National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Building the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity of Family Drug Courts

Children and Family Futures – 2017

This brief describes efforts by the four grantees of the Prevention and Family Recovery (PFR) initiative to establish a data and information sharing infrastructure to monitor and discuss their progress with project staff, partners, and leadership. Examples of how grantees built their capacity to collect and use data to make needed program, practice, policy and resource modifications to better serve families and communities are highlighted. Information is also provided on the shift towards data-driven and outcomes-focused strategies, challenges the grantees faced, efforts to integrate data into core program operations, and strategies and mechanisms used to build performance monitoring and evaluation capacity. The need for effective communication, trusting interagency relationships, dedicated leadership, and complete staff and partner buy-in is emphasized. Key strategies used by the grantees are described and include: created structured opportunities to engage partners in regular review and discussion of data, assigned dedicated staff or liaisons to improve tracking of parent and child services, developed an FDC database, enhanced existing data systems, and used interim data points to initiate conversations. Specific examples are provided of how PFR grantees used their data for practice improvements, to educate partners and stakeholders, and to enhance stability and expand services are included. The brief also includes a list of critical components of reflective cross-systems data-driven decision making and describes the development of a data dashboard by grantees to continually monitor progress. The brief closes with a list of opportunities for assessing and strengthening performance monitoring and evaluation capacity.