All Projects

How can we enhance child welfare agencies' decisionmaking strategies?

Improving decisionmaking practices in child welfare agencies

Poorly designed and overtaxed child protection systems do not enable staff to make the best decisions to protect children and teens from abuse and neglect.

On the Frontline (OTF) is an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group. It is a front-end effort to enhance a child welfare agency’s organizational capacity to improve decisionmaking practices and, ultimately, improve child safety.

According to OTF, strengthening the front end of the child welfare system involves implementing 3 concurrent strategies:

  • Build a strong workforce
  • Strengthen system decisionmaking
  • Strengthen worker decisionmaking
  • Westat conducted an implementation evaluation of the OTF initiative in 2 public county-based welfare agencies to assess if all 3 strategies are necessary and if they should be implemented together.
  • We used a retrospective, mixed methods evaluation design that included interviews and focus groups, a web-based survey, and analysis of quarterly administrative data.
  • The workforce strategy showed consistent implementation and positive results. Based on multiple data sources, preliminary evidence indicated decreases in caseworker vacancy rates and time it takes to fill a vacant caseworker position.
  • For systems decisionmaking strategy, both agencies developed a system-wide process that combines quantitative data measures with qualitative case review data to
    • Observe patterns
    • Identify issues
    • Create data-informed solutions to improve child welfare practice

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
DC Public Schools
Georgia Department of Transportation
Internal Revenue Service
Leadership Montgomery
Maryland Cancer Registry
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Social Security Administration
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Teach for America
Texas Education Agency
The Johns Hopkins University
The National Institutes of Health
The Verizon Foundation
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Michigan
University System of Maryland
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Women Powered by StatistaForbes 2021 The Best Employers for Diversity Powered by StatistaForbes 2021: America's Best Midsize Employer Powered by Statista Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Veterans Powered by Statista

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.