Quality Service Reviews or QSRs are the most powerful, effective way to measure and reinforce Family Team Decision Making. Highly trainers reviewers interview everyone involved in a case, using a rigorous protocol that examines the quality of teaming and engaging with the family. Reviews can take one or two days. Cases are selected at random. A minimum of 25 cases are reviewed in smaller jurisdictions, and at least 50 in a larger jurisdiction.
For each indicator, the reviewer gives a rating from 6 (the best) to 1 (the worst). A 5 or 6 is considered effective; 3 or 4 is minimal or marginal; and 1 or 2 is inadequate.
For the specific cases reviewed, QSRs provide important feedback to caseworkers and supervisors about how well they are doing and areas in which they can improve. When the overall results are compiled and common themes identified, QSRs help a jurisdiction identify strengths and weaknesses in their family team decision making practice. QSRs can serve as an eye opener for those who think they are already doing it “right,” but find out there are significant areas for improvement.
In Utah, the QSR results were specifically linked to the ability to exit a consent decree. Each region in the state needed to have 90 percent of their cases pass the QSR review.
For those who feel that family team decision making is vague, the QSR protocol shows what it means and looks like, and the QSR review process provides an objective way to see whether the new case practice is happening and having an impact.
A state interested in using the QSRs typically contracts with Human Systems and Outcomes (HSO) to develop a protocol tailored to that state. Then a group like HSO or the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group trains local case reviewers until they can conduct reviews on their own.
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