Data systems, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement (CQI) are essential components to assist child welfare systems in sustaining effective practices or modifying or ceasing practices that are not achieving their expected outcomes. These processes can also aid child welfare systems in measuring and addressing disproportionality and disparate outcomes.
Planning and implementing these data collection and review processes, including the use of technology, should be a team approach. Leadership, data, and evaluation staff should authentically involve those served by the agency, including youth, parents, and foster and kin caregivers; other child welfare and partner agency staff; and other individuals and organizations in the community. Data-sharing across agencies can be greatly beneficial to comprehensive reviews of the availability and effectiveness of family supports.
The Children's Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contributes to child welfare oversight and improvement through a wide range of initiatives, including the following:
- Child and Family Services Reviews
- Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System reimbursement and guidance
- Data systems and reports
Discover how you can review and improve child welfare practice through data collection, evaluation, CQI, and more with the resources on this page.
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Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs)
The Children’s Bureau conducts Child and Family Services Reviews to help children, youth, and families achieve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes. This is done by monitoring State child welfare agencies to identify areas needing improvement. ...Read More
Well-designed and well-implemented evaluations help child welfare agencies and organizations assess program effectiveness and improve how they serve families.
Data Collection and Analysis
Effective child welfare decision-making and practice improvements require data collection, statistics, and analysis free from bias.
Child Welfare Information Systems
Find resources on child welfare information systems, which help support management and tracking of child welfare programs and effective delivery of services to children and families. Jurisdictions can improve data quality, extraction, and analysis.
Inventory of Innovations: Software and Technology
Find information on new software and technologies, which allow child welfare systems to provide better, more integrated services and help cut costs for States and jurisdictions. It also addresses challenges to consider when implementing innovations.
Learn how the Children’s Bureau supports the development of State and Tribal child welfare reporting systems to enable the collection and analysis of important information about children and families, as well as improve case practice and management.
National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System
Explore information on the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), a voluntary data collection system that gathers information from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico about reports of child abuse and neglect.
National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)
Explore the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), which collects information on youth in foster care, including sex, race, ethnicity, date of birth, and foster care status. It also collects data on outcomes after youth transition out of care.
Quality Improvement Centers
Learn more about Quality Improvement Centers (QICs), which generate and disseminate research and knowledge in specific focus areas with the goal of helping agencies, managers, workers, and other child welfare professionals with service delivery.