Approaches to Quality Improvement
Resources in this section describe methods for designing and implementing quality assurance approaches that have been successfully applied to child welfare and related fields, including State and local examples.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
Links to resources on quality assurance, including teleconference audio files and handouts, reports, manuals, and presentation materials.
Quality Improvement Centers
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Links to the National Quality Improvement Centers funded by the Children's Bureau. These research and knowledge-building centers each focus on specific aspects of child welfare services.
An Effective and Streamlined Quality Improvement Process
Describes a three-level approach to program quality improvement. The focus is a move from monitoring compliance to one of monitoring best practice.
A Framework for Quality Assurance in Child Welfare (PDF - 211 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2002)
Provides a detailed five-step framework for developing and implementing a continuous quality improvement system in a child welfare agency.
Benchmarking for Nonprofits: How to Measure, Manage, and Improve Performance
Teaches nonprofit managers how to measure, manage, and improve their results using benchmarking. Each key step in the process is described and illustrated with worksheets and examples.
Monitoring Child Welfare Programs: Performance Improvement in a CQI Context (PDF - 718 KB)
Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago (2007)
Describes a continuous quality improvement process in which the central elements are outcomes, baseline data, goal-setting, a theory of change, and monitoring and feedback.
Program Design: Increasing Service Quality and Access
Hardina, Middleton, Montana, & Simpson (2006)
In An Empowering Approach to Managing Social Service Organizations
Discusses the basic components of program design in social service organizations and reviews tools for defining the parameters of social service organizations.
The Breakthrough Series Collaborative: An Innovative Method to Test and Implement Change in Child Welfare Practice
Casey Family Programs (2006)
Describes the use of a methodology for bridging the gap between knowledge and practice. Child welfare systems can use small tests of practice change to drive systemwide improvement efforts.
Work Book: Improving the Quality of Home and Community Based Services and Supports (PDF - 422 KB)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2003)
Provides a detailed approach to designing and implementing a quality improvement project, including tasks associated with each step of the process and examples and worksheets.
State and local examples
Building and Maintaining a Sustainable CQI Process
Watson, Milner, & Phillips (2009)
Profiles the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program implemented in Illinois and describes key elements and participants, CQI structural components, and factors influencing change. Changes in the child welfare community's commitment to CQI over the past decade are discussed, as well as strategies for sustainability, challenges to implementation, and questions agencies need to consider for establishing CQI. One potential CQI model is proposed.
Child Welfare Accountability: Evaluating Quality Assurance Processes in Maryland (PDF - 117 KB)
Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children (2007)
Reports on an evaluation of existing quality assurance policies and practices in Maryland and presents recommendations for improvement.
New York City's Child Welfare Community's Commitment to Quality Practice (PDF - 50 KB)
New York Administration for Children's Services (2007)
Presents core values, principles, and standards of child welfare practice in New York City.
Policy and Procedure Manual: Quality Assurance and Risk Management (PDF - 257 KB)
Partnership for Strong Families (2006)
Presents guidance for a community-based care lead agency providing child welfare services in Florida.
Quality Assurance in Missouri
Children's Bureau Express, Vol. 11(7), 2010
Describes the process that Missouri's Children's Division used to build a comprehensive quality assurance system and become accredited by the Council on Accreditation.