Integrating CQI Efforts
How to integrate data and CQI into recruitment and retention efforts
Using data to drive recruitment and retention efforts can help the child welfare system target your efforts and make the best use of your limited resources. To develop strategic, data-driven recruitment and retention efforts, use data both on:
- The children and youth in foster care;
- Prospective and current foster, adoptive, and kinship families working with your child welfare system.
As you review your child and family data, ask yourself the following questions:
- What formats and types of analysis of data on the characteristics of children and youth in care will be most helpful to inform our work (e.g., dashboard-style data profiles, trend data and point-in-time data, etc.)? What data is currently tracked, both at the local and State level? What are the sources of this data, and who can readily access it?
- What is our current population of children and youth in foster care?
- What are some new ways that we should look at the data to understand our population of children and youth in foster care beyond the common demographic data details (e.g., number of previous placements, number of children placed with relatives, zip code of home of removal, whether placed with siblings, whether specific groups of children are overrepresented in foster care, etc.)?
- How often should we review and analyze our data and update our profile of the characteristics of children and youth in care?
- How often do we currently review and analyze our data and update our profile of current pool of available foster and adoptive placement resources? How often should we do these reviews and analyses in the future?
- How often do we meet with Tribes to discuss any disparities between the needs and characteristics of children and youth and the pool of available families who are prepared to meet those needs?
- How do we assess whether there is a disparity between the needs and characteristics of children and youth and the pool of available families who are prepared to meet those needs?
- What formats and types of analysis of our data on the characteristics of our current pool of available foster and adoptive placement resources will be most helpful to inform our work (e.g., dashboard-style data profiles, trend data and point-in-time data, etc.)?
- What do we know about retention of prospective or current parents and why they either stay or leave? What do we do with the information about family retention or lack of retention?
- What does our current and trend data tell us about feedback from prospective, current, and former foster parents’ satisfaction data, length of placement for each family, number of child-specific placements such as kinship families, whether families over-placed, and other key factors?
- If we don’t currently have the recruitment and retention data we need, how can we get this data to inform our recruitment efforts?
CQI can help you develop and sustain effective, data-driven recruitment and retention. Consider using the following five questions to guide your recruitment strategies:
- What is the need and how was it identified? (e.g., For which groups of children and youth do we need more families? How did we determine that we have this need?)
- What do you propose to do about it? (e.g., What strategies would be effective for recruiting, engaging, developing, and retaining parents for these groups of children?)
- What change(s) do you hope to achieve? (e.g., How will we serve children, youth and families better if we make these changes?)
- What will you look at to see if change is occurring — are you achieving the intended impact/result? (e.g., How will we know if we’ve been successful? What data will we use to determine that our strategies have worked at improving outcomes for children and youth?)
- How will you use that data/information you collect/learn to create a feedback loop for ongoing improvement? (e.g., How will we continue to update our strategies as needed to meet the evolving needs of children in foster care? What processes will we use to make sure that our strategies for recruiting and retaining families are still effective?)
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