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AFCARS Software Utilities

Published: September 3, 2012
Categories:
Reporting Systems
Topics:
AFCARS

The Children's Bureau has made the following software utilities available for download: Data Compliance Utility (DCU), Data Quality Utility (DQU), and the Frequency Utility (SFU). These utilities will assist title IV-E agencies in preparing and submitting AFCARS data files. In addition to these utilities, title IV-E agencies may download any or all AFCARS Technical Bulletins (TBs) found on the TB page.

Data Compliance Utility

The DCU contains the same data compliance checks as the federal AFCARS and creates a report showing if a title IV-E AFCARS file meets federal standards. The Children's Bureau recommends that title IV-E agencies use this utility before sending in their AFCARS submissions, as well as on an ongoing basis, to identify and correct problematic data. Title IV-E agencies may download the DCU, which is a self-extracting file; TB #4, which provides information about its use and installation; and other supporting documentation.

Data Quality Utility

The DQU performs comprehensive checks on AFCARS data to help title IV-E agencies assess and improve data quality. The Children's Bureau recommends that title IV-E agencies use this utility to identify and correct data quality problems prior to submitting AFCARS data, as well as on an on-going basis. Title IV-E agencies may download the DQU, which is a self-extracting file; TB #5a, which provides information about its use and installation; TB #5b, which provides a more technical description about how the DQU works; and other supporting documentation.

Frequency Report Utility

The FRU is part of the ongoing AFCARS technical assistance provided to title IV-E agencies by the Children's Bureau. The FRU can generate a report  that provides an overview of the number and type of raw responses being generated for a particular data element to help title IV-E agencies assess and improve data quality. Title IV-E agencies may download the FRU, which is a self-extracting file, and TB #3, which provides information about its use and installation.