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September 2013Vol. 14, No. 7Building Child Welfare's CQI Capacity

In August 2012, the Children's Bureau released an Information Memorandum (IM) for State title IV-B and IV-E child welfare agencies about the importance of establishing and maintaining continuous quality improvement (CQI) systems. Nine months later, the Bureau awarded a cooperative agreement for the Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project to JBS International, Inc., and its partner, the Center for the Support of Families (CSF). This 17-month training project is intended to support child welfare professionals in performing and improving CQI activities and processes.

The training project, currently in the planning and development stage, will include an online training program with individual and group-based learning opportunities delivered through a dynamic online learning environment. Before developing the training, project team members reviewed CQI-related resources in child welfare and then branched out to investigate CQI frameworks in other fields. They crosswalked these frameworks with the essential components of a functioning CQI system as described in the IM. Then, based on their analysis, team members identified key CQI management functions and the competencies necessary to perform them in child welfare. Armed with this list, the team now has an understanding of the competencies and skills that managers need in order to effectively administer a CQI system in child welfare—competencies the training project aims to bolster.

The project's training module will be rigorously evaluated, and the project team has worked closely with its evaluators throughout development. Ultimately, the project will benefit children and families served by child welfare by building the capacity of States to routinely collect and use data to examine their work and make adjustments in an informed manner.

Outreach to title IV-E States for participation in the training will begin in the fall. For more information about the Building Child Welfare Capacity for Continuous Quality Improvement Project, contact Yolanda Green-Rogers:

The CQI IM is available on the Children's Bureau website: (324 KB)