Target Setting Guide: Indicator C4

Indicator-specific guidance is provided separately for results indicators where target setting is required, including C4-Family Outcomes. There are eight sections that support target setting for this indicator. This indicator specific guidance is intended to be used as a companion to the general guidance.

Indicator C4: Family Outcomes

Topic Guidance
I. Indicator Description Percent of families participating in Part C who report that early intervention services have helped the family:
A. Know their rights
B. Effectively communicate their children’s needs
C. Help their children develop and learn
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A) and 1442)
Targets are required for each of the three family outcomes, yielding a total of three targets, one for each outcome. Targets are based on the percent (# of respondent families participating in Part C who report that early intervention services have helped them (achieve family outcome A, B, or C) divided by the (# of respondent families participating in Part C) times 100.
II. Federal Indicator Changes Beginning with the FFY 2022 SPP/APR, due February 1, 2024, states must include race and ethnicity in its analysis to report on representativeness. In addition, the State’s analysis must also include at least one of the following demographics: socioeconomic status, parents or guardians whose primary language is other than English and who have limited English proficiency, maternal education, geographic location, and/or another demographic category approved through the stakeholder input process.
Current requirements include state analysis of the extent to which the demographics of families responding are representative of the program demographics, such as race and ethnicity, age of the infant or toddler, and geographic location. If the responding families are not representative of the program demographics, the state must describe the strategies used to ensure that future data are representative of those served.
III. State Indicator Specific Changes What if any changes have been or will be made in the data collection process? Consider any changes in:
  • Survey tool (e.g., survey wording, structure, length)
  • Survey population (e.g., families exiting, families with an annual IFSP, families in program for # months, all families with an IFSP regardless of time in program)
  • Use of sampling or changes to sampling approach
    • Survey dissemination (e.g., in person, mail, phone/text, web-based [email, online website], multi-modal)
    • Survey dissemination timing (at exit, # months/weeks before exit, at IFSP meeting, at transition meeting)
    • Survey reminders
    • Survey incentives
    • Survey return options (e.g., in person, mail, phone/text, web-based [email, online website], multi modal)
  • Implemented or planned changes in the calculation of the data
    • Analysis techniques
    • Thresholds for determining outcome as met (e.g., revision to cut points on a 6-point scale with cut point a 4 or above to indicate met)
IV. State Initiatives Related to this Indicator What if any system changes have occurred or are planned to occur that affect family outcomes? Consider system framework components.
  • Governance, finance, personnel/workforce, data system, accountability, quality improvement, and quality standards
  • Is a new or increased emphasis on EBP being implemented?
  • Is the initiative statewide or limited to particular programs?
  • Are initiatives taking place with fidelity?
  • When would the results of the EBP have an impact on family outcomes?
  • Which of the three family outcomes do the new/increased emphasis on EBP impact? How?
V. Data to Consider The state will want to have the following data available:
  • Survey return rates and changes over time
  • Performance data for the last three to five years relative to targets for parents knowing their rights, effectively communicating their children’s needs, and helping their children develop and learn
  • Baseline data
VI. Indicator Specific Data Quality Issues Completeness of the data
  • What is the return rate?
  • Are the data representative of the population served?
  • What populations are missing?
  • Are the item level data complete?
Accuracy of the data
  • Are there outliers (e.g., significantly higher or lower outcomes, significantly higher or lower return rates)?
VII. Indicator Specific Analyses What do the current data reveal?
  • Meeting the current targets?
  • Comparison of current data to the historical trend line (over 3 – 5 years)?
  • Comparison of the current and trendline data to baseline(s) (plural in the event of changes)?
  • How do current and trendline data compare to the target(s)?
  • Increases or slippage (changes in the data)? Were the increases/slippage short or long-term?
  • What factors contributed to the changes?
  • Are the contributing factors sustained?
Consider questions such as:
  • Does the data look different from national data? National data can be a useful way to put state data in the context of the national picture while acknowledging variations in state approaches. Some caution is advised when comparing state-level family data to national data; the national data represent varying approaches and scoring methods that can have big impacts on state percentages.
  • Does our data look different from other states using a similar survey approach?
  • Is the performance different across the outcomes?
  • Are the data stable over time? Is it trending upward or downward?
  • Are outcomes similar across our programs? Are some doing better than others?
Disaggregate data to identify trends, questions, or possible anomalies. Examine targets relative to representativeness factors. How do outcomes vary by the following factors?
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Parents or guardians whose primary language is other than English and who have limited English proficiency
  • Maternal education
  • Geographic location
  • Time in program
  • Gender
  • Age of child
  • Disability/Eligibility category
  • Other
VIII. Indicator Specific Resources Family Outcomes Year-to-Year Meaningful Differences Calculator for States (2016)
Look at the statistical significance of change in your state’s family outcomes data from year-to-year and compare local performance to the state’s performance. This calculator computes the 90% confidence interval around values. Confidence intervals can be used to understand the precision of values; however, values with very large confidence intervals (more than ±5%) should be interpreted with caution.
Family Indicator Local Program Graphing Template (2016)
Create graphs comparing your family indicator data by local program.
National-State Family Outcomes Data (Indicator C4) Graphing Template (2018)
Compare your state’s C4 family outcomes data to the national data in the three sub-indicator areas. Make comparisons to subgroups of states that use the same survey and scoring approach for the FOS with recommended scoring, the FOS-Revised with recommended scoring, and the NCSEAM with Rasch scoring. States that use other scoring or surveys can graph their data using a comparison to national data. National data in the calculator are for FFY 2016 and were submitted by states in February 2018.
Part C Indicator 4: Family Outcomes Data (FFY 2018)
This online presentation shares the FFY 2018 results from the Indicator C4 Family Outcomes data, including state approaches to the survey, data quality, performance trends and resources.
Response Rate and Representativeness Calculator (2015)
Compute response rates for your state’s family survey data and determine if the surveys you received represent the target population. The calculator uses a statistical formula to determine if two percentages (% of surveys received vs. % of families in the target population) should be considered different from each other. Enter the values by subgroup, and the calculator will compute the statistical significance of the difference between the two percentages and highlight significant differences. Instructions about how to enter data into the calculator appear at the top of each tab.
SSIP Family Outcomes Broad Data Analysis Template (2014)
Provides guidance for looking at how programs in the state are helping families relative to national data, across years, within the state, and by comparisons across programs within the state. This template assists states in conducting an initial analysis of their family outcomes data. This document uses APR family indicator data to illustrate analyses, but states may also want to perform similar analyses on other family-level outcomes or results data.
State Approaches to Family Outcomes Measurement
This link identifies the survey tools used by states, including the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Family Outcomes Survey-Original, ECO Family Outcomes Survey-Revised, National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring (NCSEAM) Survey, and other state-developed surveys.

Published June 2021.