Scorecard shows improvement in Philadelphia's long-troubled child welfare system

Pat Loeb
November 08, 2018 - 5:37 pm
Child Welfare

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia child welfare officials are declaring progress in their effort to improve services to abused and neglected children. The system has had a lot of problems. The city even lost its state license for a while in 2016. But a new score card on providers shows improvements in nearly every area.

The scorecard is a simplistic tool, rating providers in each of the ten service areas with one to five liberty bells for quality. But Human Services Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa says the ratings are the calculated from dozens of factors and help identify where weaknesses in the system are so they can be addressed.

"I think that we've been able to show that if you focus on where the areas of improvement are needed, you can improve overall quality," Figueroa said.

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David Fair of Turning Points for Children, which is one of the city's providers, says the process has been helpful because the city works with the providers on how to use the information it collects for the scorecard.

"Instead of using the data to punish us, they use the data to improve our services to children and families," Fair explained.

The scorecard shows more improvement is needed, but Figueroa believes the city is headed in the right direction.