Fostering Accountability: Using Evidence to Guide and Improve Child Welfare Policy

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.96
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $3.96   
  • New (2) from $55.63   
  • Used (7) from $3.96   


This work presents a model of child welfare decision making that holds public officials answerable for the integrity and validity of the actions they take on behalf of the children and families in their care.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Fostering Accountability is much more than an edited volume; it is a well-integrated volume that is principally written by Testa and Poertner, who author or co-author all but a few chapters. This matters because these practitioner scholars have constructed a narrative that builds across the chapters and yields significant conclusions in many chapters and provides a sturdy platform for powerful recommendations in the concluding chapter. The volume succeeds in heralding the advances of child welfare accountability, but also indicating the shortcomings, possible fixes, and a large vision for fostering the next wave of progress."
--Richard P. Barth, Professor and Dean, School of Social Work, University of Maryland

"Child welfare has come so far in recent decades; practice and policy are shifting rapidly to meet the unique needs of families. Importantly, critical inquiry, data gathering, and research experimentation have bolstered many significant reforms. Fostering Accountability provides a road map to help child welfare agency administrators and policy makers build upon these successes, consider course adjustments along the way, and determine how to best develop and maintain evidence-informed practices that can benefit families."
--Jill Duerr Berrick, Zellerbach Family Professor, School of Social Welfare and Co-Director, Center for Child and Youth Policy, University of California at Berkeley

"In this era of evaluation, outcomes, and performance-based contracting, data and research have increasingly become required tools for policy and decision makers in child welfare and human services."--Erwin McEwen, Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

"This book provides a balanced critique of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to accountability. It makes an invaluable contribution by showing the interconnections between the problems of improving the evidence base of practice and improving the audit system, making a strong argument that any approach that does not address both will be counterproductive."
--Eileen Munro, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

"This book brilliantly illustrates the need for the right kind of scientific investigations to answer some of the field's most challenging questions. The authors persuasively make the case that agencies serving our most powerless citizens, abused and neglected children, should be evaluated using the same technological tools the rest of us employ, such as controlled experiments, rather than relying on guesses. The book is critical reading not only for academics, but also for public officials and child advocates who want to measure human services policies' failures as well as their successes."--Benjamin Wolf, attorney and child advocate, lead counsel in the B. H. v. McEwen federal litigation on behalf of all of the foster children in Illinois

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195321302
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/4/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 667,954
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark F. Testa, PhD, is the Sandra Reeves Spears and John B. Turner Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John Poertner, DSW, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Mark F. Testa

2. Child Welfare in the 21st Century: Outcomes, Value Tensions, and Agency Risks
Mark F. Testa and John Poertner

3. Logic of Results-Oriented Accountability: Populations, Interventions, Comparisons, and Outcomes
Mark F. Testa

4. Monitoring Outcomes in Child Welfare
Tom McDonald and Mark F. Testa

5. Data for Analysis and Planning
Mark F. Testa

6. Research Review of Evidence in Child Welfare
John Poertner

7. Evaluation of Child Welfare Interventions
Mark F. Testa

8. Results-Oriented Management: Using Evidence for Quality Improvement
Terry Moore

9. Flexibility, Innovation, and Experimentation: The Rise and Fall of Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations
Mark Testa

10. Performance-Based Contracting: Aligning Incentives with Outcomes to Produce Results
Ken Taylor and Michael Shaver

11. Fostering and Sustaining University/Agency Partnerships
Joan Zlotnik

12. Conclusion
Mark F. Testa and John Poertner

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)