The strategy of getting kids out of group homes and into families has been working well for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, helping leaders dramatically reduce the number of children in foster care.
Now there is another kind of change coming to the organization.
The director of BCDSS for the past seven years, Molly McGrath Tierney, is on her way out, but not before bringing a dramatic change to the organization reducing the number of children in foster care by exactly 59.8 percent.
"These are young people that grew up in foster care and they're going to be all right and so I came to a place of well I learned some important things and I'm ready to do the next thing," McGrath Tierney said.
She isn't leaving this line of work far behind.
She's moving on to Bennett Midland, a consulting firm, to join a larger conversation in the country about what it takes to keep kids out of foster care in the first place.
"What if we could find ways to get to families much earlier before something was going so awful we had to bring the kid into foster care? That's really where my heart is, after having looked at this so carefully and so closely for so many years I think there's a better answer than the way we manage this work now," McGrath Tierney said.
In Baltimore, the mission has been clear; get kids into families.
"There was a practice when I arrived that most kids went into group homes and now we reduced that by 89%. All of our kids are in families now but for a very few of them," McGrath Tierney told ABC2.
"I hope they follow her trend because she is about to leave so whoever comes as the director, I hope they pick up where she left off," Nicholas Moss, President of the BCDSS Youth Advisory Board, said.
That will be David Thompson who is taking over as interim director. He says there's no reason to stray from a well laid out path.
"Let's continue the commitment to children, let's continue to ensure that kids go home, let's continue with that," Thompson said.
McGrath Tierney says she leaves BCDSS confident that will continue.
"Everyone in Baltimore should keep watching because I think Baltimore City DSS is still on the rise."