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California’s Child Welfare System: Using Data from CWS/CMS. Barbara Needell, MSW, PhD Center for Social Services Research University of California at Berkeley November, 2007 The Performance Indicators Project at CSSR is supported by the

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California’s Child Welfare System: Using Data from CWS/CMS


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    1. California’s Child Welfare System:Using Data from CWS/CMS Barbara Needell, MSW, PhD Center for Social Services Research University of California at Berkeley November, 2007 The Performance Indicators Project at CSSR is supported by the California Department of Social Services and the Stuart Foundation Presentation developed by Emily Putnam-Hornstein, MSW

    2. Tracking Child Welfare Outcomes Rate of Referrals/ Substantiated Referrals Home-Based Services vs. Out of Home Care Reentry to Care Permanency Through Reunification, Adoption, or Guardianship Counterbalanced Indicators of System Performance Use of Least Restrictive 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 Families,

    3. 2002-2006California:Referrals, Substantiations & Entry Rates (per 1,000 Children) Referral Rates Substantiation Rates Entry Rates

    4. 1998 to 2007California:First Entries by First Placement Type(children in care for 8 or more days) TOTAL Foster Kinship Group/Shelter FFA 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

    5. 1998 to 2007California:Foster Care Caseload by Placement Type Kinship TOTAL Foster FFA Group/Shelter 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

    6. CA CWS Outcomes System California Child Welfare System Improvement and Accountability Act (AB636) became law in 2001 and went into effect in January 2004—quarterly outcomes reports at state and county level. We have eliminated some of the original ab636 measures and have included all new federal measures. Provides additional measures needed to understand performance (e.g., % of siblings placed together). We are working on additional measures of well-being. Mirrors Family to Family Outcomes Retains key process measures (e.g., child visits, time to investigation) Began with county self assessments and System Improvement Plans (SIPS) that identified key challenges and strengths Peer Quality Case Reviews (PQCRs) are being conducted in each county to dig deeper into specific issues

    7. CFSR National Standards • Round 1 of the CFSRs • 2 of the “outcomes” = 6 items (2 for safety, 4 for permanency) • States failing to meet a given standard had to include that item in their Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) • Round 2 of the CFSRs • Also comprised of 6 items with standards attached • BUT…this time the permanency standards are comprised of 15 different measures distilled into four composites • TOTAL of 17 FEDERAL MEASURES

    8. Indicator 1 Safety Indicator 2 Measure 1 Measure 2 Measure 3 Measure 4 Component A Component B Composite 1 Measure 1 Measure 2 Measure 3 Measure 4 Measure 5 Component A Component B Component C Composite 2 Permanency Measure 1 Measure 2 Measure 3 Component A Component B Composite 3 Composite 4 Measure 1 Measure 2 Measure 3

    9. Working with Composites • National standards for both the safety indicators and permanency composites are based on State performance in 2004, 75th percentile • In California, we at CSSR attempt to replicate each of the measures, break them out by child welfare and probation agencies, and report/update quarterly. • Although national standards have been set for the composites rather than individual measures… • The goal is to improve State performance on all measures (every improvement reflects a better outcome for children) • Improvement on any given measure will result in an increase in the overall composite score • Local data analysis should reveal which measures need to be targeted, and how

    10. California:CWS Outcomes System: UCB Measures, Percent IMPROVEMENT January 2004 compared to October 2007 Note: (+) indicates a measure where a % increase equals improvement. (-) indicates a measure where a % decrease equals improvement. indicates a measure where performance declined.

    11. California:CWS Outcomes System: UCB Measures, Percent IMPROVEMENT January 2004 compared to October 2007 Note: (+) indicates a measure where a % increase equals improvement. (-) indicates a measure where a % decrease equals improvement. indicates a measure where performance declined.

    12. January 2004-October 2007California CWS Outcomes System:Federal Measures, Percent IMPROVEMENT Note: (+) indicates a measure where a % increase equals improvement. (-) indicates a measure where a % decrease equals improvement. indicates a measure where performance declined.

    13. 2007California CWS Outcomes System:Performance Relative to Federal Standard/Goal Federal Standard/Goal 100% 100%

    14. 2002 to 2007California: C3.1: Exits to Permanency (24m In Care), by Exit Type Total # in Care 24m+ % Exits to Permanency % Adoption % Reunification % Guardianship

    15. 2002 to 2007California: C3.3: In Care 3 Years Or Longer (Emancipated Or Age 18) # in Emancipating or Age 18 % In Care 3+ Years National Goal

    16. 2002 to 2007California: C4.1,2,3: Placement Stability 8 Days to 12 Months in Care 12 to 24 Months In Care At Least 24 Months In Care

    17. 2002 to 2007California: C4.1,2,3: Placement Stability Count

    18. 1998 to 2007California:First Entries by Race/Ethnicity(children in care for 8 or more days) TOTAL Hispanic White Black Asian/PI Native American 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

    19. 1998 to 2007California:Foster Care Caseload by Race/Ethnicity TOTAL Black Hispanic White Asian/PI Native American 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

    20. 2000 First EntriesCalifornia: Percent Exited to Permanency 72 Months From Entry 79% 88%

    21. 2000 First EntriesCalifornia: Percent Exited to Permanency 72 Months From Entry by Relative vs. Non-Relative Placement =84% =94% =84% =75%

    22. 2006California:Referrals per 1,000 by Age and Ethnicity *Series Total

    23. 2006California:Substantiated Referrals per 1,000 by Age and Ethnicity *Series Total

    24. 2006California:Entries to Foster Care per 1,000 by Age and Ethnicity *Series Total

    25. 2006California:Children in Foster Care per 1,000 by Age and Ethnicity *Series Total

    26. 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 - County/County and County/State collaboration • CONS: • Potential for misuse, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation • Available to those with agendas or looking to create a sensational headline • Misunderstood data can lead to the wrong policy decisions • “Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything” Gregg Easterbrook

    27. DATA ABUSE will not help end CHILD ABUSE Beware:  • County/state rankings on individual measures • Composite scores that mask issues • Small populations • Inappropriate views • Logical “flipping” Consider:  • Performance over time • Age, gender and race/ethnicity • Interaction among outcomes (counterbalance) • Local practice and policy changes needed to impact outcomes

    28. Barbara Needell bneedell@berkeley.edu 510.642.1893 510.290.6334 (pcs) CSSR.BERKELEY.EDU/UCB_CHILDWELFARE Needell, B., Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Shaw, T., Dawson, W., Piccus, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Conley, A., Smith, J. , Dunn, A., Frerer, K., & Putnam Hornstein, E., (2007). Child Welfare Services Reports for California. Retrieved [month day, year], from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research website. URL: <http://cssr.berkeley.edu/UCB_CHILDWELFARE/>