Despite the best of intentions, deeply committed staff, and significant resources, public child welfare agencies are continually challenged in their efforts to help children and families. For reform-minded administrators across the nation, the question is, how did things go so wrong? The answer, in part, may lie with the multiple masters these systems must serve: The elected, appointed, and judicial officials that shape them; the taxpayers that fund them; the staff members, providers, and community
representatives that influence them; and the clients themselves. Faced with the daunting task of improving complex public systems, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found one approach that can unite these often competing interests: A focus on results.