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.
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.
Child Welfare Virtual Expo: Strengthening Assessment and Decision-Making
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Provides four modules to help users learn how to enhance the quality of assessments and decision-making to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. This resource requires a free registration.
The NIS-4: What It All Means (and Doesn't Mean)
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.
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Presents information about and data from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, which helps youth who have experienced foster care develop the skills and relationships they need to thrive. The dataset contains information on foster care experiences, young adult outcomes, youth engagement, asset development and social capital. An application is required to access the data.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.