Policy & Practice

A professional journal publishing articles on current health and human services issues for wide audience. Coverage includes social policy issues, reports of significant works of human service practitioners, social work theory and legislation, and editoria

Articles from Vol. 68, No. 2, April

And the Judges Say
Recognizing and respecting the influence of judges, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy began working with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges more than a year ago to assess the collective opinion and...
Read preview Overview
California Champions Foster Care
California has one of the largest and most diverse child welfare systems in the nation. More than a decade ago, California had more than 104,000 children in foster care; today, this number is fewer than 70,000. Collaboration between state, county and...
Read preview Overview
California's Strategic Plan for Health Care
Each and every day, the programs administered by the California Department of Health Care Services touch the lives of more than 7 million Californians. We work closely with health care professionals and organizations, county governments, and health...
Read preview Overview
Challenges and Innovations
Last month, we said goodbye and good luck to Jerry Friedman after nearly nine years as executive director of APHSA. Jerry has moved on to direct the Human Services Strategic Initiatives for Accenture, a job for which he is extremely well prepared and...
Read preview Overview
Child Welfare Audit Preparation: Where We've Been and Where We're Going
Just as states are finally getting a handle on existing child welfare audit programs such as the Foster Care Eligibility Review and the Child and Family Services Review, new types of reviews are beginning to emerge. Many of the principles that apply...
Read preview Overview
Colorado Making Strides in Reshaping Child Welfare
In late 2007, the Colorado Department of Human Services noted a spike in child abuse fatalities with prior involvement of county child protection. The department conducted an in-depth review of the fatalities to identify common factors in the deaths...
Read preview Overview
How Will Comparative Effectiveness Research Affect the Quality of Health Care?
Reflecting the view currently popular among analysts that the U.S. health system could benefit from the generation and use of more information on the comparative effectiveness of alternatives for treating and preventing health conditions, the American...
Read preview Overview
How Will Electronic Discovery Affect Your Operations and Budget?
Governmental social service agencies use computers in virtually every kind of situation imaginable. Computers are used in everyday tasks to communicate, schedule meetings, document calls to clients, assess medical care to members, pay claims, automate...
Read preview Overview
Idaho Gets Lean-Doing More, with Less
Walk into an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office and you'll see an experienced caseworker with broad decision-making powers sitting at the front desk, dispensing guidance, applications and directions. Did you forget to bring a required document?...
Read preview Overview
In Memory
Gregory Coler, Former Florida Social Services Chief Gregory Coler, former head of the Florida social service department,, then known as the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, died March 4 from undisclosed causes, several years after...
Read preview Overview
Lifeline: The Underutilized Social Service Program
Over 20 years ago, the Federal Communications Commission recognized the need to make telephone service affordable for the low-income population. The Lifeline program was developed to provide discounted telephone service, most recently updated to include...
Read preview Overview
New Leadership and New Challenges
Leaders in all kinds of organizations face complex challenges. They come in the form of shifting bases of competition, diversity introduced through globalization, efforts to innovate, multiple and conflicting stakeholder demands, or the reinvention...
Read preview Overview
Our Do'ers Profile
Name: Marcia Kennai [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Title: Director of Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services Years of Service: I have been in my current position for five years but have been in the field of public social services since...
Read preview Overview
Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Among Youth in Foster Care
Few adolescent issues have drawn as much attention or produced such high levels of concern among families, community members, and governmental and social institutions as teen pregnancy, especially in recent years. Teen birth rates--which declined among...
Read preview Overview
Relevant and Accessible Services to the Community
The Brookings Institution just released a study that shows that poverty is moving from inner city neighborhoods to the suburbs. Montgomery County, Md., is no exception. The number of students who are participating in the free and reduced meal subsidy...
Read preview Overview
Report: More Than 20 Percent Increase in Children Living in Poverty
The Child Welfare League of America recently released its "Nation's Children 2010" report, a compilation of the latest statistics from a variety of state and national organizations that provide insights into the health and welfare of U.S. children....
Read preview Overview
Sharing Stories at Special Events Helps Raise Awareness, Garner Involvement
Communications is about telling stories. And our clients--adults, children and families who are struggling--must be the central characters in those stories. By sharing some compelling pieces of their lives, we can raise awareness about adoption, child...
Read preview Overview
Study on Washington's Child Welfare System
OLYMPIA -- Among parents with children in the state's child welfare system, some 60 percent had trouble meeting basic food needs during the past year, according to a survey. This is one of many significant findings reported in the most comprehensive...
Read preview Overview
Telling Michigan's Recovery Story
That Michigan has been hit hard by the current economic situation should come as no surprise. And neither should the news that the $700 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding we've received so far has helped the Michigan Department...
Read preview Overview
Texas Work to Shorten Long Wait Times for Food Stamps
AUSTIN -- Texas cities have begun helping to qualify eligible Texans for food stamps under special authority from federal officials designed to shorten long wait times. The waiver will allow food banks in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth...
Read preview Overview
The Critical Link: Preventing Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy
The decline in the nation's rate of teen pregnancy and childbearing has been nothing short of extraordinary. The teen pregnancy rate is down nearly 40 percent and the teen birth rate has been cut by one-third since the early 1990s. The rates are down...
Read preview Overview
The Tipping Point: When Is an 'Epidemic' a Good Thing?
Those of us who work in human services have spent a career experiencing and talking about the effects of poverty on our clients and the society as a whole. Until recently, however, this dialogue and awareness did not always make its way into mainstream...
Read preview Overview
User Experience-An Opportunity to Serve Those in Need
I first came to fully appreciate the complexity of human services and the compassion of democracy in 1995 as a new U.S. Senate attorney working on the "Personal Responsibility Act" (aka welfare reform), a bill that would be signed into law the following...
Read preview Overview
Washington Update
Democrats Plan to Move Health Care Forward On Feb. 25, President Obama hosted a bipartisan televised meeting intended to place national attention back on the health care overhaul discussion, one of several recent steps Democrats have taken to rejuvenate...
Read preview Overview
What Do We Mean by 'Empowerment?'
The word "empowerment" is often used when human service agencies describe our goals with respect to clients--and staff. We may spend considerable time defining what it means to "empower clients" when we engage in strategic planning, but clarifying...
Read preview Overview
Where's the Evidence?
We're told that eggs are bad ... then they're good. Caffeine's a drug that's not good for us, or so I thought until a recent article in the Wall Street Journal cited numerous scientifically sound studies that seem to find just the opposite. How about...
Read preview Overview
Wisconsin Improves and Saves Millions in Child Care Program
It was with families of the 21st Century in mind that Gov. Jim Doyle created the Department of Children and Families, Wisconsin's first Cabinet-level agency devoted to children. The governor directed the department to find new strategies and wanted...
Read preview Overview