West Michigan Partnership for Children’s (WMPC) Performance and Quality Improvement Coordinator, Kelsey Dracht, enjoys finding innovative ways to improve outcomes for children alongside a network of agencies and community leaders. She is responsible for analyzing and reporting outcome data, working to improve the foster care system in Kent County.
Kelsey’s decision to join WMPC stemmed from her desire to join a supportive group of people with similar goals to improve children’s well-being in Kent County.
“Child welfare has always been important to me personally and professionally, and I have rooted myself in the Grand Rapids area because I love this community,” she said.
1. What is your role at WMPC? What are your responsibilities in this role?
As a Performance and Quality Improvement Coordinator, I work alongside my team members to improve the foster care system in Kent County. My core responsibilities include analyzing and reporting program outcome data and meeting with agencies around their progress and barriers related to key performance indicators.
2. What is your favorite part of your role?
I really enjoy making data accessible to our stakeholders through visualization! I believe creating visualizations and succinct reports for various partners is a big step in changing the way people perceive data. I am happy to provide reports that people can easily read, understand, and use to make decisions.
3. On the flip side, what is the most challenging part about your job?
It’s challenging learning the complexity of the foster care system in Kent County, but WMPC is finding innovative ways to improve outcomes for children amidst the complexity and alongside the network of agencies and community leaders. These solutions do take time, though, and that can obviously be frustrating for all when kids in care are relying on them.
4. As a brand new start-up, what inspired you to want to work for WMPC?
Child welfare has always been important to me personally and professionally, and I have rooted myself in the Grand Rapids area because I love this community. WMPC seemed like the perfect way to continue growing in these areas; I was excited to join a supportive group of people with the same goal to improve children’s well-being in Kent County.
5. What is one thing you wish people knew about foster care?
I was amazed to learn how many people are involved in each child’s case. It’s amazing how many individuals impact a child’s story when they come into care. Birth parents, mentors, foster parents, caseworkers, school staff, doctors, judges, DHHS, WMPC, and so many more play a part in assuring the child is thriving.
5. How has your position at WMPC and your experience in the nonprofit industry changed your perspective?
My role at WMPC helps me to see the perspectives of the many partners who are involved in child welfare, which has also shaped how I understand foster care. These perspectives allow me to analyze helpful data and present it to stakeholders effectively.
6. What is your hope for WMPC and the Kent County foster care system?
I hope that WMPC continues to build trusting relationships with our stakeholders so we can effectively transform the system and improve outcomes for vulnerable children in foster care. I am happy to be a part of it!