Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration
“Advanced Analytics creates a completely different mindset for both data professionals and child welfare leadership—it gave our agency a completely different perspective on how our data could be used. As a result, we have been able to turn data collected in our system into usable information that actually has the capacity to impact practice and directly change people’s lives.”
Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration is a multi-day course that teaches child welfare agency administrators how to convert data into evidence that can be used to inform policy and practice decisions in a Continuous Quality Improvement context. Course participants learn state-of-the art methods for analyzing longitudinal administrative data and how these techniques apply to programmatic decision making, fiscal planning, evaluation of interventions, and ongoing performance monitoring.
Who should take Advanced Analytics?
Advanced Analytics is designed for public or private agency child welfare managers who work directly with information resources or who are in a position to influence the use of information in their organization. The course is targeted specifically for 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 encouraged to apply. At this time, Advanced Analytics is not open to teachers, professors, or full-time students.
What will I learn in Advanced Analytics?
Delivered for the first time in 2007, Advanced Analytics builds on the Center for State Child Welfare Data’s introductory Administrative Data Institutes that were offered to child welfare agency managers starting in the early 1990s. The principles and skills taught in Advanced Analytics were developed at the Center over the past two decades and span three domains: computing, statistics and research, and the critical role of data analysis in shaping policy and practice investments.
The coursework covers best practices in performance measurement in child welfare. Participants will learn not only how to identify and conduct statistical 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. To maximize relevance and transfer of learning, 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. Members of the Center for State Child Welfare Data may work with their state’s Foster Care Event and Spell File as a means toward understanding and applying analytic principles and methods.
What policy applications are explored in Advanced Analytics?
Over the course of the week, techniques for transforming data to evidence are applied 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
- Evaluating contract agency performance
- Understanding racial disparities
- Paring fiscal data with outcomes data to inform the budget process
For more information about the course, contact us.