Policy, Data & Accountability

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CDHS utilizes four initiatives to assess and drive improvements to the state’s and counties’ performance on the measures associated with the Child and Family Services Review outcomes and systemic factors. These initiatives include: 
  • the Colorado Practice Model, 
  • Results Oriented Management, 
  • Administrative Review Division, and 
  • CDHS’ C-Stat performance review process.  
Together, these initiatives constitute a dynamic Quality Assurance System that creates a robust process for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the state and counties’ performance, and thorough identification of strengths, weaknesses, and potential solutions to improve our performance and our service to children, youth and families involved in Colorado’s child welfare system. 

Results Oriented Management
CDHS partnered with the University of Kansas School of Social Work to develop a Results Oriented Management (ROM) system for Colorado. This online reporting tool provides both state and county staff with the ability to share data that is more current, drill down and analyze it in different ways aimed at creating a better understanding of the system’s numerous successes and challenges.

Additionally, as part of an on-going effort to increase transparency and accountability in child welfare in Colorado, the CDHS has created an educational website and public data center. For many years, data about the services provided through the Division of Child Welfare has been shared by publishing an annual DCW Data Book that describes in detail the trends, allocations and data for the State Fiscal Year (SFY). Through the CDHS Community Performance Center website, CDHS provides the public with similar online reporting tools and reports that are available in Colorado ROM, while protecting confidential information of the children and families served through child welfare services.

Administrative Review Division
The Administrative Review Division (ARD) serves as an independent third party review system under the auspices of the CDHS. ARD is the mechanism responsible for the federally required Case Review System and a portion of the Quality Assurance System for both the Division of Child Welfare and the Division of Youth Corrections. With an ultimate passion of providing permanency and well-being for Colorado's children, the Administrative Review Division works closely with Colorado's counties to train, measure and assess their adherence to State and Federal regulations.

ARD conducts three types of reviews that inform the child welfare system: 
  1. out-of-home (OOH); 
  2. in-home (IH); and 
  3. quality assurance (QA).  
ARD OOH reviews are scheduled at six-month intervals as long as the child/youth is in OOH care. Prior to the onsite review, an ARD reviewer reviews the case file in Trails. The case file review is followed by an onsite review in which families, youth, care providers, Guardians ad Litem (GALs), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), and others are invited to attend.

In-home reviews are conducted on a stratified random sample of the county’s in-home cases.  IH reviews are conducted every six months for the 10 large counties, and annually for mid-size and small counties. Families and external parties do not attend these reviews. 

The quality assurance reviews are incorporated into all of these placement reviews. ARD also conducts reviews of cases through stratified random samples of cases involving children in placement less than six months. 

C-Stat is a performance management system that allows every Colorado Department of Human Services program to better focus on and improve performance outcomes. By identifying areas of focus, CDHS can determine what is working and what needs improvement. By measuring the impact of day-to-day efforts, we make more informed, collaborative decisions to align efforts and resources to affect positive change.

Each Division within the Office of Behavioral Health, Children, Youth, & Families, Economic Security, and Long Term Care is collecting data to be examined on a monthly basis in C-Stat meetings.  Together, Executive Leadership along with the Office staff analyze data to identify both positive trends, and opportunities for improvement. Divisions will determine strategies for improvement and implement these strategies, while Executive Leadership will help to reduce barriers to the Divisions’ success.

C-Stat has moved CDHS to an outcomes oriented and collaborative approach to affect change at every level. The goal of C-Stat is to collect timely data, increase transparency, conduct regular executive meetings to assess the effectiveness of the strategies, and identify new performance measures, all in support of continuous quality improvement. 

The Division of Child Welfare is currently tracking Colorado’s performance on the following measures, some of which are CFSR outcome measures:
  • Absence of Institutional Abuse or Neglect
  • Absence of Maltreatment Recurrence
  • Caseworker Contact with Parents
  • Child Welfare Walkaways
  • Children in Care for More than 24 Months and No More Than 2 Placements
  • Children in Out of Home Care for Greater than 24 months
  • Children Who do not Re-Enter Care Within 12 Months of Discharge
  • Congregate Care Placements
  • Legally Freed Children Discharged to Permanency
  • Maintain Children Safely in Their own Home
  • Median Length of Stay to Finalized Adoption
  • Reunification Occurring within 12 Months
  • Safety Assessment Forms Completed Accurately
  • Timeliness of Assessment Closure
  • Timeliness of Response to Initial Abuse/Neglect Investigations