JUDICIAL BRANCH PROJECTS NAMED AS TWO OUT OF FOUR FINALISTS FOR THE GOVERNORS TEAM EXCELLENCE AWARD
A team composed of staff of the Office of State Courts Collections Enforcement, a division of the Administrative Office of the Courts, was recently named a finalist in the 2008 Governor’s Team Excellence Award competition for its Supervision Fees Collection Project. The project was selected as a model of using a team approach and partnerships with other State agencies to re-engineer processes to achieve a dramatic improvement in results. Using these approaches, during FY 2008, the project increased the collection of past due supervision fees from both active and former probationers by 71%. The dollar amount collected grew from $429,560 in FY 2007 to $735,532 in FY 2008 and the number of offenders from whom supervision fees were collected increased from 7100 in FY 2007 to 8900 in FY 2008.
The Office of State Court Collections Enforcement, which has offices at six sites throughout the state, serves as a collection agency for criminal justice matters, handling those cases from which the courts have not been able to collect ordered fines, costs, or restitution, and from which Probation and Parole has not been able to collect statutorily mandated supervision fees.
Chief Justice Myron T. Steele presented the Governor’s Team Excellence Award to team members during a special ceremony on January 23, 2009. Also in attendance was Barbara McCleary, Office of Management and Budget, who conveyed her congratulations on behalf of the 2008 Governor’s Team Excellence Award Selection Committee.
Also receiving recognition as a finalist this year was the Great Expectations team, a collaborative effort of Family Court and the Division of Family Services. This team created a cultural and paradigm shift in the traditional role of judges from issuing orders in specific cases and the role of DFS caseworkers as strictly advocates to that of working collaboratively to eliminate barriers and increasing the safety, permanency, and well-being of abused and neglected children. Through the team’s efforts, important changes in how business is conducted have been instituted, including increased training around best practices, and improved mental health assessment referrals.
The Great Expectations project also assists Delaware in meeting federal requirements for safety and timeliness in the placement and review of children in the foster care system by allowing the Court to participate in the creation of the program improvement plan as well as progress reports to the federal government. One important area that is improving is the time a child spends in foster care before being adopted. The federal standard for a child moving from foster care to adoption within 24 months of entering care is 36%. Through the efforts of the team, Delaware has improved from 29% of timely adoptions in federal fiscal year 2006 to 39.5% of FY 2007.
The Governor’s Team Excellence Award recognizes teams of six to twenty State employees who excel in team operation and results.
Congratulations are offered to both teams for their outstanding work!
OSCCE’S SUPERVISION FEES COLLECTION PROJECT TEAM:
Standing in back row left to right: Jason Smith, Stacy Ricks, Nina Cannata, John Foerster, Sandy Coleman, Bill Dibartola
Standing in front row left to right: Bobbie Hines, Nancy Sinex, Erica Roy-Smith, Lester Aldrich
Not pictured: Robin Jenkins, Patricia Cake, Pam List, Crystal Bennett and Suzanne Wells