Source of the data
The source of the data is the information systems of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Michigan Department of Social Services. In Illinois, the child protection event data comes from the Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) and the child welfare service events come from the Child and Youth Centered Information System (CYCIS). In Michigan, the child protection event data comes from the Protective Services Management Information System (PSMIS) and the child welfare service events come from the Children’s Services Management Information System (CSMIS).
Normalization of the data
Once the data were cleaned (primarily dates that were out of range), they were stored in a normalized relational database. Data in relational databases are kept in tables” which in this case stored attributes of children, investigations, child welfare cases, and placements separately. This structure allowed us a great deal of flexibility in our analyses.
Separation into events
Once our database was built, the first decision that was made was to store children’s service experiences as events. We created an event table and inserted events of interest from data records in other tables in our database. In this table, each record contained a child’s ID, date of event, and event type. Each child’s events were in order by date. The following outlines our event types and the corresponding dates that were used:
|Event Type||Event||Event Date|
|1||Indicated Investigation,No Foster Parent Involvement||Invest. date|
|2||Indicated Investigation, Foster Parent Involvement||Invest. date|
|3||Unfounded Investigation, No Foster Parent Involvement||Invest. date|
|4||Unfounded Investigation, Foster Parent Involvement||Invest.date|
|5||Pending Investigation (Illinois Only)||Invest. date|
|6||Child Welfare Case Opening||Case Opn date|
|8||Placement Beginning||Plcmnt bg date|
|9||Placement Ending||Plcmnt en date|
|B||Child Welfare Case Closing||Case Cls date|