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Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services and Adoption Services


In fiscal year 2001, under the Adoption Opportunities Program and the Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Program, the Children’s Bureau awarded cooperative agreements to five organizations to implement regional Quality Improvement Centers (QICs) in the areas of adoption and child protective services (CPS).  Four of the QICs (one focusing on adoption and three focusing on CPS) are moving forward.


The purpose of the QICs is to promote knowledge development with the overarching goal of improving child welfare services.  The QICs represent an experiment by the Children’s Bureau to examine the feasibility and benefits of increasing regional involvement in designing and managing research and demonstration efforts.  Each QIC will also disseminate their findings.


The QICs are charged with planning and implementing research or demonstration grants on topics the QICs select with input from a regional advisory group and with federal approval.  The QICs collected data and identified a topic during the first year.  They will fund, monitor and evaluate research or demonstration projects during years 2 through 4 and disseminate findings during year 5.  Required tasks include:

Phase I         

-   Forming a regional advisory group

-   Conducting a literature review

-   Conducting a needs assessment

-   Selecting a focus topic in conjunction with advisory group members and others

Phase II       

-   Awarding and monitoring the 42-month research or demonstration project grants in the region

-   Providing technical assistance to local grantees

-   Conducting an evaluation of the research and demonstration projects

-   Disseminating findings to practitioners and policymakers (including presentations each year at federal grantee meetings and other conferences and articles in relevant journals)

QIC Regional Advisory Group members include academics/researchers, state/local government representatives, and service providers from each QIC’s region.

The QICs are charged with managing local grant projects that allow the QICs to evaluate multiple approaches and/or multi-site interventions on the selected focus topic to ensure that the number of subjects is large enough for a rigorous, methodologically sound implementation and evaluation plan.  The evaluations will determine the effectiveness of the evidence-based models and its components or strategies, and findings will guide replication or testing in other settings.


QICs were not to exceed $175,000 during Phase I.  QICs will not exceed $625,000 per year during Phase II (administrative, management and evaluation proposed budgets may not exceed $125,500 per year; the remaining $500,000 is to be allocated to local grantee sites).  The grantee must provide at least 10 percent of the total approved administrative cost of the project.


National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services

To promote knowledge development regarding the usefulness of privatizing portions of the child welfare system in certain settings, the Children’s Bureau funded the Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services.  The QIC PCW will serve as a resource for information on child welfare privatization efforts and provide lessons learned from these efforts.  Additionally, through subgrants funded by this initiative, research and demonstration projects will test the effectiveness and efficiency of selected privatization models.  The information gained from these efforts will move the field forward and will inform the ongoing process of child welfare enhancement and reform. 

The QIC PCW is being undertaken by the University of Kentucky, College of Social Work in collaboration with Planning and Learning Technologies, Inc.  A national advisory board of leading experts will provide input at key points.  The board will also serve as an integral part of the QIC PCW’s information sharing network.  


The QIC PCW has four overarching qualities:  inclusivity, clarity, transparency, and objectivity.  It will serve as a collaborative laboratory for innovation, application, and learning, and will act as a repository of up-to-date information for practitioners, policy makers, administrators, and researchers. 

The QIC PCW’s goals are:

Core Components

The QIC PCW involves four major components across two distinct phases.

Phase I

Phase II

Disseminating knowledge (Years 2 – 5):  To help build a knowledge development process and engage the field, information will be shared in a timely manner throughout all stages of the initiative.  Initial information will include the state of child welfare reform and privatization efforts, while interim information will include early findings from the funded projects on their implementation processes.  Finally, information on outcomes achieved through the cross-site evaluation will be shared nationally and project-specific outcomes will be synthesized and disseminated as they become available.

Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Sevices and Adoption Services (in .pdf format)

Quality Improvement Center Fact Sheet (in .pdf format)

National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System 

National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (.pdf download)



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