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July/August 2009Vol. 10, No. 6Using Data for System Change With Infants and Families

The New York State Council on Children and Families and the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council have produced a set of materials to help early childhood community coalitions use data to improve services for young children and their families. While the materials are geared for early childhood advocates, the process of using data to analyze and implement system change may be applicable to other groups. Using Data to Build Comprehensive Systems for Infants and Families guides users through the steps of (1) assessment, (2) identification of issues, and (3) use of data to build systems and effect change.

The materials include a facilitator's guide, resource guide, and a PowerPoint presentation; they are designed to be presented in four sessions:

  • Session 1 focuses on making the connection between data and daily work and includes resources for finding national and local data.
  • Session 2 shows how to use data to tell a story. Resources include a manual on organizing and presenting data.
  • Session 3 provides information on using data to implement system change and includes resources on evidence-based practice.
  • Section 4 relates the story of a New York City project and its resulting report, which used data to educate and bring about change.

The facilitator's guide offers scripts and discussion points for the materials in the resource guide. The resource guide includes a collection of factsheets, handouts, and reports that seek to improve services for children and families by tapping into national, State, and other data resources.

Using Data to Build Comprehensive Systems for Infants and Families, by Cate Teuten Bohn, Mary E. De Masi, Susan Perkins, and Evelyn Efinger, is available from the New York State Council on Children and Families website: