- January-February 2016
- Vol. 16, No. 10
An Evaluation of Training and Technical Assistance
Training and technical assistance (T&TA) is an important aspect of the Children’s Bureau’s approach to supporting States, Tribes, territories, and courts with implementing federally funded programs, meeting Federal requirements and standards, and improving child welfare practices. But what does it look like on the ground, and how well does it work? A recent Children’s Bureau-funded report, Supporting Change in Child Welfare: An Evaluation of Training and Technical Assistance, presents findings from an evaluation of T&TA delivered by 10 National Child Welfare Resource Centers (NRCs) and 5 Child Welfare Implementation Centers (ICs). Conducted by James Bell Associates and ICF International, this cross-site evaluation advances what is known about the delivery of T&TA to child welfare agencies and courts, especially as they engage in systems and organizational change.
Over 5 years, the ICs and NRCs assisted child welfare agencies (from 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 46 Tribes and Tribal consortia) with identifying issues in their systems, developing solutions, implementing changes, and designing strategies to sustain those changes to improve child welfare practices. The evaluation used a variety of tools and new strategies to measure T&TA and its effectiveness over time. The report highlights key findings related to the following:
- The utilization of T&TA services by States and Tribes
- The characteristics of NRC and IC services
- How well providers collaborated with each other to deliver T&TA
- Satisfaction with and the quality of the T&TA
- The perceived outcomes of NRC and IC services
In addition to the report and executive summary, a series of evaluation briefs and tip sheets summarize the implications and lessons learned about measuring, delivering, and participating in T&TA.
- Using Data on Training and Technical Assistance for Evaluation and Management
- Collaboration Among T/TA Providers
- Evaluation of Implementation and Outcomes
- Evaluation Methodology
Tip Sheets for T/TA Providers and Recipients
- Getting the Most Out of T/TA: Tips for T/TA Recipients
- Delivering Effective T/TA: Tips for T/TA Providers
- Supporting Systems Change in Child Welfare: Tips for T/TA Providers
- The Role of T/TA in Building a Child Welfare Agency’s Capacity to Use Data: A Case Study
These materials highlight the lessons learned about T&TA delivery and evaluation. Findings document the importance of organizational leadership, the duration and intensity of T&TA, and the ability of child welfare systems to sustain organizational change. The report, executive summary, overview, evaluation briefs, and tip sheets are available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/capacity/evaluation.