Using Data to Improve Outcomes for Children, Youth, and Families
Analyzing data to verify and measure the effectiveness of services helps organizations make informed policy and practice decisions, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for the families they serve. The following resources address how the use of data improves outcomes for children, youth, and families, including State and local examples.
Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Features a custom report builder that offers access to the most current Child Welfare Outcomes data before the full report is published. The website provides information on the performance of States in seven outcome categories as well as data on contextual factors and findings of analyses conducted across States.
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.
Administrative Data, Situational Awareness, and Child Maltreatment Decision Making (PDF - 15,831 KB)
Jonson-Reid & Drake
CW360°: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue, 2011
Explores barriers to accessing child welfare administrative data, including a lack of cross-sector linkage, funding, and creativity as well as technical, legal, and ethical barriers.
Advancing Better Outcomes for All Children: Reporting Data Using A Racial Equity Lens (PDF - 138 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2012)
Describes basic, key features of a data presentation using a racial equality lens and includes a summary checklist. This is a companion piece to the Race Matters Toolkit produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Data Links Trauma and Outcomes (PDF - 678 KB)
Alliance for Children and Families (2012)
Alliance for Children and Families Magazine, 1
Discusses findings that demonstrate a correlation between childhood trauma and the health, social, and economic challenges that result from it.
Child Well-Being and the Importance of State-Level Data
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Outlines the reasons a State-level survey of child well-being would be a valuable and cost-effective way to collect data across a range of indicators and track program effectiveness.
The NIS-4: What It All Means (and Doesn't Mean) (PDF - 170 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges & Permanency Planning for Children Department (2011)
Offers guidance on understanding the meaning of the Fourth National Incidence Study (NIS-4) findings in a broader context and in terms of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care initiative's priorities, goals, and opportunities.
Information Technology Making a Difference in Children's Lives: An Issue Brief for Leaders for Children
KirkHart, Rothschuh, & Kattlove (2008)
Encourages the incorporation of information and communications technology into public programs serving children by highlighting research and case studies showing how digital tools and applications can improve children's education, health, employment, and civic opportunities.
Results Oriented Management in Child Welfare
University of Kansas School of Social Welfare
Assists child welfare program staff in managing programs and supervising staff to achieve results for children and families within the context of the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Includes 21 modules on policy, data, and evidence-based practice.
Taking Action: Keys to Using Data and Information (PDF - 681 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
Child Welfare Matters, Fall/Winter 2010
Highlights different aspects of strong quality improvement systems through which agencies conduct ongoing analyses and take actions that result in improved practice and outcomes.
Tracking Child Abuse and Neglect: The Role of Multiple Data Sources in Improving Child Safety (PDF - 592 KB)
Medina, Sell, Kavanagh, Curtis, & Wood (2012)
Provides an overview of data sources and data collection systems to help agency administrators and other decision-makers better interpret the information and use existing data to respond to and prevent child maltreatment.
State and local examples
Child Welfare Practice and Data: Making the Connection
North Carolina Division of Social Services & North Carolina Family and Children's Resource Program
Children's Services Practice Notes, 14(2), 2009
Explores how using data can enhance child welfare practice.
Families and Communities Together Presents: A Data Framework for Addressing the Needs of Seminole County's Children, Youth and Families (PDF - 611 KB)
Florida KIDS COUNT (2012)
Describes how data–driven policy development and program implementation will help provide a better understanding of the well-being of children, youth, and families and what needs to be done to improve their lives.
From Data... To Outcomes
California Department of Social Services & California Social Work Education Center (2010)
Helps trainers teach county staff, stakeholders, partners, and community organizations about the importance of complete, timely, and accurate data entry and data analysis.
How to Use a Data Mining Form...and Why it Is Beneficial? (PDF - 191 KB)
Adoption Resources of Wisconsin (2010)
Describes data mining and its benefits for children. Data mining is an intense review of a child's file that helps identify significant events and significant adults in a child's life that could potentially be adoptive resources or other important long-term permanent resources.
Improving the Quality of Services to Youth in Substitute Care: A Report on Surveyed Youth in Foster Care FY 2009 (PDF - 170 KB)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2009)
Discusses the results of two surveys in which youth are asked about the quality of substitute care and services in Texas and their recommendations for improving supports to youth in care in the areas of employment, financial, and educational information; resources, family, and health information; the adoption process; and services and training.
Join Hands for Children Outcome Advisory Committee Recommendations for Domains and Indicators used to Measure Outcomes (PDF - 27 KB)
Join Hands for Children (2010)
Provides measurements to evaluate the performance of public and private child welfare agencies in Washington State in the areas of child safety, permanency, stability, and well-being.
New Jersey Department of Children and Families "Manage by Data" National Promising Practice Findings (PDF - 128 KB)
Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center (2010)
Describes findings from interviews with five State child welfare agencies that New Jersey will use to develop and introduce a model for turning data into practical information that can improve outcomes for children and families.