Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map | Mobile Site

Senate Tracker: Sign Up | Login

The Florida Senate

2015 Florida Statutes

Child welfare results-oriented accountability program.
F.S. 409.997
409.997 Child welfare results-oriented accountability program.
(1) The department, the community-based care lead agencies, and the lead agencies’ subcontractors share the responsibility for achieving the outcome goals specified in s. 409.986(2).
(2) The department shall contract with a qualified consultant or organization with expertise in child welfare by August 31, 2014, to prepare a plan for development and implementation of a comprehensive, results-oriented accountability program consistent with this section. The plan, which must be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by February 1, 2015, shall:
(a) Identify essential data sets;
(b) Assess the availability and validity of essential data;
(c) Propose options for aggregating the available data;
(d) Specify valid and reliable measures for each outcome goal;
(e) Describe specific steps and analytical procedures necessary for the computation of the outcome measures;
(f) Propose formats, presentations, and other methods of disseminating the accountability information;
(g) Describe specific activities and procedures for integrating the accountability information into the quality assurance and performance monitoring activities of the department and its child welfare partner organizations;
(h) Propose a timeline and work plan for implementation of the accountability program and provide an estimate of associated costs; and
(i) Identify any other significant considerations that may have a material effect on the implementation of the accountability program required by this section.

This subsection expires June 30, 2015.

(3) The purpose of the results-oriented accountability program is to monitor and measure the use of resources, the quality and amount of services provided, and child and family outcomes. The program includes data analysis, research review, and evaluation. The program shall produce an assessment of individual entities’ performance, as well as the performance of groups of entities working together on a local, regional, and statewide basis to provide an integrated system of care. Data analyzed and communicated through the accountability program shall inform the department’s development and maintenance of an inclusive, interactive, and evidence-supported program of quality improvement which promotes individual skill building as well as organizational learning. Additionally, outcome data generated by the program may be used as the basis for payment of performance incentives if funds for such payments are made available through the General Appropriations Act. The information compiled and utilized in the accountability program must incorporate, at a minimum:
(a) Valid and reliable outcome measures for each of the goals specified in this subsection. The outcome data set must consist of a limited number of understandable measures using available data to quantify outcomes as children move through the system of care. Such measures may aggregate multiple variables that affect the overall achievement of the outcome goals. Valid and reliable measures must be based on adequate sample sizes, be gathered over suitable time periods, and reflect authentic rather than spurious results, and may not be susceptible to manipulation.
(b) Regular and periodic monitoring activities that track the identified outcome measures on a statewide, regional, and provider-specific basis. Monitoring reports must identify trends and chart progress toward achievement of the goals specified in this subsection. The accountability program may not rank or compare performance among community-based care regions unless adequate and specific adjustments are adopted which account for the diversity in regions’ demographics, resources, and other relevant characteristics. The requirements of the monitoring program may be incorporated into the department’s quality assurance program.
(c) An analytical framework that builds on the results of the outcomes monitoring procedures and assesses the statistical validity of observed associations between child welfare interventions and the measured outcomes. The analysis must use quantitative methods to adjust for variations in demographic or other conditions. The analysis must include longitudinal studies to evaluate longer term outcomes, such as continued safety, family permanence, and transition to self-sufficiency. The analysis may also include qualitative research methods to provide insight into statistical patterns.
(d) A program of research review to identify interventions that are supported by evidence as causally linked to improved outcomes.
(e) An ongoing process of evaluation to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of various interventions. Efficacy evaluation is intended to determine the validity of a causal relationship between an intervention and an outcome. Effectiveness evaluation is intended to determine the extent to which the results can be generalized.
(f) Procedures for making the results of the accountability program transparent for all parties involved in the child welfare system as well as policymakers and the public, which shall be updated at least quarterly and published on the department’s website in a manner that allows custom searches of the performance data. The presentation of the data shall provide a comprehensible, visual report card for the state and each community-based care region, indicating the current status of the outcomes relative to each goal and trends in that status over time. The presentation shall identify and report outcome measures that assess the performance of the department, the community-based care lead agencies, and their subcontractors working together to provide an integrated system of care.
(g) An annual performance report that is provided to interested parties including the dependency judge or judges in the community-based care service area. The report shall be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1 of each year.
(4) Subject to a specific appropriation to implement the accountability program developed under subsection (2), the department shall establish a technical advisory panel consisting of representatives from the Florida Institute for Child Welfare established pursuant to s. 1004.615, lead agencies, community-based care providers, other contract providers, community alliances, and family representatives. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint a member to serve as a legislative liaison to the panel. The technical advisory panel shall advise the department on the implementation of the results-oriented accountability program. 10, 11, ch. 2014-161; s. 40, ch. 2014-224.