Research on the Collaboratives’ work drives learning both organizationally and in the child welfare community broadly. The Council oversees the collection and analysis of data on families served and disseminates relevant findings to the field.
Through performance measurement, program evaluation and occasional research, the Council is building an important body of knowledge that enables Collaboratives to better serve families.
[tabs slidertype=”top tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Data-Driven Work[/tabtext] [tabtext]Assessments[/tabtext] [tabtext]Efforts to Outcomes[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]
[/tab] [tab]The HFTC Collaborative Council monitors the use of three assessment instruments administered by all of the HFTC Collaboratives. These assessments are first and foremost practice instruments, developed by and responsive to the needs of practitioners. They were selected by the Collaborative Council based on their ability to define and measure concepts from an ecological perspective, assessing context as well as transactions among family members and their environments. They align with the Collaboratives’ core philosophy by documenting family strengths as well as problems and concerns, supporting a Collaborative practice approach that recognizes and builds upon a family’s strengths and potential for resilience. Collectively, these instruments are designed to integrate family assessment, service planning, case documentation, and program evaluation; supporting the Collaborative Council’s core commitment to quality and accountability.
Family Assessment Form
The Family Assessment Form (FAF) was developed by the Children’s Bureau of Southern California in 1987 to help child welfare practitioners standardize the assessment of family functioning and service planning for in-home-based services. Since the FAF’s development, it has been used in several research studies providing information about the instrument’s validity and reliability.
The instrument assesses six areas, or factors, of family functioning: living conditions; financial conditions; interactions between adult caregivers; interactions between caregivers and children; support available to the family, and developmental stimulation available to children. Under each factor are a number of sub-items that, taken together, form a comprehensive snapshot-in-time of a family’s functioning. Re-ratings at designated time periods help measure changes in family functioning during and after the service period.
Thus, the FAF enables workers to conduct a complete psychosocial assessment that is recorded in a quantitative manner and allows them to monitor progress with a family. Since it is standardized, the FAF also allows the Collaborative Council to look at their overall effectiveness of Collaborative intervention by aggregating data gathered about individual families.
The HFTC Risk Assessment was internally developed by the Collaborative Council to assist workers in determining the overall level of risk within a family. The instrument is a subscale of the Family Assessment Form, based on 13 core items identified as protective factors. The RA guides and frames HFTC practice by establishing the level/intensity of monthly home visitation. Click here for the Risk Assessment Family Basic Needs Assessment
Family Basic Needs (FBN) Assessment
The Family Basic Needs (FBN) Assessment was developed for the California Department of Education in 1996 as a quick, but reliable, measurement of the extent to which families are able to meet basic survival needs. The instrument requires workers to rate families in five areas: housing transportation food and clothing finances employment
The FBN complements the use of the Family Assessment Form in the extent that it is designed to assess families that receive services for shorter periods of time (90 days or less).[/tab]
[tab]Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) is an internet-based case management database designed by Social Solutions specifically to measure program outcomes. Created by case managers, ETO requires workers and staff to link their interactions with participants directly to measurable program outcomes. ETO allows organizations to customize the database to address any aspect of a program, including demographic information, assessments, program outcomes, reasons for closure, etc.
Presently, the database is being used by the Collaboratives to track demographic information, monitor services, and record all interactions with families. In terms of supporting case management, ETO not only provides staff with a consistent method and framework for documentation, but also allows staff to recording every aspect of case management services including referrals, home visitations, services provided, and various other data elements to help workers determine if their efforts are effectively meeting the needs of those they serve.
In January 2007, the HFTC Collaborative Council further expanded ETO to include service planning and track improvement in family functioning. The Council’s Enterprise Manager has access to data across all of the sites and integrates data from each site into a single comprehensive summary report. These reports are used to monitor the overall impact and quality of program implementation, HFTC practice standards, program performance measures, and Collaborative service delivery.[/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]