State employee work teams honored with Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity, recognized for improving state government operations

December 13, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY – The Office of Administration recognized two state employee work teams with the 2017 Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity (GAQP), which acknowledges accomplishments that serve as an example of continuous improvement, quality, efficiency and productivity in Missouri state government.

“We work for the people of Missouri, and these public servants have done an outstanding job,” said Governor Eric R. Greitens. “They are saving families as flood waters rise, building bridges, bringing jobs to Missouri, and educating our children. I am proud to be a member of this team.”

All winning nominations were required to meet criteria related to effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency that would serve as a model of excellence for other work teams in state government. This year’s GAQP recipients include:

Customer Service
Signs of Safety Team: Department of Social Service for implementing new practices and processes to enhance the safety and well-being of Missouri children. The agency’s transformative practice uses a Signs of Safety model based on solution-focused casework that includes a clear identification of child safety risks, safety goals, the engagement of safety networks, and continuous reassessment with the use of critical thinking. The approach offers a range of tools for assessment and planning, extensive training, performance coaching, and technical support for frontline child welfare practitioners to support conversations with families about past harm, potential abuse or neglect, current safety risks, and behaviorally specific goals related to child safety. This approach has led to families being better connected to meaningful resources that can help them, and complements the efforts of the agency’s Children’s Division to safely reduce the need for foster care.

Efficiency/Process Improvement
Special Investigations Team: Department of Health and Senior Services for creating a new way to aid in the protection of vulnerable adults who are elderly or disabled from abuse, neglect and exploitation.  The agency determined that as more adults became victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation by paid caregivers, it was increasingly important to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. This critical task was championed by a team of adult protective services workers, already responsible for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of vulnerable adults. Their goal was to improve the quality and efficiency of investigations related to allegations against paid caregivers by reducing redundant, unnecessary tasks; to build relationships with providers; to improve relationships with sister state agencies; and to ensure offending caregivers were adequatey identified to prevent further violations. During the first fiscal year of this new process, 99.5 percent of investigations were deemed legally sufficient to act upon. Further, relationships with providers, law enforcement, and other state agencies improved. Additionally, the investigations identified an estimated $1 million dollars’ worth of fraudulent Medicaid claims the state is eligible to recover.

For a complete description of each award or to learn more about the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity, visit http://www.training.oa.mo.gov/erp/. Since 1988, this prestigious award program has recognized service excellence, encouraged and rewarded innovation, and reinforced pride in service to Missouri state government.  The GAQP program is administered by the Missouri Division of Personnel’s Center for Management and Professional Development.