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 DHS News January 2013

SafeMeasures Sheds New Light on CYF Data

This January the Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) released its new reporting service, SafeMeasures, to all staff members as another step in improving staff effectiveness. Developed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) Children’s Research Center, SafeMeasures is a near real-time, customized reporting service that allows caseworkers and supervisors to view raw data stored in KIDS as easy to understand reports, charts and graphs.

SafeMeasures works by harvesting information from KIDS around midnight every night. The information is then translated into reports, charts and graphs that show what is happening at various levels of CYF down to an individual caseworker. SafeMeasures reports can be used to look back at work previously done to ensure accuracy in the KIDS system and can also be used to look forward to see which tasks will be due in the future.

“What I think is most important about these reports is that they are forward looking,” said CYF project lead and Casework Specialist Manager Terry Barlak. “The information presented isn’t just about activities you have completed, or not completed, in the past, it’s about work in the future that you need to do, and it tells you what and when you need to do it. All of this can help keep children safe.”

The implementation of SafeMeasures at DHS was a collaboration among CYF; the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation (DARE); and the Office of Administrative and Information Management Services (AIMS). A core team worked with NCCD to determine which reports were needed by CYF staff and how these reports should be prioritized.

Beyond supporting the front-line child welfare work of caseworkers, the SafeMeasures system is a valuable tool to inform supervision. “I started testing and reviewing SafeMeasures as part of the core planning group,” said Betsy Caroff, East Regional Office Casework Supervisor, “as the system progressed, I then began using the SafeMeasures reports in my unit meetings. I have genuinely seen an improvement in my unit’s compliance.”

The SafeMeasures system was piloted by the Central Regional Office in October 2012 and was rolled out in other offices in early 2013. Currently, DHS runs one dozen reports through SafeMeasures; however, the number of reports is expected to grow over time. The development team will soon begin work on seven new reports proposed by CYF supervisors. To learn more about SafeMeasures, please contact Terry Barlak at 412-350-3954.

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