Evaluation of New York City’s Improved Outcomes for Children Initiative (IOC)
Fred Wulczyn, Principal Investigator
Chapin Hall is conducting both an implementation and outcomes evaluation, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The implementation study uses qualitative methods to explore relationships among stakeholders; the use of conferences for decision making and action planning, and their impact on particular outcomes; and the sense of responsibility, accountability, and satisfaction among professional stakeholders.
The outcomes study uses quantitative analysis to focus on a range of core child welfare outcomes related to children’s safety, permanency, and well-being. Preventive outcomes that are being assessed include: changes in the rate of repeat maltreatment among families engaged in preventive services; changes in the number of admissions to foster care, particularly of children from families engaged in preventive services; and the rate of reentry to foster care of children from families using aftercare services. With regard to foster care outcomes, the evaluation tracks lengths of stay in foster care and institutional placements; the proportion of children placed in family-based placements; the proportion of children who run away from care; the number of movements of children in foster care; the rate of reentry to foster care; and the proportion of children who exit foster care to reunification, adoption, or by aging out. A number of process measures are also being evaluated. Researchers are examining utilization rates, or the extent to which providers are using all of their service slots; rates of referral acceptance, or the extent to which preventive services provider agencies are accepting referrals from ACS; the length of service, or how long preventive service cases remain active; and the stability of the provider agency workforce.