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									  Safety and Permanence in Child Welfare

      Second Canadian Roundtable on Child Welfare Outcomes
                       October 8-9, 2009
                       Montreal, Canada


                                           Barbara Needell, MSW, PhD
                                        Center for Social Services Research
                                        University of California at Berkeley

                     The Performance Indicators Project is a collaboration of the
        California Department of Social Services and the University of California at Berkeley,
                                      and is supported by the
                 California Department of Social Services and the Stuart Foundation



CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                what can we measure?
                                               rate of referrals/
                                            substantiated referrals
                                                                                      home-based services
                 reentry to care                                                              vs.
                                                                                       out of home care
    permanency
through reunification,                               counterbalanced
    adoption, or                                   indicators of system                           use of least
    guardianship                                                                                   restrictive
                                                       performance                               form of care

                                length
                                of stay                                         positive attachments to
                                                                             family, friends, and neighbors
                                                      stability
                                                       of care
                                        Source: Usher, C.L., Wildfire, J.B., Gogan, H.C. & Brown, E.L. (2002).
                                        Measuring Outcomes in Child Welfare. Chapel Hill: Jordan Institute for
CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH     Families,
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                           three ways to measure

                                                   entry
                                                  cohorts




                                                   data

                                         point               exit
                                        in time             cohorts




CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                        the view matters…
                                 How long do children stay in foster care?
      January 1, 2008                                 July 1, 2008           December 31, 2008




Source: Aron Shlonsky, University of Toronto (formerly at CSSR)
CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                                 California Example:
                                            Age of Children in Foster Care
                               (2008 entries, July 1st 2008 caseload, 2008 exits)
    35
                                                   34
    30                                  31
                                                                          29
    25                                        27                                                  Entries
                                                                                                  Point in Time
    20                                                       22 21   22                           Exits
                                                        21
                                                                                             20
%                                                                              19
               18
    15                                                                                  16

    10

                                                                                    8
      5
                      6 5

      0
                    <1 yr                   1-5 yrs     6-10 yrs     11-15 yrs      16-17 yrs
    CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
    School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                       public data:
                                  putting it all out there
pros:
 greater performance accountability
 community awareness and involvement, encourages public-private
  partnerships
 ability to track improvement over time, identify areas where programmatic
  adjustments are needed
 Province/Province and Province/National collaboration

cons:
o   potential for misuse, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation
o   available to those with agendas or looking to create a sensational headline
o   misunderstood data can lead to the wrong policy decisions
o   “Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything”
      Gregg Easterbrook


 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                            The California Experience
•   University/Agency collaboration
•   Publicly available reports since 1994, online since 2000
•   Nationally mandated measures (CFSR)
•   State mandated measures (California Outcomes and Accountability
    System—AB636 law since 2001)
•   Enhancements and additional measures
•   Dynamic, user defined drill down and breakout functionality
•   All tables refreshed quarterly
•   Data over time, for California and each of the 58 counties
•   Presentations, tools, etc.

      CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
      School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                         how’s it working for us?
• All those “cons” WILL happen
• State, county, and UCB are able to respond
  quickly and thoroughly to data abuse/number
  torturing
• Publicly available data for child welfare has
  become business as usual
• Most outcome measures are improving over
  time

CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                                             January 2004-July 2009
                                         California CWS Outcomes System:
                                                AB636 Measures, % IMPROVEMENT
                                                   (+) or (–) indicates direction of desired change



                             PR: Referral Rate (-)                                 3.9%
                       PR: Substantiation Rate (-)                                             19.6%
                                PR: Entry Rate (-)                                         12.3%
                              PR: In Care Rate (-)                                                23.7%

                2B: Timely Response (1 day) (+)                                   3.2%
               2B: Timely Response (10 day) (+)                                      8.9%

             2C: Timely Social Worker Visits (+)                                                      23.8%

                              4A: Siblings (All) (+)                                                  23.3%
                    4A: Siblings (Some or All) (+)                                     8.4%

      4B: Entries First Placement (Relative) (+)                                            15.1%
4B: Entries First Placement (Group/Shelter) (-)                                                         28.3%
                4B: PIT Placement (Relative) (+)                                    4.7%
         4B: PIT Placement (Group/Shelter) (-)                                              14.8%



                                                       Decline in Performance     Improvement in Performance
        CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
        School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                                               January 2004-July 2009
                                           California CWS Outcomes System:
                                              Federal Measures, % IMPROVEMENT
                                                      (+) or (–) indicates direction of desired change
      S1.1: No Recurrence of Maltreatment (+)                                3.0%
      S2.1: No Maltreatment in Foster Care (+)                     -0.4%

               **REUNIFICATION COMPOSITE (+)                                       12.1%
 C1.1: Reunification w/in 12m (Exit Cohort) (+)                                 7.5%
         C1.2: Median Time to Reunification (-)                                  8.6%
C1.3: Reunification w/in 12m (Entry Cohort) (+)                                      15.4%
       C1.4: Reentry Following Reunification (-)                  -1.1%

                   **ADOPTION COMPOSITE (+)                                                                          ///110.4%
                   C2.1: Adoption w/in 24m (+)                                            24.5%
             C2.2: Median Time to Adoption (-)                                       15.1%
    C2.3: Adoption w/in 12m (17m In Care) (+)                                                        38.2%
   C2.4: Legally Free w/in 6m (17m In Care) (+)                                                              79.0%
    C2.5: Adoption w/in 12m (Legally Free) (+)                                      12.7%
            **LONG TERM CARE COMPOSITE (+)                                        10.3%
   C3.1: Exits to Permanency (24m In Care) (+)                                     12.7%
   C3.2: Exits to Permanency (Legally Free) (+)                   -1.4%
  C3.3: In Care 3+ Yrs (Emancipated/Age 18) (-)                                  8.4%

       **PLACEMENT STABILITY COMPOSITE (+)                                   4.0%
 C4.1: Placement Stability (8d-12m In Care) (+)                              4.1%
 C4.2: Placement Stability (12-24m In Care) (+)                                 8.0%
   C4.3: Placement Stability (24m+ In Care) (+)         -14.8%
                                                  Decline in Performance Improvement in Performance

          CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
          School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                         policy
    "Our collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley on the
    Child Welfare Dynamic Report System allows the State of California
    to make data accessible for analysis by the general public,
    stakeholders, and policy-makers. The availability of this information
    permits us to make informed public policy to improve outcomes for
    children and youth in foster care."

John Wagner
Director
California Department of Social Services




 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                         legislation
    “As a county administrator, I am fully in support of public access to county
    level child welfare data for many reasons. One in particular that has been
    most effective for me in my role as a legislative advocate is to be able to
    cite data on the CSSR when arguing for or against a particular bill
    impacting child welfare. The fact that we can drill down to a particular
    population the bill addresses and help inform the debate on both policy
    and fiscal impacts results in data driven legislation; data that all the
    stakeholders can view and understand leads to consensus on the facts.
    This is a major breakthrough in the legislative process that before had to
    operate on inaccessible data or data embedded in paper reports at the
    local level that were a challenge to gather and analyze.”

Kathy Watkins
Legislative Program Manager/Legislation and Research Unit
San Bernardino County Human Services System

 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                         training
    “The publicly available data                “As a trainer in child welfare, the
    provided by CSSR/CDSS is                    accessible public data base
    invaluable for the training                 provides current information to
    system. All of the statewide and            support many of the topics we offer
                                                in our Regional Training
    regional training systems can               Academy. We refer to it frequently
    integrate actual data into their            and are grateful for the gifted folks
    curricula - this brings training            who created this resource and
    alive for the participants, and             made it open to those of us who
    reinforces practice that is                 are peripheral but important to
    informed by outcomes.”                      supporting good child welfare
                                                practice.”
Barrett Johnson
Director
Child Welfare In-Service Training Project    Liz Quinnett
California Social Work Education Center      Program Coordinator
    (CalSWEC)                                Public Child Welfare Training Academy
                                                 (PCWTA)



 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                   program evaluation
    “I use the data from the UCB/CDSS site almost every week in my job
    as principal analyst in the Program Evaluation & Research unit. The
    data is invaluable for analysis of trends over time, answering
    specific questions posed by Children & Family Services managers,
    and for routine program monitoring reports. I frequently respond to
    requests for ad-hoc analyses by working directly with the staff
    person and showing them how to create reports from the website -
    following the principle of ‘teach them how to fish’. I also refer staff
    from community based agencies who ask for data for grant
    proposals to the website and often show them how to extract data.

Tom Clancy
Program Evaluation & Research
Alameda County Social Services Agency
 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                            irresistible information
    "We commend Dr. Needell and the work of her staff at UCB/CDSS in
    creating and refining the child welfare services data posted on the
    public website. From an administrative perspective, the information
    has been instrumental in identifying trends, program adjustments
    and training needs. Being available to the public, the data has
    supported our efforts in program transparency as well as serving to
    educate the community on client needs and agency services."

Ken Jensen
Deputy Director
Santa Barbara County Dept. of Social Services




 CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
 School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
                                                       Barbara Needell
                                                    bneedell@berkeley.edu




                                          CSSR.BERKELEY.EDU/UCB_CHILDWELFARE
Needell, B., Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Dawson, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Glasser, T., Williams, D., Zimmerman, K.,
Simon, V., Putnam-Hornstein, E., Frerer, K., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Winn, A., Lou, C., & Peng, C. (2009). Child Welfare Services
Reports for California. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research
website. URL: <http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare>



                                                          Presentation Developed by
                                              Emily Putnam-Hornstein and Christine Wei-Mien Lou


      CENTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES RESEARCH
      School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley

								
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