Strategy

Strategy

Both developing a policy agenda and the mechanisms for implementation are particularly sensitive to 

the current environment or context. Listed below are some general environmental factors that may 

affect the nature, timing and successful implementation of policy.

 

Understanding current political realities of state and local executive and legislative branches and 

within the federal government

An agency’s chance for achieving major legislative action increases in proportion to child welfare 

being able to link their needs to the larger goals and priorities of the governor, legislature or 

county executives and boards.

 

Relationship child welfare enjoys with its umbrellas agency, other sister agencies, providers, 

governor’s office, legislature, etc.

The chance of receiving a hearing from other stakeholders increases to the extent that an agency 

has deliberately cultivated relationships and shown itself to be responsive, honest and credible in 

its day-to-day dealings.

 

Current and long-term relationship between central and local offices under either state 

administered or state supervised systems

Child welfare agencies that enjoy positive and collegial relationships with their operating 

entities can generally formulate and implement policies with greater ease and buy-in. That is, the 

policy agenda is not used as a tool in the struggle for power between central and field offices.

 

Extent and response to issues of treatment disparities and less positive outcomes for African 

American children and other minorities

Agencies that proactively address issues of treatment disparities within their practice model will 

more likely examine current and proposed policies for negative effects as a matter of course; that 

is, they will apply such a lens routinely and with minimal difficulty.

 

Current clarity and consistency in use of different mechanisms used within a policy framework; e.g. 

rule-making, procedures; guidance

Agencies need to be clear about which mechanisms will be used to promulgate which types of 

policies. Lack of clarity about what actions and decisions are mandatory, advisory or prohibited 

can result in unintended and sometimes costly variations about when, how and under what conditions 

services are provided.

 

Level of federal, judicial (including appellate decisions) and legislative oversight and 

obligations experienced by an agency

Agencies that have experienced significant and/or contradictory oversight and penalties may be 

tempted to promulgate ever more stringent and mandatory policies that limit, rather than increase, 

effective problem-solving when it is most needed.

 

Body of Work

There are two significant functions required to build and implement a policy agenda. Both require 

an agency to be systemic and systematic in its approach and be able to negotiate various and 

complex policy making processes. Both require an attitude that is

non-defensive, skill in building coalitions and consensus, and sound analytical ability.

 






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