Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Wisconsin Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement System

Wisconsin’s child welfare system uses Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) to better understand what affects our system’s performance. This deeper understanding helps to guide improvements to child welfare practice, processes, and outcomes.     

What is CQI?

CQI is a circular problem-solving approach. The CQI process begins with many sources of data, such as case record reviews, KidStat measures, and performance dashboards. This data is analyzed to create information and knowledge used to make improvements to Wisconsin’s child welfare system.

Federal CQI Requirements

Federal regulations require all states to have a quality assurance system to assess services as part of their Child and Family Services Plan.  The Children’s Bureau carries out the Child and Family Service Review. The CFSR monitors our quality assurance system.

  • Round 1 CFSRs took place between 2000 and 2004.
  • Round 2 CFSRs took place between 2007 and 2010.
  • Round 3 CFSRs will happen between 2015 and 2018. Wisconsin’s Round 3 CFSR is scheduled for 2018.

To learn more about the CFSR Round 3, visit the federal resources page.

In 2012, the federal Children’s Bureau directed states in an informational memorandum to enhance their quality assurance systems through a CQI approach.

Wisconsin’s CQI System

The federal government requires states to have a CQI system to assess and improve child welfare practice and outcomes.

Our state’s child welfare Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system consists of multiple components.  These components include qualitative and quantitative data, improvement projects, and experimental solutions. The foundation of Wisconsin’s CQI system is collaboration with partners within and across state agencies, county and tribal child welfare agencies, and other key stakeholders such as the Wisconsin Children’s Court Improvement Program, and partners in the university system.

Child Welfare Case Records CQI Reports are published by the Bureau of Performance Management several times a year.

From 2005 to 2014, the state used the Quality Service Review protocol. In 2014, DCF updated the CQI process.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s Child Welfare CQI System here by watching a short video.

For more information about Wisconsin’s Child Welfare CQI System contact DCFChildWelfareCQI@Wisconsin.gov