FAQ: CFSR Data Profiles
Updated for CFSR Round 4!
Read responses to questions about the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) State Data Profiles.
Last updated: October 2022
A CFSR Data Profile is a document produced by the Children’s Bureau (CB) to provide each state performance results on the CFSR statewide data indicators. For more information and an example, review the Child and Family Services Review State Data Profile Quick Reference, which has been updated for CFSR Round 4.
CFSR Data Profiles are based on the semiannual submission of Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data by states; they are produced by CB and shared with states approximately every 6 months, in February and August of each year.
CFSR Data Profiles are sent to designated staff in state child welfare agencies by the state’s CB Regional Office Specialist. CB requests state child welfare agencies share a copy and discuss state performance on the CFSR statewide data indicators with key partners and stakeholders. Charts and tables showing state CFSR Data Profile performance information are available on the secure CFSR Portal Online Monitoring System (OMS). Access to OMS requires login credentials approved by each state. You may contact your CB Regional Office to find out who to contact in your state child welfare agency to obtain a copy of the CFSR Data Profile. You also can email the Child Welfare Review Project Help Desk at email@example.com to request access to the CFSR portal and OMS.
CFSR Data Profiles include:
- Visualizations of risk-standardized performance (RSP) on the seven statewide data indicators
- Risk-standardized and observed performance on the seven statewide data indicators
- Results of data quality checks on the AFCARS and National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) files used to calculate performance on the indicators
- Footnotes and additional information on terminology used in the profile
RSP is used to compare your state’s performance to national performance. Observed performance is used to determine how your state performs based on the state’s actual child population, to see changes over time, and to identify areas of strengths and improvement needs.
CB also provides states a supplemental context data workbook that augments the CFSR statewide indicator data and can broaden the understanding of performance and outcomes that children are experiencing. The workbook shows observed performance on the CFSR indicators by age, race/ethnicity, and locality. It also presents additional information, including general child population size; foster care entry rates by state, age, and locality; and the percentage of children who achieve permanency within 12, 18, and 24 months. The data included in the supplemental data files will continue to expand as new views of state AFCARS/NCANDS data are identified and developed to provide states more context for understanding state performance.
To learn more about the CFSR Data Profile and see an example, take a look at the Child and Family Services Review State Data Profile Quick Reference, which has been updated for CFSR Round 4.
National performance is how the nation as a whole performed on a given data indicator. National performance on the indicators is calculated using fixed data periods and differs by statewide data indicator. See the CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicator Data Dictionary for information about data periods used to calculate national performance for each indicator.
The national performance is used as a reference point to determine if a state’s RSP was statistically better, worse, or no different than the nation after taking into account some of the factors over which states have little control.
For example, the national performance for permanency in 12 months for children entering foster care is 35.2%. This means that for all children in the nation who entered foster care during the fixed 12-month period, 35.2% of those children achieved permanency within 12 months of entering foster care.
Find the national performance for each statewide data indicator on the indicator-specific factsheets in the Statewide Data Indicator Series.
Observed performance describes how a state performed on a given indicator, without any adjustments. For example, in State A, 1,200 children entered foster care in a 12-month period, and of those children, 405 achieved permanency within 12 months of entering foster care. State A’s observed performance is 33.8% (405 divided by 1,200 = 33.8%).
The CFSR Statewide Data Indicator Series and the CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicator Data Dictionary provide information on how each indicator is calculated.
Each indicator represents a cohort of children that spans a 12-month period. The 12-month period differs across the indicators because some indicators require a longer period of time (additional data periods) to assess performance. This results in use of different data periods to calculate performance on some of the indicators.
For example, the statewide data indicator “recurrence of maltreatment” uses the first 12-month period to establish the cohort of children by identifying children who had at least one substantiated or indicated maltreatment report in a 12-month period. The next 12 months of data provides time to follow the maltreatment victims to determine if they experienced another victimization within 12 months of the initial victimization.
For more information on the data files needed to calculate each indicator and the associated period under review, please see the forthcoming publication, “Instructions and Tips for Running the CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicators Syntax.”
Find information about using CFSR statewide data indicators to assess performance on child safety and permanency outcomes. Updated for Round 4!