In 2017, the Butler Institute for Families partnered with R.O.C.K. Mat-Su and the local Office of Children’s Services (OCS), in the south-central region, to evaluate the systemic challenges involved in providing family contact services. By evaluating the systemic challenges involved in family contact resources, the partnership between R.O.C.K. Mat-Su and OCS aimed to improve the availability, frequency, and quality of family contact for families in the borough served by the south-central office.

R.O.C.K. Mat-Su adopted this strategy in 2017. To begin R.O.C.K. contracted with the Butler Institute for Families out of the University of Denver and partners to evaluate the systemic challenges involved in providing family contact services for children in out of home placement in the Mat-Su. By evaluating the systemic challenges involved in family contact resources, the partnership between R.O.C.K. Mat-Su and OCS aimed to improve the availability, frequency, and quality of family contact for families in the borough served by the south-central office. The evaluation revealed an over-extended child welfare workforce with training and coaching needs, communication barriers between child welfare workers and stakeholders, and a need for improvement in family contact procedures.

In response to this evaluation, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su brought together community partners to identify next steps for improvements to supervised visitation which led to the development of the Family Contact Improvement Partnership (FCIP). The FCIP believes that culturally centered, meaningful, and healthy contact is best for a child to strengthen family relationships and help children thrive.
The Family Contact Improvement Partnership (FCIP) involving the many partners of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su including the Office of Children Services came together to develop a Theory of Change to guide our work.

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