Fostering Accountability: Using Evidence to Guide and Improve Child Welfare Policy

Hardcover | March 4, 2010

EditorMark F. Testa, John Poertner

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Fostering Accountability presents a model of child welfare decision making that holds public officials answerable for the integrity and validity of the actions they take on behalf of the children and families in their care. It operationalizes the concept of results-oriented accountability,which demands that administrators and practitioners show valid evidence of their success in improving child and family outcomes, not merely demonstrate mechanical procedural compliance. Drawing on the experiences of directors, staff, and evaluators, this timely and practical book describes the emergence of results-oriented accountability in child welfare with a special focus on the editors' role in establishing a university-agency research partnership under a federal consentdecree. Chapters elaborate on the five successive stages of the results-oriented accountability framework-outcomes monitoring, data analysis, research review, evaluation, and quality improvement-and provide examples of applications of each stage for agency managers. By refocusing the emphasis ondeveloping policies based on agency data, instead of purely reactive approaches that grasp at solutions and often fall short, Fostering Accountability guides administrators in monitoring outcomes, using evidence to select interventions to enhance results, and applying management strategies toevaluate and improve these efforts.The result is a pragmatic implementation guide for administrators seeking to bring safety, stability, continuity, permanence, and well-being to the lives of abused and neglected children in the United States.

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Fostering Accountability presents a model of child welfare decision making that holds public officials answerable for the integrity and validity of the actions they take on behalf of the children and families in their care. It operationalizes the concept of results-oriented accountability,which demands that administrators and practitio...

Mark F. Testa, PhD, is the Sandra Reeves Spears and John B. Turner Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. John Poertner, DSW, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:March 4, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195321308

ISBN - 13:9780195321302

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Table of Contents

1. Mark F. Testa: Introduction2. Mark F. Testa and John Poertner: Child Welfare in the 21st Century: Outcomes, Value Tensions, and Agency Risks3. Mark F. Testa: Logic of Results-Oriented Accountability: Populations, Interventions, Comparisons, and Outcomes4. Tom McDonald and Mark F. Testa: Monitoring Outcomes in Child Welfare5. Mark F. Testa: Data for Analysis and Planning6. John Poertner: Research Review of Evidence in Child Welfare7. Mark F. Testa: Evaluation of Child Welfare Interventions8. Terry Moore: Results-Oriented Management: Using Evidence for Quality Improvement9. Mark Testa: Flexibility, Innovation, and Experimentation: The Rise and Fall of Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations10. Ken Taylor and Michael Shaver: Performance-Based Contracting: Aligning Incentives with Outcomes to Produce Results11. Joan Zlotnik: Fostering and Sustaining University/Agency Partnerships12. Mark F. Testa and John Poertner: Conclusion