Performance Management for State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies Serving Transition-Aged Youth (Issue Brief)

Issue No. 03
Publisher: Rockville, MD: TransCen, Inc.
Sep 11, 2017
Authors
Rachel Miller, Purvi Sevak, and Todd Honeycutt

Key Findings:

  • Performance management processes can help VR staff use data to identify practices that are working well, change those that are not working well, and improve outcomes for clients.
  • The performance management cycle is a flexible and ultimately repeating process applicable to a wide variety of program, policy, and agency settings, beginning with identifying a problem or question that VR staff wish to address, and ending with using the findings to make decisions, change behaviors, improve outcomes, and inform further performance management.
  • The most appropriate tools and techniques to answer a specific research question or address a specific problem depend on a variety of factors, and can include descriptive analysis, predictive analytics, process or formative evaluation, impact or outcomes evaluation, and rapid-cycle evaluation.
This brief illustrates how state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use performance management tools and processes to leverage their data systems to improve their programs. VR agencies play an important role in delivering services to transition-aged youth with disabilities who are preparing to move into employment or postsecondary education. VR agencies collect, or can obtain, large amounts of data on client services and outcomes—data that can go largely underutilized. As agencies try to improve outcomes for youth clients, performance management tools can use these data to track existing outcomes and can inform program and policy changes to serve clients better. These tools are especially important, given the emphasis on performance measurement and evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and organizations like the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition.