Continuous Quality Improvement ongoing
By Bernita Hamilton, Social Services Program Office, State Office Evaluation Unit
Many of you are familiar with the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process where states were reviewed by the Children’s Bureau of the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families. As part of the CFSR process, states are required to have ongoing quality assurance programs. Our most visible quality assurance process is the site reviews where the Evaluation Unit reviews case records.
The federal CFSR process is currently under revision. While we don’t yet know what the revisions will look like, states are being encouraged to continue their quality assurance activities and enhance them through a continuous quality improvement approach (CQI). There are five required components of a CQI system: 1) A Foundational Administrative Structure, 2) Quality Data Collection, 3) A Case Record Review Data and Process, 4) Analysis and Dissemination of Quality Data, and 5) Feedback to Stakeholders and Decision-makers and Adjustment of Programs and Process.
What does this mean for the staff of OCS? Well, it means we will continue to try to improve our day-to-day work with families that each of you engage in every day. It means we will look at our existing quality systems such as the case review, administrative review, and our data gathering through ORCA and see how we can make them better. To begin that process, OCS has established a working committee (members are Natalie Powers, Travis Erickson, Kim Guay, and Bernita Hamilton) which has been developing a statewide plan for CQI.
In the coming months we will begin further statewide activities in developing our CQI System and in keeping staff in the information loop. These efforts will assist OCS in continuing to improve the quality of services to families and to better work with the community.