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August 2012Vol. 13, No. 7New Tips, Tools, and Trends From the NRCCWDT

The National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology's (NRCCWDT's) issue brief series provides comprehensive technical assistance to States and Tribes on a variety of topics. Two new issues of Tips, Tools, and Trends address the use of data to meet provisions in the Federal Fostering Connections legislation and selecting solutions to adequately address agency challenges.

"Data Considerations for Fostering Connections" provides tips for using data and technology to help States and Tribes develop policies to meet the legislation's requirements. Specific tips include the following:

  • Health provision tips include enhancing data systems to increase collaboration and information sharing between child welfare systems and health care providers. The NRC also suggests that States adopting electronic medical records adopt policies to incorporate child welfare data for better coordination of services.
  • Kinship provisions can be met by using video or online conferences to maintain family or sibling interactions between face-to-face visits. Social media resources also can enhance family communication and interaction.
  • Education provisions suggestions include conducting data analysis regarding a child's educational performance and attendance to better evaluate outcomes.
  • Older youth provisions tips include using National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) surveys and responses to track outcomes. The NRC also suggests using social media to coordinate meetings and appointments and send reminders to youth. Social media also can be used among youth to share information about services.
  • Adoption provisions strategies include using technology to generate reports on conventional adoption and Tribal customary adoption, in addition to reports to track the providing information on adoption tax credit.

"Picking Solutions That Work" provides strategies for choosing the appropriate course of action to address challenges affecting child welfare work or outcomes. The NRC suggests using critical thinking through a four-step process to identify the problem's source prior to selecting a solution: observation, evaluation, intervention, and outcome tracking and adjustments. The issue brief provides two sample scenarios and suggests possible approaches to identifying the root of the problem and addressing the situation. The first example centers on a district's below par caseworker visits. The second example focuses on a jurisdiction whose number of waiting children remains stagnant.

Both issues of Tips, Tools, and Trends are available on the NRCCWDT website:

"Data Considerations for Fostering Connections" is available here:  (550 KB)

"Picking Solutions That Work" is available here:  (608 KB)