July 15, 2005

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

DHR Releases Its First-Ever Child Welfare 'Report Card'

The Department of Human Resources (DHR) is releasing the results of the agency’s first county-by-county evaluations of the historic child welfare improvements that have made Alabama the nationally recognized standard for excellence.

Approximately 84% of the counties received composite ratings of either AAAA or AAA, the two highest possible ratings. A total of 71 evaluations were done, because Jefferson County is divided into five child welfare regions, each of which was evaluated separately.

"Our child welfare system is a national model because all 67 counties are meeting the standards set forth under the federal R.C. Consent Decree," said DHR Commissioner Page Walley. "The Federal Court Monitor has confirmed this," he noted.

"The evaluations, the agency’s first of this type, will be done semiannually, as required by the federal court. These assessments give us an opportunity to document our continued compliance with the Consent Decree," Commissioner Walley explained. The evaluation results covered the six-month period beginning October 1, 2004 and ending March 31, 2005.

Commissioner Walley stressed the fact that the department’s child welfare ‘report card’ is not a comparison of one county to another. "Rather, it is an assessment of each county’s performance in sustaining the high quality child welfare services required under the Consent Decree," explained Commissioner Walley.

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