Information Systems & Data
Data and information systems, such as the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems (SACWIS), play a crucial role in child welfare. Developing and implementing case management systems and data collection tools that meet not only Federal reporting requirements, but also the information needs of an organization helps inform management decisions and support caseworkers' interactions with children, youth, and families. By analyzing and using the data the information systems collect, organizations can enhance program efficiency and improve outcomes for the families they serve. In addition, information sharing among agencies that serve families helps reduce data collection efforts and improve cross-system collaboration and the coordination of services. The following resources address the use of information systems and data in child welfare:
- Planning and implementing an information system
- Collecting data
- Improving data quality
- Using data to inform program improvement
- Using data to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families
- Information sharing
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau
Offers resources on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), and the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).
National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology
Assists State, local, and Tribal child welfare agencies and the courts in improving outcomes for children, youth, and families through the use of data and information technology. Resources include toolkits, webinars, fact sheets, and more.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
Offers training and technical assistance to State and Tribal child welfare organizations to improve management and operations, quality assurance and improvement, and organizational capacity.
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Serves as a repository for high-quality child maltreatment datasets and provides technical assistance to data users on hardware and software troubleshooting and data processing and documentation. Also offers publications, a newsletter, and a listserv for child maltreatment researchers.
National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health
Offers a monthly interactive electronic newsletter on current issues in data collection and evaluation strategies.
National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues
Provides materials demonstrating the use of technology to improve court processes in child welfare cases, including information on automated court performance measures, electronic data exchanges, and closed-circuit television and recording technology.