Office of Child Welfare, Evaluation, Support, and Technology (OCWEST) - TRC/FY20

Grants and Contracts Details


The Office of Child Welfare Evaluation, Support, and Technology at the University of Kentucky’s Training Resource Center (TRC) provides essential research, evaluation, and support activities and services to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) in its ongoing efforts to meet the Children and Family Services Review performance assessments in the areas of child safety, permanency, and well-being. In effect, the Office of Child Welfare Evaluation, Support, and Technology (OCWEST) is a research and service unit linking CHFS, UK TRC programs, other University Training Consortium members/universities, and community partners for the promotion of child welfare. OCWEST provides research and evaluation oversight and execution to CHFS’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) in several ways. OCWEST faculty and staff provide expertise in the areas of child welfare research and evaluation and provide consultation and implementation support in research areas such as methodology selection, high level data analyses, data interpretation, and report writing. In addition, OCWEST faculty and staff serve as research and evaluation advisors to DCBS and UTC partners regarding overall research and evaluation capacity building for the Department. In order to provide the most useful and efficacious recommendations, OCWEST faculty and staff will use data-driven, evidence-based information to guide the work. Faculty and staff will use existing DCBS data as well as other available data sets to explore and assess the current strengths and challenge areas for the department. In addition to basing all work on evidence-based science, the faculty and staff will employ the use of translational science techniques to help assist DCBS in furthering the mission to provide leadership in building high quality community based human service systems that enhance safety, permanency, well-being and self-sufficiency for Kentucky's families, children and vulnerable adults. Specific research and evaluation components have been identified as needing the expertise of OCWEST faculty and staff. These areas of focus include the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project Evaluation, the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), and the state’s Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). OCWEST faculty and staff will advise, consult, and develop research protocols related to these projects. Tasks may include research design, methodology, data analyses, and reporting. In addition, OCWEST faculty and staff will provide leadership for DCBS evaluation efforts related to service provision and policy development. This may include consultation with Central Office and DCBS Service Regions in areas such as research methodologies and data, program and policy advisement based on data findings, conceptualizing evaluation protocols, development and oversight of data collection plans and data collection tools related to mandated program/data collection (CFSR, AFSR, Title IV-E Waiver, PIP), oversight and management of data analyses, assistance with IRB processes, report writing, and consultation to conceptualize and develop future research and evaluation initiatives in partnership with DCBS and other child welfare experts. Additionally, OCWEST faculty and staff will lead and participate in strategic dissemination activities (e.g. conference presentations, research papers and briefs, etc.) in order to facilitate information sharing among the larger child welfare community. The purpose of the work of OCWEST is to provide solution-driven services, consultation, and recommendations for improving child and family outcomes. In addition to research and evaluation services, OCWEST provides direct and indirect support services and activities. Directly, OCWEST performs the following critical activities/services for the Cabinet and the CFSR goals: (1) Training and promotion of organizational growth for human services workers throughout the Commonwealth. OCWEST personnel are involved in various Cabinet training initiatives. In addition, OCWEST staff are significantly involved in the development and maintenance of on-line education opportunities for CHFS staff, university students, and resource parents such as Credit for Learning, internet/web-based academic course work, and web-based sites dedicated to training/educating CHFS resource parents--ensuring that College of Social Work curriculum committees, Accreditation and University Technology Services outcomes are met. (2) Linking UK with the University Training Consortium (UTC). The UTC has repeatedly proven itself an important catalyst for the advancement of child welfare throughout the Commonwealth. OCWEST joins UK’s College of Social Work and the TRC to this important consortium. (3) Linking UK to Cabinet field staff and foster parents. OCWEST staff not only routinely meet and communicate with various Cabinet personnel and foster parents to promote child welfare but also ensure quality compliance to Cabinet objectives and goals. (4) Serving in a training and facilitation capacity for Cabinet learning initiatives for CHFS staff and/or resource parents. (5) Developing, supporting, and training activities contributing to continuous quality improvement efforts of the service regions. OCWEST personnel are instrumental in making important opportunities available to help educate and train Cabinet staff and resource parents in “real-time” situations that require timely and relevant responses. (6) Lodging for trainers and conferencing/meeting coordinating for Cabinet functions. OCWEST personnel are directly involved in the arrangements of lodging and meeting space arrangements for Cabinet trainers and qualifying trainings within the Lexington area. Each fiscal year, OCWEST personnel coordinate numerous cabinet and cabinet-related events, such as Cabinet staff trainings, regional trainings, and events for the Foster Parent Mentor Program, Adoption Support for Kentucky, Foster Parent Training Program, Citizen Review Panels, and Medically Complex Training Program. FY 2020 The Office of Child Welfare Evaluation, Support, and Technology also provides indirect/support activities and services for the successful completion of Cabinet/CFSR objectives. These include: (1) Training. OCWEST personnel support Cabinet-related trainings through facilitation, logistics, and event planning and coordination. (2) Administration, supervision, and clerical staff support. OCWEST serves as the administrative component of the UK TRC and handles such vital functions as Human Resources, Budgets, UK administrative requirements, supervision of personnel, supervision of programs, quality control, and clerical support as related to the overall goal of successfully achieving the Cabinet’s designated outcomes. (3) Event/meeting coordination. On average, OCWEST personnel handle hundreds of Cabinet-related trainings per year. (4) Program evaluation. OCWEST personnel are involved in oversight, evaluation, and documentation of how TRC programs are meeting and/or exceeding Cabinet/CFSR mandates. (5) Technical support. OCWEST personnel not only routinely develop, maintain, and troubleshoot databases and websites; they also handle the day-to-day computer and applications problems that arise.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/20


  • Eastern Kentucky University


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