Policy Implementation Under Class Action-Based Reform of State Child Welfare Agencies

The Cases of Washington State and New Jersey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Using a case study method, the policy formation and implementation of litigation based system-wide reform of the Washington State and New Jersey child welfare agencies was examined within the context of the policy instruments component of Hasenfeld and Brock’s (1991) political-economy model. Primary findings and recommendations for improving the implementation process include: (a) clarifying weak and ambiguous authority structures by creating a policy agenda linking authority structures to specific plan components; (b) mitigating misalignment and under-resourcing of policy components by stipulating resource requirements within the litigated settlement agreement provisions; (c) strengthening the implementation process by aligning policy action steps and outcome measurements with available data sources and capabilities; and (d) structuring incremental change into the program design for policy reform to increase flexibility to respond to changing agency needs or unpredictable events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-187
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Policy Practice
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016

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policy implementation
child welfare
reform
reform policy
political economy
flexibility
event
resources

Keywords

  • Case study analysis
  • child welfare agency
  • child welfare reform
  • class action lawsuit
  • litigated reform
  • litigation
  • performance
  • policy implementation
  • public administration
  • public policy

Cite this

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title = "Policy Implementation Under Class Action-Based Reform of State Child Welfare Agencies: The Cases of Washington State and New Jersey",
abstract = "Using a case study method, the policy formation and implementation of litigation based system-wide reform of the Washington State and New Jersey child welfare agencies was examined within the context of the policy instruments component of Hasenfeld and Brock’s (1991) political-economy model. Primary findings and recommendations for improving the implementation process include: (a) clarifying weak and ambiguous authority structures by creating a policy agenda linking authority structures to specific plan components; (b) mitigating misalignment and under-resourcing of policy components by stipulating resource requirements within the litigated settlement agreement provisions; (c) strengthening the implementation process by aligning policy action steps and outcome measurements with available data sources and capabilities; and (d) structuring incremental change into the program design for policy reform to increase flexibility to respond to changing agency needs or unpredictable events.",
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Policy Implementation Under Class Action-Based Reform of State Child Welfare Agencies : The Cases of Washington State and New Jersey. / Alvarez, Ariel.

In: Journal of Policy Practice, Vol. 15, No. 3, 02.07.2016, p. 162-187.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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