Project HOME Data and Evaluation Implementation Plan

Organization: 
Project HOME
City: 
Philadelphia
State: 
Pennsylvania
Organization Overview: 

The mission of the Project HOME community is to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society. We strive to create a safe and respectful environment where we support each other in our struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization.

Project HOME achieves its mission through a continuum of services comprised of street outreach, a range of supportive housing, and comprehensive services. We address the root causes of homelessness through neighborhood-based affordable housing, economic development, and environmental enhancement programs, as well as through providing access to employment opportunities; adult and youth education; and health care.

Project HOME is committed to social and political advocacy. An integral part of our work is education about the realities of homelessness and poverty and vigorous advocacy on behalf of and with homeless and low-income persons for more just and humane public policies.

Project HOME is committed to nurturing a spirit of community among persons from all walks of life, all of whom have a role to play in making this a more just and compassionate society.

Project Name: 
Project HOME Data and Evaluation Implementation Plan
Project Type: 
Performance Management; Program Development
Project Overview: 

Our organization has seen unprecedented growth in the past several years. As such, our need for commensurate data structures and reporting has dramatically increased. Although our population and data needs have rapidly expanded, our capacity to accurately capture, manage, and use data to tell our story has lagged behind. The entire Project HOME community depends on our internal data system to manage residential sites and track progress toward long-term goals. 

Project HOME is embarking on an aggressive plan to rebuild our internal data system; implement standards for the collection and use of data; and design ongoing evaluation efforts. We believe that these are essential for the Residential staff, management team, and Board to evaluate and improve our work.

The steps in this process include:

1) We are updating our internal case management system (ETO, or Efforts to Outcomes). We will be converting from legacy features in the old system to a newer, more streamlined version. Through this work we have the opportunity to significantly restructure what and how information is collected, the flow of information through the system, and our reporting. 

2) We are adopting new documentation standards to be rolled out in coordination with the updated system and more rigorous ongoing monitoring for data quality. We are also creating more formalized templates and systems for data review and planning for more quality assurance and risk management efforts. We will create a more standard menu of reporting options and identify key health indicators for the organization to be presented on a dashboard.

3) We will develop ETO and standards (clinical documentation, etc.) standards for new staff and regular refresher trainings for all staff to ensure compliance.

4) Finally, because of current and anticipated changes to the way social services are funded – more of a fee for service model – we are interested in ensuring that our data system is ahead of the curve with respect to audit compliance and billing functionality.

The goal for this year is to focus on creating better structures for how we collect data, while the next year will be focused on how we use data. 

To this end, we could use Fels students to explore how other organizations collect and use data. Some specific initial questions include:

-What do comparable supportive housing providers use to measure the health of their organization?

-Are there specific industry standards we should be using?

-What’s the best way for organizations to develop metrics that are tied to strategic plans, performance evaluations, and are meaningful in evaluating the health of the program?

-How have organizations operationalized more data-driven approaches? 

- What tools, training, and resources do they provide staff?

-How do organizations roll out Quality Assurance plans? 

-How do comparable organizations evaluate and display program performance?

Deliverable: 

The successful project will include an overview/best practices report of the findings from other organizations as well as a timeline and initial plan for implementing comparable strategies at Project HOME. The report should also include recommendations for Project HOME that can easily be synthesized in a presentation/document to staff or board members. 

Spots Available: 
1
Eligibility: 
Executive; Full-Time
To Apply: 

To apply for this project, please contact Cassie Tomkins at ctomkins@upenn.edu.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu