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Impact Data Community of Practice
Friday, February 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
Category: WAFCA Interest Groups

Impact Data Community of Practice

As part of WAFCA’s best practice agenda, we encourage and support agency leaders in measuring outcomes and strategizing to achieve the best outcomes possible for those in their care. In 2016, WAFCA created the Impact Data Benchmarking Project in order to develop an impact and outcome database.  The vision was that the database would gather information for the purposes of: 1) gaining collective insight into who agencies were serving; 2) collecting information regarding presenting problems and the challenges facing those receiving services; 3) identifying interventions provided to those served; 4) analyzing the effectiveness of the interventions provided; and 5) disseminating lessons learned. The group began with agencies providing community-based services, treatment foster care, and residential/group care services. Over the years, as participation narrowed, the primary attendees represented out-of-home care providers.

In 2021, Chapin Hall partnered with WAFCA to bring a new curriculum to member agencies providing residential/group care: The EDGE Program (Evidence Driven Growth and Excellence). Members of the Impact Data group recognized the benefit their participation in EDGE could have on their work, and many eagerly engaged in the project. While involved, the curriculum utilized made them realize that there was room for improvement in the way the Impact Data group was working with data to generate information—namely, they needed to switch to a more representative approach to measurement i.e., from exit cohorts to entry cohorts. WAFCA staff also went through the curriculum and understood how slight changes to the way data was pulled and reviewed by Impact Data members could produce substantially more beneficial information that would actually allow agencies to demonstrate their impact.

Group members committed to creating a new spell file, and a volunteer stepped forward to be in charge of assembling and analyzing the new file of information. The group will now work to build their skills and answer performance questions they have, so they can finally create their impact stories. Agencies also have a strong desire to utilize the data to make evidence-informed practice improvements, which speaks to the success of the EDGE project.

Participating agencies gather four times a year to review the data gathered and discuss effective ways to utilize the information, including advocacy with state agency leaders and legislators.

2023 Meeting dates:

  • February 10
  • May 5
  • August 4
  • November 17

Interested in Joining?

Program requirements: Agencies must 1) submit data quarterly on discharged clients by group-determined due dates, 2) identify a data designee, and 3) commit to a minimum of one-year participation for one or more of your agency’s programs. Agency-specific data will be kept confidential. Aggregate data will be shared only with participating agencies.

Contact Emily Coddington for more information or to join the Impact Data Community of Practice.