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DCYF: Data Moving in Right Direction

For Immediate Release
June 17, 2020

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Communications Director
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Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu and the Department of Health and Human Services released new data that shows substantial progress within New Hampshire’s Division for Children, Youth, and Families over the last few years.
 
“When I took office in 2017, New Hampshire’s DCYF was in crisis with unacceptable results for our kids,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “We made children a top priority, created a new set of standards, made the right investments, and have exceeded expectations with our outcomes. While this is something we can all be proud of, we know we have more work to do.”
 
“After much hard work to rebuild our Child Protection System, we are seeing positive trend lines across the same major system indicators that we focused upon from the start of this effort,” said Joseph Ribsam, Director of DCYF.  “Our workforce numbers are trending up. Caseloads are trending down. The number of children in out of home care is trending down.  The number of children finding their forever families is up.  While some of the recent trends reflect lower call volume during the COVID-19 emergency, these trends were clearly visible before the pandemic.  These are all really encouraging signs that the hard work of our staff, our families, and our partners - coupled with the substantial resources invested by Governor Sununu and our legislature - is paying off.  New Hampshire’s children and families are far better off today, as a result our collective efforts.”
 
“In 2017, a broad set of stakeholders came together with a sense of urgency and established a cross-sector partnership intent on breaking down silos and working together to solve the tough problems we faced in the child welfare system,” said Christine Tappan, Associate Commissioner, NH DHHS. “Keeping the experience of children, parents and caregivers at the forefront, the Child Welfare Transformation Interagency Team is a testament to what our collective efforts can accomplish.  Keeping children safe and strengthening families and the communities they live in – is everyone’s responsibility.”
 
Among the highlights:

  • The average assessment caseload per CPSW reached a peak of 93 in January of 2016, and is now down to 17.
  • The amount of overdue open assessments reached a peak of 3500 in November 2015 and are now down to 747. The current overdue assessments are less than half of what they have been in any other month since at least 2013.
  • CPSW staffing levels have continued to increase.
  • The number of Licensed Foster Homes has increased from roughly 600 in January of 2017 to roughly 900 in January 2020.
  • The number of children adopted during each state fiscal year has increased every year since FY16.