The focus of Program Improvement Plan (PIP) evaluation is to ensure that the State has completed all action steps and benchmarks identified in its primary strategies. Evaluation is also intended to ensure that the State has achieved the approved amount of improvement in all national standard and item-specific measurements identified in its approved PIP.
The evaluation phase may actually begin as early as the PIP development and approval process, when new results from comparisons against national standards may become available from ongoing Federal data submissions. Evaluation can last through what is referred to as a “non-overlapping data year” that follows the conclusion of the PIP implementation period. This additional year is allowed for the measurement plan element only, allowing time for results to be demonstrated following the implementation of the PIP’s action steps.
The State and Children’s Bureau Regional and Central Offices work collaboratively to complete the ongoing process of PIP evaluation and, ultimately, make a final determination of conformity. This overall process is accomplished through ongoing PIP measurement that takes into account the State’s progress through its various goals and their primary strategies, action steps, and benchmarks. It also considers the State’s progress toward meeting its improvement goals in the safety and permanency national standards and for each measured item in the PIP.
- For more information about items that must be measured, see Technical Bulletin #3, Amended. Technical Bulletin #3 is available online at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cfsr_amended_tech_bulletin3.pdf.
The State generally provides these measurements through regular quarterly reports, but the Children’s Bureau may also conduct an annual review to confirm that specific activities have been completed or measurement targets achieved.
Once the Children's Bureau has evaluated the PIP and confirmed that it is complete, the State receives official notification that its PIP has been closed out. If the PIP is completed successfully, then the financial penalties assessed against the State for failure to achieve substantial conformity are rescinded. The State’s ongoing conformity with CFSR requirements will then be evaluated in a subsequent CFSR process. However, if the State fails to successfully complete its PIP, those financial penalties will be assessed against the State and remain in effect until the next CFSR.