Children's Voice July/August 2007

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CWLA Teams with States to Provide Data Resources

The National Data Analysis System (NDAS) is a free online service started in 1999 by CWLA and sponsoring states. The NDAS website enables child welfare workers to access the most recent statistics on adoption, children's health, child care services, juvenile justice, out-of-home care, and other related topics.

All data can be downloaded directly to a desktop, and users can create online graphs in minutes. User-defined reports enable visitors to view data according to their specific needs. Users can also browse the State Data Trends page, providing links to state's child welfare data over a period of time. State data can also be compared against each other.

NDAS also contains hard-to-find data on agency administration, caseloads, salaries, and child welfare staff education and training. Last winter, NDAS added a kinship care section featuring information on kinship care demographics, funding, policies, and providers.

CWLA staff and consultants also offer data and technology resources through the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRC-CWDT), one of several resource centers funded as a service of the Children's Bureau to assist public and tribal child welfare systems. The center, online at www.nrccwdt.org, assists in strategies to promote the collection, quality, and use of child welfare data for policies and practices that benefit children and families. Specific services include
  • assisting with data mapping, report programming, and information system design, focused on the Adoption, Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS);

  • assisting state, court, and tribal staff with how data are used in the Child and Family Services Review process; and

  • providing onsite and regional training on data use and data management to build the capacity of child welfare programs to use child welfare data in policy, practice, management and decision making.
Predictive analytics help caseworkers determine a child's risk level, the type of services that would be most helpful to a family, and a case plan to maximize a family's chances of staying together safely.


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