A Summary of the Meeting of May 30-June 1, 2001. Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Introduction


Harold Richman and Mairead Reidy of Chapin Hall welcomed the participants and introduced Martha Moorehouse of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Martha Moorehouse

Moorehouse began by explaining why it was important to meet, even though the grant period has ended. She said in part:

We thought a lot about whether it made sense to do a meeting after the project was over. We went into the project believing this was about working with states where they were and helping them move along, individually and together, in work with child indicators. Fundamentally, this project is part of government working both at the national level and at the state level in sustaining work on indicators. We decided that if this is about sustaining work on indicators, then we would like to see you after the grants, with the idea that this was part of your sustained work.

Moorehouse said that through the input of the states, the resource people attending this meeting, and the staff at Chapin Hall, the meeting was developed as an effort not just to show off what had been accomplished, but to move the work forward. She and the meeting planners had assessed the remaining issues and work that was still needed, and identified the assistance and discussion that could be helpful. Moorehouse noted that Ann Segal, formerly of ASPE and now of the Packard Foundation, had been a big part of the effort and had joined the meeting. She also said that ASPE will continue, through its own and interagency activities, to make available a variety of federal statistics on child well-being.

Moorehouse said that the Indicators project came out of work that ASPE launched as welfare reform was occurring and was part of a larger policy interest in examining effects of welfare reform. The effort began by working with states that were conducting specific welfare evaluations that included outcomes for children. Some of those early studies have not been published. That work reinforced ASPE's feeling that the opportunities to conduct randomized experiments to illuminate policy issues involving children are few. This project was aimed at working with states to help them develop tools to monitor child well-being over time, and to do this work in partnership with state government and with a strong focus on building state capacity.

Mairéad Reidy

Reidy said the aim of the meeting was to help sustain the work by providing an opportunity to discuss successes and new challenges and also to have a chance to reflect on the future use of indicators. She thanked those who had helped shape the agenda and welcomed invited guests.