We all keep hearing the term, "QPI" and there has been a lot of inaccurate information about the topic so I thought this would be a great opportunity to author the first of several posts on the topic in an attempt to get everyone on the same page. Like any topic, before we can really get into the detailed objectives and processes we have to understand the basics to make sure we're all on the same page.
What Does "QPI" Mean?
QPI stands for Quality Parenting Initiative and in this post we are talking specifically about QPI California. QPI California is the California Specific Implementation of QPI within child welfare organizations within the state. While the core principals are the same nationally, the policies and procedures to achieve the outcomes and objectives could vary greatly. If you are not a licensed or certified care provider in California please check for details regarding your state's specific implementation.
What's the purpose of QPI California?
QPI recognizes that quality foster care retention and recruitment begins with a child welfare system designed to promote and support quality foster parenting, partnership and co-parenting engagement. It's goal is simple - to ensure that children have effective, loving parenting - no matter who they are with.
What's the foundation of QPI California?
As I stated earlier, QPI's core premises is that the primary goal of the child welfare system is to ensure that children have effective, loving parenting. The best way to achieve this goal is to enable the child's own parents to care for the him or her. If that isn't possible, the system must ensure that the foster or relative family caring for the child provides the loving, committed, skilled care that the child needs, while working effectively within the system to reach the child's long term goals.
What are the primary objectives of the QPI California Program being implemented in Ventura County?
Ventura County has clearly established four key goals they hope to accomplish through the QPI program implementation. These goals include:
- To define the expectations of caregivers for quality care and partnership
- To define the expectation of social worker partnerships and their engagement with care providers
- To clearly articulate these expectations to all parties
- To align all other programs and policies so that these goals can be fully realized
What positive outcomes do you expect to accomplish with these goals and this program?
- Increase trust, information sharing and partnership between caregivers and social workers.
- Reduce the unplanned placement changes through caregiver engagement and support.
- Reduce the use of group care through caregiver supported recruitment.
- Reduce the number of siblings separations through best match practices.
- More successful improvement in reunification through enhanced safety networks.
So how is all of this going to be accomplished?
I can tell you first hand that Ventura County has gone to great lengths to seek input, guidance, support and partnership from every member of our caregiver community. This includes Agency Personnel, Foster Parents, Mentors, Relative Care Givers and is very mixed with various levels of experience. The Ventura County Foster Parent Association has two seats in the QPI Committee. Rick Pugh and Stephanie Whitney both serve as members. QPI Committee members meet at least monthly as a group to evaluate proposals, provide feedback and help establish implementation/roll out strategy. In addition, we have all had extensive training on the overall goals of the program and are unified in our belief that these changes are needed and long over-due.
Agreements from the committee are rolled out on an ongoing basis based on input from all involved so don't feel like you are going to go to bed and wake up the next day with completely different standards.
This is the first in a series of posts related to QPI to help educate and inform the child care provider community. In addition, the following post includes material that was Authored and Published by Elizabeth Thasiah, RDS Program Manager, Ventura County Children and Family Services.