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Publications Archive

Browse Data Center publications below or filter your search using the categories to the left.


The Dynamics of Foster Home Recruitment and Retention

Fred Wulczyn, Britany Orlebeke, Kristen Hislop, Florie Schmits, Jamie McClanahan, and Lilian Huang | 2018
In this report, we demonstrate the potential of administrative data to contribute robust evidence in support of child welfare systems’ efforts to maintain a stable supply of high-quality foster homes.
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Within and Between State Variation in the Use of Congregate Care

Fred Wulczyn, Lily Alpert, Zach Martinez, & Ava Weiss | 2015

Despite the mandate to place children in foster care in the least restrictive environment possible, the practice of placing children in congregate care settings persists in most places around the country.  The question is why and what can be done, from a policy perspective, to ensure that group care is used for the children and youth who need it most. Answering that question begins with learning how the use of group care varies in different parts of the country and why.

In the new research brief Within and Between State Variation in the Use of Congregate Care we illustrate how reliance on group care placement differs throughout the country and explore how child characteristics (age, race/ethnicity, and gender) influence the odds of being placed in a group setting. We then take that analysis to the next level by examining how attributes of place such as urbanicity and socioeconomic characteristics contribute to the likelihood of placement in group care. The contextual approach adds a critical perspective to conversations regarding the allocation of congregate care resources as it raises important questions about how system dynamics shape agencies’ ability to match the supply of congregate care resources to their true demand.

Download the brief >

Principles, Language, and Shared Meaning: Toward a Common Understanding of CQI in Child Welfare

Fred Wulczyn, Lily Alpert, Britany Orlebeke, & Jennifer Haight | 2014
Today, child welfare agencies are taking stock of their capacity for CQI and considering the investments they will make in order to build that capacity. While the structure of CQI systems will differ from one agency to the next, all of them will be responsible for supporting the same basic CQI process—a  cycle of problem solving activities that requires the deliberate use of evidence. In this paper we propose a fundamental vocabulary for describing what CQI is, the core principles on which CQI rests, and the critical role that evidence plays throughout the CQI process.
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CFSR Reviews — Measures and Methods

On May 5th and May 9th, in partnership with APHSA/NAPCWA, Casey Family Programs, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Center for State Child Welfare Data presented a national webinar on the newly proposed CFSR 3 measures. In this session, Data Center Director Fred Wulczyn provided a high-level overview of the new measures, discussed the proposed methods for setting national standards, baselines, and targets, and highlighted issues for states to consider as they prepare comments to the Children’s Bureau.

Download the slides >
Watch the recorded webinar >

Foster Care Utilization among School-age Children

Lily Alpert | 2013
How many school-age children are in foster care, when during the school year do they enter the system, and how long do they stay in care? The answers to these questions have implications for practice and resource allocation in both the child welfare and education sectors.
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Webinar: Selecting a CQI Case Record Review Sample (12/6/2012)

Case record review gives you an in-depth look at how aspects of casework may be driving variability in outcomes for children in foster care. In this webinar, we discussed how to identify an appropriate sampling frame and how to use the FCDA web tool to select cases for review.
View the PowerPoint slides >

Child Welfare, Race, and Disparity: New Findings, New Opportunities (webcast)

On February 2, 2012, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago hosted a Child & Family Policy Forum on research, policy, and practice issues regarding racial disparity in the child welfare system.
Watch the webcast >

Monitoring Child Welfare Programs: Performance Improvement in a CQI Context

Fred Wulczyn | 2007
Using permanency outcomes for children placed in foster care (e.g., reunification or adoption), we illustrate some of the issues encountered when attempting to use baselines to establish goals and monitor progress.
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Foster Care Dynamics 2000-2005: A Report from the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive

Fred Wulczyn, Lijun Chen, & Kristen Brunner Hislop | 2005
This report provides a general overview of what happens when children are placed in foster care. Because of the large number of children for whom data are collected and how the data are organized, the data provide a useful baseline for studying entry and exit patterns. In turn, the findings can be used to draw inferences related to the question, “Given admission into foster care, what is the typical trajectory of children through the system?”
Download the PDF >

Webinar: Measuring the Impact of Policy and Practice Reform (4/26/2012 & 5/10/2012)

This two-day webinar focused on how to use advanced analytics to diagnose child and family outcomes that need improvement, identify opportinies for intervention, and measure the impact of implemented strategies, both programatically and fiscally.
View the PowerPoint slides >