Monday, August 16, 2010

Assess the Problem

Strategy #1 of the EIP strategic plan, Early Intervention and Prevention: Building a Foundation for Family and Community Success is Assess the Problem. What does assess the problem mean? And why is it important? According to Management Sciences for Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund, “identifying a very clear defined and specific problem is the first critical step to successfully implementing the problem-solving process.” The EIP Initiative agrees with this and has sought to identify the problem of abuse, neglect and delinquency in Marion County by conducting surveys, hosting a community roundtable, meeting with service providers, asking consumers of services their thoughts, and conducting research. All of these efforts led to the conclusion that children and families in Marion County are in need of a well-coordinated early intervention and prevention system of care in order to be safe, supported, and successful.

Now that we have identified the problem and developed some strategies to address the problem, we are collecting data to help us describe the problem to the fullest extent. We are collecting data from the Department of Child Services and the Marion County Superior Court, Juvenile Division to help us answer such questions as: frequency, who, where, and when for children entering the child welfare and juvenile justice system.

The data we obtain will help us to continue to analyze the problem and determine if the strategies we’ve identified and are implementing are effectively addressing the problem and reducing the number of children who are abused or neglected or commit status or criminal offenses.

If you enjoy analyzing and reporting on data and would like to help implement the EIP strategic plan by joining the Data Collection & Dissemination Implementation Team please contact Shanna Malott at 317-921-1233 or

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