Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

From ACF, Children’s Bureau, and the T/TA Network

Resources & Publications

  • NRCPFC Permanency Planning Today: Continuous Quality Improvement
    This issue of Permanency Planning Today, NRCPFC’s bi-annual newsletter, focuses on continuous quality improvement (CQI) in the field of child welfare.  It provides information on the Children’s Bureau’s (CB) Information Memorandum relating to CQI and their efforts to support States throughout the process.  This issue features an article about Kentucky’s CQI structure and experience in utilizing CQI, as well as an article on important considerations and aspects of fidelity measurement.  It also highlights the work of the CB Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Network related to CQI, as well as CQI resources from the CB and T/TA Network. (Spring 2014)
  • Children’s Bureau Express (CBX): September 2013 Edition
    This issue of CBX spotlights Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and looks at how the child welfare field is using the philosophy of CQI to evaluate and improve interventions for children and families.  It also highlights a new Children's Bureau CQI Training project.  Children’s Bureau Express includes the following sections: News from the Children’s Bureau; Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates; Child Welfare News; Strategies and Tools for Practice; Resources; and, Trainings and Conferences.  (September 2013)
  • Leading Adaptively in Child Welfare
    This issue of Child Welfare Matters, the newsletter of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), focuses on leading adaptively in child welfare and highlights the concepts and tools of adaptive leadership.  It describes the work by NRCOI and Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA) with New Mexico to use these tools as the agency implements a child welfare practice model.  Additionally, this issue includes tips for using adaptive leadership concepts in continuous quality improvement (CQI) systems and tips for social workers exercising adaptive leadership on the front lines.  It describes how NRCOI is integrating adaptive leadership into training and technical assistance (T/TA) services and provides additional resources. (Summer 2013)

  • Quality Improvement Centers
    The Children’s Bureau funds three National Quality Improvement Centers that generate and disseminate research and knowledge in specific focus areas with the goal of helping agencies, managers, workers, and other child welfare professionals with service delivery.  This resource directs readers to sections of The Children’s Bureau’s Training & Technical Assistance Network 2013 Directory for the three centers: 
    • National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services
    • National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood
    • National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System

Descriptions and contact information are provided for each center. (2013)

  • NRCOI Continuous Quality Improvement in Child Welfare Project 
    The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) began a national project focused on continuous quality improvement (CQI) in child welfare.  NRCOI reached out to all state CQI leads asking them to participate in a phone interview focused on their state's CQI system, and received a great response.  This new website section contains descriptive information on CQI systems from 33 different states, topic-based summaries, CQI resources, and information on T/TA provided by the NRCOI and the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRC-CWDT).  It is the NRCOI’s hope that this website will serve as a resource for CQI leaders, child welfare administrators, and policy makers to generate ideas and provide information on how states approach continuous quality improvement. (2012)
  • Using Continuous Quality Improvement to Improve Child Welfare Practice: A Framework for Implementation
    This resource from the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement, a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the T/TA Network, and Casey Family Programs provides an overview of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) framework developed as a result of a meeting of 28 national child welfare CQI experts on February 16-17, 2005.  This summary outlines the key principles, framework, and key components of CQI. (Revised May 2005)


  • Continuous Quality Improvement Toolkit
    This toolkit from The National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care describes continuous quality improvement (CQI) and explains why it is important to use a CQI toolkit.  It presents systems of care principles and values, highlights the goals of CQI, and details its various phases.  Examples from the field are also provided.

Webinars, Webcasts, and Videos

Trainings & Curricula

  • CFSR Information Portal E-Training Platform—Section 3: Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Child Welfare
    This module of the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) E-Training Platform, which is designed to provide Federal and State Review Team members with the information and skills needed to participate successfully in the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), focuses on CQI.  Section 3 includes: defining CQI and building a CQI framework, effective leadership and creating a learning environment, functional components and processes of CQI, implementing and sustaining systems change, and additional resources.  This Technical Assistance resource from the Children’s Bureau is maintained by JBS International, Inc.
  • Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Case Flow Management
    This animated online learning course from the National Center for State Courts, one of the partner organizations that makes up the NRCLJI, offers guidance and tools to improve child welfare case flow management including CQI and Toolkit measures:
    • Module 1 is an introduction
    • Module 2 covers permanency, safety, and due process measures
    • Module 3 (when released) will cover well-being measures. 

From the States

    • What is CQI?
    • What are the key elements of CQI?
    • What are the internal and external benefits of CQI?
    • What are the goals of CQI?
    • Who is involved in CQI?
    • What is the CQI team structure?
    • What are CQI team roles?
    • What are the steps in the CQI process?
    • Who is the Council on Accreditation (COA)?
    • What are the COA Public Agency- Performance and Quality Improvement (PA-PQI) 8th edition standards?

It also includes resources on customer satisfaction surveys and CQI reports.

  • New Jersey: Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
    This resource from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) highlights how the Department utilizes CQI and provides CQI tools, as well as information on New Jersey DCF’s five strategic goals.
    • In Pursuit of Better Outcomes: Putting CQI in North Carolina’s Child Welfare Toolbox
      Training Matters is a publication of the North Carolina Division of Social Services (NC DSS) Children’s Statewide Training Partnership.  This issue of Training Matters describes the4-step CQI process model that has been adopted by North Carolina, which includes the following steps: adopt outcomes, indicators, and standards; collect data and information; review, analyze, and interpret data; and apply learning.  It also notes the use of CQI to develop the Reaching for Accountability and Excellence in Practice (REAP), a model for creating an achievement-focused child welfare system, and provides a profile of REAP.  (October 2012)
  • Wisconsin: Continuous Quality Improvement of Child Welfare
    On this webpage from the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families (DCF), reports and memos pertaining to continuous quality improvement (CQI) in various counties in the State are presented. (Last revised May 2013)


  • Child Welfare Information Gateway: Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Committees
    Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) committees are convened to review processes, practices, and outcomes of child welfare systems.  Resources in this section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway website include descriptions of State CQI committees and their operations, examples of materials used in their reviews, and reports and recommendations issued.
  • National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC)
    The QIC-EC, a service of the Children’s Bureau, is a five-year project that generates and disseminates robust evidence and new knowledge about program and systems strategies that contribute to child maltreatment prevention and optimal child development.  It is a partnership of three national organizations (Center for the Study of Social Policy; ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families; and the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds) in a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Burau.


Last updated 4/11/13