HZA led the development of a case management system for county child welfare agencies in Pennsylvania. The system, ChildNet-PA, was adopted by 13 counties throughout the state and the code was ultimately purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. HZA initially partnered with another firm but ultimately took over the software upgrades, modifications, documentation, training and HELP DESK functions.

      Data Interpretation, Needs-based Planning Training

      Pennsylvania has contracted with HZA for more than a dozen years through successive competitive bids to the present to provide data interpretation training for state, regional and county administrators of the Commonwealth’s child welfare system. HZA develops “data packages” for each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties based on various performance and outcome indicators. In largely face to face sessions it then trains staff on the interpretation of outcome data and how to use the information for program development and need-based budgeting.

      Data Support and Outcome Measurement

      Beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present, HZA provides data support, analysis and outcome measurement for the Commonwealth’s child welfare system. With the lack of a statewide case management system, HZA uses data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) files to respond to ad hoc data requests and generate county data packages on a semi-annual basis. HZA also provided support to OCYF for both rounds of Child and Family Services Reviews, using the federal syntax to enable the Commonwealth and its local counterparts to prepare for the federal reviews.

      Evaluation of a Predictive Risk Modeling Tool for Improving the Decisions of Child Welfare Workers

      From 2016 to 2017, HZA performed a process evaluation of the Predictive Risk Modeling (PRM) Tool, which was developed for Allegheny County to improve the way child welfare workers make decisions about the children and families they serve. The Tool, which is used by intake staff when a call is received alleging abuse and/or neglect, gathers all relevant current and historical client information and assigns a risk score based on that information. The risk score is used by intake staff in making service decisions. The process evaluation assessed the Tool from the user's perspective, examining its impact on consistency, efficiency and accuracy of decisions.

      National Youth in Transition Survey

      From 2015 to the present HZA is conducting surveys of all 17-year-old Pennsylvania youth as part of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) project. Two years after the initial round HZA began the follow-up data collection efforts with those same youth, gauging how their circumstances have changed in the two years since the baseline survey. The task involves locating the youth, interviewing them and entering data into the national database. HZA has met the required federal standards for every data collection period.

      Quality Service Reviews

      For many years until the present, HZA assists with implementing quality service reviews. As members of the Commonwealth’s Program Improvement Plan committee, HZA staff participate in the design of the review tools which have been used for ongoing county-specific Quality Service Reviews. HZA has developed automated processes for analyzing the quantitative findings and reviews the results of interviews and focus groups to produce the final reports and help counties understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

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