OMS (Outcome Measurement System) Methodology
Hundreds of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) across the country participate in the Outcome Measurement System (OMS), collecting tens of thousands of surveys from families and team members ever year. The Initial Visit Caregiver Survey is offered to families at the end of their first visit to the center or within approximately 10 days of that visit, to gauge initial reaction to the center and services offered at that first visit. The Caregiver Follow-Up Survey is offered approximately two months after that first visit, although the exact timing is flexible to fit best with each center’s own follow-up procedures, and gives families a chance to reflect on their experience with the center and any follow-up services they may have received since the first visit. The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Survey is offered to all team members involved in the CAC/MDT process and centers are able to offer this survey on a flexible schedule, most often once or twice a year, giving team members routine opportunities to give feedback on the current functioning of the team across all cases. And our newest offering, the Youth Feedback Survey, allows CACs to ask youth aged 10 to 17 about their experience at the center. All OMS surveys can be collected in a variety of ways, including on computers/tablets at the center, links sent to caregivers or team members by email or in take-home handouts, phone calls with staff, interns, or volunteers conducting the survey verbally with participants, or paper surveys offered on-site or in take-home packets with return envelopes. Centers are encouraged to offer a variety of options, giving every caregiver, youth, and team member a chance to provide feedback and be engaged in the CAC process.
Results are submitted through a centralized online system. As soon as a survey is collected for an individual CAC, that response is automatically added to aggregated state and national reports, without any need for CACs to manually report their data to these organizations. This allows State Chapters and NCA to monitor trends, identifying training and technical assistance needs across the CAC movement.
On national reports, the percentage of caregivers, youth, or team members that select the various response options on each item are reported (for example, the percentage of caregivers that “Strongly Agree” to an item out of the total number of caregivers that responded to that item). On some reports, this is broken out by those that Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Somewhat Disagree, Strongly Disagree, or answer “I Don’t Know” to a particular item. On other reports, Strongly Agree and Somewhat Agree may be combined for an overall percentage that “Agree” with an item. On items that offer a “Not Applicable” response option, those responses are removed from analysis, such as items on the Caregiver Follow-Up Survey where “Not Applicable” means a family did not receive a specific service. or on the MDT Survey where “Not Applicable” means a team member is not involved in that particular part of the CAC/MDT process. Responses from individual CACs are not reported in national reports, although CACs are encouraged to use their online accounts to view their own results and compare these results to state and national averages for benchmarking purposes.