Developing Capacity for Growth and Excellence
“Our work with Chapin Hall reflects our determination to change the face of child welfare through social entrepreneurship. We use insights from data to improve our services and find the best opportunities to maximize our social impact.”
Necco is a private child-, youth-, and family-serving company committed to building families. It provides foster care services to clients in four states – Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Georgia – and in some of its jurisdictions it offers independent living services, behavioral health services, residential and outpatient services for individuals with developmental disabilities, and an alternatives to detention program. In the fall of 2012, Necco engaged researchers at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to develop the company’s administrative data resources into research evidence to build knowledge about their program performance and to assess Necco’s efforts to further develop organizational capacity for continuous quality improvement (CQI).
Through a combination of organizational surveys, staff interviews, and analytic file development and support, Chapin Hall researchers: evaluated Necco’s capacity for research evidence use, helped establish baseline performance metrics, and assessed its culture for quality improvement. In collaboration with Chapin Hall, Necco invested in research evidence and quality improvement by enhancing its data collection strategies, developing meaningful performance metrics rooted in best practices, and engaging staff in an Advanced Analytics training.
Using the analytic files Chapin Hall created, Necco now tracks longitudinal performance at the program, managing office, and state levels with ongoing technical assistance from Chapin Hall. Doing so allows it to incorporate outcome measures into company performance monitoring, track program performance over time, and look for trends to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Program profile reports drafted by Chapin Hall compare Necco’s performance to local and national standards, the first set of which indicate that Necco is performing at or above these benchmarks.