Title

Policy Implementation Under Class Action-Based Reform of State Child Welfare Agencies: The Cases of Washington State and New Jersey

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2-2016

Abstract

Using a case study method, the policy formation and implementation of litigation based system-wide reform of the Washington State and New Jersey child welfare agencies was examined within the context of the policy instruments component of Hasenfeld and Brock’s (1991) political-economy model. Primary findings and recommendations for improving the implementation process include: (a) clarifying weak and ambiguous authority structures by creating a policy agenda linking authority structures to specific plan components; (b) mitigating misalignment and under-resourcing of policy components by stipulating resource requirements within the litigated settlement agreement provisions; (c) strengthening the implementation process by aligning policy action steps and outcome measurements with available data sources and capabilities; and (d) structuring incremental change into the program design for policy reform to increase flexibility to respond to changing agency needs or unpredictable events.

DOI

10.1080/15588742.2015.1081579

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