KeepCount was the result of a side project that ended up being used as a work project whose lessons-learned got applied to another side project. Relatively short, strange, trip. The real beginning was my desire to pick up Django, a Python web framework that I would strongly recommend, as a new skill. In doing so, I wanted a project setup that I could easily test, replicate, and deploy into a production environment at need.
Culture change is difficult; this is especially true when the change is being driven by technology and techniques that are not well understood or clearly communicated. In addition to the normal sources of resistance seen in any organizational change effort, data advocates are faced with fear of transparency, lack of organizational trust, and delayed payoff of data collection. This presentation will highlight the common signs and causes of resistance to adopting a data-driven approach to casework in a social service organization.
During 2017, the state of Mississippi entered a period governed by a court order known as the Stipulated Third Remedial Order, or STRO, pursuant to the ongoing Olivia Y lawsuit. This order included language compelling the state of Mississippi to establish baselines, in partnership with an independent consulting agency, with regards to caseworker contacts with foster children, maltreatment in care occurrence, permanency outcomes for foster children, and statistics related to adoption of foster children.
Repository In the spring of 2017, I prepared a demonstration of an interactive reporting system built on the R/Shiny platform for providing up-to-date and actionable information to MDCPS Social Work Supervisors and Social Workers. The system was built on a philosophy that effective management by data is predicated on providing the right information to the right people in as readily accessible format as possible. For a direct supervisor, this meant providing information about the individual performance of each supervised social worker, highlighting areas needing improvement before a policy requirement had failed to be met.