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Planning for Agency Self-evaluation:


LCCS,
as is true for many if not most public child protection agencies, is
impression-rich and data-poor. Many people internal and external to the agency
have impressions of agency performance, the levels of compliance with agency
and external standards, and how the agency is doing with respect to specific
expectations. Although data is available in some areas and in relation to some
variables, it is not generally available. The systems are simply not in place
to capture, store, and retrieve data needed for many important purposes,
including self-evaluation. The agency’s ability to consistently use
data-driven, fact-based management and decision processes is thus unacceptably
limited.


Given
this serious data deficit, the agency’s 2001-2003 strategic plan strives, in
part, to correct the data problem. As you will see, the plan integrates agency
values and primary outcomes with systems development and program focus. For
example, emphasis is on the primary values of child safety, permanence, and
child well being. The specific, measurable outcomes in relation to each of
these values are specified. Although the details for your agency will vary some
from what is included here, you will see that LCCS is committed to
self-evaluation and to developing the necessary operating capacity to fully
self-evaluate. This is essential for continuing value creation and for
continuing to meet the expectations of stakeholders within the authorizing
environment. The capacity to self-evaluate is not optional. It is, rather,
absolutely necessary.


The
following is excerpted from sections of the LCCS 2001-2003 strategic plan. You
will see the strategies being employed to correct deficits that are
unacceptably limiting the agency’s ability to self-evaluate along with
correcting other data-related deficits. At the end of the section, you will
also see an agency internal grant strategy that is intended to correct or at
least reduce a perceived deficit in staff-based program innovation and
individual staff opportunity to initiate internal change. (Comments in
parentheses are added for the present purpose.)





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