Efforts to Outcomes Joins CalSWEC

The Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) Self-Evaluation Program, which builds capacity for the collection of “gap” data not tracked in the current SACWIS system, is now being hosted by the Regional Training Academy Project at CalSWEC. Previously technical support for the ETO program’s development, use, and maintenance was provided by the Center for Social Services Research at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare.

The program enables outcome measurement and self-evaluation. Using web-based, modular software called Efforts to Outcome (ETO) developed by Social Solutions, the evaluation program allows flexibility of program type within each county and can be configured to meet the needs of an identified program. Tara Lain

To date, Project Director Tara Lain (pictured at right), who has been with the ETO program since its initial implementation seven years ago, has built three major programs: 

  • CC25I (California Connected by 25 Initiative)–Transition Age Youth:  This program tracks ILP services; youth outcomes across seven categories via survey/assessments; Post Emancipated youth outcomes and services; National Youth in Transitions Database determination; state and local mandated outcome data.  Both county personnel and county contracted service providers enter data, gather reports from the database and utilize project director training and technical assistance.
  • Team Decision Making (TDM):  Team meetings specific to child welfare placements (ages 0–21) from initial placement to placement moves to placement exit are tracked.  Data includes meeting and child level details, participants and outcomes.  Counties utilize the data in conjunction with CWS/CMS data to determine the effectiveness of teaming strategies over time.
  • Recruitment Development and Support (RDS): This program is utilized by county licensing and social work staff to track prospective resource parents from initial contact through licensing, ongoing training and supportive retention services. Outcomes are utilized to determine the success of recruitment strategies, targeted recruitment campaigns etc.

According to Ms. Lain, each county utilizes programs in slightly different ways. Over the last seven years, in consultation with each county and various stakeholders, she has modified county programs to meet specific outcome tracking needs.

“For instance, an employment tracking program for transition age youth was added to Santa Clara county’s CC25I program; county regional variables were added to San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside for better TDM tracking/management; recruitment partners including all faith-based organizations were added to the RDS database for Orange County, and all school district partners were added to Kern and Tulare county.” She notes, “Our scope of work is quite large and dynamic.”

The ETO software, developed by Social Solutions, was identified in 2006 as a product versatile enough to meet the needs of CC25I.  An enterprise license was purchased by Child and Family Policy Institute of California (CFPIC) with funding from The Annie E. Casey, Stuart, and The Walter S. Johnson foundations. Initially five counties entered into agreements with CFPIC and Social Solutions via sub-license agreements. Today 23 counties are participating, with that number expected to increase.

About Project Director Tara Lain
Ms. Lain has experience in research design, program evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. She was also a protective services social worker for seven years, working in case management, program evaluation, and outcomes development. She provides ETO software training, support, program design, implementation, and self-evaluation technical assistance to the 23 counties supported by the CFPIC (funded by the California Department of Social Services and participating counties). 

Ms. Lain is a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus with a B.A. with Honors in Psychology and minor in Cognitive Science, and an M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in data analysis and research.