The following resources address data collection tools and ways to improve the data collection process, including State and local examples.
Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families With Children: Final Report
Rog, Holupka, & Patton (2007)
Discusses the activities and outcomes of a project that sought to identify opportunities and strategies to improve data and data collection efforts regarding homeless families.
Child Maltreatment Surveillance: Uniform Definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements (PDF - 4219 KB)
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2008)
Provides conceptual definitions of child maltreatment, presents associated terms, and recommends data elements for voluntary use by the public health community for developing surveillance systems.
Collaborating to Collect and Use Data to Inform Quality Contacts (PDF - 152 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Discusses how to strengthen the collection, analysis, and use of data related to caseworker visits. This tip sheet highlights the importance of collaboration among data and information technology staff, child welfare program staff, and other key stakeholders in developing information systems that support quality contacts.
Confidentiality Toolkit (PDF - 216 KB)
Administration for Children and Families (2014)
Discusses confidentiality within the context of interoperability, with special attention paid to federal regulations. This resource outlines the benefit of information sharing between welfare services while maintaining confidentiality.
Data Collection Tips: Developing a Survey (PDF - 199 KB)
Innovation Network (2005)
Offers considerations for developing an effective survey, including how to construct survey questions and examples.
Following Youth After Out-of-Home Placement: Navigating a Data Collection Obstacle Course
Ballentine, Morris, & Farmer
Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 29(1), 2012
Discusses the challenges experienced by 500 youth discharged from group homes and presents methods and tools for following this highly mobile population.
Fostering Court Improvement
Children and Family Resource Center, Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, Fostering Results, & National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues
Gives States an efficient mechanism for sharing data between dependency courts and child welfare agencies so they can more effectively manage systems. The website includes information on States participating in the initiative as well as resources that encourage the use of data to improve collaboration.
A Handbook of Data Collection Tools: Companion to "A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy" (PDF - 448 KB)
Reisman, Gienapp, & Stachowiak (2007)
Describes 22 data collection tools that measure core outcome areas related to social change or policy change. Areas include shifts in social norms, organizational capacity, bases of support, alliances, improved policies, and changes in impact.
Methodological Challenges in Measuring Child Maltreatment (PDF - 285 KB)
Fallon, Trocmé, Fluke, MacLaurin, Tonmyr, & Yaun
Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, 34(1), 2010
Reviews the key measurement and definitional differences among surveillance systems used to monitor child maltreatment in North America to help researchers and policy analysts interpret data from these studies. The article may also help officials from other countries develop surveillance systems that can be adapted to their needs.
National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)
U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2016)
Connects to information, like federal guidance and data briefs, as related to youth in foster care. Beginning in 2010, the NYTD has collected data about youth in foster care, including sex, race, ethnicity, date of birth, foster care status, and outcomes of those who aged out of care.
Using Survey Information to Provide Evaluative Citizen Feedback for Public Service Decisions
Urban Institute (2010)
Discusses using the results of public opinion polls and surveys to make policy decisions about public service delivery, and presents special challenges in conducting surveys and uses of survey-based performance indicators.
A Handbook for Participatory Community Assessments: Experiences From Alameda County (PDF - 4710 KB)
Alameda County Public Health Department (2004)
Includes information on choosing data collection methods and collecting data during participatory community assessments to identify assets and priorities for creating a safe and healthy environment.
Congregate Care Rightsizing and Redesign: Young Children, Voluntary Placements and a Profile of Therapeutic Group Homes (PDF - 534 KB)
Connecticut Department of Children and Families (2011)
Provides an overview of congregate care in Connecticut, describes levers of change in four practice areas, profiles younger children in care, and discusses the challenges to providing services.