At the close of FY21, the Baltimore City Local Care Team (BC-LCT) was below target on two of the four How Much measures and one of the two Better Off measures. The How Much measure on # of new cases referred to the LCT was lower than anticipated having received 53 out the 80 targeted referred cases. Due to continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the LCT did not receive the volume of referrals as it received when in-person classes and services were offered. The reasons identified were a combination of schools not being fully open to students and the effects of the COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Historically, the LCT has received the highest percentage of case referrals from school counselors and administrators. Due to the LCT conducting more LCT Training presentations in FY21 the LCT has already begun to see an increase in the number of referrals received just two months into FY22. The LCT was below target for the # of cases reviewed by the Local Care Team, ending the fiscal year with 47 cases reviewed, out of the 56 cases targeted. This was due to the same reasons listed above. COVID-19 has affected how community organizations that previously referred to a case for review were delivering services to the community. The LCT found it challenging for them to fully assess the needs of the youth and family through virtual portals. Additionally, referring partners experienced multiple technical difficulties submitting referrals electronically during COVID due to their organizations Firewall and PHI security measures making it harder for Case Managers to submit requests for case reviews. The LCT is anticipating an increase in both referrals and case reviews now that the country is opening and the need for placement or supportive services for youth is more physically visible, without relying on virtual portals.
The Better Off measure for the #/% of new cases referred for out-of-state placement that are alternatively served through in-state community-based services or in-state residential placements established for FY21 was not met. One youth was referred for an out-of-state placement and was placed out of state. Three youth were referred for out-of-state placement during the year and all three were placed out of state. We did not meet our target of 25%. In all these cases the needs of the young person exceeded the in-state services available during the pandemic. This remains to be seen due the intensive needs of the “hard to place” youth that come before the LCT.