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1. How can my agency participate in OCANDS?

Your agency needs to sign an OCANDS data sharing agreement. To verify if your agency has signed this agreement or to send your agency a copy, please contact Tara Black (tara.black@utoronto.ca).

2. Where do I get started using OCANDS?

If you are already familiar with definitions of Performance Indicators or NOMs, you can start querying either Indicators or NOMs. If you would like more information on how and what OCANDS uses to do such calculations, you can visit the Methods page.

3. Who has access to my agency's data and how secure are they kept?

If your agency has signed a data sharing agreement with OCANDS, then your agency has access to your agency data. Other agencies cannot see your agency data. Your agency data will appear as part of the aggregate (total) for all agencies.

4. What data does OCANDS have?

Protection In Care services (all child placements - child level)

All child maltreatment reports including:

  • eligibility spectrum (primary / secondary)
  • reporter category
  • date of report
  • outcome of report (close, community link, investigation)
  • Worker assignment

 

All investigations (family level, but have proxy for children present at each investigation)

  • eligibility spectrum (primary / secondary)
  • date of investigation
  • Investigation outcome (verification, close, community link, ongoing, child placement)
  • child demographics
  • Caregiver demographics
  • Court services
  • Safety assessment
  • Risk Assessment
  • postal code of investigated home (needs further testing)

 

Ongoing services (family level)

  • Start date
  • End date
  • Family Strengths and Need
  • Risk reassessment
  • child demographics (updated)
  • Caregiver demographics (updated)
  • Worker assignment
  • spell start
  • spell end
  • placement start
  • placement end
  • placement type
  • placement reason / exit type (reunification, adoption, legal custody, emancipation from care)
  • spell start/end reason
  • child demographics (updated)
  • Caregiver demographics (updated)
  • Family reunification assessment
  • Worker assignment
  • postal code of placement

 

Other things of interest:

  • Siblings can be tracked
  • Kinship services

*We can also model the transition between all of the above categories.

5. What are the difference between Indicator Dashboard and customized queries?

Dashboard results are cached results and meant for instant comparisons and to provide user's with an overall picture. Each dashboard indicator is run with default options as described from the technical guide, and results are stored on a by-year basis. To take full advantage of what OCANDS has to offer, it's best to run customized queries with a variety of stratification and grouping options.

6. How often is data updated?

OCANDS' goal is to have quaterly data extracts from vendors. But the current financial situation does not allow OCANDS to achieve this yet.  The most recent complete fiscal year data OCANDS has for your agency will be displayed on your front page after logging in.

7. What's the next expected data extract?

To be updated.

8. Why do I see discrepancies between our agency's internal Indicator results and OCANDS' results?

There is no silver bullet for this issue since there are just too many factors involved that contribute to such discrepancies. We will attempt to address the factors for each Indicator/NOM and produce a step-by-step procedure to help agencies identify where the differences may arise from. A formal manual currently in the works but we will now provide assistance and resources on an individual basis.

The 3 main factors that may cause discrepancies are:

  1. Raw Data Extract: Do we have the same data as you? The procedures under "Cross-Sectionals" can help to identify if we have synchronization based on numbers of events that happen on a particular day.
  2. Methods of Deriving the Result: Listed in the "Methods" section, we have a high level description of our procedures as well as a sample method for each vendor.
  3. Mapping of Original Values: The mapping process is 2-tiered. Our mappers and harmonizers have been in contact with correspondents from each agency to go over specific mapping strategies. If no one has been in contact with your agency, please fill out a requst in the "Contact" section. Also, listed at the bottom in the "Methods" section, we have categorization breakdowns for variables we use in the applicable indicators/NOMs after they have been mapped.

9. How can my agency validate query results?

Please see Question 11's answer.

10. For child level queries, how are child age calculated?

Unless specifically defined (such as a few of the NOMs), child age is calculated at the date of the first event. For example, for Indicator 7, child age will be calculated at the start of investigation.

11. Who should I contact if I need help?

You can use our Contact page or email us at:

  • If you have questions about our methodologies or other general inqueries, please email info@ocands.org.
  • If you have an account with us and need help with your account, or any other technical inqueries, please email support@ocands.org.
  • If you would like to validate your Performance Indicator results, please email info@ocands.org. Please indicate your agency name.

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