Dr. Michael Cull, one of our Associate Directors at the Center for Innovation in Population Health, where the TCOM team works to address population health challenges through a TCOM framework, is assisting in leading the technical assistance efforts of the National Partnership for Child Safety (NPCS).

Dr. Michael Cull was recently interviewed to discuss the state of Oregon’s involvement and to give more insight into NPCS with Jefferson Public Radio, the NPR affiliate for Southern Oregon and Northern California.

The National Partnership for Child Safety (NPCS) is a national quality improvement collaborative to improve child safety and reduce child maltreatment fatalities through the application of safety science and shared data. NPCS currently brings together 26 jurisdictions nationally with a shared goal of strengthening families, promoting innovations, and a public health response to reducing and preventing child maltreatment and fatalities.

5 children looking towards camera, arms around one another, smiling

NPCS takes a systems approach to looking at child fatality incidents. When these events do occur, jurisdictions take a peer-to-peer learning model and share this data to a large number of systems to learn from one another. The goal of this data is to provide insights to help improvement in child welfare systems. NPCS is modeled after approaches in other fields with safety-critical settings, such as healthcare, aviation, and highways.

Dr. Cull shares in his interview how in these other safety-critical settings, a big component of preventing safe care was how humans were interacting with each other. Questions arose, such as ‘How do we standardize how we communicate with each other?’, ‘How do we create settings where people feel safe speaking up?’, and ‘How can we offer candid feedback when we are concerned about safety issues?’. That’s a place where NPCS leverages the learning from those other settings (e.g. hospitals, aviation, highways) to the systems within child welfare systems.

Oregon Department of Human Services

Oregon is one of 26 jurisdictions that have signed on and is in alignment to transform their entire child welfare system. They are attempting to improve child fatalities by building communities, reviewing how families are being served, what they can do differently in their work, and within their system to do a full transformation.

Oregon has become a leading example in this system. In fact, NPCS pairs new jurisdictions with Oregon because of how quickly they created a mature process looking at these critical incidents and then using the data to drive change. Tami Kane Suleiman, the Oregon Child Fatality Prevention & Review Manager at the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), says, “The benefit of NPCS is learning from other jurisdictions and sharing tools, rules, and procedures with multiple states around the country that are going through similar transformations.”

NPCS brings a set of principles, strategies, and techniques that are borrowed from other safety settings on how to take a look at these critical incidents and standardize the output. The goal is to continue to keep children safe by reducing and preventing child maltreatment and fatalities by understanding influences in the system and how they can make the system more effective.

To listen to Dr. Michael Cull’s interview with Jefferson Public Radio, you may listen here: “Oregon signs onto national partnership to reduce child abuse fatalities”.

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