Becci Akin Faculty Profile

I had some personal experiences foster parenting which gave me a view of the child welfare system from its different angle and really inspired me to want to learn more about child welfare system and how we can improve it the Kansas intensive permanency project it was part of a federal initiative known as the permanency innovations initiative locally we got to implement in a public/private university partnership so we involved the Department for Children and Families and the private providers of foster care in Kansas and then of course us here at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare but it was really a strong collaboration between all of those entities which really hadn't happened in Kansas before with privatization and child welfare so it was really one of the first projects where the private agencies agreed to cooperate and even more than cooperate to collaborate and do things in a similar manner what we did we got a whole year of planning to identify who were the kids who were most at risk of long-term foster care so we did all kinds of data analysis both qualitative and quantitative data analysis and we found out that kids with serious mental health problems social emotional behavioral problems where the kids most at risk of being in long-term foster care so they were three and a half times more likely to be in in care for three years or longer compared to their peers without serious mental health problems we decided to implement an evidence-based parenting intervention parent management training organ model and although there's there's been like quite a lot of research on parenting interventions not a lot of it has been in child welfare and what had been in child welfare was mainly with foster parents and parents birth parents who either either we're at risk of their kids going into foster care or parents who already had their kids back after their kid had been in foster care so ours was unique that we wanted to work with parents while the kids were in foster care and early on in their foster care stays so our hypothesis was if we intervene early with the birth parents and we engage them you know really truly engage them that we could keep the parents and kids connected and get the kids out of foster care more quickly so that I'm finding that the parenting intervention could have positive effects for kids when we're not even focusing just on the kids we're focusing on the family was important findings and demonstrating how you could implement in that way and how you can evaluate in the staged approach was an important aspect of the project you

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