Stabilizing and Training the CPS Workforce
The Texas Legislature gave CPS the funding to hire more than 800 additional employees and substantially increase the salaries of direct-delivery staff in FY 2017. This salary increase, in conjunction with other agency initiatives, helped CPS cut its overall turnover rate from from 25.4 percent in FY 16 to 18.4 percent in FY 17.
CPS also improved training for caseworkers and supervisors, emphasizing field-based learning, mentoring, and individualized training and supervision. The new training, CPS Professional Development (CPD), replaced the Basic Skills Development (BSD) training.
A University of Texas evaluation found caseworkers who completed the new training were 18 percent less likely to leave within their first year compared to caseworkers who had the old training. Three hundred and forty (340) fewer CPS caseworkers left the agency, saving about $18 million a year.
CPS also hired new regional leaders, bringing fresh ideas and novel ways of doing its work.
CPS placed more children in state care with relatives in FY 2017 – 44 percent compared to 43 percent the previous year. CPS also reduced the time it took to find a permanent living arrangement (permanency) for children, from 18.3 months in FY 2016 to 17.9 months.
On September 1, 2016, CPS began using the Family Strengths and Needs Assessment (FSNA). This tool helps CPS prioritize services in the family plan of service to identify and address the most critical needs. CPS uses the tool to measure changes in family functioning over time. CPS also began using the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment. CANS is a comprehensive, trauma-informed behavioral health assessment of a youth’s strengths and needs. The information helps with making decisions and service planning, facilitates quality improvement, and allows for monitoring of outcomes. CPS completed more than 7,700 CANS assessments during FY 2017.