Quality or performance management capabilities allow agencies to identify effective practices in routine care, implement new practices, and learn to adapt practices as contexts change. Within child-serving human service systems there is not a dominant model of quality management capabilities and how they are deployed. Quality management capabilities and their development were explored at nine different child serving agencies. Agency respondents described four emergent core quality management capabilities: generating shared goals, managing information, routinizing problem-solving, and propagating a culture of quality. None of the nine agencies we studied excelled at all four. Each capability is described and implications for research, policy and practice are discussed.
Keywords: Implementation; Organizational culture; Performance management; Quality improvement.