The Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center (WPIC) (www.wpicenter.org) provides information and resources that may be of interest to you as you work to improve child welfare services. WPIC provides implementation-focused resources and services to states, counties, territories, and tribes in Regions IX and X and in-depth and long-term consultation and technical assistance to child welfare systems through implementation projects designed to achieve sustainable, systemic change and improve safety, permanency, and well-being for families. Implementation Projects are currently underway in Alaska, Navajo Nation, and Los Angeles.

Learning to use data to better understand how to improve child welfare practices and outcomes is an important part of WPIC technical assistance to the Navajo Nation. WPIC staff and consultants met with Navajo Nation Nataanis, a leadership group comprised of the heads of Navajo Nation’s various governmental departments, to share findings from a recent assessment of concurrent planning practice and related child and family outcomes. The assessment identified practice strengths in maintaining child connections to family and kin, as well as challenges in documenting concurrent planning in case files. Navajo Nation leaders appreciated the opportunity to have an assessment of their child welfare system as this data will inform future training, supervision and ongoing quality assurance efforts.

Collecting and sharing data comes at a critical time for the Navajo project as the Division of Social Services is completing policy revisions and preparing to formally implement concurrent planning into practice across the Nation. Documentation, data collection, and analysis is gaining greater attention as an approach to identify system needs and inform practice changes. System partners and staff are eager to begin incorporating data collection into their own processes. In the words of a Navajo Nation leader, "It is time for us to collect and analyze our own data. We need to do that." Training, skill building and coaching on how to implement and document concurrent planning will be held in regional offices across the Navajo Nation. Data will be collected again next year to compare and measure the progress of implementing concurrent planning practices and achieving more timely permanency for Navajo children with their families.