Statewide Assessment Team

States must include broad representation from within and outside the child welfare agency in forming a team to conduct the Statewide Assessment. The team should include representatives of organizations consulted in developing the CFSP and APSRs and who are expected to be involved in developing and implementing the Program Improvement Plan. States also should consider including on the Statewide Assessment Team individuals from within and outside the State child welfare agency who have the skills and background to serve as case record reviewers and interviewers and who are available to serve on the Onsite Review Team.

The following are suggested participants in the Statewide Assessment Team:

  • Administrators and program specialists from the State and local child welfare agencies
  • State and local agency staff with expertise in areas examined during the Statewide Assessment, such as information systems, quality assurance, training, and licensing
  • Local child welfare agency staff who have knowledge of front-line practice and supervisory issues
  • Judges and other court-related personnel, especially staff of the State's Court Improvement Program (CIP)
  • Representatives of the major domains outside child welfare that are addressed in the Statewide Assessment, such as education, health, mental health, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence prevention, and juvenile justice
  • Tribal representatives
  • Legislative personnel who focus on child welfare issues or funding issues that affect child welfare
  • Advocacy groups and consumer representatives, including children and youth in foster care or the groups that represent them
  • Service provider representatives, including foster and adoptive families
  • University or research-related partners of the State involved in data collection and analysis, training activities, or other relevant areas
  • Partners who represent the diversity of the State's population, especially in relation to those served by the child welfare system

Members of the Statewide Assessment Team may engage in the following types of activities:

  • Participate in training or orientation sessions
  • Attend meetings related to the Statewide Assessment or the review process
  • Analyze the data related to outcomes and systemic factors
  • Collect additional data as needed
  • Gather information pertaining to the agency's performance, such as conducting or participating in focus groups, surveys, or interviews
  • Develop, review, and comment on drafts of the Statewide Assessment
  • Participate in conference calls with Federal staff during the Statewide Assessment process (Statewide Assessment Team leadership only)
  • Make recommendations pertaining to the onsite review, such as sample composition, site selection, and Onsite Review Team composition
  • Identify the State's strengths and areas needing improvement on the basis of data and information gathered for the Statewide Assessment
  • Explore strategies for possible program improvement efforts in areas identified as needing improvement, and make preliminary recommendations to the State's Program Improvement Plan Development Team