Continuous Quality Improvement

Ideas from the Field


The National Resource Center for Organizational Improvement collected information from child welfare systems on their CQI systems. You can find descriptions of CQI systems by State or by topic area.

Leading Adaptively in Child Welfare

The Summer 2013 issue of Child Welfare Matters (PDF – 2.1 MB), the newsletter of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), focuses on leading adaptively in child welfare.

The issue highlights the concepts and tools of adaptive leadership and describes how NRCOI and Cambridge Leadership Associates are working with New Mexico to use these tools to implement a child welfare practice model. It provides a perspective on exercising adaptive leadership on the frontlines, and on using adaptive leadership concepts in continuous quality improvement systems.

Streamline the Licensure or Approval Process

As part of its diligent recruitment grant, Denver County (CO) used the Lean process to streamline the certification process, aiming to make the process both faster and more focused on providing value to families.

Denver County’s data showed that the certification process took 240 days from the time of application to the time a family was certified. Through the Lean process, Denver County shortened the length of time it takes for a family to go through the certification process by approximately 62 percent, down to as little as 87 days.

By using process mapping of the full certification process, Denver County identified all of the parts of the process that didn’t provide value to the families. Denver County determined that approximately 80 percent of the process didn’t provide value to the families; they also identified which steps in the process they could change. For example, Denver County had been having digital fingerprinting done by a separate unit outside of the staff who certified families. The fingerprints took five to six weeks to get processed. Denver County was able to give certification staff access to the fingerprinting information, helping to expedite the process.

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