Public Sector Client

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Prevention and Early Intervention program (PEI)



The Challenge

PEI, a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services focused on preventing poor child health outcomes (e.g., preterm births, instances of child injury, or developmental issues), partnered with Social Finance to embed outcomes-based practices into its existing contracting and management processes. PEI sought to:

  • Improve service delivery quality and more effectively leverage taxpayer dollars;
  • Better align policy, programming, funding, and contracting decisions with priority outcomes;
  • And improve data quality and sharing among PEI, its external service providers, and other stakeholders.

“The Social Finance team helped us operationalize tools to analyze and understand outcomes for our nine diverse programs that serve almost 60,000 children and youth every year. From design to implementation, they provided consultation and technical assistance that has been professional and specialized.”

— Sarah Abrahams, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Texas PEI

The Work

Social Finance leveraged funding from the Episcopal Health Foundation to develop and implement the Quality Incentive Project (QIP), a scorecard allowing providers to earn points for “above and beyond” achievement of priority outcomes and processes. This included:

  • Metric selection. Social Finance identified a set of three metrics that were aligned with PEI policy priorities, measurable using existing data systems, universally applicable across all providers, and aligned with the underlying program models and evidence base. These metrics included resilient youth and child safety, behavioral change analysis, and enhanced data collection.
  • Scorecard design. We designed a scoring mechanism that drew on data from PEI’s reporting system and assigned different point totals based on a provider’s performance against a given metric. Each provider receives a quarterly scorecard with their scores; the underlying data driving the scores; and low, median, and high benchmark scores, compared to similar PEI programs.
  • Provider engagement. We led conversations with providers throughout the project to gather feedback and keep them informed, including focus groups to inform metric design and a series of four webinars introducing the mechanics of QIP.
  • Ongoing troubleshooting. After QIP launched, we worked with PEI to identify and respond to challenges with data collection and analysis, scorecard calculations, and provider communications.

The Results

  • Implemented QIP for 130 service providers across nine program strategies with a $105 million budget
  • Developed a quarterly data dashboard to share with providers to improve performance management activities and drive a more outcomes-based culture

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about our advisory work, contact Managing Director Jeff Shumway or Vice President Jake Segal.