ABSTRACT: The Maryland Child Welfare Accountability Act of 2006 requires that Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) develop and implement a system of accountability to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of certain child welfare services. The development of a quality assurance process was mandated for Maryland following the Federal Child and Family Services Review of child welfare services in 2003. As mandated by the Maryland legislation, in January 2007 the University of Maryland School of Social Work entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DHR to serve as the "entity with expertise in child welfare practices" to collaborate on key quality assurance and data analysis tasks as specified in the bill. Specifically, the bill requires that the consulting entity (UMB) collaborate with DHR on: 1) measurement of the efficiency and effectiveness of Maryland's child welfare system; 2) guidance on the quality assessment process developed by DHR; 3) collection and analyses of data collected by local departments; and 4) reports and analyses related to key child welfare outcomes required at the federal, state, and organizational level.
This collaboration includes technical review of DHR processes, consultation on existing quality assurance measures, and analysis of existing child welfare data available through Maryland's Children's Electronic Social Services Information Exchange (CHESSIE) system. This process fulfils Federal mandates to develop quality assurance processes for the delivery of child welfare services. The purpose of this collaboration between DHR and UMB/SSW is to result in the implementation of an outcome-based system of accountability for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of child welfare services for children and families in the State of Maryland as required by Federal law.
Objectives are: 1) to assess the current quality assurance process currently utilized by DHR's QA department and local social service sites; 2) to assist with the implementation of streamlined data collection, analysis, and reporting processes; 3) to provide technical consultation on QA processes including but not limited to a)development of computerized data collection instruments for on-site reviews, b)development of reports to stakeholders and local sites, c)selection of indicators for child welfare outcomes, d)on-site interview and review processes.
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Diane DePanfilis, PhD
CO-INVESTIGATORS: Cathy Born, PhD, Sarah Kaye PhD, Terry Shaw, PhD.
FUNDING SOURCE: Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
AMOUNT OF FUNDING: $433, 072
PROJECT DATES: 1/1/2007-06/15/2008
Year 2, Funding Source: Maryland Department of Human Resources
Amount of Funding: $622,776
Project Dates: 6/16/2008-6/15-2009
Kaye, S., & DePanfilis, D. (December 2007). Child welfare accountability: Evaluating quality assurance processes in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: Ruth H. Young Center for Families & Children at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Kaye, S., Ovwigho, P.C., Shaw, T.V., & DePanfilis, D. (December 2007). Child welfare accountability: Annual report of Maryland performance indicators. Baltimore, MD: Ruth H. Young Center for Families & Children at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.