Written By: Ken McGill, EdS, LMFT
Lizzie Minton is a Child Welfare Clinical Consultant in Louisville, Kentucky. Since 2016, she has worked with Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) to implement a standardized screening and assessment process for children in out-of-home care placements. Lizzie is a CANS Trainer and provides support and technical assistance to providers across the state as they work to implement and integrate the TCOM philosophies into their work. Lizzie previously worked as a therapist for children in residential treatment and foster care. She is a member of the 2021 TCOM Conference Program Committee.
Recently, Ken McGill, this year’s TCOM Conference Program Chair, sat down (virtually, of course) with Lizzie to talk about the upcoming conference!
Q: Tell us a little bit about the work that is happening in Kentucky.
A: This is a very exciting time for the TCOM work in Kentucky. We began the process of statewide implementation in 2016 and added our last two service regions in June 2018. Since June of 2018, we require that every child that enters out-of-home care undergo a screening process with their child welfare worker. This screener determines whether the child should be referred for behavioral health treatment. Once a child is referred for treatment, the behavioral health provider has 30 days to complete a CANS Assessment.
Q: How many children are in out-of-home care in Kentucky?
A: There are currently more than 9.000 children in out-of-home care in Kentucky. Of these children, about 6,100 children have “screened in” and been referred for a CANS.
Q: How many agencies are able to complete the CANS?
A: We have over 75 agencies who are able to complete the CANS at this time, including private child caring/placing agencies, community mental health centers, and independent providers. In 2020, we trained over 1,000 clinicians!
Q: What does the future of screening and assessment look like in Kentucky?
A: Another exciting piece of this process has been the ability to expand to other populations. Kentucky’s Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID), through a System of Care grant, is expanding the screening and assessment process to include children and families involved in the child welfare system, but children are not removed from the home. It is a great time to be a part of this work!
Q: What can we expect during this year’s TCOM Conference in Lexington, Kentucky?
A: If all you know about Kentucky is horse racing, you have a lot to learn! I hope you will be wowed by our southern hospitality and charm. If you are a fan of bourbon, you may want to add an extra day or two on to your trip this year. Kentucky is home to nearly 70 distilleries and you could spend a few days enjoying the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Lexington is also home to many great restaurants and breweries, many within walking distance to the Hyatt Regency where the conference will be held.
Q: If anyone is interested in learning more about presenting & attending the TCOM Conference what should they do?
A: My hope is that everyone reading this attends this year’s conference. If anyone is interested in presenting they can either go to the Praed Foundation or TCOM Conversations websites. The process of submission is easy…I already submitted my proposal and really looking forward to sharing more about what we are doing here in Kentucky!
I actually just keep wondering every now and then that how can these NGOs just work so very unconditionally as well as so very selflessly. But all the very work that it’s members are just doing for the welfare of our very society is actually so very appreciable as well as thanks giving.