The Item-Specific and Quantitative Measurement Plan, and its corresponding quarterly status report, is particularly important because it allows States to enter and report information regarding each CFSR item that is to be measured in its Program Improvement Plan (PIP), including the:
- status of the item in the Final Report;
- performance as measured for the established baseline and the source data period for the measure;
- negotiated improvement goal;
- method of measuring improvement; and
- renegotiated improvement goal, if applicable.
The selection of item-specific measures that must be addressed in the PIP, how the baselines are established, and what the approved amount of improvement is to be are determined pursuant to the provisions of Technical Bulletin #3, Amended (dated October 8, 2009). Technical Bulletin #3 is available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-tb3.
To demonstrate improvement in item-specific measures, the Children’s Bureau encourages the use of State-generated data from the State's own quality assurance (QA), continuous quality improvement (CQI) systems, or Management Information Systems. To measure the degree of improvement in items, the State may use one of four methodologies:
- Retrospective data using collected findings that represent 12 months of data;
- Prospective data collected during the PIP implementation period after 12 months of data becomes available to establish the baseline;
- Data from national standard composite individual measures; or
- Data collected from the State SACWIS or other Management Information System.
The State may also propose another methodology for approval by the Children’s Bureau.
Note that if the State is using the PIP Matrix for its quarterly reporting, it must enter the status of the item for each reported quarter. The PIP Matrix is available for download on the Children’s Bureau Web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/pip_instruct.pdf. It is also available in the PIP Resources section of this module.