Session: Measuring and Monitoring the Well-Being of Children Placed in Foster Care (Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference - Ensure Healthy Development for all Youth)

24 Measuring and Monitoring the Well-Being of Children Placed in Foster Care

Thursday, January 12, 2017: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
St. Charles (41st floor) (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Gabe McGaughey, MSSW, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Peter Power, MSW, MBA, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Intended audience: This workshop is intended for child welfare analysts, evaluators, practitioners, administrators and students.

Purpose: The purpose of this workshop will be to demonstrate how a mid- to large-sized child welfare agency systematically measures and monitors the well-being of foster children and their caregivers. The presenters will discuss a process that supplements administrative child welfare data with primary data collected through the use of empirically-based assessment tools employed by staff that are clinically-trained in family engagement techniques. Each phase of the assessment process will be discussed at-length, including:

Design phase: How child and caregiver well-being domains were defined and operationalized, including housing stability, mental health, and protective factors such as access to social supports.

Implementation phase: a) How internal resources and collaborations with external partners were developed and are sustained long-term, including staffing, training, clinical supervision and needs; b) How technical challenges were identified and resolved, such as automating the data collection process and linking data from multiple sources; c) How data is compiled across programs and multiple sites, including secondary data from national and regional sources, and; d) The data analytical methods used to support program planning decisions, including examples of reports.

Optimization phase: a) How the well-being assessment tools, practices and procedures are monitored, evaluated, fine-tuned or dropped, including the use of rapid cycle evaluation methods; b) Reflections on issues related to scaling up what works and scaling down what doesn’t work.

Participants will be encouraged to share their own challenges and opportunities to monitor well-being in their own organizational settings.

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