What Is Outcome Management?

Outcome management is a client-centric approach to service delivery which focuses on the results a client is trying to achieve rather than focusing only on the services available. A collaborative approach is encouraged which allows agencies to utilize the expertise of individuals within the agency and outside of it. Traditional approaches have meant that clients have not received the right help at the right time and therefore they remain dependent on the agency for a longer time. Additionally, agencies work in silos and may not always have the necessary expertise to accurately identify clients needs. For example, asking parents who don't have drivers' licenses and/or live in rural areas to attend parenting classes; not allowing adequate time for a parent to complete substance abuse treatment before re-entering the workplace; asking parents to attend parenting classes when lack of housing or transportation is the real problem.

Outcome management is most successful if planning is performed in a collaborative manner with an end result in mind. Planning begins with a clear understanding of a client's needs and the specific changes that are sought by clients. This will enable a planner to identify critical steps or objectives that clients need to take in order to achieve the specific change in behaviour, knowledge, skills, condition or status.

Outcome management focuses on and tracks a client's progress over time and looks at the effectiveness of service delivery through the achievement of client successes/changes as outcomes. It is a client-centric model, which puts the needs of the clients first.