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Continuous Quality Improvement

Tools and Resources


Our tools, publications, and other resources can help you as you develop and implement the process of identifying, describing, and analyzing strengths and problems, and then testing, implementing, learning from, and revising solutions.

Data-Driven Recruitment: Key Data Elements on Foster and Adoptive Families (PDF – 487 KB): Suggests priorities for key data elements on prospective and current families that will help inform your efforts to recruit and maintain a pool of fami­lies and help you assess the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts.

Speaking the Same Language: Understanding Multiple Meanings of Terms Used by Child Welfare Program and IT/Data Staff to Support Diligent Recruitment (PDF – 147 KB): Highlights the importance of communicating effectively between program staff and IT/data staff and provides examples of key words and phrases that program and data/IT staff may use but that may have different meanings.

Children’s Bureau Express article on "Building Child Welfare’s CQI Capacity" from September 2013

The Children’s Bureau released guidance on Continuous Quality Improvement in its 2012 Information Memorandum on Establishing and Maintaining Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Systems in State Child Welfare Agencies (PDF – 324.5 KB).

The Children’s Bureau has established a Child Welfare CQI Training Academy, a rigorous but practical training program for busy child welfare professionals.

Continuous Quality Improvement toolkit
This online toolkit is one of the Systems of Care Infrastructure toolkits from the Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center, funded by the Children’s Bureau. The toolkits provide practical activities, guiding questions, and tips and products from the field for the planning and development of fundamental components that lay the groundwork for implementation.

Taking Action: Keys to Using Data and Information (PDF – 700 KB)
This issue of Child Welfare Matters from the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement focuses on the most challenging aspect of quality improvement (QI) systems — using data and information to improve practice and outcomes. Some components of effective QI systems have been implemented by child welfare agencies, specifically adopting clear outcomes and standards and developing systems to collect data and information. Today most agencies have a large amount of data and information from information systems, case review processes, surveys and other sources — but successfully using that data to identify and implement action steps to improve performance is the critical component of an effective QI system. This issue highlights different aspects of strong child welfare QI systems, where agencies conduct ongoing analyses and take action that results in improved practice and outcomes.

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections has a webpage on Continuous Quality Improvement, including numerous links to resources, tools, and examples from States.

The Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data from the Children’s Bureau includes updated data from 2008 through 2011. The site provides access to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) as well as other statistics collected by the Children’s Bureau. Users can build customized reports on key child welfare indicators for specific States, federal regions, and years. 

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