Policy Recommendations for Casa de Los Ninos

Agency Description

The agency of focus for this paper is Casa de Los Ninos. Casa de Los Ninos mission is to assist children and families throughout the community in having a safe and healthy home. They do so through, prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies to effectively address the needs of at-risk children and their families within our community(Urizar-Faught, 2019).Through these services, families are informed about various resources and aided in developing the skills needed to prevent child abuse and neglect. Overall Casa de Los Ninos is important because it offers such a large variety of services and resources for families throughout the community and there are programs that can help everyone.

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The agency has various locations for different services provided and in total there are 3 locations. Within the three locations there are administrative offices, supervised visitation services, , foster care and adoption services, and the nurse-family partnership & parents are teachers program. The agency is governed by two groups of community volunteers. The Foundation Trustees manage the Casa de los Ninos Foundation while the Board of Directors supervise the everyday operations. The agency also has partnerships with a large variety of agencies such as BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, Arizona Complete Health, and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. According to the 2017 annual report, $84,000 was raised through local businesses and partners. The majority of funding is through all of their partnerships however, the agency does receive state and federal funding as well. Casa de Los Ninos is far more reliant on the funding of their partnerships because often times state and federal funding changes and the agency will lack the resources to provide families in a crisis.

Casa de Los Ninos serves children and families at risk of abuse, neglect, and crisis.

As previously mentioned, Casa de Los Ninos offers a variety of services such as prevention, intervention, and behavioral health treatment services. Prevention services include free parent enrichment classes, child development coaching through , and developmental, vision, and hearing screenings. Through invention programs families are provided supervised visitation, assisted with child welfare case plan goals, and the foster home placement process. Behavioral health treatment services focused on the treatment of parents and children through services such as psychiatric evaluations, substance abuse treatment, in-home therapy, school-based counseling, and crisis care. As a result of the services provided by Casa de Los Ninos, 6,012 children and 4,139 families were served in 2017.

Casa de Los Ninos seems to be a great agency and they provide such a vast range of services to families and children. I believe this is a major strength of the agency because often times children are the only focus of the agency and the causation of the neglect or abuse is not further examined. By providing both prevention and intervention services, I believe it will aid in decreasing the number of cases of abuse and neglect in the community. However, like any other agency, Casa de Los Ninos also has shortcomings. One of the shortcomings of Casa de Los Ninos is that their prevention programs is implemented through home-based instruction and which, empirical data suggests is not the most effective method of prevention. Another shortcoming would be the lack of multiple early education centers and as of right now, Casa de Los Ninos only has one center. However, Casa de Los Ninos announced the opening one of in April and seem to constantly be striving for the best.

Policy Recommendations

As previously mentioned, Casa de Los Ninos has two weaknesses that I am attempting to resolve through policy recommendations. My first policy recommendation is to implement a more comprehensive, in order to yield better outcomes for families targeted by the programs and that are at high-risk of child abuse. While home-based instruction and in-home nursing may assist some families that are at-risk of child abuse, I want to implement a policy that has a greater outcome based on empirical data. Also, home-based instruction and in-home nursing alone cannot sufficiently address the multifaceted risk factors of child abuse.

The study that best supports my policy recommendation is titledA Multilevel Evaluation of a Comprehensive Child Abuse Prevention Programand was implemented by Michael A. Lawson, Tania Alameda-Lawson, and Edward C. Byrnes. The purpose of this study is to analyze the improvements in protective factors related to CAP and whether the improvements relate to decreased odds of child abuse as a result of more comprehensive, community-based prevention programs. In order to conduct the study Lawson and his collogues used, multilevel growth modeling, our analyses focus on an economically poor, culturally diverse sample of 1,184 mothers who maintained their involvement in the program for at least 6 months (Lawson, Alameda-Lawson, & Byrnes, 2012).

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