Turning a Mandate Into a Movement

June 8, 2018
Approach to Implementing Performance Based Contracting Image

Taking an uncommon approach to performance-based contracting

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is proud to partner with hundreds of contracted service providers around the state to provide vital services to children and their families.

The new agency expects to issue more than 1,000 contracts each year to purchase approximately $1 billion in client services. The legislation that created the agency, House Bill 1661, requires that contracts be “performance-based,” with a focus on quality and outcomes. On the surface, this may appear to be just another mandate to monitor provider performance. But like with many aspects of DCYF, there’s an opportunity to make a much larger impact.

To get started on this effort, we started asking questions like:

  • How can we advance racial equity?
  • How can we concentrate staff and services provider efforts for achieving specific child outcome goals, like 90 percent kindergarten readiness?
  • How can we build stronger partnerships with providers?
  • How can we use data to learn and improve?

Approach for Implementing Performance Based Contracting Image

To help begin to answer these questions, project lead Stacey Gillette and the Office of Innovation team worked with Children’s Administration, Department of Early Learning and Juvenile Rehabilitation/Office of Juvenile Justice staff, as well as contracted service providers, to explore a different approach to performance-based contracting — one that builds on successes and is informed by data, best practices and community input.

A series of input sessions and feedback surveys helped us to create the proposed standards. These take a strategic approach to gradually and thoughtfully identify and incorporate performance standards in three key areas: services, quality and outcomes.

Watch this video featuring Secretary Hunter to learn more about the proposed PBC standards and where we hope to go together.

We’ll reach back out to stakeholders after July 1 to continue getting input as we turn our attention to implementing the new standards. So stay tuned!

Contact the project team at oiaa@dcyf.wa.gov with questions about the new standards and how they might affect your work.