PHOENIX (May 31, 2017) – The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) will be getting some help from Harvard this year.
The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL) has selected DCS for its technical assistance program.
As a result, Harvard will send a government innovation fellow to work with DCS on developing a strategy to deliver critical services to children and families.
The overall goal is to achieve faster permanency times for children and reduce the likelihood maltreatment will reoccur.
“Children deserve a life free from abuse and neglect. Providing that takes hard work and public investment,” said DCS Director Greg McKay. “We are proud the Harvard Kennedy School chose to invest in DCS so we can better serve children and families in Arizona.”
In addition to the fellowship, DCS will also receive direct support from other GPL staff including research assistants, data analysts, senior technical advisors, and GPL Director Jeffrey Liebman.
“Arizona is seeking to improve outcomes for the state’s most vulnerable children and families by improving the delivery of critical child welfare services,” said Professor Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and GPL Director. “We look forward to working with Arizona’s dedicated leadership team to make progress in this challenging policy area.”
GPL’s assistance will further advance the Department’s on-going improvement efforts to better serve Arizona families.
“We are committed to streamlining how state government works so that it can most effectively protect our most vulnerable citizens and empower children and families,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “We are honored to be selected to participate in this year’s award and are excited to work with the Harvard Kennedy School to advance our mission and improve the lives of Arizona’s children and families.”
Since 2011, the GPL has provided pro bono government-side technical assistance to 40 jurisdictions in 24 states to address social problems including homelessness, prisoner re-entry, juvenile justice, and substance abuse.
The GPL received 27 applications for technical assistance in a national competition.
DCS and six other jurisdictions were selected to receive technical assistance to improve government agency operations so that they can improve their core human services spending.