The Data Center provides child welfare agencies with the precision tools they need to examine the extent to which they achieve their intended outcomes, whether they receive the best return on their investments, and how they might allocate future funds toward a more cost-effective system. Our suite of analytic resources enables agencies to assess performance gaps and the investments required to close them. The result is knowledge that enables states to make informed decisions about future programming and investments, sparking a cycle of continuous quality improvement based on evidence.
Membership to the Data Center includes the following:
- A state-of-the-art, longitudinal child welfare database: For each member state, the Data Center designs, builds, and provides a copy of a sophisticated, flexible, longitudinal database built from the state’s own administrative child welfare records. Member states receive semiannual updates of this database.
- Access to the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive (FCDA) web tool: The FCDA web tool is an online portal to states’ longitudinal databases. The web tool is a high-powered, user-friendly, decision support instrument that enables a wide variety of users to answer critical questions about systemic trends and outcomes. It includes a comprehensive User Guide as well as Recipes—a blog designed to orient users to the concepts behind longitudinal analysis and guide them step-by-step through the kinds of analyses that the web tool can produce. Learn more >
- Technical assistance and educational opportunities: Data Center members receive five hours of general technical assistance on installation and use of the longitudinal database and web tool. Additionally, members have access to a variety of web-based and in-person training opportunities provided throughout the year. These general trainings focus on using the FCDA web tool and developing sound analytic queries pertaining to outcomes for children in foster care. Other training opportunities can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.