Our teams develop transformative innovations that have an impact across agencies, cities, counties, regions, and states. The Data Leaders program is a hands on process where participants design and implement local and statewide data-driven projects. We work with our teams to infuse each local innovation or change initiative with technology to ensure a state-of-the-art approach to every aspect of child welfare.

In New Mexico Data Leaders, participants used technology to strengthen foster care recruitment, education and retention. One NM Data Leaders project focused on assessing the state's foster and adoptive parent education process. A new process was designed that featured a blended learning experience with web-based instruction and interactive classroom activities. The training program, called Relative Adoptive and Foster Parent Training (RAFT), strengthens the consistent delivery and content of the Bureau of Foster Care and Adoption's statewide training.

The RAFT website serves as a virtual parent resource center with four lessons, tutorials, post-lesson surveys and links to research and resources. The site houses a series of booklets focused on the RAFT booklets below, provided to each training participant on the site, support classroom, individual and web-based instruction. The RAFT site also serves as a tool for staff and trainer development.

Foster Parent Course Booklets

  • The Rights of Foster Parents and Biological Parents
  • The Rights of Children and Youth in Care
  • The Protective Service Process for Relative, Adoptive and Foster Parents
  • New Mexico Policies and Procedures: Roles and Responsibilities for Foster Parents
  • 10 Questions About Cultures: Appreciating Differences and Understanding Biases
  • 10 Questions About Child Placements
  • 10 Questions About Trauma and Foster Care
  • 10 Questions About Attachment Issues and Foster Care
  • 10 Questions About Child Development for Foster Parents
  • 10 Questions About Youth Services
  • 10 Questions About Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Guide for Foster Parents Talking with Birth Children
  • Foster Parent Time + Travel Activities
  • Reasonable + Prudent Parenting Activities
  • Understanding Foster Parenting + Confidentiality
  • Effective Discipline Strategies for Foster Children + Youth

For more information about the redesign of the RAFT website or to meet your local needs with your foster parent education process—please contact us.


In New Mexico Data Leaders, one participant working as a Child Protective Services county office manager also taught at Eastern New Mexico University. When she completed Data Leaders she proposed to her Dean developing a course using the model—a blended learning and project-based process. The course is currently in development with Safety+Success Communities, and instead of focusing on project areas within child welfare systems, class projects will focus on community innovations that address adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The course is titled:

The Language and Application of Social Research:
A Data-Driven and Result-Focused ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Prevention Process

This curriculum brings the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process designed for child welfare to the higher education realm for future social workers seeking a data-driven and result-focused practice. The course text is Research Methods for Social Workers: An Introduction by R. Grinnel, M. Williams, M. & Y. Unrau, Y. (2016). The undergraduate course is in development and scheduled to launch August 2018. The course follows the CQI process of assess, plan, act and evaluate as students collaborate with local community agencies, part of the student’s field work, to develop ACEs prevention initiatives.

For more information about the course or developing new lessons and courses to meet your local needs—please contact us.