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The Center for States designs products, services, and learning experiences to increase understanding and awareness, and build knowledge and skills. The Center focuses its attention on developing products and resources on several core organizational and practice topics.

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The Center for States provides research assistance and responds to information requests on building capacity in child welfare.

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Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors doodle video is a short, animated video that follows a child involved in a child welfare investigation. The video describes what buzzwords are and illustrates the impact they can have on children and families. It also demonstrates how to recognize buzzwords and offers strategies for transforming buzzwords into objective, behavior-based descriptors.


Explores the fifth task of exploring possible root causes and using data to validate them. Taking time to revisit data, helps teams align on true root cause(s) before moving towards possible solutions.


Presents the sixth and final task, isolating the root cause or causes to address. By isolating, or selecting, the root cause or causes to address as part of a change initiative, teams are able to consider feasible solutions to address the problem.


Presents the first task of identifying a problem and provides examples of how to apply strategies. Needs and opportunities for improvement generally emerge through an analysis of source of data or information.


Explores the second task of creating a data plan to investigate the problem further. Creating a well-thought-out data plan helps the team plan for exploring the identified problem and move toward identifying a possible root cause or causes.


Presents the third task of collecting and analyzing data identified in the data plan to help answer research questions. Examining data helps teams tell a more complete story and understand the scope and impact the problem is having on the community.


Introduces the fourth task of identifying possible contributing factors and root causes using different methods. A root cause analysis is a structured approach to understand why a problem occurs using data. Understanding why a problem or unmet need exists helps teams better identify the potential solutions to it.