Dept. of Children and Families Regional Administration

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

This line item funds lead agencies to administer Department of Children and Families (DCF) services at the regional and area level. These lead agencies do not perform direct services, but contract to local organizations.

In 2002, DCF introduced a new philosophy of care centered on six core values: child-driven, family-centered, community-focused, strength-based, a commitment to diversity and cultural competence, and a commitment to continuous learning. These values were central drivers behind DCF's introduction of a new approach to delivering services called "Family Networks." Family Networks was designed to make DCF more flexible and responsive to families and introduced "Lead Agencies" into area offices. Lead Agencies manage a network of local organizations bringing services closer to clients.

Lead Agencies convene family team meetings that include family members, all service providers and other community supports to discuss family needs and develop a treatment plan. The lead agency then makes referrals to, and monitors the provision of services provided by the contract agencies. Lead agencies are allowed by contractual agreement to self-refer 30% of their cases.

DCF views these Lead Agencies as a critical model for service delivery. However, critics view lead agencies as a redundant level of bureaucracy that uses funds that would be better spent on direct services.

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