2003 Jordan Institute
9, No. 1
Using Data in Supervision
Frontline supervisors rarely think of themselves as users of data. But keeping track of a few key pieces of data can help a supervisor, over time, gauge the strengths of individual workersas well as identify areas needing improvement.
For child welfare workers who primarily do investigations or assessments following an allegation of child maltreatment, supervisors can track, by worker, the number of:
For workers who do ongoing work with families, supervisors can track, by worker, the number of:
The data, updated monthly and kept over a six-month period, can help a supervisor assess and compare casework practice among his or her units workers. For example, do some workers seem to rely heavily on removal and foster care placement? Do others actively seek family participation in planning? Are some workers successfully engaging families so that they want services on a voluntary basis? Do some workers consistently have fewer placement disruptions? Are families allowed greater access to their children if they are served by a particular worker?
In most states, the child welfare system tracks much of the data on a county, regional, and statewide basis. By keeping track of how individual workers are succeeding, supervisors and workers are better able to keep their eyes on the prize that is, the outcomes that are most desirable for children and families.
If you would like to view some tools that will help you track the data described in this article, click here.
Reprinted with permission from SafeKeeping: Frontline Supervision - Where The Action Is. (Winter 2003) Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare of the Center for the Study of Social Policy. <http://www.cssp.org/center/community_partnership2.html>