Semifinalists for Annie E. Casey Innovations in Children and Family System Reform Award Announced

March 31, 2009
Semifinalists for Annie E. Casey Innovations in Children and Family System Reform Award Announced

Six Vie for Annie E. Casey Award

Cambridge, Mass. – The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University today announced the semifinalists for the 2009 Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform. These six programs offer meaningful public sector reforms that benefit disadvantaged children and families. The winner, to be announced in September, will receive $100,000 toward the replication and dissemination of the program’s innovative initiative to jurisdictions nationwide.

The Annie E. Casey Innovations Award semifinalists include one county, two cities, two states, and one federal agency. These government programs address innovations in the areas of pediatric mental health, social service delivery, and child protective services, as well as improvements to foster care and early childhood support services.

Established through a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation in 2006, the Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform recognizes government programs at all levels that enhance services to the nation’s children and families. Semifinalists have undergone a series of rigorous rounds of evaluation by children and family service policy experts and practitioners at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and other institutions across the country.

“Each of these programs demonstrates that effective and creative government can make a difference in improving the futures of children and families,” said Douglas W. Nelson, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Once again, the Casey Foundation sees this award as a great fit with our mission of working to narrow the gap in opportunities and outcomes between America’s more advantaged kids and its most vulnerable populations.”

The Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Family System Reform is one of the policy-specific awards within the overall Innovations in American Government Awards. Finalists of all awards will be announced on May 18 and will present before the National Selection Committee, chaired by HKS Professor of Public Service David Gergen, on May 27. The recipient of the Annie E. Casey Innovations Award will be one of six government programs honored in September.

“Our nation’s youth and families are vulnerable, particularly in this volatile economic climate,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School. “We commend the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of this year’s Annie E. Casey Innovations Award semifinalists, and look to them as models to guide future policy initiatives benefiting America’s families.”

The Innovations in American Government Awards was created in 1985 by the Ford Foundation to restore public trust in government by promoting public sector innovation. Many award-winning programs have been replicated across jurisdictions and policy areas and serve as forerunners for new legislation and reform. Applicants for the 2010 Innovations in American Government Awards are encouraged to apply at www.innovationsaward.harvard.edu.

The following programs are semifinalists for the 2009 Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform:

Child Welfare Reform
State of Maine
Maine’s Child Welfare Reform has achieved sustained, system-wide child welfare reform through family-centered and permanency focused practice and data driven case management. This effort has resulted in improved child safety and increased permanency.

Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services
Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services provides grants to public agencies across the U.S. to comprehensively serve children and youth who have serious mental health challenges.

Improved Outcomes for Children
City of New York, NY
Improved Outcomes for Children is a child welfare system reform using innovative accountability measures, family-centered decision making, and flexible financing to improve key outcomes for New York City’s children in foster care and families receiving preventive services.

K-5 Early Intervention Program
State of Delaware
Delaware’s K-5 Early Intervention Program provides intensive school and home-based services to at-risk children and families, preventing the future need for more expensive interventions by removing barriers to academic and social success.

Neighborhood Place
City of Louisville, KY
Neighborhood Place is a partnership of public sector agencies that have come together to create a network of community-based “one-stop” service centers. The purpose is to provide blended and accessible health, education, employment, and human services that support Louisville’s children and families in their progress toward self-sufficiency.

Wraparound Milwaukee
Milwaukee County, WI
Wraparound Milwaukee is a Milwaukee County community-based system of care which provides comprehensive, highly individualized, family-directed services to youth with serious emotional and mental health needs and their families.

For more information, please contact:
Kate Hoagland
Ash Center
617-495-4347
kate_hoagland@harvard.edu

About the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, whose primary mission is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. The Ford Foundation is a founding donor of the Center. Additional information about the Ash Center is available at www.ash.harvard.edu.