Policymakers want up-to-date information on how public resources are being used to impact outcomes for children and youth. Yet there is a lack of comprehensive data analysis, in an accessible format, that can be used to inform decision-making and public policy. Specifically, the availability of child welfare data connecting the use of resources and key child welfare practices with child and family outcomes has been limited.
Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Joelle Ruben worked with Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) to collect and develop a preliminary analysis of Pennsylvania’s Needs Based Plan and Budget data, including a summary of spending across cost categories and centers. She supported PPC’s communication and mobilization efforts that helped lead to the passage of Pennsylvania’s Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act in 2012. Joelle also helped expand PPC’s information base on several child welfare issue areas, strengthening the organization’s ability to advise and shape state finance reform efforts.