Celebrating SDM Successes in Georgia and California

Celebrating SDM Successes in Georgia and California

November 4, 2016 | NCCD


NCCD has worked with child welfare and juvenile justice agencies for decades, always keeping our values at the forefront. We use these values and our experience to guide the development of effective research-based tools. These include the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) model, which provides a research-basedequitable, and transparent framework for guiding decision making and system improvement. Here are two recent achievements.

Child Welfare

San Diego County’s Child Welfare Services agency has seen improvement in several categories, including fewer children entering foster care; better placement stability; and since implementing the SDM® system in 2006, a 52% reduction in the number of children in foster care. The county also works with NCCD to use data to answer specific research and practice questions, to establish metrics for aligning their practice with their values, and to improve practice through coaching and training. 

For more on San Diego County’s work with NCCD, read this blog post by Kimberly Giardina, Deputy Director, County of San Diego Child Welfare Services.

Juvenile Justice

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal described his state’s success with criminal justice system reform in a recent opinion piece published by The Washington Times. Citing the financial benefits of this reform, he went on to note the potential positive long-term outcomes of rehabilitation and breaking the cycle of generational system involvement. Deal also mentioned the state’s work toward stopping the school-to-prison pipeline through the use of assessment tools provided to juvenile court judges.

NCCD and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) developed these tools collaboratively. They include a detention screening to help determine whether each arrested youth can safely stay at home or in the community while awaiting a hearing. Other tools guide more equitable and effective dispositional decision making, service interventions, and case plan success tracking.

The number of youth placed in facilities has dropped, the state has closed two facilities, and communities are safer.

For background on the partnership between NCCD and Georgia DJJ, click here; for more on NCCD’s juvenile justice reform work, click here.

The SDM model is working in these and other jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore to improve the lives of children and families.