Congratulations to the staff in Shelby and at Wilder Youth Development Center for an excellent COA visit on Thursday. I had the pleasure of attending the exit conferences for both and couldn’t be more proud. The COA reviewers were very impressed by Shelby and Wilder YDC’s hospitality and welcoming environment, and they spoke very positively about the work going on in both places.
During the exit conference for the Shelby Region, the reviewers were very complimentary of foster care case records, referring to them “immaculate.” They received a great deal of positive feedback from outside partners and stakeholders, and they were further impressed with the region’s efforts to conduct diligent searches for relative places and to place siblings together.
The reviewers spoke very positively regarding training and supervision, CPS client engagement, and the timeliness of safety assessments. They were also extremely impressed with the region’s work in making sure children received health screenings in 72 hours. Other areas of positive feedback were the consistency of HR files, a “phenomenal” evaluation process, caseworker visitation in Juvenile Justice, and the observed “great” communication between regional staff and Wilder YDC staff.
After visiting with reviewers in the Shelby Region, we travelled to Wilder Youth Development Center. This exit conference was particularly exciting as Wilder is the first state hardware secured facility in the nation to undergo the COA accreditation process.
The reviewers took note of the entire staff’s effort to buy in to the mission at Wilder. The CSO’s, they said, “are part of the treatment plan and not just security.” It was evident to COA the students also have bought into the process of treatment and programming at Wilder. The reviewers stated staff feel safe at the facility, files are in good order, there is obvious emphasis on education for students, and the training for CSO’s is “phenomenal.” The COA reviewers observed “great leadership” and “dedicated and committed staff” during their visit to Wilder YDC.