March 19, 2019 – My next visit was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Outcomes and Analysts team, one of 14 Developmental Services departments. As they explained it, this team is responsible for “analyzing the past and shaping the future.”
We started off with a fun icebreaker exercise where we all gathered in a circle and shared our name, role, years of service at Rady Children’s (79 days for me!) and unique skills. I then traveled to various stops around the room, learning about the vital role this team plays in promoting quality research that can improve outcomes.
Part of what they do involves collecting and analyzing data for the Developmental Screening & Enhancement Program, which addresses the developmental, social and emotional needs of children in foster care. I learned the program, which began in 1974 with a $25,000 grant and one specialist, has grown to be the largest grant-funded program at Rady Children’s.
I was impressed with how this team does so much more than compile data from assessments; they find meaning behind the numbers that ultimately improve the lives of children and families. For example, the results of a questionnaire that may have taken a parent 10 minutes to complete can identify a critical developmental concern in a child at an early age, steering that child toward a wealth of resources offered at Rady Children’s, including behavior and development classes, individual consultations and assistance with speech and language development.
As I moved around the room, I collected a number of puzzle pieces that I put together at the end of my visit. The puzzle revealed a great photo of kids, along with some charts and graphs representing the team’s findings. The puzzle also included the team’s internal mission to “promote quality research to improve the lives of children and families, support team members in providing excellence in care, and contribute to the knowledge base regarding program effectiveness.”
It’s safe to say this team is living up to that statement every day, and our community’s children are all the better for it. Thanks for the great visit!