NH DHHS Receives Federal Approval for Plan Aimed at Improving Child Protection

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF) and Division of

Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) has received notification from the

Administration of Children and Families (ACF) that NH’s Program Improvement

Plan (PIP) has been approved. The PIP is the outcome of findings from the

federal Child and Family Services Review (CSFR) in August 2010. Since that

time DCYF and DJJS staff and stakeholders have been working collaboratively

on developing the PIP.

“The Program Improvement Plan was designed to build on the agencies’

existing strengths and provide structure for a consistent model of practice

and provision of services,” said DCYF and DJJS Director Maggie Bishop. “The

outcome of the review and completion of the PIP will result in a system

better prepared to meet the needs of New Hampshire’s children, youth and


The agency had embarked on the design of a Practice Model prior to the CSFR

and developed Practice Model goals that included the identification of DCYF

and DJJS’s beliefs and guiding principles to create a framework for

decision-making and practice structure that guides all levels of agency

efforts. “Everyone is aware of what is in the PIP,” said DCYF/DJJS Bureau

Chief of Organizational Learning and Quality Improvement Chris Tappan,

“because it mirrors our Practice Model. That’s why we’re so confident we

will be able to achieve the goals that have been identified.”

The integration of the Practice Model and the PIP will present DCYF and

DJJS with many benefits including a shared vision, consistency in policies

and practices, and improved accountability. DCYF/DJJS will implement the

PIP over a two-year period. Advanced Practice Sites (APS) have been

identified to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of action steps in the

PIP. The APS district offices are Rochester, Berlin, Manchester, and the

Southern District Office. The sites were selected in part because they

will create a representative picture of New Hampshire's practice as quality

continues to improve.

The goal of the CFSR is to assist states in improving their child

protection system through a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of

DCYF/DJJS program and field operations. As part of the CFSR process,

states must produce a two year Program Improvement Plan (PIP) to address

those areas found to be in need of improvement.

The PIP is posted at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcyf/publications.htm