“Our challenge is to help the government make sure that vulnerable populations receive high-quality services,” explains Tamar Zemach-Marom, director of MJB’s Center for Quality Assurance in the Social Services.
Since the late 1980s, MJB’s unique Center for Quality Assurance in the Social Services has worked to assist the public sector to improve the quality of care through better regulation. It does this using the RAF (Regulation, Assessment, Follow-up) Method, developed and continually updated by MJB.
Since the 1990s, MJB has worked with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services to implement the RAF in almost all out-of-home services targeting the main populations served by the Ministry: children and youth at risk, the elderly, people with disabilities, and individuals with addictions.
The RAF method of continuous improvement and quality monitoring has revolutionized the Ministry’s regulation of human service programs.
“When designing a system, we begin by updating the standards and regulations,” says Zemach-Marom, “and then we structure ways to make sure they are implemented properly.”
Among the key changes to the regulation process introduced by the RAF are:
· Upgrading and clearly defining the standards and regulations
· Introducing defined quantitative measures, as opposed to general subjective assessments, taking into account inputs, outputs, and outcomes
· Incorporating the client's point of view in the regulatory process
· Developing a provider-level workplan to correct deficiencies and closely monitoring it for implementation progress
· Constructing a national database on the quality of care provided by the different facilities, including data on the extent of compliance with the standards and regulations of the service, data on the background and key needs of clients, and data on the implementation of the regulatory process
· Fully computerizing the entire system
· Supporting the government’s decision-making in developing national policies and setting priorities for regulation and quality-promoting activities
In 2015, MJB will be focusing on work with other government ministries, including a project with the Ministry of Education to upgrade the regulatory system of residential educational facilities.
MJB’s Quality Assurance work is a classic example of the Institute’s ability to work behind the scenes with governmental organizations to transform the human services and thus make a difference in the lives of Israel’s neediest citizens.