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NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families
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IMPROVED OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN (IOC)

IOC:  Transforming Foster Care and Strengthening Preventive Services in New York City

Monitoring and Evaluation of Improved Outcomes for Children

Along with ACS' internal monitoring of Improved Outcomes for Children , Chapin Hall Center for Children (University of Chicago) has conducted an independent evaluation of Phase I of Improved Outcomes for Children.  In 2008, Chapin Hall released three interim reports, culminating in a November 2008 report that provided an overview of the process findings thus far and analyzed initial outcomes data. Three questions have guided Chapin Hall's study:

  1. Does the new IOC model stand as an adequate replacement for what
    preceded it?
  2. In regards to model fidelity, is the implementation of IOC
    faithful to its intent?
  3. To what extent are outcomes for children and families changing
    under IOC?

Chapin Hall has drawn on several data collection methods, including observation of meetings, interviews, focus groups, and surveys. In sum, Chapin Hall has reported a number of positive findings, including:

  • NYC Children's Services' participation in family team conferences represents a
    robust alternative to the previous means by which NYC Children's Services monitored how its contracted agencies monitored individual cases;
  • The new performance monitoring strategies are vast improvements
    over the past; 
  • There is widespread support for the delegation of case
    management functions as a more efficient practice; 
  • Agencies have placed an emphasis on boosting their internal
    supervision and oversight to pay greater attention to issues of safety and risk

Chapin Hall has also reported challenges associated with the first year of IOC. These include difficulties related to the implementation of the IOC model (such as the challenges associated with scheduling conferences) and those related to the impact of IOC on the workload of front line staff. NYC Children's Services is working in partnership with its provider agencies to address these challenges.

NYC Children's Services and Chapin Hall are in the process of designing an outcomes evaluation for the second year of Improved Outcomes for Children.

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