Prepared by: The Lewin Group: Karen Gardiner, Mike Fishman, Asaph Glosser, Matthew Langley and SRA International, Inc.: David Vennergrund
Prepared for:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
This report provides information about State child support enforcement offices experiences with data warehouses; that is, how they are used to help manage program operations, assess program effectiveness and efficiency, and inform policy development. This report summarizes findings from discussions with staff in nine states about the development, content, and capabilities of their data warehouses. The report indicates that states use their data warehouses for a variety of purposes. Some focus on Federal reporting; others use the data warehouse for specified child support activities (e.g., locate). Some use the data warehouse to manage their programs (e.g., identifying underperforming offices, overstaffed functions), while others use it to explore and assess new policies. Additionally, the data in the warehouse come from a variety of sources. Each state's CSE automated statewide system plays a prominent role. Also, in some states, the data warehouse directly interfaces or feeds into other systems (e.g., welfare). State data warehouses vary in terms of reporting capabilities. Some use them to generate Federal reports for the incentive-related data reliability audits or the annual self-assessments. Others use their data warehouses primarily for ad-hoc reports. State child support programs also grant different levels of access to their data warehouses. For example, in some instances, partner agencies can access limited data; in others, access is highly restricted. Finally, the state respondents had unique perspectives on best practices and advice for other child support programs interested in building data warehouses. Each of these areas is discussed in detailed in the report.