Conformity with the Outcomes

The seven outcomes assessed in the CFSR address aspects of children’s safety, permanency, and well-being and incorporate a total of 23 items. Each item reflects a key Federal program requirement relevant to the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) for that outcome. In conducting their case record review, reviewers use the Onsite Review Instrument (OSRI) to obtain an item rating of Strength, Area Needing Improvement, or Not Applicable for each individual item.

An outcome's individual item ratings will together comprise its outcome rating of either Substantially Achieved, Partially Achieved, Not Achieved, or Not Applicable. When all the case record reviews have been completed, that review site's substantial conformity with the outcomes will be determined in one of two ways:

  • For every outcome except Safety Outcome 1 and Permanency Outcome 1: substantial conformity is determined by the percentage of cases reviewed on site in which the outcome was determined to be Substantially Achieved. If the outcome was rated as Substantially Achieved for at least 95 percent of cases, then that outcome is considered to be in substantial conformity. Note that the threshold for substantial conformity during round 1 was 90 percent; it was raised for round 2 in the spirit of continuous quality improvement that is the foundation of the CFSRs.

  • For Safety Outcome 1 and Permanency Outcome 1, the 95 percent threshold is still used. However, these outcomes also consider the State's performance on related data indicators and composites in order to determine substantial conformity. National standards were established for two data indicators for Safety Outcome 1 and four data composites for Permanency Outcome 1.

Following the onsite review, the Children's Bureau uses data gathered through the Statewide Assessment and the onsite review to make determinations of substantial conformity with the outcomes for the State as a whole.

National Standards

The Children's Bureau uses six data indicators to determine substantial conformity with two outcomes: Safety Outcome 1 (two data indicators) and Permanency Outcome 1 (four data composites). 

If the State's data fail to meet national standards, the State is required to implement strategies in its Program Improvement Plan designed to improve the State's performance on each failed item or data indicator. In prioritizing areas to be addressed, the State must first address, in content and timeframes, those items that specifically affect child safety.