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Category: Baselines, Targets, & Actuals (BTAs)

Today, public child welfare agencies are taking stock of their capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and considering the investments they will make in order to build that capacity. How these CQI systems develop will vary from agency to agency depending on administrative structure, staffing patterns, available resources, and a host of other factors. They will all, however, be responsible for facilitating the same basic CQI process—a cycle of problem solving activities that requires the deliberate use of evidence. Given that shared responsibility, the child welfare field will benefit from a common vocabulary for describing what CQI is, the core principles on which CQI rests, and the critical role that evidence plays throughout the CQI process. In keeping with a century-long tradition of CQI that has guided improvement efforts in other fields, we put forth a common language for child welfare CQI in a new publication, Principles, Language, and Shared… Read more

In this session, Data Center Director Fred Wulczyn provided a high-level overview of the proposed CFSR 3 measures, discussed the methods for setting national standards, baselines, and targets, and highlighted issues for states to consider as they prepare comments to the Children’s Bureau. Read a recap, view the webinar, and download the slides.... Read more >
In this the second installment of a multipart series on care days and Title IV-E waivers, Fred Wulczyn will demonstrate how Chapin Hall's predictive analytics software, OSPEDALE, provides information that can help states plan for, manage, and monitor the use of waiver funds.... Read more >

Length or stay is a key indicator of permanency for children in foster care. For the sake of child well-being, we strive to minimize length of stay—to get children out of foster care and into permanent homes as quickly as possible. But length of stay also as a fiscal implication. Foster care is expensive to provide. Many states are exploring ways to reduce foster care expenditures and reinvest savings into preventive and in-home services that decrease the need for out-of-home care. In the previous Recipe, I used the web tool’s Baseline Care Days and Exits Summary to answer the question of whether interventions designed to improve permanency outcomes have their intended effects. In this Recipe, I’ll show you how to use the information produced by that template to set baselines and targets for expenditures as well as outcomes. This Recipe takes about 10 minutes to complete. In addition to the web tool,… Read more

Child welfare systems are constantly implementing new policies and practices as they endeavor to improve outcomes for the children and families they serve. But how do you know if your policy and practice interventions have the effects that you intend? To get to the answer, you must start by establishing your system’s baseline performance on the outcomes that you expect your intervention will improve. In establishing baseline outcomes, you answer to the question, “Based on historical performance, how should I expect my system perform on this outcome if we do not intervene, if business proceeds as usual?” Put differently, baseline outcomes are your “before” outcomes. They provide a reference point on which you expect to improve. In this Recipe I’ll use the web tool’s Baseline Exits and Care Day Summary report to show you how to generate baseline performance on two permanency indicators: (1) proportion of children exiting to permanency… Read more