Promising Strategies for Collecting, Analyzing, and Reporting Data on Father and Paternal Relative Engagement in Child Welfare
Sites shared that they are collecting new data, including data about the service referrals that program staff make to fathers and paternal relatives. Sites are also updating and developing new protocols to capture better data on father and paternal relative engagement, such as expanding data collection during investigation and tracking initial contacts with fathers and paternal relatives throughout investigation. Strategies included the following:
- Developing a tracker to assess father engagement: Connecticut Department of Children and Families staff in the Hartford office developed a SharePoint site with an online form to assess father engagement.
- Using documentation and reviews to increase engagement efforts: Staff in the Hartford office also developed a strategy to document caseworkers’ efforts to engage fathers and paternal relatives before meetings that occur when the agency is considering the removal of a child. A meeting facilitator confirms these efforts have been completed, encourages staff to continue when efforts are not yet complete, and documents father participation in meetings.
- Aggregating and visualizing data to inform decision making: Wake County Department of Human Services staff aggregated Child Protective Services and Permanency Planning and Prevention services data on a weekly and monthly basis. They developed 20 data visualization dashboards and used the dashboards to inform decision making.
- Developing code to create new data reports on father and paternal relative engagement: Because its data system did not report data about fathers and paternal relatives initially, Denver Human Services staff had difficulty assessing its father and paternal relative engagement. Denver staff developed programming code to create and add new reports specifically about father and paternal relative engagement.
This brief highlights examples of short-term strategies sites implemented to collect, analyze, and report data outside their own data systems.