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2009 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 14, No. 2
May 2009

North Carolina Data Resources: What They Are and How to Find Them

Public child welfare professionals in North Carolina have a wealth of outcome and performance information at their disposal. So that you benefit from this data, this article will tell you a little bit about what’s out there and how to find it.

MRS Evaluation Fact Sheets
What: Four-page reports describing the performance of all 100 county DSS agencies in 2007
Where: http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/mrs/index.htm
Details: In 2007 the NC Division of Social Services asked Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy to create county-specific fact sheets describing the performance of all 100 county DSS agencies. Drawn from data collected in the Central Registry and on the MRS Case Tracking Form, these sheets provide snapshots of each county and how it compares to similar-sized counties in many areas, including:

  • Child Safety Measures. Includes rate of CPS assessments, rate of substantiations, and percent of families with repeat CPS assessments.
  • Family Assessment Track. Includes data about percentage of cases assigned to the family assessment track and a breakdown of findings from this track.
  • Primary Contributory Factors. Describes the percentage of cases with specified factors and the number of
    repeat CPS assessments linked to the various factors.
  • Timeliness of Response
  • Time to Case Decision

If you have suggestions or questions regarding the MRS Evaluation Fact Sheets please contact Duke University’s Nicole Lawrence at 919/668-3282.

NCDSS Program Statistics and Reviews
What: NC Division of Social Services site
Where: http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/stats/cw.htm
Details: Contains information about federal and county-level Child and Family Services Reviews, North Carolina’s Program Improvement Plan, Child Welfare Central Registry statistics prior to 2007, and more.

Federal Data
What: Information from the US Children’s Bureau
Where: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm
Details: State and national data on adoption and foster care, child abuse and neglect, and child welfare, including the recently-released Child Welfare Outcomes 2002-2005: Report to Congress.

North Carolina’s Child Welfare website
What: Wide range of longitudinal and point-in-time data
Where: http://ssw.unc.edu/cw
Details: The data and charts available through this website can help managers and staff in state and county departments of social services, as well as the general public, understand what happens to children and families who become involved in the child welfare system.

Its purpose is to provide easy access to detailed information about the experiences of children who receive reports of alleged child abuse and neglect and those who enter foster care. Data are available at the county, judicial district, and state level and for key demographics including age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Recent additions include:

  • Foster care caseload information, including end-of-month daily caseload counts, annual caseload counts, and rate per 1,000 in the population.
  • Abuse and neglect report rate per 1,000 in the population for point-in-time data.
  • Exit types from foster care.
  • Updated demographic data for county groups by size and judicial district.

This site was created and is maintained through a partnership between the NC Division of Social Services and the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

Other NC Data Resources
Food and Nutrition Services (http://ssw.unc.edu/foodstamps). Contains longitudinal files tracking the experiences of families involved with the Food Stamp Program. Data are available at the county and state level and for key demographics including gender, race, and household size.

Work First (http://ssw.unc.edu/workfirst). Contains longitudinal analysis files to support the development and use of performance indicators to help counties and the state assess Work First programs. Captures the experiences of the Work First families and recipients while they are on as well as after they leave the program.