Accountability via performance measurement: the case of child protection services
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Since the 1980s child protection agencies have been subject to enormous scrutiny about perceived poor performance. Concerns are expressed about the capacity of services to cope with demand, the quality of practice, out-of-home care standards, and poor outcomes for children. Enter performance measurement. Using quantitative data to monitor effectiveness and efficiency, performance measurement promises improved resource management and accountability. This article discusses national, Victorian and Queensland child protection performance measurement regimes. It examines the extent to which performance measurement is used to promote accountability, as well as the indirect role of performance measurement in communicating policy intent. It suggests performance measurement is under-utilised in child protection, but could be enhanced to contribute to better outcomes for children and families.
Australian Journal of Public Administration
Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.The definitive version is available at www.interscience.wiley.com