Another critical process for leaders is holding staff at all levels accountable for using information as the key to making the strategy work and to achieving real improvements in agency performance. A performance-driven culture means that the leader has committed to:
Accountability refers to the continual assessment of practice, organizational and financial outcomes to determine a standard of program effectiveness aligned with the agency mission in meeting the needs of all children, youth and families served.
Accountability for managing agency performance falls into the following categories:
Compliance with State and Federal Requirements
Public agencies are responsible for managing and monitoring a private provider’s compliance with various state and federal regulations and with the terms of the contract and for ensuring that service delivery complies with contract provisions.
Managing fiscal performance focuses on whether program cost information, including administrative costs, is reasonable and necessary to achieve program objectives.
Frontline staff should understand that data are used to improve interventions they make with children, youth and families. For supervisors, information should serve as a “familiar” supportive tool in the decision-making process and used to improve performance.
Agency leaders are responsible for building a competent workforce to deliver the service array outlined in the practice model and must therefore manage the performance of staff at every level. Both public agencies and providers need good data for operational decisions and for managing performance in the capacities listed above. To achieve this, the information management systems must be able to track performance from a variety of different perspectives — child and family status and demographics, service utilization, service/episode costs linked with case plan goals, treatment and outcomes.
Contextual factors to consider when forging ahead with this process include the following:
Performance based contracting is increasingly being used by public agencies to monitor and evaluate performance to improve
outcomes for all children, youth and families served.