Workforce Analyses Using Combined Human Resources and Child Welfare Data

When examining workforce data, it can be valuable to capitalize on data from both human resources (HR) databases and child welfare (CW) information systems. Each can be useful on their own, but additional information can be learned when the two types of data are connected. Child welfare system data can serve as objective measures of employee job performance, which is one of the most important workforce outcomes to measure, particularly when examining the effectiveness of various workforce decisions and practices. In addition, child welfare case data can provide useful contextual information for studying workforce outcomes.

Though child welfare information system data are often used to calculate metrics that serve as indicators of agency or unit performance, there is no universal set of worker-level performance measures, especially for day-to-day performance (vs. more long-term outcomes). This is because performance measures depend on the worker’s role, different agencies have different work practices, and child welfare information systems vary across agencies. Therefore, to capitalize on child welfare information as a source of performance indicators, it is recommended that supervisors and SACWIS trainers be consulted for guidance on the best types of information in a given agency. Examples of questions to ask include: What kinds of system data are red flags for performance issues? Is there system functionality that alerts supervisors to overdue tasks or missing items (e.g., through tasks lists, action items, or overdue ticklers or alerts)? Are there records of supervisors’ responses to submitted work (e.g., approved, revisions requested, not approved, or overridden)? Once performance measures are derived from child welfare system data and connected to human resources data, they can be used to examine things like functional vs. dysfunctional turnover or the effectiveness of various recruiting or hiring strategies.

Child welfare data can also provide useful contextual information for studying workforce outcomes. More specifically, case characteristics and events (e.g., degree of complexity, unsuccessful reunifications) may influence worker’s job attitudes (e.g., engagement, job satisfaction), sense of well-being (e.g., burnout, stress), and retention. Thus, examining case-level data can provide an additional perspective on other workforce data.

In this video, Megan Paul, QIC-WD Workforce Team Lead, provides further details on important child welfare data that would be useful to combine with human resources data.

Workforce Analyses Using Combined Human Resources and Child Welfare Data is a resource that provides further details on using child welfare data (along with human resources data) as measures of performance and job context.

The content contained in this blog post was developed as part of the QIC-WD’s Child Welfare Workforce Analytics Institute. The Institute was designed to facilitate growth and collaboration between leaders in child welfare and human resources in their awareness, knowledge, and use of data analytics.