, when it is patent that plaintiffs were not only specifically exempted from that law, but also neither covered nor constrained by its prohibitory terms, which only bind government, not private contractors. At a minimum, the contrary proposition urged by the defendants ­ that they didn't act for an illegal reason, but could refuse to continue doing business with plaintiffs because of plaintiffs' religious practice and sincerely held, conscientious religious beliefs ­ is fraught with doubt, and therefore the Court's entry of summary judgment was barred. That the Court erred in concluding, in its footnote 1 to the Summary Judgment Order, (p. 3 fn. 1), that its finding that plaintiffs had no legally protected property right somehow made it unnecessary even to address, let alone adjudicate on their merits Counts I, II or III, or the claim by plaintiffs that they had been deprived of a liberty interest without due

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process of law, as alleged in Count IV. All those claims stood on independent footing, separate and apart from any allegedly requisite "property right" held indispensable for Count IV, which in turn should have stood or fallen on strength of plaintiffs' claim of a legally protected property interest or expectancy, that is, what Kraut v. Rachford, 51 Ill."App.3d 206, 213-14 (1st Dist. 1977), one of the pair of cases cited by this Court (Op., p. 3), described as an "objective expectancy," and wholly apart from plaintiffs' alleged liberty interest. Indeed, as detailed in Count III, plaintiffs alleged a violation of their statutory rights under the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which manifestly constituted a freestanding claim, as that statute affords "a right to file a judicial action when the rights protected therein are infringed upon," as held by the Supreme Court in Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, 231 Ill.2d 464, 502 (2008), citing 775 ILCS 35/20, which states, without limitation, that whenever "a person's exercise of religion has been burdened in violation of [the] Act, that person may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and may obtain appropriate relief against a government." This Court already has found that defendants have forced plaintiffs out providing foster care and related adoption services "because the Plaintiff[s] would not provide those services to unmarried cohabiting couples" (Op., p. 2), and it is undisputed that this is owing to their Roman Catholic religious beliefs and practices. Plaintiffs' "exercise of religion" clearly suffered a "substantial burden," as they have been "branded" and stigmatized by defendants as law breakers, guilty of discrimination, and thus "debarred" as "ineligible" for any contracts with the State of Illinois (e.g., uncontradicted Verified 2d Amdd. & Suppl. Compl., ¶¶7, 8, 14, 15, 57, 59, 60, & Ct. III, passim). Moreover, the critical phrase, "exercise of religion," is statutorily defined as "an act or refusal to act that

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is substantially motivated by religious belief, whether or not the religious exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief" (775 ILCS 35/5). Obviously, that definition within the statute plaintiffs invoke is controlling, as whenever text is so explicit, it controls. Thus as plaintiffs previously argued (Motion to Reconsider, etc., pp. 19-21), Count III should have survived summary judgment, regardless of any other claim. With all deference, this Court's Summary Judgment Order effectively has written this law out of existence, consigning it to oblivion, despite its constitutional significance as a codification of Article I, Section 3 of our Illinois Constitution. Counts I and II likewise should have survived summary judgment, apart from any decision about a "property right," "property interest," or "expectancy." Plaintiffs pled in Count I, and adduced compelling evidence in support of their claim, that they are exempt as a sectarian adoption agency from the strictures in the Illinois Human Rights Act, applicable only to "places of public accommodation," against marital status and sexual orientation discrimination. The Attorney General's Office urges a contention to the contrary, having "notice" that plaintiffs are in violation of the Act, and despite this Court's ruling dismissing their claim in Count I, plaintiffs remain vulnerable to that Office's investigation of a pattern or practice violation covering the entire State of Illinois ­ an investigation by an Office clearly acting in a quasi-judicial manner, not to mention further charges that may be entertained by the defendant Illinois Department of Human Rights. Those investigatory actions are contrary to law, and should be enjoined, arrested, and prohibited, according to the law laid down by our Supreme Court in Bd. of Trustees of So. Ill. Univ. v. Dep't of Human Rights, 159 Ill.2d 206, 211 (1994), in which the Supreme Court prohibited the agency from pursuing an investigation, just as the Attorney

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General purports to be investigating plaintiffs ­ having illegally concluded that the statute applies to plaintiffs. In any event, this claim asserted in Count I also has nothing to do with any "proof of property right' which this Court held to be indispensable for plaintiffs' prevailing upon Count IV. Surely this alleged violation of the Human Rights Act isn't moot, as it continues to aggrieve plaintiffs, even apart from their non-renewal of FY2012 contracts, given their debarring from other contracts too, as plaintiffs have alleged (supra), and that debarring stems from defendants' conclusion that they are in violation of Illinois law, both the Human Rights Act and the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. Count II likewise presents a claim for declaratory judgment, to which plaintiffs are duly entitled to an adjudication on the merits. Branded and stigmatized as law breakers and declared ineligible for, and debarred from, future contracting with the State of Illinois, all on account of the defendants' baseless claims that plaintiffs flouted the "Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act," plaintiffs have standing to win a ruling from this Court that they are not in violation of that Act but rather exempt from it, and not even constrained by its terms which only restrict government. The Court's Summary Judgment Order never touches the merits of this claim, which goes to the heart of this entire case! And it is anything but moot, given ongoing consequences (stigma as well as debarment). The Court has overlooked that plaintiffs have pled a deprivation of their liberty interest, as well as their legally protected property interest or "objective expectancy," as a predicate for their due process claims ­ both substantive and procedural ­ as alleged in Count IV. Plaintiffs have pled repeatedly that defendants' actions may debar them from

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eligibility not only for FY 2012 contract renewals but from other State business given their "branding" with the stigma of "law breaker," indeed one guilty of illegal discrimination (Verified 2d Amdd. & Suppl. Compl., ¶¶7. 8, 14, 16, 59, 60). This was done without the slightest notice or opportunity for hearing, and this factor alone warranted the Court's weighing the merits of Count IV, charging due process violations arising out of the unconstitutional deprivation of their liberty interest, as plaintiffs have been left stigmatized, blacklisted, and utterly remediless. Finally, plaintiffs have set forth substantial reasons why this Court erred in repulsing their substantive and due process claims in Count IV, which were predicated on their having been so arbitrarily and capriciously stripped, without basis in law, of their "objective expectancy" in renewal of their FY 2012 contracts ­ a legally protected property interest (Pls. Mot. to Rehear, etc., pp. 4-13). 11. The Public Interest and the Balance of the Equities Strongly Favors Plaintiffs ­ This critical factor involves weighing the potential harm that would be visited upon both the plaintiffs and the public by an erroneous failure to grant a stay of enforcement of the Court's Summary Judgment Order, as against the potential harm that would be suffered by Defendants, including the Defendant-Intervenors, should the Court erroneously grant the stay of enforcement that plaintiffs are seeking herein. Cf., Kanter & Eisenberg v. Madison Assoc., 116 Ill.2d 506, 510 (1987)("the aim of the analysis must be to eliminate the risk of choosing wrongly" on an adjudication of a motion for temporary injunction). This factor weighs decisively in favor of the plaintiffs. 12. The Defendants Will Suffer No Cognizable Legal Harm if a Stay is Granted ­ The

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risk of any cognizable legal harm being inflicted on the defendants, or any of them, in the event that this Court grants the stay of enforcement that plaintiffs are seeking is, at best, next to nil. Plaintiffs have been providing quality services to the State of Illinois, the defendants, its citizens, and their foster families and the infants and children they are taking care of for many years, earning plaudits and praise. The worst that defendants could now claim is that plaintiffs are discriminating in violation of law, owing to their religious practices. But that begs the very legal question which plaintiffs disputed and brought before this Court for resolution. Indeed, plaintiffs have presented a compelling case to the effect that they are not violating any Illinois law, neither the Human Rights Act, nor the Illniois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, and that it is plaintiffs' rights that are being infringed, not defendants.' In fact, it does not appear that a single "civil union couple" has applied for foster care or adoption licensing from the plaintiffs and been referred elsewhere since the law legitimating civil unions became effective, on June 1, 2011 (see, Plaintiffs' Supplemental Declarations, appended to their Motion to Reconsider, etc.). At least, plaintiffs know of no such cases. Moreover, Federal Executive Order 13559 expressly provides that defendants' federally funded child welfare programs (see, Pls. verified 2d amdd. & suppl. compl., ¶47, uncontradicted), must allow for referrals to alternate providers, thus legitimating referral procedures such as plaintiffs have utilized without objection for years. Surely the right to demand referrals for the purpose of avoiding service by religiously affiliated providers, as guaranteed by Federal Executive Order 13559, establishes a precedent warranting resort to referral options to accommodate religious objections on the part of religious providers of social services, such as plaintiffs (see, Id., Exh. C, sub¶(b),(c)). At worstt, having to tolerate a brief referral to another social service provider or to DCFS itself would fall in the category of de minimis non curat lex. Nor does Director McEwen's resignation constitute a legally cognizable

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harm that counts against granting a stay, as there is no claim, let alone proof, that his successor would not be capable to direct DCFS in accord with the law. 13. The Harm to the Public and the Plaintiffs Absent a Stay Would Be Severe ­ On the other hand, the harm that would befall both the public and the plaintiffs if this Court did not grant a stay would be very severe, and we dare say calamitous: a. Harm to the Public ­ Should defendants be permitted to carry out their imminently threatened mass "transition" of cases to other social service providers, there is every indication that this would inflict incalculable harm on children and infants at risk. Plaintiffs already have argued this point at some length in Part V of their Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Intervenors' Motion to Dismiss their Second Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, under the heading, "The Relief Sought By The Intervenors Would Cause Incalculable Harm To Children In Foster Care In Illinois." Plaintiffs, therefore, have appended that argument hereto as Exhibit A, and they incorporate it by reference herein, comprising pp. 25 through 34 inclusive. Plaintiffs thus argue that the federal consent decree, the litigation it grew out of, as well as independent studies demonstrate that the two most critical factors in successful foster care child placements and eventual permanency for the child are stability in placement and continuity of services. These two factors would be very seriously, inevitably undermined by defendants' mass transition program. Stability in placement will be harmed by shrinking the size of the pool of available foster parents ­ a clearly anticipated result of eliminating Catholic Charities as a prime recruiter of candidates in Catholic parishes all over Illinois to serve as foster parents. Continuity of services would suffer greater risk of damage, as proved convincingly by a study of

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children in private foster care agencies in Milwaukee County, conducted by inter alii the former DCFS Director, Jess McDonald, a copy of which is appended hereto as Exhibit B. That study, a copy of which is appended hereto as Exhibit B, showed that there was a striking drop in prospects for permanency as between foster children having only one caseworker to those having two, from 74.5% to 17.5% Clearly, mass transitioning would invite discontinuity in social workers for the children involved ­ a factor that alone looms heavy on the scale in favor of staying this planned mass transition from plaintiffs to other agencies. Predictions offered by defendants about "seamless" transitioning have been filtered through rose-colored lenses, as Fr. Boland's Declaration attests, recalling that when his Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago had to give up its foster care program owing to an inability to purchase enough insurance to cover sharply increased liability risks, this "was in no way a seamless process" (Boland Decl., par. 7). Indeed, DCFS has recognized that "transfer of children's cases and foster parent licenses can have a detrimental impact on the children's services and permanency" (Exh. A hereto, p. 32). One appalling case was reported by DCFS in its Inspector General Report, from January 2005, appended as Exhibit C hereto, where after a "mass" transition of "all 59 of [one] agency's cases ... to a single private agency, although the Department had research demonstrating the strain a large influx of cases has on an agency's ability to provide effective services," a three-year old boy was found chained to his bed by the neck during a raid on a foster home (Exh. C, pp. 32-33). Clearly, "mass transitions" are fraught with serious risk, as this case, plus the DCFS's research, has proved. See also, another important study, entitled, "Why Should the Child Welfare Field Focus on Minimizing Placement Change as Part of Permanency Planning for Children?," a copy of

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which is appended hereto as Exhibit D, again underscoring the critical importance of avoiding exactly what the defendants are now pressing this Court to permit ­ a massive "placement change," even 1% of which would pose socially unacceptable risks where the balance of "harms" is so one-sided in plaintiffs' favor. b. Harm to the Plaintiffs ­ The harm to the plaintiffs, as well as to the impoverished and needy constituencies which they serve throughout so vast an area of our State of Illinois, should a stay of enforcement be denied, would be devastating. Indeed, plaintiffs' earlier Second Declarations from the plaintiffs' CEO's (Roach, Fox, and Van Cura), amply showed that their respective foster care programs would die a slow death from attrition if DCFS did not maintain a constant flow of new case referrals to them, as part of the status quo ante, and this Court so ordered, by way of "clarifying" the requirements of its preliminary injunction. DCFS now has resumed its cessation of new referrals, ignoring that the timely filing of plaintiffs' motion to reconsider, etc. operates as an automatic stay of enforcement, which should keep the status quo ante in effect, at least pending reconsideration of the Summary Judgment Order. Plaintiffs urge that the Court grant a stay pending appeal, if it denies reconsideration, so that plaintiffs may continue their charitable work in the foster care and adoption fields until their claims are fully and finally adjudicated. But there are worse harms that plaintiffs are suffering, which are detailed in their CEO's respective Supplemental Declarations, which were filed and served together with the motion for reconsideration, etc., back on September 9th. Those Declarations vividly recount the huge monetary as well as non-monetary blows that Catholic Charities will suffer, losing the benefit of their huge investment in fixed assets dedicated to these foster

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care and adoption ministries; the loss of so many valued, skilled, trained and experienced professional staff members and other employees; the lion's shares of their entire annual budgets; and a lengthy train of dire consequences which only a stay of enforcement of the Summary Judgment Order will avert, at least until plaintiffs' claims get their full ventilation, consideration, and adjudication before this Court and upon the appeal to which they are entitled by law. The worst loss, now at stake, is the plaintiffs' impending loss of their right to continue in their religious practices, which is their right under Illinois law ­ a loss they may have to suffer without being able to get the full-fledged judicial and appellate consideration to which they are entitled, should defendants be allowed to proceed with their mass transitioning, a forcible shutdown of plaintiffs' foster care and adoption ministries, absent an effective stay of the Court's final judgment, pendent lite. WHEREFORE, plaintiffs respectfully pray for entry of an order granting a stay of the enforcement of this Court's Summary Judgment Order, including a reinstatement and continuance of the preliminary injunction, whose dissolution was an integral part of the Court's Summary Judgment Order, to preserve the status quo ante, for the duration of any and all further proceedings before this Court, and if need be, throughout the duration of any appeal; and that they have all other relief to which they may be entitled on the premises in accordance with law. Respectfully submitted,

Of Counsel: Thomas Brejcha Peter Breen Thomas More Society, A public interest law firm 29 So. LaSalle St., Suite 440 Chicago, IL 60603 ARDC #0288446

__________________________________________ One of the Attorneys for Plaintiffs

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Tel. 312-782-1680 Fax 312-782-1887 ARDC # 0288446 Attorney for all Plaintiffs Bradley E. Huff Richard Wilderson Graham & Graham, Ltd. 1201 South Eighth Street Springfield, IL 62703 Tel. 217-523-4569 Fax 217-523-4656 Attorneys for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Patricia Gibson Chancellor & Diocesan Counsel Diocese of Peoria Spalding Pastoral Center 419 NE Madison Avenue Peoria, IL 61603 Tel. 309-671-1550 Fax 309-671-1576 Attorney for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Peoria James C. Byrne Spesia & Ayers 1415 Black Road Joliet, IL 60435 Tel. 815-726-4311 Fax 815-726-6828 Attorney for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Joliet, Inc. David Wells Catherine A. Schroeder Thompson Coburn LLP One US Bank Plaza St. Louis, MO 63101-1611 Tel. 314-552-7500 Fax 314-552-7000 Attorneys for Catholic Social Services for Southern Illinois, Diocese of Belleville

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Case No. 2011 MR 254

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS ______________________________________________________________________________ CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE OF ) SPRINGFIELD-IN-ILLINOIS, an Illinois non-profit) corporation, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ) DIOCESE OF PEORIA, an Illinois non-profit ) corporation, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ) DIOCESE OF JOLIET, INC., an Illinois non-profit ) corporation, and CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES ) OF ILLINOIS, INC., an Illinois non-profit ) corporation, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) STATE OF ILLINOIS, LISA MADIGAN, in her ) official capacity as the Attorney General ) of the State of Illinois, ERWIN McEWEN, in his ) official capacity as Director of the Department of ) Children & Family Services, State of Illinois, and ) the DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN & FAMILY ) SERVICES, State of Illinois, ROCCO J. CLAPPS, ) in his official capacity as Director of the ) Department of Human Rights, State of Illinois, ) and the DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ) State of Illinois, ) ) Defendants, and ) ) SUSAN TONE PIERCE, as Next Friend and on ) behalf of a certified class of all current and future ) foster children in custody of DCFS in a federal ) case titled B.H. v McEwen, No. 88 CV 5589 ) (N.D. Ill. 1988); SARAH RIDDLE, and ) KATHERINE WESEMAN, ) ) Intervening Defendants. )

Case No. 11-MR-254 Hon. John Schmidt, Judge Presiding


children, against plaintiffs? The complete and utter absence of proof of harm to foster children attributable to plaintiffs' policies and practices regarding cohabitation is striking. If those policies and practices have not resulted in any ascertainable harm in the last forty years, they are not likely to do so in the next forty years. V. THE RELIEF SOUGHT BY THE INTERVENORS WOULD CAUSE INCALCULABLE HARM TO CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN ILLINOIS. The relief sought by the intervenors, dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint or, in the alternative, summary judgment in their favor, would violate, not vindicate, the terms of the consent decree" entered in B.H. v. McEwen. and would cause incalculable harm to children in foster care in Illinois. That is because the relief intervenors ask of this Court, if granted, would effectively exclude plaintiffs from being able to provide the critical social services ­ foster care and adoption services ­ that they have provided to the people of Illinois for decades. That, in turn, would inevitably and unavoidably result in massive disruption of services and have a devastating impact on thousands of children who are presently in foster homes licensed through plaintiffs and would severely compromise services to children who will come into the foster care system in the future.. The "Restated Consent Decree," entered on July 15, 1997, set forth, as its sole purpose, "to assure that DCFS provides children with at least minimally adequate care." Pierce Decl., Exhibit A ("Restated Consent Decree"), ¶ 4. Plaintiffs wholeheartedly endorse that purpose. To that end, DCFS has the responsibility under the consent decree "to create and maintain a system which assures children are treated in conformity with the following standards of care:


a. Children shall be free from foreseeable and preventable physical harm. b. Children shall receive at least minimally adequate food, shelter and clothing. c. Children shall receive at least minimally adequate health care. d. Children shall receive mental health care adequate to address their serious mental health needs. e. Children shall be free from unreasonable and unnecessary intrusions by DCFS upon their emotional and psychological well being. f. Children shall receive at least minimally adequate training, education and services to enable them to secure their physical safety, freedom from emotional harm, and minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, health and mental health care." Id. Plaintiffs endorse those standards of care and follow them in their practices. In order to order to effectuate the purpose of the consent decree and the foregoing standards of care, the decree requires DCFS "to create and maintain a system which: a. provides that children will be timely and stably placed in safe and appropriate living arrangements; b. provides that reasonable efforts, as determined based on individual circumstances (including consideration of whether no efforts would be reasonable) shall be made to prevent removal of children from their homes and stably to reunite children with their parents, where appropriate and consistent with the best interests of the child; 26

c. provides that if children are not to be reunited with their parents, DCFS shall promptly identify and take the steps within its power to achieve permanency for the child in the least restrictive setting possible; d. provides for the prompt identification of the medical, mental health and developmental needs of children; e. provides timely access to adequate medical, mental health and developmental services; f. provides that while in DCFS custody children receive a public education of a kind and equality comparable to other children not in DCFS custody; g. provides that while in DCFS custody children receive such services and training as necessary to permit them to function in the least restrictive and most homelike setting possible; and h. provides that children receive adequate services to assist in the transition to adulthood." Id. ¶ 5. Plaintiffs concur in these requirements and follow them in their own practices. To ensure that DCFS creates and maintains the system mandated by the consent decree, the decree imposes specific requirements relating to a range of functions, including "Protective Services and Initial Assessment," ¶¶ 7-12, "Screenings and Assessments for Children, ¶¶ 13-14, "Case Plans and Permanency Goals," ¶¶ 15-19, "Administrative Case Reviews," ¶¶ 20-24, "Case Staffing and Management," ¶¶ 25-32, "Placement and Other Services," ¶¶ 33-38, "Case Record and Information Systems," ¶¶ 39- 41, "Health Care," ¶¶ 42-44, "Education," ¶¶ 45-49, "Adoption," ¶¶ 50-54, "Licensing," ¶¶ 55-56, "Training," ¶¶ 57-58, "Quality Assurance," ¶¶ 5927

63, and "Monitoring and Implementation," ¶¶ 64-71. With respect to "Placement and Other Services," which focuses on foster care, the decree requires DCFS "to develop a sufficient number of placement and other resources of sufficient quality and variety to meet its obligations under [the] decree." ¶ 37. The "resource development portion of the plans" must provide for, inter alia: Recruitment of sufficient numbers of foster homes to provide children with safe placements consistent with paragraph 34a [referring to "the best interests and special needs of the child"]; Retention of foster parents in the system, including the provision of adequate foster parent training, adequate compensation for foster parents (reflective of the cost of caring for children), and adequate support services sufficient to sustain foster placements and provide children in foster placement with adequate care' Development of sufficient numbers of therapeutic and specialized foster homes to permit DCFS to provide appropriate placements for special needs children, including the development of expertise among the foster parent population . . . ." ¶ 37a-c. With respect to "Adoption," the decree requires DCFS to promulgate revisions to its "policies, procedures and protocols . . to reduce delays in identifying children for adoption achieving termination of parental rights; identifying and approving adoptive families; and finalizing adoptions." ¶ 50a. DCFS is also required to develop and implement a program "to 28

intensify its efforts to recruit adoptive parents and foster parents who wish to become adoptive parents, including adoptive parents whose racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds are similar to those of children needing adoption." ¶ 52a. "Adoptive placement recruitment efforts shall include, where appropriate, public and private agencies and community groups." Id. Given the purpose of, standards of care imposed by and general requirements and specific policies mandated in, the consent decree, it should be immediately apparent that forcing plaintiffs to abandon the foster care and adoption services they have provided for decades to the people of Illinois would undermine, not build upon, the consent decree, and would cause incalculable and permanent harm to children in foster care in Illinois. Both the litigation in B.H. v. McEwen and independent studies demonstrate that the two most critical factors in successful foster care child placements and eventual permanency (either reunification with the child's family or, if that is not possible, adoption) are stability in placement and continuity of services. With respect to the first factor, stability of placement, a collaborative study among Casey Family Programs, the Harvard Medical School, the University of Michigan, the State of Washington Office of Children's Administrative Research, the University of Washington and the State of Oregon Department of Human Resources, concludes that, "[w]hile the effect of multiple placements on child and adult functioning has not been established definitively because some studies have found negative effects while others have not . . ., the more recent research in this area is documenting serious negative effects." Foster Care Alumni Studies, Why Should the Child Welfare Field Focus on Minimizing Placement Change as Part of Permanency Planning for Children? (2007) (attached) at 7. Stability in placement "minimize[s] child pain and trauma," "lessen[s] child attachment, behavior and mental health disorders," "decrease[s] school 29

mobility and increase[s] academic achievement," "maximize[s] continuity in services, decrease[s] foster parent stress, and lower[s] program costs" and "increase[s] the likelihood that a child will establish an enduring positive relationship with a caring adult." Id. at 3-5. Stability in placement ultimately will be affected by the size of the pool of available foster parents. Some foster parents currently licensed through Catholic Charities may not be willing to continue to have foster children placed with them through other agencies. Plaintiffs have established strong relationships with their foster parents and some or even many of them may not be willing to continue (with new placements) under the aegis of another agency. Third Fox Decl. ¶ 12; First Huelsmann Decl. ¶ 2; Lower-Sharp Decl. ¶ 6; Teckenbrock Decl. ¶ 3(d); Wilhoit Decl. ¶ 3. At the same time, if plaintiffs are no longer providing their foster care services, they will not longer be recruiting foster parents, as they do now. Lower-Sharp Decl. ¶¶ 2-5. That will reduce the numbers of persons who are willing to become foster parents in the future and, by extension, adoptive parents for those children in foster care for whom reunification with their own family is not possible. But stability in placement will be more immediately and dramatically affected by the discontinuity in services provided to them, as shown below. With respect to the second factor, continuity of services, a study of children in private foster care agencies in Milwaukee County conducted by, among others, Jess McDonald, former Director of DCFS, revealed a stunning statistical correlation between continuity of services (the same caseworker) and achieving the goal of permanency. Of the 679 foster children who achieved permanency in the period from January 2003 to September 2004, 74.5% had only one caseworker, 17.5% had two, 5.2% had three and 2.7% had four or more. Connie Flower, Jess McDonald and Michael Sumski, Review of Turnover in Milwaukee County Private Agency Child 30

Welfare Ongoing Case Management Staff (Jan. 2005) (attached) at pp. 3-4, 24.18 The striking drop off in achieving permanency for foster children who had two caseworkers (17.5%), compared to those who had only one (74.5%), proves beyond question that a change in the agency providing foster care services to a child in care, which would result from plaintiffs having to cease their operations, and the concomitant change in caseworkers, which would be inevitable, would have a dramatic and devastating impact on the welfare of children in foster care in Illinois. Given the number of children who are currently placed in foster homes through plaintiffs,19 the impact on the physical, psychological, emotional and developmental health of these children, their success in school and their moral and spiritual welfare, would be devastating. First Fox Decl. ¶¶ 5, 10, 14; First Huelsmann Decl. ¶¶ 4, 12; First Roach Decl. ¶¶ 20, 24; First Van Cura Decl. ¶¶ 12, 16. These concerns cannot be "airbrushed away" by blithe assurances (Shaver Aff. ¶¶ 19-24) that there will be a"seamless" transition from plaintiffs' agencies to other providers by virtue of plaintiffs' caseworkers going to work for new providers. Third Fox Decl. ¶ 15; Fourth Fox Decl. ¶¶ 10-18; First Huelsmann Decl. ¶ 4. That was not the experience when Chicago Catholic Charities stopped providing foster care services four years ago, and it would not be the experience if that situation arose again. When Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago ended its foster care services in

Other studies confirm this association between continuity of services and success in achieving permanency. See, e.g., C. Potter & S. Klein-Rothschild, Getting home on time: Predicting timely permanency for young children, CHILD WELFARE , 81(2), 123-150 (2002). Of the more than 15,000 children currently in foster care in Illinois, approximately 2,500 (15%) have been placed in foster homes through plaintiffs' agencies. First Fox Decl. ¶¶ 5, 14; First Huelsmann Decl. ¶ 12; First Roach Decl. ¶ 8; First Van Cura Decl. ¶ 14. Among children in foster care in the 89 downstate counties of Illinois, that percentage rises to 25%. Third Fox. Decl. ¶ 15. 31



2007 (because it was unable to obtain cost effective liability insurance), approximately 900 foster care cases had to be transferred to DCFS and other private agencies. Boland Decl. ¶¶ 3-6. The "transitioning" of those cases "was in no way a seamless process." Id. ¶ 7. During the transition, foster children lost their primary caseworker causing "further emotional distress for our children." Id. ¶ 8. "The children also were forced to sever their relationships with their treating therapists and counselors" when they were transferred to other agencies. Id. "Losing the care and support of their agency personnel is especially traumatic to children who have been abused and neglected." Id. As a result of Catholic Charities of the Chicago Archdiocese ceasing operations, some of the children were transferred to an agency which closed less than two years later, "forcing the kids to face the same turmoil of loss and transition all over again." Id. ¶ 9. See also Fourth Fox Decl. ¶ 13 (identifying multiple discontinuities in foster care and supporting services when an agency goes out of business or ceases operations); First Huelsmann Decl. ¶¶ 7, 14 (same). DCFS has recognized that "[t]he transfer of children's cases and foster parent licences can have a detrimental impact on the children's services and permanency." Licensing Standards for Foster Family Homes, Subchapter E, § 402.4(e)(2)(D)(I). Unfortunately, that concern is not purely academic. DCFS's Inspector General has acknowledged the reality of the problem when one agency goes out of business and "hands off" its cases to another. In her January 2005 Report to the Governor and the General Assembly, Denise Kane, Ph.D., Inspector General of DCFS, reported on an appalling case in which the police "found a three-year old boy chained to his bed by the neck during a raid of his foster home." Report at 171. "Following the discovery, the Department [DCFS} learned [that] the home had exceeded its licensed capacity for foster 32

children and [that] neither of the two private agencies that were supervising children in the home was ware of the other's involvement with the family." Id. The DCFS investigation revealed that four months after the three-year old boy and his seven-year old sister were placed in the home of a non-relative by a private foster care agency, "the private agency permanently closed, necessitating the immediate transfer of all cases." Id. The Inspector General explained what happened: In such instances, the Department's case assignment unit distributes cases to other public and private organizations on a rotating basis, utilizing a computer program that weighs the factors of a child's case against organizational attributes and appropriateness to determine where cases should be directed. In this instance, however the then-Director of the Department ordered all 59 of the agency's cases involving non-relative foster children to be transferred to a single private agency, although the Department had research demonstrating the strain a large influx of cases has on a agency's ability to provide effective services. Although the second private agency had recently requested expansion of its contract with the Department, by accepting the transfers, the second's agency's total number of non-relative foster care cases grew from 31 to 85, increasing the second agency's caseload by 174% in one day. Department contracts are awarded to private agencies based on a performance-based system that identifies achieving permanency for children as the ultimate goal. Because the second agency had successfully met its past permanency goals, the cases were transferred without an evaluation of other performance measures utilized by the Department. Id. (emphasis added). Thus, although defendant DCFS itself is in possession of research "demonstrating the strain a large influx of cases has on a agency's ability to provide effective services," that is precisely what DCFS, along with the intervenors, is proposing by opposing the relief plaintiffs seek in this case. And it won't be a few dozen cases, it will be thousands. Fourth Fox Decl. ¶¶ 15, 18. And what appears to be DCFS's normal policy when a private agency ceases operations ­ to distribute the cases to other agencies on a rotating basis ­ obviously and indisputably


aggravates the problem of caseworker turnover with respect to the cases transferred to other agencies. Fourth Fox Decl. ¶ 13. A caseworker can work for only one agency at a time; she cannot "bi-locate" and work for two (or more) agencies at the same time. But even assuming that some, or even most, of the caseworkers employed by plaintiffs "transitioned" to other agencies and stayed with their cases, the lives of hundreds of children in foster care in Illinois would be disrupted, achieving permanency for those children would be delayed and some children would be placed at risk of harm. First Fox Decl. ¶ 10; Fourth Fox Decl.¶¶ 14, 17; First Huelsmann Decl. ¶ 14; First Roach Decl. ¶ 24; First Van Cura Decl. ¶¶ 16, 23. Intervenors may be sanguine about such an outcome; plaintiffs cannot be. More than twenty years ago, in an early stage of the litigation in B.H. v. McEwen, Judge Grady observed that "[c]hildren are by their nature in a developmental phase of their lives and their exposure to traumatic experiences can have an indelible effect upon their emotional and psychological development . . ." B.H. v. Johnson, 751 F.Supp. 1387, 1395 (N.D. Ill. 1989). By virtue of the positions they have taken in this case, intervenors and defendants appear to be perfectly willing to place the foster children of Illinois in harm's way by disrupting placements and undermining continuity of services. Plaintiffs are not, which is why they brought this action. VI. AS PRIVATE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, PLAINTIFFS ARE NOT STATE ACTORS. The intervenors' claim that plaintiffs are state actors starts with a false premise and drives to a conclusion wholly inconsistent with controlling precedent from the United States Supreme Court. As demonstrated below, the facts of the matter establish that Illinois purchases certain


Review of Turnover in Milwaukee County Private Agency Child Welfare Ongoing Case Management Staff

January, 2005

Connie Flower Jess McDonald Michael Sumski

Exhibit B


The review of turnover of ongoing case managers in the private agencies providing foster care and safety services for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare(BMCW) revealed that turnover of staff remains problematic, impacts negatively the permanency outcomes of children in the system, and has high costs to the agencies and the system. Contributingfactors to the problem include low salary and benefits; perceived low regard for the work of ongoing staff, and of them specifically; inadequate training and career opportunities; and an organizational and system culture that is perceived to be unsupportive and punitive. Major strategies recommended for addressing this problem include establishing a salary and benefit package for ongoing staff that reflects that of the BMCW intake and assessment staff, requiring full social work certification for all staff, upgrading training programs, targeting staff recruitment activities and the development of stronger agency based quality improvement programs. A major concern expressed is that under current plans the BMCW will place the foster care and safety services out to bid increasing the potential for additional staff turnover. Another concern is the potential that case transfers will be used to realign caseloads when the BMCW moves from five to three sites. It is recommended that the BMCW provide assurances that all current ongoing and safety staff be guaranteed employment with the successful bidders and that no case transfers will be used to realign site boundaries. Case transfers have the same effect on clients as do turnover - a delay in permanency. This report hopefully provides the parties and stakeholders in the Milwaukee County child welfare system with some alternative strategies to address this critical problem of case worker turnover.


Review of Turnover of Milwaukee County Private Agency Child Welfare Case Management Staff

High turnover is a national issue that impacts performance of child welfare systems and, most importantly, the outcomes of children and families who come in contact with those systems. A Government Accounting Office (GAO) study highlighted the relationship between critical child welfare functions impacting the achievement of positive outcomes and workforce as they relate to the Child and Family Service Review (CFSR). The report identifies that high turnover is related to low salaries, high caseloads, limited supervision, insufficient training and concerns about personal safety. A 2003 Annie E. Casey Foundation report estimated that annual turnover in Child Welfare was approximately 20%. The Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW) experiences turnover rates ranging from less than 10% to 67% depending on the service area. The Governor's Office of Wisconsin, being aware of the enormity of the issue and the potential consequences to children and families, requested an initial short-term inquiry to examine the issue of turnover within the BMCW. Upon early exploration it was determined that turnover rates for Intake and Assessment staff, private agency adoption staff, and foster care (licensing) staff were all under 10%. Conversely, ongoing case management staff all employed by private agencies experienced a 34% to 67% turnover in 2003 and 2004. The BMCW views this as a major issue and was also identified in a January, 2000 report by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Inc. (WCCF) entitled From the Front Lines: Milwaukee's Child Welfare Community Speaks Out. It is also a concern of the private agencies, the Juvenile Court of Milwaukee County, and Children's Rights, attorneys for the plaintiffs covered by the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement and the BMCW's operational plan identify goals, targets, strategies, and monitoring expectations concerning the problem of ongoing case manager turnover. Given the magnitude of turnover in ongoing case management, the inquiry was primarily limited to this area of service delivery as it directly impacts a broader scope of outcomes related to safety, permanency, and child and family well being. While Milwaukee County experiences some of the national conditions contributing to turnover identified in the GAO workforce report, in addition to others identified during the inquiry, it has the opportunity to address the problem with reasonable steps.


The review determined that four critical questions required exploration. Is turnover of ongoing case managers a continuing problem in Milwaukee County? Does turnover of ongoing case managers impact permanency for children? What are the costs associated with case manager turnover? What are the various factors contributing to turnover?


Exploring each of these would be critical to determining the ultimate impact of turnover as well as informing any considered strategies to address the issue. To illuminate this inquiry information was gleaned through various mechanisms consisting of the following: Interviews with private agency chief executive officers (CEO's) and other identified management staff Interviews with critical state leadership of the BMCW Interviews with the BMCW's program evaluation managers (PEM's) Interviews with Judges and staff of the Milwaukee Juvenile Court Interviews with the University of Milwaukee training partners Meetings with the Workforce and Recruitment Workgroups Eight private agency focus groups involving 57 (26%) ongoing case managers and 28 (62%) supervisors Administration and compilation of Employee Environment Surveys Agency Management Surveys encompassing staffing, caseloads, recruitment and retention data, and quality improvement activities related to turnover BMCW data and reports The BMCW is data and information rich, particularly in the area of program evaluation. Bureau management has itself, in partnership with the private agencies, begun to address the issue of turnover through the formulation of the Workforce Workgroup and the Recruitment Sub-Committee. While various efforts to monitor and improve turnover have begun, the fruition of these efforts has not yet been realized as the first critical question is explored.

Critical Questions

Is turnover of ongoing case managers a continuing problem in Milwaukee County? Evidence suggests this remains a serious problem, as suggested by the high turnover rates of 34% to 67% in 2003 and 2004. One of the most important factors in achieving positive outcomes for children and families is consistency and continuity of case managers. This may most aptly be illustrated by a comment contained in the WCCF report, which highlighted a comment by a worker who indicated they were a child's tenth worker within a five-year period. At that time the child did not want to know the worker's name and instead elected to refer to the worker as "Number Ten." Changes in case managers force clients to start over with new workers often resulting in a lack of trust and delays in moving ahead with required service plan activities to achieve permanency. In addition, worker changes may result in delays in court hearings producing docket delays as cases are rescheduled. Between January and September 2004 clients served in Milwaukee County ongoing services, foster care, experienced significant worker turnover. Over 40% of the family cases served by the five sites 3

had more than one worker in the nine-month period (Site 1 = 38%, Site 2 = 43%, Site 3 = 45%, Site 4 = 41%, and Site = 48%). Of the 2899 children who remained in the Bureau's care at the end of September 2004, 40% had more than one worker.

Does turnover of ongoing case managers impact permanency for children? For those children who entered care in calendar year 2003 through September of 2004 and exited to permanency within the same time period, increases in the number of worker changes were correlated to lessening the chance of permanency achievement (See Graph Below). Children entering care during the time period who had only one worker achieved permanency in 74.5% of the cases. As the number of case managers increased the percentage of children achieving permanency substantially dropped, ranging from 17.5%, having two case managers to a low of 0.1% having six and seven case managers.

Fewer Changes in Caseworkers Increases the Chances of Permanency for Children

Data reported represents 679 children who entered care in calendar year 2003 through September 2004 and exited within the same time period. Data reported to review staff by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

Another measure of this problem is reflected by the high percentage of ongoing workers who have been on-the-job for less than twelve months (Site 3 and 5 - formally IFPI at 63 of 94 = 67%, Site 1 and 2 - WCSN at 41 of 81 = 50.6%, and Site 4 - LaCausa at 15 of 44 = 34%). Turnover remains a real problem and it has client related implications.

What are the costs associated with this high turnover of case managers? 4

The cost of case manager turnover goes beyond the negative impact on clients. Those impacts delay permanencies for children in foster care and result in unnecessary foster care expenditures. The Bureau and the partner private agencies experience direct costs as a result of turnover. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates the cost of employee turnover to be approximately one-third of their annual salary. This includes cashing out benefits, additional recruitment costs, investing in training new staff, and other related costs. Loss in productivity is not included in the DOL estimate, but may translate into agencies experiencing holdbacks or penalties should their quantitative performance fall below acceptable levels. A raw estimate of the cost of turnover of ongoing case managers who have left LaCausa, IFPI (now WCSN), and WCSN in the last eighteen months exceeds $1.4 million. Since the agencies are required to maintain caseloads at a given level, replacing exiting case management staff must occur. This high turnover results in morale problems and potential deficient budgets.

What are some of the factors contributing to turnover? The focus groups highlighted some of the factors they saw as contributing to worker turnover. Additionally, the results of the Employee Environment Survey, administered to all eight focus groups prior to their participation in the group, provided additional information (See Appendix A, pg. 12 ­ Results). The survey, developed and tested by the Gallup organization, has been used widely to determine worker's satisfaction. This survey has been used in Illinois for a similar purpose. While not having the opportunity to talk to workers who recently left the agencies, we were able to review some exit interview information provided by two of the agencies in their completed agency surveys. Twenty-six percent of ongoing case managers participated in the focus groups and 62% of the supervisors participated. Each of the five case manager groups was agency/site specific and was composed of only case managers. The three groups of supervisors were agency specific and composed of on-going case management supervisors. Additionally, two safety supervisors participated. Each focus group of on-going case managers was comprised of individuals with different educational backgrounds. Each group was comprised of an equal number of individuals having 6 months or less experience and three years or more experience. While the supervisor groups had a mix of educational backgrounds and lengths of service, half had been employed more than three years and the remainder less. Given the size and demographics of the groups, including a wide array of ages, it is felt that the group attendees were representative of the staff currently on-board and those who recently exited. Some of the themes surfacing across the focus groups as contributing to turnover and dissatisfaction included the following: low salaries and infrequent and inadequate salary adjustments; risk of violence; lack of professional regard, particularly from the Juvenile Court; lack of a career ladder within the organization; inadequate training; and lack of support. These observations align with those identified in national studies on turnover, including the GAO report on the child welfare workforce.


Salary Concerns: The starting salary for ongoing staff is less than that offered state BMCW staff performing similar, yet time limited, duties such as Intake and Assessment (IA) staff. IA staff start at $31,825 annually while ongoing staff at LaCausa start at $30,171, IFPI (now WCSN) staff started at $27,000, and WCSN staff start at $27,789. This difference becomes more disparate with tenure since the private agencies do not offer salary adjustments comparable to the BMCW.

Professional Regard: Ongoing staff is apparently largely not certified as social workers as is the BMCW IA staff. The requirement for use of certified staff, although part of the contract, is routinely waived at the request of the private agencies. In two focus groups, of 26 staff, only three were certified and only four others were working on their certification. Four sites comprised of 200 ongoing case managers provided data that indicates only 33 (16.5%) are certified. Of the 167 non-certified staff, the information indicates that 161 (96%) have degrees (social work, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and related human service) that qualify them for basic certification consideration as a social worker through the Department of Regulation and Licensing. Staff in the focus groups saw no value in certification as there would be no salary adjustment should they obtain certification. Additionally, several groups perceived an added liability should they be certified. They also reported that the court does not view them as professionals, instead referring to them as "lay people." While several focus group participants indicated that the recent meetings with the Juvenile Court Judges have improved relationships they report continued difficulty with staff from the District Attorney's Office. Certification, or lack of it, may contribute to this opinion by key stakeholders. Training: Reviews of the CFSR's suggest that states perform better when they have strong training programs. Some staff reported that previously offered intensive court training was no longer available. This training was viewed by participants as very helpful. Several focus groups identified that staff have been sent to court prior to attending court training. Case manager groups indicated that they would like to have more in-depth training occur during their respective core training. Many indicated that the basic knowledge relayed in the core training were concepts and topics they covered in their degree programs. The training was perceived by many as overviews of topics and desired more directly linked content such as hands-on WiSACWIS training with real cases, accessing hard services, and completing actual paperwork using a mock case. Instead, new workers reported they spend most of their time asking how to execute these functions after attending training. Supervisors had various levels of knowledge regarding their core training, with some not even aware that there was a core training. Supervisors echoed the concern of case managers regarding the lack of depth to the topics and described them more as "overviews." Supervisors reported that it is sometimes difficult to incorporate what they learn into practice because they are so busy ensuring compliance. Staff report that many of the on-going trainings are repetitive. They added that the training that they wanted or needed to attend was often so full they could not get in. Staff 6

also reflected concerns about balancing their work with training, answering pages and phone messages during breaks, lunch, and after training sessions. They also voiced concerns that if away for an extended training other workers may not make the same efforts to cover cases and see clients on their caseloads. This was a similar concern when going on vacation. The availability of support for advanced degree education for ongoing staff appears to be limited. The GAO study reported that in Kentucky and California, two of the states they visited and reviewed, more then 80% of the students utilizing Title IV-E funded stipends remained with their respective child welfare agencies after their contractual employment obligations had expired. In a Texas study 67% of staff with a social work degree were still working for the agency five years later. Of those people who had a social work degree and also held an internship in the social service agency prior to working there, the retention rate was even higher - 87%. When queried regarding the use of social work interns in their organizations both supervisors and staff reported that such internships were not usually available and they believed it was due to issues regarding client confidentiality. While this may or may not be the case, various studies support the utilization of internships within an organization to foster future and long-term employment within a child welfare agency. Organizational Culture Issues: The private agencies involved in ongoing and safety services appear to be autonomous in name only. They report, for example, being instructed not to use their letterhead in certain communications, and one was told not to develop its own mission statement. Bureau administration reported being unaware of these restrictions except that letterhead must reflect the organization's connection to the Bureau in certain legal communiqués. What seems apparent is a disconnect in communications. Staff, including supervisors, reported that there was little autonomy between their agency's day-to-day function and the span of control of the Bureau. Three case management focus groups reported that both internal and external communication often comes in the form of memos, often without clear explanations as to why certain management decisions were made or why changes in practice are implemented. Staff all reported that policy was available on-line but qualified this statement by adding that they have been told not to rely on it as it is out-ofdate. Communication between and among the BMCW, ongoing case managers, and their management is sometimes confused and staff report they do not feel anyone can defend them when things go wrong. The CEO's believe they have almost no ability to address emerging needs, given the rigid nature of the budget/contract, while Bureau management indicates they have met with agency management, when requested, to discuss alternative programming and funding strategies. Despite this divergent information, what remains is still a perception that the contract is inflexible. While financial penalties may be imposed for performance failures, few, if any incentives reward exceptional performance. This issue is complicated even more by the history of agency changes during the last several years. The CEO's feel they have no ability to address salary issues given these constraints. 7

The Bureau requires an agency to have a quality assurance plan according to the contract. The PEM's report that this is actually required when an agency is out of compliance and then takes the form of a corrective action plan verses a defined Quality Assurance (QA)/Quality Improvement (QI) Plan relating to their unique service arrays. What appears to be lacking is an overall Bureau Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Plan that overarches and provides continuity with similar individual private agencies plans contracted to provide the various services of adoption, foster care (licensing), safety, and ongoing services. Staff from several agencies indicated being involved in workgroups and other activities which were directly involved in using quality assurance information to improve performance, e.g. the BMCW's workforce and recruitment workgroups, policy committees, etc. On the other hand, staff reported that if issues are raised which require the Bureau's response; they usually do not obtain a response. They reported a better response when the issue was internal to the agency. However, in groups from one agency, they reported not completing the most recent satisfaction surveys, because they had not received feedback from prior satisfaction surveys . Defining communications and a feedback loop is a key element contained in an agency QA/QI plan, and assists in identifying organizational identity and its relationship to other partners. Recruitment and Employment Screening: Hiring the right staff is crucial to retaining staff. Research indicates that individuals with degrees unrelated to social work do not stay as long in their positions as those with social work or related degrees. The vast majority of case mangers in all the focus groups reported that neither their interview nor the job description they received gave them an accurate picture of what the job entailed. Many were drawn to working with children and families but were unaware that the majority of their time would be spent completing paperwork. The majority of recent college graduates in the focus group reported the position as being "entry level" in the field of social work. Supervisors routinely reported that there is no structured interview process for case managers, e.g. standardized questions, and questions posed do not routinely query the interviewee relative to the competencies necessary to perform child welfare work. Several accrediting bodies of child welfare agencies including the Council On Accreditation (COA), the largest accreditor of child welfare agencies, have established human resource standards that address the need for standardized and competency based interviews in addition to job previews or the ability to speak to senior staff in similar positions.

Possible Strategies: Addressing Ongoing Case Manager Turnover

The initial strategies we would recommend are fairly basic. Hire the right staff, pay them a fair salary and train and support them the right way. All the evidence points to this as the right direction. Unfortunately, the right strategies often seem out of reach or too costly. In this case the evidence strongly suggests that not addressing this issue costs more than leaving it alone, both in human and financial terms. The following are our suggested steps. They are viewed as a package rather than a menu from which one might select one step, perhaps a necessary step but by itself not 8

a sufficient step. 1. The inadequate salary and benefits of ongoing staff are a significant factor in ongoing staff's job satisfaction and probably contribute to the higher than desirable worker turnover. The salary levels are below those offered BMCW IA staff. The salary and benefits for ongoing staff should be adjusted to reflect a benefits package similar to that offered by the BMCW. The private agencies are responsible for the benefits packages offered their employees and as such should make appropriate adjustments as soon as is possible. Noting the perceived and real rigidity of the ongoing services contracts, the BMCW should grant the private agencies permission to reallocate resources in order to achieve this change. These conditions should be included in the required terms and conditions of the request for proposals for ongoing and safety services that are soon to be let. Costs associated with implementing these conditions should be recognized as allowable. (See Appendix-B, pg. 18 ­ Example Salary Approach) 2. Steps should be taken immediately to improve the professionalism of the ongoing workforce. Ongoing staff should be required to be certified social workers as is required of BMCW IA staff. This step should be required under the terms and conditions of the proposed RFP's. Steps have to be taken to achieve this over a reasonable, but not unlimited, period of time. The private agencies should begin immediate discussions with the various schools of social work to build "pipeline" programs designed to bring BSW and MSW graduates into their employ. The BMCW should make Title IV-E resources available to the private agencies, perhaps through the training partnership, in order to assist private agencies. 3. Training programs should be intensely reviewed in order to ensure staff is prepared to take on the difficult work of ongoing services. We would suggest the immediate development of a training academy that supports training teams housing new employees. These new employees would receive six months of intensive training, both theoretical and hands on. Included in this training would be intensive court training. Court training should be immediately restored and be required of all current and new staff. The private agencies could build this training effort independent of the BMCW since they would be paying salaries of staff in training. Ownership of the training effort by the private agencies with the training partnership is still a Title IV-E reimbursable activity although at a lower rate of federal financial participation than if offered solely to public employees. Two additional strategies must also be considered. One, ensuring that staff hired are the most viable candidates to be retained. The other to provide some relief to the issues related to organizational culture, improving communication and rectifying misconceptions. 1. Partial or fully standardized competency based interviews should be instituted, including the addition of job previews. A lack of clearly defined competencies impacts the selection process of new staff. While several agencies reported a waiting list of potential employees, none indicated that candidate competencies had been defined nor have questions been 9

formulated which inquire into these areas. Using information obtained from exit interviews may also assist in formulating questions. Acknowledging the trends identified through this process of information gathering may inform questions which can assist candidate selection to help reduce preventable turnover. Providing opportunities to preview the job can help to ensure that perspective hires have a better understanding upon which to make their hiring decision. Currently, the Bureau's workgroup on workforce and recruitment has identified some of the contributors to turnover as well as formulating recruitment strategies. What must accompany this is a more reliable selection process that screens out potential hires accurately and clearly provides a pool of applicants that display the most viable competencies, thus increasing the odds of retaining staff.

2. Individual agency and Bureau Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Plans should be developed and implemented. Currently, the BMCW has multiple mechanism of program monitoring as do the individual agencies, including multiple performance improvement plans and quality improvement activities which occur within multiple workgroups, committees, and internal and external reviews (e.g.. the Partnership Counsel - planning on conducting focus groups, the Workforce Workgroup - working on retention and recruitment, the Wingspread Conferences relating to the Chapin Hall study of the BMCW, etc). These activities and others all enhance the knowledge base regarding the agencies performance and its strengths and opportunities. Given the breadth of activities, formulating a concise plan supports clear communications of findings and plans for improvement. The plan can clearly define activities related to risk management, program evaluation and review, and consumer, employee, and stakeholder input and satisfaction. It can ensure that staffs, at all levels, have the opportunity to participate and with that participation have a responsibility to communicate with their agency staff. It can effectively serve as a template within which feedback loops can be identified and closed, both internally within the agency, and externally between the agency and the Bureau, thus enhancing the overall satisfaction level of staff.

Additional Considerations

A number of other issues contribute to the complexity of any resolution of this issue. The BMCW's intent to place these services out to bid increases the possibility of higher turnover. One CEO reports that staff already are anxious over their future. The Courts will expect higher turnover and potential backlogs from caseload transfers, which, we understand, happened once before. Private agencies cannot guarantee staff they have employment since they do not know the outcome of the process. The BMCW might be able to address this issue but only if they guarantee all current staff that they will be employed by any succeeding agency. This too would have to be a term of the RFP's and contracts. 10

Private agencies have an obligation to address these issues independently of the BMCW. The ongoing staff are their employees and they should be protected and developed by the private agency leadership. The BMCW is reviewing their contracts for ways to make them more outcomes based. Although there are no simple solutions, it is recommended that there be a greater focus on outcomes for children and families. Such a focus might lead to discussions about obstacles to reunification and adoption. The privates view the contracts as micromanagement and compliance oriented. The terms of the contracts are specific in nature and focus on important issues required by the settlement agreement. Shifting to an outcome based contract will require identifying client based outcomes. This will require a conversation between all the stakeholders prior to the cementing them into specific contract terms. .

A Lot of Good Work is Being Done Here So Solve This and Move On. There is so much good work going on by hundreds of very committed individuals that there should be reason to celebrate the improvements. There are communications issues that every large system experiences. Solve these issues by sitting down with the advocates and private agencies as full partners in changing the child welfare system. There is richness here in Milwaukee County and you need to tap it. The opportunity to resolve the issue of case worker turnover is more positive in Milwaukee County than perhaps any other jurisdiction in the country. Caseloads are already at reasonable levels. The Governor is committed to addressing the issue. The court settlement requires the issue to be resolved. Strategies as discussed in this paper exist to resolve this issue. The cost of not resolving this issue is enormous in terms of permanency for children and families. The cost to resolve the issue is reasonable and affordable given the resources committed to the system. The time to act is now.


Appendix ­ A Results of the Employee Environment Survey with Correlations to Focus Group Information

The Employee Environment Survey was administered to all focus group members prior to commencement of each group. Fifty-seven (57) ongoing case managers and 28 supervisors completed surveys, respectively 26% and 62% of all ongoing case managers and their supervisors. The survey was developed and tested by the Gallup Organization and was integral in Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman's in-depth study of over 80,000 managers selected on their ability of turning each employee's talent into performance. The survey measures employee engagement and has proven to be highly predictive of retention, productivity, and other business outcomes. The survey, composed of 12 questions (see next page), addresses four hierarchical elements that contribute to a recurring sense of achievement. These are:

What do I get? (Questions 1 &2) What do I give? (Questions 3-6) Do I belong here? (Questions 7-10) How can we all grow? (Questions 11 & 12)

Each of the 12 questions is responded to on a 6-point scale, ranging from "Disagree Very Much" to "Agree Very Much." Responses of "Agree Moderately" (4) and "Agree Very Much" (5), indicate a high level of engagement, being fully involved and positive toward work, while scores below a four are not engaged or actively disengaged. Organization managers should strive to have 90% of their employees rate all questions in the moderately to very much agree categories The following pages provide aggregate data for ongoing case managers and supervisors from the five sites, indicating the percent of response reflecting a high level of engagement (moderate to very much agree) and the percentage falling below that threshold. The final section of this appendix correlates some of the available focus group information to each question, provides a comparison between the responses of case managers and supervisors, draws some additional correlations to available research; and compares certain queries.


Employee Environment Survey Aggregate Results - Supervisors

Disagree Very Much 1. I know what is expected of me at work. I have the materials and equipment I need in order to do my work right. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. In the last seven days, I have received praise or recognition for doing good work. My supervisor seems to care about me as a person. There is someone at work who encourages my development. At work, my opinion seems to count. The mission/purpose of this organization makes me feel my job is important. My co-workers/peers are committed to doing quality work.

Disagree Moderately

Disagree Slightly

Agree Slightly

Agree Moderately

Agree Very Much


















7. 8.

43% 25%

57% 75%




10. I have a friend at work. 25% 11. In the last six months, someone has talked to me about my progress. 12. This last year, I have been provided with opportunities to learn and grow. 33% 75% 67%




Employee Environment Survey Aggregate Results - Ongoing Case Managers

Disagree Very Much 1. 2. I know what is expected of me at work. I have the materials and equipment I need in order to do my work right. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. In the last seven days, I have received praise or recognition for doing good work. My supervisor seems to care about me as a person. There is someone at work who encourages my development. At work, my opinion seems to count. The mission/purpose of this organization makes me feel my job is important. My co-workers/peers are committed to doing quality work. I have a friend at work. In the last six months, someone has talked to me about my progress. This last year, I have been provided with opportunities to learn and grow.

Disagree Moderately

Disagree Slightly

Agree Slightly

Agree Moderately

Agree Very Much

14% 28%

86% 72%







5. 6.

25% 35%

75% 65%

7. 8.

67% 45.5%

33% 54.5%




10. 11.

2% 36%

98% 64%




Correlation of Focus Group Information to Survey Results


Question 1 - I know what is expected of me at work - This question was similarly rated by both supervisors and case managers, both nearly achieving 90% in the moderate to very much agree category (supervisors 89% and case managers 86%). Focus group participants indicated they knew what their supervisors' and mangers' expectations were, although many of them indicated that at the point of employment as a case manager the expectations of the job were not entirely clear. Question 2 - I have the material and equipment I need in order to do my work right - Slightly over 70% of supervisors and case managers rated this in the moderate to very much agree category (supervisors 71% and case managers 72%). While focus group members did not raise any specific concerns regarding access to supplies or equipment, participants from three sites indicated that the facilities are often dirty and ill maintained. Two sites identified that having an agency car and cell phones would be beneficial, helping in defraying their out-of-pocket expenses as well as giving them a mechanism to obtain assistance while in the field. Question 3 - At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day - The response between supervisors and case managers was more disparate on this question. In rating the categories of moderate to very much agree category, 75% rated it in one of these two categories while only 47% of case managers rated it in one of the two categories. This seems to correlate to statements in focus groups from case managers who indicated that the job they are currently performing was not what they expected to be. That instead of spending the majority of their time working with children and families it is being spent on paperwork, staffings and court. Question 4 - In the last seven days, I have received praise or recognition for doing good work Twenty-nine (29%) of supervisors and 46% of case managers rated this in the moderate to very much agree category. Many case managers in the focus group reported that their supervisors were supportive, available, and provided supervision. Staff at several sites indicated they are located on a different floor than their supervisor or in a part of the office that is not in proximity to their supervisor or other team members. Case managers and supervisors indicate that due to the focus on compliance interactions with their superiors usually focus on what needs to be done rather than on what has been done - thus lessening the opportunity to recognize good work. Question 5 - My supervisor/manager seems to care about me as a person - This question scored higher then number 4 for both case managers and supervisors. Moderate to very much agree responses were at the level of 64% for supervisors and 75% for case managers. Once again this seems to coincide with the responses from both case managers and supervisors in the focus groups, both of whom indicated that their superiors were usually supportive, available, and provided flexibility which help to offset personal demands of the job. Question 6 - There is someone at work who encourages my development - Forty -five percent of supervisors and 65% of case managers were moderately or very much in agreement with this 15

statement. For case managers there was an exact correlation to Question 12 - This last year, I have been provided opportunities to learn and grow. For supervisors this was not the case with 63% rating question 12 in the moderate to very in agreement. Case management staff reported in the focus groups that the majority of supervisors make them aware of training opportunities. While many supervisors indicated they were aware of core training and other training prospects, some had no knowledge of the core training existence. Both reported that there were some opportunities available to pursue advance degrees, but these were limited. The lower rating associated to question 6 for supervisors may also be due to the nature of supervisor and manager communication which was characterized as often focusing on assuring compliance activities which may decrease the probability of discussing professional development. Question 7 - At work, my opinion seems to count - Only one-third (33%) of case managers and 57% of supervisors are moderately or very much in agreement. While a few focus group participants indicated that they have participated in work groups and committees formulated to improve various aspects of their individual agency or the BMCW, many were unaware of these groups or the outcomes. Some staff reported that they have been instructed not to raise issues in some meetings in order to preclude any possible repercussions. Staff report raising issues which need resolution either within their agency or at the Bureau. They indicate they are more apt to receive a response when the responsibility for resolution lies within their agency versus when it lies with the Bureau. Some staff report participating in satisfaction surveys, but have elected not to participate in future ones as they heard nothing from the past ones. Question 8 - The mission/purpose of the organization makes me feel my job is important -. Threequarters (75%) of supervisors and slightly over one-half (54%) of case mangers fell within the desired category for this query. Supervisors in the focus groups reported a high level of understanding of their role and responsibility in the organization. Over 70% have been with their respective agencies for more than two years and 57% more than three years. Seventy-one percent hold either M.S.W. degree or advance degree in a related Human Service field. These results involving tenure of staff and educational level parallel the findings of Dickinson's and Perry's 1998 research that notes that relevant education appears to solidify organizational commitment and ultimately is a predictor of retention. Approximately one-half (49%) of the case mangers participatingin the focus groups have been employed for two years or less. Of those, 54% were employed for six months or less. Research has shown that individuals who are highly committed to their organization will be less likely to think about leaving. Additionally, the link between commitment and turnover may be strongest early in the career. At this stage the importance of the job may be influenced by being given challenging and interesting jobs (See question 3), receiving suitable training and development (See question 12), the perception of career opportunities, and receiving both formal and informal career management support (See questions 6 and 11). Each of the cited questions received moderately to very much in agreement response rates ranging from a low of 45% to 65%, which may contribute to the lower response rate to question 8. Case management staff and supervisors both reported that a career ladder and opportunities for advancement were extremely limited. Additionally, the external perception of the organization by stakeholders and the community may also influence the level of 16

importance that staff feel regarding their jobs. While the vast majority of focus group participant felt that the work of their organizations was important, they acknowledge that perceptions of court personnel, negative media coverage, and some perceptions of their own families causes stress; detracting from their efforts which results in them "second guessing" their job choice. Question 9 - My co-workers/peers are committed to doing quality work - Fifty-three percent of case managers and 68% of supervisors agreed moderately or very much to this statement. This question aids in determining if staff perceive that their colleagues operate within a similar value system relative to their work. Staff are more likely to remain employed in organizations that compliment those systems. Focus group participants provided limited information that might inform the level of response. One group did cite that they were sometimes concerned about the quality of coverage for their caseload when going to extended training sessions or on vacation. Question 10 - I have a friend at work - Case managers very much or moderately agreed to this at a level of 98%, while supervisors responded at a 75% level. This query combined with items seven through nine helps to illuminate the level of the staff's connection to the organization. Organizations that provide an environment that supports peer connections is in a better position to improve retention rates Question 11 - In the last six months, someone has talked to me about my progress - Over 60% of both supervisors and case mangers agreed moderately or very much (Supervisors - 63% and Case Manager -65%). Both groups of staff reported that regular supervision does occur, as do evaluations. It was expressed that in some cases the focus tends to be on compliance activities, rather than professional development. The results of the survey, combined with the focus group information, suggest that there are numerous opportunities to build on the areas of strengths identified by the data. While only one question exceeded a level of 90% many were above 70%. These are clearly opportunities to build upon. While others fell below 70% and might be considered to be deficit areas, building on the strengths may provide a domino effect on the other areas. These questions are built on a hierarchy and as first areas improve subsequent areas will also be impacted.


Appendix ­ B Example of Salary Schedule Approach that Encourages Staff Retention and Professionalization

A major challenge to solving the ongoing case manager turnover problem is to establish a salary and benefits package that encourages staff to stay in this pressure laden and critical job. A common theme in focus groups reflected that salary issues were a major concern of staff. Additionally, national reviews of child welfare workforce turnover report inadequate salaries as being a major contributor to the problem. Often the problem is viewed as intractable due largely to the cost of proposed remedies. Failure to address the salary issues, which contribute significantly to turnover, actually results in higher costs due to the poor and more costly performance of the child welfare system. Such is the case in Milwaukee County. A major consideration in the salary discussion is the apparent inequity, or disparity; between the salaries of private agency ongoing case managers and Bureau of Milwaukee County (BMCW) Intake and Assessment staff who perform similar direct service responsibilities. This BMCW staff to private agency staff salary comparison in Milwaukee County is the fairest way to describe the market for salaries and appropriate parameters for salary basis solutions. Comparison with private agency salaries in other parts of the Midwest and the country are not appropriate comparisons to be used in resolving the Milwaukee County problem. Comparing low private agency salaries in other jurisdictions with Milwaukee County private agency ongoing staff salaries will reflect only that private agencies probably pay staff low wages everywhere.

Balancing Outcome or Performance Based Salary Structures with Guaranteed Step and Merit Systems

It is increasingly popular to suggest outcome or performance based salary structures in lieu of more traditional step and merit systems, which essentially guarantee annual increases based upon a payroll plan. The problem with outcome-based systems may be that there is often little agreement about the basis for measurement of employee performance. In addition, much of the resources necessary to achieve outcomes in child welfare settings are beyond the control of the caseworker. Effective substance abuse services and housing resources are two of the most critical resources necessary to successful reunification of families in the child welfare system. These resources are seldom sufficient and almost never under the control of the child welfare system. However, without these services child welfare caseworkers are unlikely to be able to achieve reunifications. They find they cannot meet, in this example, expectations for performance because they do not have access to appropriate services. Another problem in framing outcome-based systems is the tendency to confuse activities with 18

outcomes. The BMCW expects that case managers see children in foster care every month. This is an expectation of the court settlement agreement and a matter of state policy. It is tightly monitored and sanctioned by BMCW. It is for many a classic example of an outcome measure when it is actually an activity measure. A case manager with a reasonable caseload, also required by the BMCW, should be expected to achieve this visitation requirement in order to qualify for a satisfactory performance evaluation. The worker who achieves higher than expected performance for permanencies, adoptions or reunifications, is achieving client-based outcomes and should be rewarded accordingly. The BMCW may want to encourage a broader discussion of client based outcomes for the Milwaukee County child welfare system as a basis for establishing a performance/outcome based contracting system for services to children in foster care. Once there is agreement on outcomes a discussion about obstacles to achieving the outcomes can be held resulting in strategies to address barriers to permanencies. It is critical that the BMCW actually be able to measure the outcomes in a way so that agencies and the BMCW agree on actual performance. Private agencies under a performance structure could conceivably pass through the "reward" for performance to employees in some fair manner. Since a bonus for performance most likely will be a one time payment agencies will find it necessary to structure internal rewards accordingly. It is in this regard that outcome or performance based structures fail. They do not attend to the infrastructure necessary to achieving performance. This may suggest that a blended step and "outcome" based salary system may be most desirable. The step system is often viewed as archaic and oppositional to performance. This concern is actually a management issue rather than a salary issue. Failure to manage the workforce, including addressing necessary infrastructure needs, leads to poor performance. The step system allows employees to forecast their future within the respective agency. It suggests the relative rewards for tenure, academic achievement and professional certification. It provides a framework for salary growth, assuming satisfactory performance. It can recognize required advanced degrees and reward employees who achieve advanced degrees such as a Masters in Social Work. It also can reward receipt of preferred, actually required, certifications such as certified social worker. The trick for child welfare systems is how to structure a salary system that encourages staff to stay, perform and grow all in the context of ever increasing pressures to achieve more and better outcomes for children and families. It is especially important when you consider that the caseworker is the vehicle for achieving outcomes.

Principles for a Possible Milwaukee County Private Agency Ongoing Case Managers Salary Structure


The primary purpose of our effort is to identify causes of case manager turnover and strategies that might be pursued to improve this condition. The most important step to be taken is to address salary inequity in Milwaukee County. The following principles, or strategies, are laid out as the basis for this alternative salary proposal. Salary levels should reflect BMCW salary levels for IA staff as a basis for addressing fundamental issues of inequity between staff who perform similar functions. 1. Salary levels value length of service, or experience, and satisfactory performance. 2. Salary levels value certification of staff as required by the BMCW and as expressed in Wisconsin state law and regulation for certified social workers. This step is critical to professionalization of the workforce. 3. Salary levels assume agencies will hire BA and MA level candidates who can qualify as certified social workers. 4. Salary levels recognize the current composition of the ongoing workforce and are structured to encourage staff to achieve advanced professional degrees and certification. It does, at a minimum, "grandfather" the current workforce. 5. The specific steps provide a future framework for staff who desires to remain in a casework role. 6. A specific outcome based reward system could be built on top of such a structure providing additional incentives for outstanding performance. These principles, or strategies, of a salary system are intended to address the fundamental issue of workforce turnover. If this problem is not resolved, attempts to achieve improved performance will fail as the workforce continues to cycle through the Milwaukee County child welfare system.

Details of a Proposed Salary Plan for Private Agency Ongoing Case Managers

Following is a framework for a step based salary schedule that recognizes tenure, satisfactory performance, professional degrees and certification. It is intended as a platform upon which various performance based incentives could be built. The details are as follows. (See - "Sample" pg. 21)

1. It creates four levels of professional staff: level one (1) for BA, non-certified but approved staff; level two (2) for BA and certified staff; level three (3) for MA, non-certified but approved staff and level four (4) for MA and certified staff. The entry- level salary reflects 20

but does not mirror BMCW salary for IA staff. Entry level for BMCW IA staff is $31,825.25 per year. Advanced workers qualify for an annual salary of $37,239.48. Both positions require certification as a social worker. Steps 3 and 4 reflect the certification requirements. 2. The salary schedule is laid out for a ten (10) year period in order to give staff a sense of their future should they decide to commit to the agency and the child welfare mission. A primary purpose of the schedule is to indicate to staff the future of compensation for their effort and how choices they make in advancing professionally will benefit them. 3. The schedule assumes that any changes, such as annual cost of living adjustments or performance bonuses, would be built on top of the step system.

4. The schedule builds in annual adjustments reflecting tenure but favoring certified positions, steps 2 and 4. The adjustment for steps 1 and 3 is 3.5% annually. The adjustment for steps 2 and 4 is 4% annually. The use of a step salary approach is very compatible with performance approaches in that the step system helps stabilize the workforce while permitting incentive approaches to be built on the basic platform. Implementing such a system in an existing system will have initial costs but may well be offset by savings due to reduced turnover costs and increased performance.

Length of Service Start One Year Two Years Three Years Four Years Five Years Six Years Seven Years Eight Years Nine Years Ten Years

"SAMPLE" SALARY SCHEDULE (DISCUSSION USE ONLY) Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 $30,000 $31,050 $32,137 $33,262 $34,426 $35,630 $36,878 $38,168 $39,504 $40,887 $42,318 $33,000 $34,320 $35,698 $37,120 $38,605 $40,149 $41,755 $43,425 $45,162 $46,968 $48,847 $33,000 $34,155 $35,350 $36,587 $37,868 $39,193 $40,565 $41,985 $43,454 $44,975 $46,549

Level 4 $38,000 $39,520 $41,100 $42,744 $44,454 $46,232 $48,081 $50,004 $52,005 $54,085 $56,248

The "Sample" salary schedule presented above is meant to facilitate discussion around the framework identified in items 1-4 above. It is similar in many respects to the Illinois Department of 21

Children and Family Services' (IDCFS) salary schedule for child welfare staff, except that the IDCFS salary range is higher. That system's schedule acknowledges both education and tenure. Certification is not included as a salary track as all Illinois child welfare staff (public and private) must be certified by IDCFS in order to practice, and therefore is a condition of employment. Two child welfare titles exist in IDCFS as follows: Child Welfare Specialist - Entry level position requires a BSW, MSW, or related Human Service Degree with no experience. Salary schedule provides yearly increases through eight years, with a salary range of $37,728 - $55,740. Child Welfare Advanced Specialist ­ Requires and MSW and two years of IDCFS experience. Salary schedule provides yearly increases through eight years, with a salary range of $39,708 - $59,196. Each of the four levels included in the "Sample" salary schedule provide for yearly increases up to ten years of continuous employment within the same level. The ranges are as follows: · · · · Level I ­ Uncertified BA Staff - $30,000 - $42,318 Level II ­ Certified BA Staff - $33,000 - $48,847 Level III ­ Uncertified MA Staff - $33,000 - $46,549 Level IV ­ Certified $38,000 - $56,248

Potential Impact of Utilizing the "Sample - Discussion Only" Step Salary System

The "discussion only" step based salary schedule demonstrated above has a cost of implementation, as would any salary solution. It is, however, an increasingly important strategy to address this critical problem. Recently the governor of Texas announced a $349 million child protection reform initiative designed to respond to a number of child protection tragedies. A key problem was worker turnover. The Texas initiative includes a $5,000 salary adjustment for all CPS employees in order to bring their salary base closer to other professions such as teachers. Addressing the salary issue is the most fundamental step in managing the turnover issue. A review of the educational backgrounds and experience of private agency staff suggests that almost all staff could eventually qualify for state certification as social workers. Currently very few of the over 200 ongoing and safety staff have received certification. If you assume that the workforce is all certified, either at the BA or MA level, you could calculate an outside, or maximum, cost of implementing the schedule. Recognizing that WCSN and IFPI have merged we have consolidated the analysis for this new agency. WCSN has 198 and La Causa 49 of the 247 ongoing and safety staff. The total cost of moving current employees to level 2 and level 4, reflecting certified BA and MA staff, and placing them at the appropriate step level reflecting their length of service would cost $1,904,359 on an annual basis. This does not include adjustments for supervisors, an absolutely necessary step to take.


There is an interesting distribution of the costs when you consider impact by agency. La Causa has 20% of the ongoing workforce, a higher average salary and lower workforce turnover. La Causa's cost of implementation is $184,781 total and $3771 per employee. This may reflect steps the agency has already taken to enrich salaries. WCSN's cost of implementation is $1,719,578 total and $8684 per employee. This probably reflects the higher turnover of the workforce of this agency, especially at IFPI, and lower salaries across the board. This scenario assumes that the agencies adopt this specific schedule and all staff qualifies for the certified levels. It does not consider the internal savings that are realized from a reduction in turnover. The payout of benefits or cashing out of earned time, etc. would partially offset the cost of implementation. In addition, it is possible that not all staff would qualify for the certification level. This would result in a somewhat lower cost. The cost is estimated at the highest level in order to determine feasibility. This schedule and its cost do appear to be within the parameters of the resources indicated by DFCS child welfare leadership to be available to address this critical problem. There exists an interesting potential conflict of public policy goals in the effort to resolve the turnover problem. The BMCW is placing ongoing services out to bid under an RFP with one objective being to reduce costs. There also is the expectation under the settlement agreement that worker turnover be reduced. This expectation is appropriately tied to the belief that turnover interferes with successful performance of responsibilities to children and families and negatively impacts performance on their behalf. The RFP process may place La Causa at a competitive disadvantage because they have a higher salary base per ongoing staff than WCSN. The BMCW should consider requiring successful bidders to have a salary and benefits plan that is reasonably related to that of the BMCW. It is important that the successful bidder not be successful at the expense of the staff that does the work. This proposal only illustrates how the BMCW might address this concern. However they proceed, the RFP will seriously impact the workforce turnover issue. Hopefully there will be a positive effort.


Fewer Changes In Caseworkers Increases the Chances of Permanency for Children

Children Entering and Exiting Care to Permanency from January 1, 2003 through September 2004 (N=679)

Data reported represents 679 children entering and exiting to permanency from January 1, 2003 through Data reported represents 679 children entering and exiting to permanency from January 1, 2003 through September 2004. Data reported to review staff by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.



Fewer Changes in Caseworkers Increases the Chances of Permanency for Children

Children Entering and Exiting Care to Permanency, from January 1, 2004 through September 2004, Who Experienced Worker Changes

Data reported represents 152 children entering and exiting to permanency from January 1, 2004 through September 2004. Data reported to review staff by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.


Exhibit C

Why Should the Child Welfare Field Focus on Minimizing Placement Change as Part of Permanency Planning for Children?

Presentation for the California Permanency Conference March 20-21, 2007. Peter Pecora, Ph.D. is Senior Director of Research Services with Casey Family Programs and Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Washington. Mailing Address: Casey Family Programs, 1300 Dexter Avenue North, Third Floor Seattle, Washington 98109-3547. Phone: (206) 270.4936. Website:

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Jason Williams and Mary Herrick for their contributions to this literature review, and the foster care alumni and staff who shared their life stories and many lessons with us. Adapted from: Herrick, M., Williams, J., Pecora, P.J., Downs, C. & White, J. (in preparation). Placement Instability in Child Welfare and its Implications for the Functioning of Foster Care Alumni. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. Study Co-Principal Investigators: Peter Pecora, Ph.D., Ronald Kessler, Ph.D., A. Chris Downs, Ph.D., Diana English, Ph.D., James White, Ph.D. and Steven Heeringa, Ph.D. Study Coordinators: Kirk O'Brien, Ph.D.; .Jason Williams, M.A., Project Staff: Carol Brandford, M.S.W., Anne Havalchak, M.P.A., Eva Hiripi, M.S., Catherine Roller White, M. A., and Tamera Wiggins, B.Sc. Hons.

A collaborative study among Casey Family Programs ~ Harvard Medical School ~ University of Michigan State of Washington Office of Children's Administration Research ~ University of Washington State of Oregon Department of Human Services

Exhibit D


In the U.S. nationally, many infants and adolescents are placed in foster care as a refuge for a few months while their birth parents improve their functioning or their living situation. However, about 50% of youth leaving foster care in the United States have spent one year or more in care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). Wilson (2000) found that 63% of youth in Washington state foster care had one or two placements, while 77% of the youth in James's (2004) California study had three or more placements. These variations illustrate the need to account for the amount of time spent in care when comparing the number of placements across samples. Similarly, the number of placements varies widely across alumni and across agency sub-samples. For example, in one study of three child welfare agencies (two states and one voluntary agency), about one-third (31.9%) of the alumni experienced three or fewer placements, but an equal percentage (32.3%) experienced 8 or more placements throughout their child welfare career. 1 While over one-half of the sample had 5 or fewer placements (including one-fifth with only one or two placements), slightly more than one-fifth had 10 or more placements. The cumulative percent line in Figure 1 indicates that approximately 95% of the sample had 15 or fewer placements, while the remaining 5% had as many as 31 placements (Pecora, Kessler, Williams et al. forthcoming). 2 The experiences of these children while in care have important ramifications for their development and for identifying ways to improve permanency planning. This handout will provide five reasons why a focus on minimizing placement change should be a vital aspect of permanency planning.


For more information about the methods and outcomes of this study, see Pecora, Kessler, Williams et al. (2005, 2006). 2 Because Casey alumni spent more time in foster care, they had significantly more placements than the state alumni (an average of 7 for Casey versus 6 for the State). Some placements for the Casey alumni occurred while in State care, as the time between the first out-of-home placement and entry into Casey averaged 3.5 years (median=2.3 years). Almost one-third of Casey alumni (32.9%) were in placement for 4 years or more before entering Casey. Over the child's entire time in foster care, youth in the Casey system had more stability as measured by placements per year. Alumni averaged 1.2 placements per year, with the Casey alumni having a rate one third lower than that of the State alumni. Accordingly, when placement change rate was trichotomized, a smaller percentage of Casey alumni were in the group with a high rate (defined here as 1.23 or more placement changes per year. This means that, within a system designed to provide stability, nearly half of the State sample and one-quarter of the Casey sample experienced an average of nearly five placements every four years (Pecora, Kessler, Williams et al. forthcoming).


Figure 1. Distribution of the Number of Placements Experienced by the Northwest Foster Care Alumni, With Cumulative Percent and Range Groupings.

100 90 80 70 number of alumni 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1213 1415 161718 1920 2122 2324 252627 2829 3031 number of placements

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% percent of sample

Source: Pecora, P. J., Kessler, R. C., Williams, J., Downs, A. C., English, D., & White, J. & O'Brien, K. (Forthcoming). What works in foster care? Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

1. Minimize Child Pain and Trauma

First, children entering out-of-home care undergo enormous changes. Apart from being separated from their family, many of these children are not able to maintain relationships with friends and community members (Johnson, Yoken, & Voss, 1995). Changing homes because of placement disruption compounds the immeasurable sense of loss these children must face by leaving behind relationships again and again. Festinger's (1983) landmark study of 277 alumni of care, entitled No One Ever Asked Us, revealed that most alumni experienced placement changes as unsettling and confusing. When rating their perception of foster care, the alumni's satisfaction was inversely correlated with the number of placements they had experienced. More research is needed that builds on the personal perspectives of the youth in care (Unrau, 2007).


2. Lessen Child Attachment, Behavior and Mental Health Disorders

Wulczyn and Cogan (2002, p. 2) cited an important child development-related reason: "Multiple placements are thought to have a pernicious impact on the development of attachment to primary caregivers, an early developmental milestone thought to be essential for the achievement of later developmental tasks (e.g. Lieberman, 1987; Provence, 1989; Fahlberg, 1991)." While the concept of child and adolescent attachment to adults is not an exact science and we have much to learn about helping children build new positive attachments, many youth and foster care alumni have commented on how important it is to minimize placement change and to be placed with siblings as a placement stabilizing strategy (Leathers, 2005, Herrick & Piccus, 2005). In addition, various researchers have found that multiple placements may lead to child behavior problems (Newton, Litrownik & Landsverk, 2000), and mental health problems (Rutter & Sroufe, 2000). 3 Indeed, Ryan & Testa (2004) found that these changes were linked with decreased school performance and delinquent behavior of males, and Pecora, Williams, Kessler et al. (2003) found that lower placement change was associated with foster care alumni success in a sample of 20-51 year old alumni.

3. Decrease School Mobility and Increase Academic Achievement

While many child welfare staff and some new state laws try to minimize school change when a placement changes, in too many situations the child is forced to change schools. School mobility has been implicated as a clear risk factor for dropout (Rumberger & Larson, 1998; Rumberger, 2003). David Kerbow's (1996) longitudinal study of school mobility in Chicago found that it acted as both an individual and school level risk factor for low achievement. Highly mobile students fell almost a year behind in achievement by sixth grade. Non-mobile students in schools with high mobility rates were half a year behind by sixth grade. While the highest


Barber and Defrabbrio (2004) in a study in Australia found that most children in foster care display improvements in their psychological adjustment while in care. Surprisingly, these improvements can occur despite frequent placement disruption during the first eight months in care. Beyond the eight-month point, however, placement disruption is associated with psychological deterioration. The basic explanation for this finding concerns change in the reasons for placement move up to and beyond the eight-month point. Many children change placement in the first eight months for positive reasons, such as to get closer to their families or to go to a better school. Beyond the eight month point, however, those children who continue moving tend to do so because their foster placements break down. In other words, the concentration of difficult or distressed children is greater among those who move around for more than eight months than among those who move around for eight months or less (Knott, & Barber, 2004).


mobility rates (31%) were among children of single parent families, it is notable that the second highest rate (25%) was observed for children in households with no biological parent present (Stone, 2007). But the relationship among these variables is complex:

Given the deleterious impacts of school mobility, many have questioned to what extent this may be a particular problem with foster children (Conger & Finkelstein, 2003). The relationship between placement transfers and several academic outcomes has been discussed above. Two recent studies control for both placement and school transfers on selected academic outcomes. Conger and Rebeck's (2001) study actually found increases in attendance after school transfers. School transfers were unrelated to reading achievement, but had a small negative effect on mathematics achievement. A stronger predictor of school achievement was school attendance. Burley and Halpern (2001) found that school transfers were negatively related to test scores for third and sixth grade students, but not ninth graders (not controlling for prior school performance and attendance) and high school completion. These results suggest that nature and quality of school transfers matters, that school transfers may have different relationships with different academic outcomes and, not surprisingly, that attendance loss may at least partially explain negative effects of school transfers among foster youth (Stone, 2007, p. 154).

4. Maximize Continuity in Services, Decrease Foster Parent Stress, and Lower Program Costs

Placement changes disrupt services provision, stress foster parents (thereby lowering retention rates), take up precious worker time, and create administrative-related disruptions. Because we know so little about what causes placement change, the field is less able to predict and therefore prevent them. And yet the dynamics of these changes are important for other reasons. For example, adolescents who were placed alone after a history of joint sibling placements were at greater risk for placement disruption than those who were placed with a consistent number of siblings while in foster care. This association was mediated by a weaker sense of integration and belonging in the foster home among youth placed alone with a history of sibling placements (Leathers, 2005).

5. Increase the Likelihood that a Child Will Establish an Enduring Positive Relationship with a Caring Adult

Clearly, the more stability a child has, the more likely it is that the child will be able to establish a stronger and more varied network of social support and enduring relationships with adults who care about him or her.


To Increase Permanency Planning Success We Must Understand Placement Change Dynamics

James (2004) made a major contribution to this area by finding that child behavior problems, while significant, constituted the reason for a placement change in only 19.7% of the situations, as contrasted with "system or policy-related" reasons (70%) such as a move to a short-term or long-term care facility, move to be placed with a sibling or relative, group home closure, move to be closer to a relative or certain school (p. 612). Note that even some of these "system or policy-related" reasons actually stem from what might be thought of as sound practice decisions to help a child reach a more permanent or developmentally enhancing living situation. A recent study of "frequent movers" in Kentucky foster care, found that those who were at higher risk of four or more moves were females between the ages of 12-15, young black males, children coming into car because of sexual abuse and child behavior problems, prior psychiatric hospitalization, and those who moved quickly from their first placement (especially for behavior reasons or need for special services (Huebner, 2007). Some of these factors were also identified in a meta-analysis of placement disruption research by Oosterman, Schuengel, Slot, Bullens & Doreleijers (2007): (a) older age at placement, (b) behavior problems, (c) prior placement in residential treatment, and (d) number of previous placements. Protective factors that would lower the risk of placement change include:

Quality of foster parent caregiving Foster parent motivation Family resources Ability of foster parents to address the behavioral and emotional needs of the children Foster parents who welcome and accept the child in times of distress, which encourages more secure child attachment Support from caseworkers

Support from relatives

Worker Change is an Important Factor

Worker change may be one of the factors that also drives placement instability because of disruptions in foster parent and child support. Most importantly, we have growing evidence that it significantly hurts a child's ability to find a permanent home. There are many examples of where poor worker retention has an impact on program effectiveness. Some dramatic data were recently released from some private agencies in Milwaukee county that showcase how turnover of ongoing case managers does impact permanency for children. For 659 children who entered care in from January 1, 2003 through September of 2004 in Milwaukee County, and exited to permanency within the same time period, increases in the number of worker changes lessened


the chance of permanency achievement. Children entering care during the time period who had only one worker achieved permanency in 74.5% of the cases. As the number of case managers increased the percentage of children achieving permanency substantially dropped, ranging from 17.5% for children who had two case managers to a low of 0.1% for those children who had six or seven case managers.


(See Figure 2). Potter and Klein-Rothschild (2002) also showed that

the fewer workers a child has, the more likely he/she is to be reunified. Staff turnover remains a real problem, and it has major consequences for children and parents in child welfare.


While the effect of multiple placements on child and adult functioning has not been established definitively because some studies have found negative effects while others have not (e.g., Proch & Tabor, 1985), the more recent research in this area is documenting serious negative effects. As this review has illustrated, there are many reasons why child welfare practitioners have been concerned with placement change in out-of-home care for decades, including a long history of research in Great Britain (e.g., Schofield, Thoburn, Howell & Dickens, 2005). The challenge today is implementing proven strategies for increasing placement stability at the same time that we help children achieve permanency in a culturally appropriate way, and which meets their unique developmental needs.

Figure 2. Fewer Changes in Caseworkers Increases the Chances of Permanency for Children



Data reported represents 679 children who entered care in calendar year 2003 through September 2004 and exited within the same time period. Data reported to review staff by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. Source: Flower, C. McDonald, J. & Sumski, M. (2005). Review of turnover in Milwaukee county private agency child One study design limitation was that the researchers did not control for length of stay in foster care.



welfare ongoing case management staff. Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee County Department of Social Services (Mimeograph), p. 27.


Barber, J., & Delfabbro, P. (2004). Children in foster care. New York: Routledge. Burley, M., & Halpern, M. (2001). Educational attainment of foster youth: Achievement and graduation outcomes for children in state care. Olympia, Washington: Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Document # 01­11­3901. Burley, M., & Halpern, M. (2001). Educational attainment of foster youth: Achievement and graduation outcomes for children in state care. Olympia, Washington: Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Document # 01­11­3901. Conger, D. & Rebeck, A., (2001). How children's foster care experiences affect their education. New York, New York: New York City Administration for Children's Services and Vera Institute of Justice. Conger, D., & Finkelstein, M. (2003). Foster care and school mobility. Journal of Negro Education, 72(1), 97-103. Fahlberg, V. (1991). A child's journey through placement. Indianapolis, IN: Perspectives Press. Flower, C. McDonald, J. & Sumski, M. (2005). Review of turnover in Milwaukee county private agency child welfare ongoing case management staff. Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee County Department of Social Services (Mimeograph) Herrick , M.A. & Piccus, W. (2005). Sibling connections: The importance of nurturing sibling bonds in the foster care system. Children and Youth Services Review, 27, 845-861. Herrick, M., Williams, J., Pecora, PJ., Downs, C. & White, J. (in preparation). Placement Instability in Child Welfare and its Implications for the Functioning of Foster Care Alumni. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. Huebner, R. (2007). Descriptors, predictors and outcomes of placement stability. Presentation at the Casey-CWLA Outcomes Benchmarking Roundtable, Washington, D.C., March 1, 2007. James, S. (2004). Why do foster care placements disrupt? An investigation of reasons for placement change in foster care. The Social Service Review; Dec., 601-627. Kerbow, D. (1996). Patterns of urban student mobility and local school reform. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 1(2), 147-169. Knott, T., & Barber, J. (2004). Do placement stability and parental visiting lead to better outcomes for children in foster care? Implications from the Australian Tracking Study. CECW Information Sheet #19. Toronto, ON, Canada: Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Retrieved [date] from http://www.cecwcepb. ca/DocsEng/FosterCareStudy19E.pdf Leathers, S.J. (2005). Separation from siblings: Associations with placement adaptation and outcomes among adolescents in long-term foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 27, 793­ 819. Lieberman, A. (1987). Separation in infancy and toddlerhood: Contributions of attachment theory and psychoanalysis. In J. Bloom-Fleschbach & S. Bloom-Fleschbach (Eds.), The psychology of separation and loss: Perspectives on development, life transitions, and clinical practice (pp. 109135. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Newton, R.R., Litrownik, A.J., & Landsverk, J.A. (2000). Children and youth in foster care: Disentangling the relationship between problem behaviors and number of placements. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 1363-1374. Oosterman, M., Schuengel, C., Slot, N.W., Bullens, R.A.R., & Doreleijers, T.A.H. (2007). Disruptions in foster care: A review and meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 29 (1), 53-76.


Pecora, P.J., Kessler, R. C., Hiripi, E., O'Brien, K., White, C.R., Williams, J., Hiripi, E., English, D. & White, J., & Herrick, M.A. (2006). Educational and employment outcomes of adults formerly were placed in foster care: Results from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. Child and Youth Services Review, 28, 1459-1481. Online version available at Pecora, P.J., Williams, J., Kessler, R.J., Downs, A.C., O'Brien, K. Hiripi, E., & Morello, S. (2003). Assessing the Effects of Foster Care: Early Results from the Casey National Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. Website: Pecora, P. J., Kessler, R. K., Williams, J., O'Brien, K., Downs, A. C., English, D., White, C.R., Hiripi, E., Wiggins, T. & Holmes, K. (2005). Improving family foster care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. Potter, C. & Klein-Rothschild, S. (2002). Getting home on time: Predicting timely permanency for young children. Child Welfare, 81(2), 123-150). Proch, K. & Taber, M. (1985). Placement disruption: A review of research. Children and Youth Services Review, 7, 309-320 Provence, S. (1989). Infants in institutions revisited. Zero to Three, 9(4), 1-4. Rumberger, R. (2003). The causes and consequences of student mobility. Journal of Negro Education, 72, 6-21. Rumberger, R., & Larson, K. A. (1998). Student mobility and the increased risk of high school dropout. American Journal of Education, 107, 1-35. Rutter, M., & Sroufe, L. A. (2000). Developmental psychopathology: Concepts and challenges. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 265-296 Ryan, J., & Testa, M. (2004). Child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency: Investigating the role of placement and placement instability. Champaign-Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign School of Social Work, Children and Family Research Center. Schofield, G., Thoburn, J., Howell, D. & Dickens, J. (2005).The search for stability and permanence: Modelling the pathways of long-stay looked after children. British Journal of Social Work, Advance Access - published August 15, 2005. Stone, S. (2007). Child maltreatment, out-of-home placement and academic vulnerability: A fifteen-year review of evidence and future directions. Children and Youth Services Review 29, 139­161. Unrau, Y.A. (2007). Research on placement moves: Seeking the perspectives of foster children. Children and Youth Services Review, 29 (1), 122-137. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. (2006). The AFCARS report No. 13: Preliminary FY 2005 estimates as of September 2006. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005. Downloaded November 7, 2006 from Wulczyn, F., Cogan, J.P. & Harden, B.J. (2002) Placement stability and movement trajectories. Chicago: University of Chicago, Chapin Hall Center for Children.



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