July 24, 2008
REORGANIZATION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SINCE 1998
By: Ryan F. O'Neil, Research Assistant
You asked about reorganization within the Department of Children and Families (DCF) within the last 10 years.
To provide a picture of the current DCF organizational structure, we attached to this report figures I-2 and I-3 from the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee's December 2007 Department of Children and Families Monitoring and Evaluation (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ pridata/Studies/DCF_Final_Report.htm).
DCF has internally reorganized three operations since 1998 — Parole Services, Regional Offices, and Prevention and Intervention Services.
2006 — PAROLE SERVICES
According to the 2005 Department of Administrative Service's Reports to the Governor, DCF's Parole Services was reorganized “to provide an array of services that are child-centered, community-oriented, and that will enhance children's ability to successfully and safely re-integrate within their families and communities.”
The report also states that the reorganization allows social workers to focus on specific geographic units.
2005 — AREA OFFICES CREATED
PA 05-246 eliminated DCF's six regional offices and the unclassified regional administrator positions associated with them. It replaced them with 14 service area offices headed by area directors in the classified service. In addition, area advisory councils replaced the regional advisory councils. The act required the DCF commissioner, who appoints members, to make a good faith effort to ensure that members are qualified and closely reflect the council area's gender and racial diversity.
About 1,900 of DCF's roughly 3,400 employees work in the area offices.
2005 — BUREAU OF PREVENTION, EARLY INTERVENTION, AND THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
The Office of Intergovernmental and Community Relations was reorganized into the Bureau of Prevention, Early Intervention, and the Office of the Ombudsman (the name of the bureau was changed to the Bureau of Prevention in 2006 and then the Bureau of Prevention and External Affairs in 2007). The Office of the Ombudsman continued its task of tracking and responding to information requests from private individuals.
The Prevention Division develops the following programs:
1. Positive Youth Development/Strengthening Families,
2. Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Board,
3. Parents with Cognitive Limitations Workgroup,
4. Multi-media Public Awareness Campaign, and
5. Useful Family Information webpage (http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=2869&Q=332996).
The early intervention programs DCF provides to support families with children up to six-years-old are the Parents in Partnership Program and the Early Childhood Consultation. The Parents in Partnership identifies parents of abused or neglected children or children at risk of being abused or neglected and works with them to provide local support. The Early Childhood Consultation Program provides support to children who have been expelled from preschool programs due to social or emotional reasons.
2004 AND EARLIER
No reorganization efforts occurred between 2001 and 2005. For information on earlier reorganizations, we have included OLR Report 2001-R-0301. The 2001 bill mentioned in the report, HB 6707, which was the governor's plan to reorganize the department, did not pass.
We contacted DCF about this request. We will forward to you any information they provide us.