SOURCE: Social Solutions

July 08, 2008 11:18 ET

Monterey County Leverages Social Solutions Software to Implement New Differential Response Program

Monterey Implements Innovative Program, Bridging the Community and Child Welfare Agencies

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - Social Solutions, a leading provider of performance management technology to the nonprofit and government sectors, is recognizing Monterey County's innovative use of Social Solutions ETO Software® for a new Differential Response program. Monterey County, California is leveraging ETO (Efforts-To-Outcomes) as the central platform for community organizations and agencies to share information, track efforts and measure outcomes.

Differential response is a modern, definitive approach to ensuring child welfare through partnerships between state and county agencies and community organizations. These partnerships enable those who typically do not qualify for county assistance to obtain the support they might otherwise not receive. Traditionally, child welfare systems evaluate all cases based on the same criteria, regardless of their severity, and are often forced to turn away those cases that do not meet certain criteria to qualify for assistance. These unassisted cases often slip through the cracks and then escalate.

In their effort to incorporate differential response, Monterey County is actively seeking alternatives to traditional responses and offering much needed answers. Monterey County's specific program was introduced a year ago, after an extensive research and planning process, in an effort to make significant strides in the administration of child welfare assistance in Monterey County. Shortly after implementing efforts, the team spearheading the endeavor recognized the need to gather information, evaluate assessments, and manage performance in order to reach their full potential.

"Making as significant an impact on child welfare services as possible drove us to look beyond our resources for ways to enhance our efforts. We reviewed many different tools available and made a recommendation for ETO based on the flexibility of the platform and its open architecture," said Daniel Bach, Senior Management Analyst for the Monterey County Department of Social Services, Family and Children Services. "It was important that we could customize the platform to suit the various needs of the organizations in the county."

Steve Butz, President and Founder of Social Solutions, believes that especially in collaborative environments, such as those necessary among service organizations, the community, and government agencies when implementing a differential response approach, a system for consistent evaluation and reliable measurement is essential for program success. "Efforts are more effective when all contributors are held to the same standards, are using the same metrics, and can see connections and status across essential components and characteristics by which cases are evaluated," said Butz.

As interest in the differential response intervention approach continues to grow in counties and states across the country, communities and service organizations will need to come together to implement infrastructures that foster collaboration, allow for consistency in evaluation across community organizations and government agencies, and enhance the effectiveness of the efforts. The Social Solutions ETO platform is an easy-to-use, central hub where information can be collected, shared and analyzed to ensure the appropriate level of care is provided.

"Counties and community-based organizations want independence, while being able to transfer resources and referrals across organizations," said Bach. "ETO is a system that is simple enough that community partners will use it, yet flexible enough that different counties and community-based organizations can tailor it to fit their needs."

"Social Solutions was founded with the sole mission of helping human service and nonprofit organizations impact change," said Steve Butz, founder and president of Social Solutions. "Differential response is exactly the kind of program we envisioned a technology platform such as ETO would help better serve a community, population or region."

The growing interest in the differential response approach was evident this week with more than 150 participants joining Social Solutions' webinar on the topic. For information on upcoming Social Solutions webinars please visit www.socialsolutions.com.

About Social Solutions and ETO Software®

Social Solutions challenges and equips human service providers and their funders to turn good intent into measurable change by relating efforts to outcomes. Social Solutions' industry leading performance management solution, ETO Software, is used by thousands of organizations to clearly assess which of their efforts is having the greatest impact on the social issues they strive to address. With this knowledge, organizations can optimize their performance by reinforcing what works, adjusting what doesn't work, and more easily reporting quantified successes to key stakeholders.

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