The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is one of Our Community Our Kids innovative approaches to strengthening the quality of care provided to children and youth living in foster care.
The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is one of Our Community Our Kids innovative approaches to strengthening the quality of care provided to children and youth living in foster care by using branding and marketing principles. It is a process designed to help Our Community Our Kids as the region 3b sole source continuum contractor, our network partners, community partners and Texas Family Protective Services to develop new strategies and practices, rather than imposing upon it a predetermined set of "best practices." This initiative is designed to promote quality care for children in foster care by redefining the expectations and roles of caregivers while strengthening the system and providing resources and tools. The core premise of QPI is the primary goal of the child welfare system is to ensure that children are safe and have effective, loving parenting. The best way to achieve this goal is to enable the child's own parents to care for him or her. If and when that isn't possible, the system must ensure that the caregiver (foster, relative, kinship, and adoptive) provide the child with effective, skilled and loving parenting.
Elements of QPI?
The key elements of the QPI process are:
- To partner with caregivers (foster, relative, kinship, and adoptive) and child welfare professionals in identifying system improvements
- To define specific expectations of caregivers and child welfare professionals
- To clearly articulate these expectations
- To provide resources to caregivers
- To align the system so that these goals can become a reality
The major successes of the project have been in the systems change and improved relationships between foster parents and birth parents, and foster parents and child welfare agencies. Communities have also reported measurable improvement and outcomes for children and youth such as:
- A reduction in unplanned placement changes
- Keeping children within our community
- A reduction in the numbers of siblings separated
- Keeping children safe with quality caregivers
Participants of QPI
The success of QPI is predicated on the participation of a wide variety of partners to include the following:
- Caregivers (birth, foster, relative, kinship, and adoptive parents)
- Community partners such as those from the faith community, LGBT community and business community
- Child welfare professionals, administrators, caseworkers, home developers, recruiters, etc.
- Child Advocacy Center, CASA
- Service providers, Education, Medical, Mental Agencies
- Department of Family and Protective Services
Our Community Our Kids Quality Parenting Statement
Our Community Our Kids parents are teachers, healers, and advocates for children and their families. They are real parents committed to raising children. They meet the unique needs and nurture the strengths of each individual child. They are respected and valued and an integral part of the team. They are supported in helping children lead normal lives and in maintaining lifelong connections with children and their families.
Goals of QPI
As a result of QPI, Our Community Our Kids has identified these mission critical goals:
- Address critical issues for children that assure they are moving toward permanency
- Define high quality parenting for birth parents, resource parents and agency staff
- Provide high quality parenting to children in the child welfare system
- Develop a model for foster parent recruitment, retention and support that defines and clearly articulates expectations of caregivers
Our Community Our Kids QPI Framework
There are two overall components of OCOK QPI framework:
- Steering Committee - Responsible for the overall implementation of the initiative. This committee reviews and approves the recommendations of the subcommittee and sees that the initiative continues to move forward while accomplishing the mission critical goals.
- Subcommittees - Four subcommittees have been identified to align with the goals of QPI and those are:
- Create a comprehensive QPI communication plan on how to educate stakeholders and infuse QPI across programs.
- Promote a promise to prospective and existing caregivers that they will be respected, well trained, skilled partners in providing high quality parenting.
- Identify sustainable changes in practice to support the new vision of QPI in many program areas.
- Teaming for coordinated communications with foster families
- Assist in improving quality assurance to address critical issues for children and assure they are moving toward permanency.
- Involvement in court process – Legal in broad sense, Interpretation of standards – uniform – Liaison for RCCL – assist in creating applicability.
- Court proceedings – process and communications.
- Click here to access Common Abbreviations in Child Welfare.
- Click here to view your "My Care Team" contact document.
- Modify recruitment materials to reflect new vision
- Ensure foster parents/caregivers as an integral part of recruitment efforts
- Develop a model for foster parent recruitment, retention and support that can be used in general and targeted recruitment activities
- Develop retention activities to acknowledge and support parenting among foster parents and relative caregivers that complement the TDFPS overall retention plan found in other workgroups.
- Setting up appropriate expectation for recruiting and retention of foster families.
- Setting up appropriate expectation for training (i.e. mentoring, updated training, TBRI, healthcare, education, navigation).
- Provide training that meets the needs of caregivers, families and children in care,
- Standardized the curriculum for pre service and ongoing training to ensure consistency.
- System Resources
- Develop and administer a Caregiver Survey
- Identifying systems of support for families/resources that foster parents/birth parents can access.
- Develop and implementation of the Foster Parent resource Program.
- Access Resources for Parents
- Access Friends of Wednesday's Child Programs and Services Information
- Access Friends of Wednesday's Child Success in School Resources
Our Steering Committee
Linda Garcia, PhD
Director of Community Relations