Tools for Self-Evaluation in Child Welfare

Over the course of the Family to Family initiative, the self-evaluation technical assistance team at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley developed a variety of tools to assist grantees in their efforts to become self-evaluating. Among the technical assistance tools available from the Annie E. Casey Foundation are shorter and longer versions of a guide to self-evaluation that address such topics as developing self-evaluation teams, constructing data systems to track the experiences of children entering out-of-home care, building databases that encompass multiple systems that serve families and children, and using desktop mapping software to target services.  To obtain a copy of the self-evaluation tool in Acrobat® format or to request printed copies, follow this link to the Family to Family website.  

Throughout the initiative, communities involved in Family to Family focused their efforts on improving a particular set of outcomes.  A brief paper describes those outcomes, framed within the context of a "cycle of experiences" in the child welfare system, and the core strategies of Family to Family.  Another resource is Key Ingredients of Self-Evaluation, which provides a quick overview of the underlying concepts and basic structure and process of self-evaluation in Family to Family.

State and local self-evaluation teams showed much creativity in developing reporting formats by which they share information about their progress in improving safety and permanency outcomes.  The following performance monitoring systems continue to be maintained in former Family to Family sites:

Child Welfare Performance Data in North Carolina

UC-Berkeley Child Welfare Research Center Performance Indicators Project

Administration for Children's Services, New York City, Top 12 Performance Report

While the Family to Family initiative was active, members of local self-evaluation teams met periodically at  "data camps" held at UNC.  Members of the self-evaluation technical assistance team and their colleagues in Family to Family anchor sites conducted workshops and demonstrated new approaches to analyzing and presenting performance data.  Many of the resources used in the last session are available on-line as Acrobat® documents.

School of Social Work                                          Jordan Institute