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Frequently Asked Questions

What will I learn in EDGE?

EDGE teaches foundational principles and skills for evidence-based decision-making in child welfare. You will learn how to structure the process of improvement using a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, and how to build a theory of change supported by evidence. From there, the majority of the course focuses on how to use administrative data to generate evidence about agency performance. In these modules, you will learn how to craft questions about child and family outcomes (i.e., admission to foster care, permanent exit, duration in care, level of care, placement stability, reentry, etc.), and how to answer them so that your measures are valid, reliable, and free of bias. You will learn how to apply this and other types of evidence to decision-making throughout the process of improvement.

For a breakdown of each EDGE module and its learning objectives, click here.

Who is the target audience for EDGE?

EDGE is designed for leaders and analysts from public and private child welfare organizations. In particular, the course targets two types of individuals: (1) Senior leaders and managers who are responsible for using evidence to shape policy and practice decisions, and (2) individuals who are responsible for generating evidence about agency performance and sharing it with senior leadership.

What is the time commitment for EDGE?

The full EDGE curriculum takes place over a period of six months. The course begins with core content, delivered one session per week over six consecutive weeks. Following that, participants attend one follow-up webinar per month for four months. Participants also receive a one-on-one agency specific coaching session. However, EDGE can be broken up and tailored to meet your organization’s needs. Contact us to discuss the options.

How do I bring EDGE to my organization?

EDGE can be delivered to multiple staff at a single agency or to a group of individual representatives from a number of agencies. The process begins with a discussion about your organization’s needs and the types of staff who would participate. Contact us to start the conversation.

How much does EDGE cost?

The cost of EDGE depends on where the class is being delivered and how many agencies and individuals are participating. Once we determine the shape and scope of your class, we will provide a budget.

Is EDGE appropriate for small agencies?

Yes! All agencies, large and small, are responsible for evidence-based decision making. The principles of performance measurement are the same regardless of how many children your organization serves. Your agency can benefit from EDGE, even if it does not use an electronic health record. In the past, we have implemented the program with large state agencies, counties, individual private providers, and provider consortia.

We can’t take on a long curriculum right now. Is there a shorter version of EDGE?

We can tailor the EDGE curriculum to meet your organization’s needs. Contact us to discuss the options.

I want to take EDGE, but I would be the only participant from my organization. Is there a way for me to join a class?

From time to time, we may offer a version of EDGE online to a national audience. To hear those updates, subscribe to our newsletter.

Is EDGE the same as Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration?                 

The Center for State Child Welfare Data began training child welfare leaders in administrative data analysis in the 1990s with a program then known as the Administrative Data Institutes. That program was later refined into a seminar that became known as Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration. This course focused squarely on the principles and methods of administrative data analysis, teaching participants how to ask and answer mission-critical questions about child welfare outcomes. Between 2007 and 2019, over 400 child welfare leaders and managers from around the country participated in Advanced Analytics.

In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services invited us to transform Advanced Analytics into a long-term, intensive, cohort-based program for the agency’s leadership. We took the essential measurement principles and skills from Advanced Analytics and embedded them in the context of the larger, cyclical process of improvement. The resulting program was EDGE: Evidence-Driven Growth & Excellence. In the years that followed, we implemented EDGE several times in Tennessee and Oklahoma, streamlining the program, testing its components, and shaping it into the course we have today.

In 2018, the Data Center was awarded a grant from the W.T. Grant Foundation to test EDGE in a randomized control trial. Findings showed that the program was effective at improving knowledge and skills and suggested that participation in EDGE was associated with improved evidence use behavior in the field. To our knowledge, EDGE is the only analytics training program for child welfare professionals that has been tested with this level of scientific rigor.