Since its inception in 1988, HZA has provided consulting services to human service organizations in 35 states and the District of Columbia. These services have included long-term partnerships in which HZA staff act virtually as part of the customer’s organization, as well as more traditional time-limited evaluation and consulting services focusing on one or two programs.
HZA’s initial focus was on child welfare, including child protection, foster care and adoption. As child welfare touches many other systems, HZA soon entered the fields of juvenile justice and shortly thereafter home visiting services for the zero to three population, acting as evaluator and program developer. HZA’s full range of project topics now covers all of these areas, as well as child and adult mental health; substance abuse prevention and treatment; juvenile and adult courts and corrections; public health; developmental disability; and public assistance, including TANF and Medicaid.
The long-term partnerships with public agencies have focused primarily on performance measurement and quality assurance. These have included:
- quality assurance and data analysis functions for the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services where HZA has a dozen staff located within the agency;
- data analysis for Pennsylvania’s Office of Children Youth and Families;
- public/private data unit in Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services;
- outcome measurement for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; and
- longitudinal data analysis for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
In addition, for six years HZA trained all staff of the Florida Abuse Hotline and is currently responsible for administering the random moment survey used by the Colorado Department of Human Services for its cost allocation.
Many of the shorter term engagements involve evaluations, including evaluations of substance abuse prevention programs, mental health treatment programs, public health programs, juvenile and family courts, drug courts and offender re-entry programs. In addition to these evaluations, HZA has:
- conducted performance audits of entire agencies (Oklahoma),
- developed rate setting methodologies for foster care and residential programs (Louisiana, Alabama),
- provided state agencies with federal audit and compliance support (Pennsylvania, New Jersey),
- administered workload studies to help agencies match resources to the demand for services (Minnesota, Virginia),
- undertaken revenue maximization efforts to ensure states have the resources they need to serve the population in need (Georgia, Mississippi), and
- developed software for case tracking and for matching foster and adoptive homes with the children in need (Maine, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Nebraska).
HZA’s capacities in software and technology have expanded exponentially over the past decade. The firm develops its own software applications and dashboards, manages mega-sized protected data files in a secure environment and operates its own toll-free HELP DESK to support its software users. The firm’s 40 full-time staff are seasoned experts in the fields of social work, public administration, applied statistics, early childhood, public health, justice studies and law as well as information technology.