Advanced Analytics for Illinois Child Welfare Administrators
Chapin Hall and the Center for State Child Welfare Data are pleased to offer Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration from March 22-24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois and from May 17-19, 2017 in Champaign, Illinois. Due to popular demand, we have designed this particular iteration of the course specifically for members of the Illinois child welfare community. The class is designed expressly to help public and private agency managers build skills in using administrative data to make informed policy and practice decisions and improve outcomes for the children and families in their care.
Participants accepted for the Advanced Analytics course will receive full support for tuition as well as three lunches. Travel, lodging, ground transportation, and all other meals are the responsibility of the student. Students are selected based on their applications, and each course is limited to eighteen participants.
Who should take Advanced Analytics?
This course is designed for public and private agency child welfare managers who work directly with information resources and who are in a position to influence the use of information in their organization. The course is targeted specifically to those in leadership positions who are empowered to facilitate best practices in measurement and evidence-based decision making within their child welfare agencies. Individuals working in policy, finance, program management/design, quality improvement, research, and computing are also encouraged to apply. At this time, Advanced Analytics is not open to teachers, professors, or full-time students.
Advanced Analytics is not an introductory course. Applicants should have at least a basic understanding of data analysis in order to benefit from the material. For example, applicants should have experience interpreting quantitative performance reports and should have a grasp of how quantitative performance indicators are crafted (i.e., the selection of numerators and denominators). Applicants should also have a basic understanding of how administrative child welfare databases are constructed (e.g., child records containing variables that describe characteristics of those children and their experiences in care).
What will I learn in Advanced Analytics?
The course covers best practices in performance measurement in child welfare. Participants will learn not only how to identify and conduct analyses required to fuel the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process, but also how to recognize typical pitfalls that lead to the incorrect use of administrative data. During the course, each lesson draws explicit links between analytic concepts and techniques and their real world implications for performance monitoring and CQI decision making. To promote skill-building, participants work through in-class group exercises, complete independent homework assignments, and meet one-on-one with course instructors.
What policy and practice applications are explored in Advanced Analytics?
The course applies techniques for transforming data into evidence to a variety of policy and practice topics, including:
- The role of evidence in the Continuous Quality Improvement process
- Thinking systematically about child welfare performance: From investigations to permanency
- Effective reporting and communication of child welfare outcomes
- Developing baseline and target expectations to test the effect of innovation
- Understanding racial disparities
- Paring fiscal data with outcomes data to inform the budget process
What have past participants said about Advanced Analytics?
“Advanced Analytics was, simply put, one of the most valuable courses I have ever taken in my professional development. After taking the class, I feel more prepared for being a one person CQI department at my agency. I feel that I am able to better help my agency choose what to measure, who to measure, and how to measure what it is we want to know about the children and families we serve. Ultimately, I am now prepared to tell a better story about what we do that helps children and families.”
— Manager, Performance and Quality Improvement
“There were so many ‘ah-ha’ moments for me during the course. I never realized the extreme importance of choosing the correct denominator and what an impact it can have on the outcomes we report. Another game changer for me was idea that because ‘the process of improvement starts with the question,’ you have to have a question in mind before you set out to analyze your data. It made me realize that much of our data reporting has little to do with answering a specific question. This concept really helps define what is important to measure because it helps you get clear on what you actually want to know. I would absolutely recommend this class to others. It was definitely worth the time. I wish I had attended years ago.”
— Quality Improvement Coordinator
“As a social worker, I am trained and inclined to work with people—not numbers—and am very interested in and curious about having evidence to assess the effectiveness of our work. The course was set at my level of understanding, and since more than one person from my agency was able to attend, we now have the benefit of shared language and understanding of the material; together we will be able to make changes in how we present evidence. The course deepened my capacity to understand the reports that come cross my desk every day.”
— Vice President & Chief Organizational Development and Support Officer
How do I apply to Advanced Analytics?
Admission is selective, based on professional responsibility, analytic skills, and the content of the individual’s recommendation. We are especially interested in applicants who are in a position to shape the process and use of data analysis at their agencies. Candidates must complete an application form and include a recommendation from a supervisor at their current organization. By receiving your application we will assume that you will attend Advanced Analytics if accepted. Certification that travel funds will be available and that the applicant will be released from all job responsibilities for the duration of the course is also required.
- Applications for the Chicago class are due on or before March 6 by 5 PM CT.
- Applications for the Champaign class are due on or before May 1 by 5 PM CT.
Download the application materials:
- Course information flyer
- Online application form
- Recommendation form (also available on the online application form)
- Downloadable application form
If opting not to complete your application via the online form, please download it at the link above and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header: Application for Illinois Advanced Analytics.