Helping Government Agencies Become More Effective and Efficient: Discovering ‘Catalytic Combinations’ in Public Child Welfare Reform

This article describes the work of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Casey Strategic Consulting Group in child and family services systems to improve system performance and outcomes. Called “catalytic combinations,” five types of levers were influenced in different combinations to promote change in several state systems. The initiative produced measurable improvements in key performance areas. The authors postulate that by influencing “levers of change” in combination, one can drive broad improvement in how overall systems operate. Influencing catalytic combinations creates sufficient startup results for improvement to continue over time.

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