Harnessing the potential of administrative data to inform child welfare programming with dynamic visualization methodologies

Michael J. Tanana, Mindy J. Vanderloo, Jeffrey D. Waid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The majority U.S. states maintain administrative databases to collect information on the entry, movement, and exits of youth in the foster care system, yet the power of these data to inform continuous improvement efforts remains largely untapped. This underutilization ignores the vast potential inherent in longitudinal child welfare data to better understand the trajectories of youth in care and the effectiveness of the services they receive. To help promote the use of administrative data to inform child welfare programming, this paper provides an overview and demonstration of a Feedback Improvement System with web-based visualization technology to illustrate child- and agency-level child welfare data from the state of Utah. The procedures and system design elements used to obtain, process, and display the feedback data are detailed. Recommendations for designing and implementing web-based feedback systems for child welfare agencies are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sincere thanks to Vanessa Amburgey and Navina Forsythe, who have worked as collaborators and contributed to the success of this project. Funding for this project was provided by the state of Utah. We also owe a great deal of gratitude to the many open source examples published by Mike Bostock on d3js.org , as well as examples posted by Tom Counsell who created the original Sankey diagram for D3.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child welfare
  • Continuous improvement
  • Data visualization
  • Feedback
  • Foster care
  • Residential care


Dive into the research topics of 'Harnessing the potential of administrative data to inform child welfare programming with dynamic visualization methodologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this