Outcomes Monitoring

Researchers at CFRC pioneered the shift from process-oriented efforts at monitoring system functioning to the now widely-accepted outcome-based performance measures.

Public child welfare systems operate within a politico-legal context that expects them to be able to achieve positive outcomes for the children and families that they serve. All states must participate in Federal Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSR) that seek to measure their performance on certain core or "mission-critical" outcomes involving child safety, permanence, and well-being.

Even prior to the establishment of the Federal Child Welfare Performance Review Process and the establishment of national indicators, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Children and Family Research Center had developed an outcome monitoring process in response to mandates related to the B.H. consent decree. In fact, the Children and Family Research Center was created, in part, to be "responsible for evaluating and issuing public reports on the performance of the child welfare system operated by DCFS and its agents. The Research Center shall be independent of DCFS and shall be within an entity independent of DCFS" [from B.H. v. McDonald (1996). Joint Memorandum in Support of Agreed Supplemental Order, No. 88-cv-5599. (N.D. Ill 1996)].

Researchers at CFRC were pioneers in the shift from process-oriented efforts at monitoring system functioning to the now widely-accepted outcome-based performance measures. Several of the early publications on this subject are listed below, as well each of the B.H. monitoring reports, the first of which was produced in 1998. The early B.H. monitoring reports include measures of child safety and permanence via reunification and adoption. Limitations in the availability of reliable and valid administrative data on indicators of child and family well-being prevented any sort of systematic data reporting. To fill this gap, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services funded the the Center to conduct a series of Illinois Child Well-Being Studies, beginning in 2001. These studies provided critical data on the educational status, physical health, and mental health of children living in substitute care in Illinois. More recently, data on child well-being among children in or at risk of substitute care in Illinois have been gathered from the Illinois Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being.



Mar 2018 / Presentation / Child Welfare Administration and Policy, Child Welfare Practice, Outcome Monitoring, Well Being    

10 Things Early Interventionists Need To Know About The Child Welfare System

Catherine Corr, Michael T. Braun, and Steve Tran

In March 2018, CFRC researchers Michael T. Braun and Steve Tran partnered with University of Illinois Special Education assistant professor Catherine Corr to present a webinar for the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois. The webinar, titled 10 Things Early Interventionists Need To Know About The Child Welfare System, focused on demystifying the child welfare system for early interventionists and service providers. Topics included an overview of the child welfare system, the process of making a hotline call, ways to support families who have experienced past trauma, and how early interventionists can work with child welfare workers to support children and families.

External Link
Jan 2018 / Report / Child Welfare Practice, Program Evaluation, Safety    

Program Evaluation of Child Protection Training Academy for New DCFS Investigators: Initial Report

Ted Cross, Gail Tittle, and Yu-Ling Chiu

Investigating child abuse and neglect is a difficult job and investigators need all the preparation they can get. Given the demands of working with families in child protections, transferring theory to practice is particularly essential. Ideally, the initial training that new child protection workers receive should give them opportunities to practice the skills they need such as engaging families and assessment and critical thinking skills for protecting child safety. The Child Protection Training Academy at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) has collaborated with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to add an innovative experiential component to the training of new DCFS investigators. All new investigators come to Child Protection Training Academy at UIS for a week at the end of their initial training to participate in simulations of real life situations that every DCFS investigator encounters. This program evaluation is consistent with the formative state of knowledge in the field and the fact that the Child Protection Training Academy is in a comparatively early stage of development. At this early stage, the program evaluation has focused on gathering data to describe the program’s objectives, methods and training theory, and examining trainees’ and other stakeholders perception of the impact of the training. The goal is to inform program development and improvement, provide evidence of the program’s immediate impact on trainees, and help prepare for more rigorous program evaluation in the future.

Dec 2017 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety  

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2016 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Satomi Wakita, Shufen Wang, Kyle Adams, Saijun Zhang, Yu-Ling Chiu, and Michael Braun

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, and permanence. In addition, this year's report adds a fourth chapter that examines racial disproportionality and disparity in the Illinois child welfare system.

Dec 2017 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Administration and Policy, Child Welfare Practice, Foster Care, Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Program Evaluation, Safety, Well Being    

Five Findings from the 2016 B.H. Monitoring Report

Children and Family Research Center

The Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) produces the annual monitoring report of the B.H. Consent Decree, which tracks the performance of the Illinois child welfare system in achieving its stated goals of child safety, permanency, and well-being for children in or at risk of entering foster care. The full report, available on the CFRC website, contains information about Illinois performance on more than 40 measures over the past seven years. This brief highlights five key findings from the latest report, which tracks performance through the end of FY2016.

Children and Family Research Center. (2017). Five findings from the 2016 B.H. monitoring report. Urbana, IL: Children and Family Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

Nov 2017 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Administration and Policy, Child Welfare Practice, Foster Care, Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Exploring Disproportionality in the Illinois Child Welfare System

Michael T. Braun and Yu-Ling Chiu

Disproportionality in the child welfare system refers to the over- or underrepresentation of a group (usually a racial/ethnic group) compared to that group’s representation in a base population. This research brief explores rates of racial disproportionality in the Illinois child welfare system. It is the second brief in a series exploring disproportionality.

Nov 2017 / Research Brief / Child Welfare Administration and Policy, Child Welfare Practice, Foster Care, Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Understanding Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System

Michael T. Braun and Yu-Ling Chiu

Disproportionality in the child welfare system refers to the over- or underrepresentation of a group involved with the system compared to that group’s representation in a base population (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2016). This research brief defines racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, including how it is measured and how disproportionality rates should be interpreted. It is the first brief in a series exploring disproportionality in the child welfare system.

Braun, M. T., & Chiu, Y. (2017). Understanding disproportionality in the child welfare system. Urbana, IL: Children and Family Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jan 2017 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2015 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

Tamara Fuller, Martin Nieto, Xinrong Lei, Satomi Wakita, Saijun Zhang, Yu-Ling Chiu, Michael Braun, Theodore P. Cross

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, and permanence. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Jan 2017 / Research Brief / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Five Findings from the 2015 B.H. Monitoring Report

CFRC

This research brief describes highlights from the most recent monitoring report of the B.H. Consent Decree. Highlights include details on the use of emergency shelters, a look at the increase in maltreatment of children in care, and a comparison of runaway rates in Cook County and statewide.

Feb 2016 / Report / Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2014 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Jan 2015 / Report / Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2013 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Jan 2014 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2012 Monitoring Report of the B.H. Consent Decree

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Jan 2012 / Research Brief / Foster Care    

Placement Stability and Number of Children in a Foster Home

CFRC

Increasing the number of children placed in a single foster home is an understandable response to a shortage of foster care providers, but may stress both children and families, heightening the risk that children will need to be moved to a different foster home or will run away. In this report of an analysis of Illinois DCFS administrative data, the number of unrelated children in the home was significantly related to the risk of placement disruption and running away. However, the number of siblings living together in a foster home had no effect on the risk of disruption and actually was related to a lower risk of running away.

Jan 2012 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2010 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Sep 2010 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2009 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Sep 2009 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2008 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Sep 2008 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2007 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Sep 2007 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2006 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Sep 2006 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety, Well Being    

Conditions of Children in or at Risk of Foster Care in Illinois: 2005 Report

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety, family and placement stability, continuity, permanence, and child and family well-being. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by child gender, race, age, and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Mar 2002 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Report on Child Safety and Permanency in Illinois for Fiscal Year 2001

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety and permanence. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by race and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Apr 2001 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Report on Child Safety and Permanency in Illinois for Fiscal Year 2000

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety and permanence. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by race and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Nov 2000 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Report on Child Safety and Permanency in Illinois for Fiscal Year 1999

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety and permanence. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by race and geographic region are provided in the appendix.

Feb 1999 / Report / Outcome Monitoring, Permanency, Safety    

Report on Child Safety and Permanency in Illinois for Fiscal Year 1998

CFRC

This annual report provides information on the performance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with regard to the outcomes for children who are in or at risk of substitute care. This monitoring report, required as part of the B.H. Consent Decree, examines measures of child safety and permanence. Detailed break-downs of each indicator by race and geographic region are provided in the appendix.




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