Mixed Methods Evaluation: Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Program
Paper #1. Measuring child and adolescent well-being in the child welfare system. Although the national child welfare performance standards include three primary domains – safety, permanency, and well-being – little empirical evidence links these domains to child status outcomes. The aim of this study is to understand how practice performance indicators influence the overall child status in child in need of service cases (CHINS). Data were collected from a quality assurance review administered by a state child welfare agency in the Midwest. A sub-sample of CHINS cases were selected for this study (N=386). These data contribute to the understanding of CHINS cases and how the practice indicators may affect the overall child status.
Paper #2. Survey of Family Case Managers. The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of family case managers (FCMs) regarding case status and service array across the state during year one of the new five-year Title IV-E Waiver demonstration. FCMs were asked to respond to questions about their most recently opened and closed cases as well as perceived need, availability, utilization, and effectiveness of services for children and families. Evaluators surveyed FCMs (n = 968) using an online instrument; 889 surveys were complete and used for analysis.
Paper #3. Qualitative Interviews with Administrative Managers. A total of 18 regional managers and 2 executive managers were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the new Title IV-E waiver program and how needs were being met in their area of responsibility with system services. Our staff used a case study inspired approach to review and analyze these data. The interviews produced 7 grand themes, 14 secondary themes and 5 tertiary themes.
Importance: Over 13,000 children and their families are provided services through this child welfare agency and this evaluation has documented three methods to estimate process and outcome progress of the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Program. These results support the positive implementation of the Waiver program from a quality improvement process, from a survey of family case managers and from interviews with regional managers. By improvement of the availability of data, child welfare staff can provide more efficient services to their clients to prevent later problems.