• June 2022
  • Vol. 23, No. 5

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Evidence-Building Evaluation Strategies for Untested and Promising Child Welfare Programs

With the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which provides optional and time-limited title IV-E funding to state and tribal child welfare agencies for programs designated as "promising," "supported," or "well-supported," the child welfare system has placed increasing emphasis on the evaluation and implementation of evidence-based services and programs to help support families and children with child welfare involvement. As such, resources such as evidence clearinghouses have become more instrumental in taking programs and services from development to implementation to evaluation. Although child welfare organizations sometimes face challenges in building evidence for promising programs and services, child welfare evidence clearinghouses, such as the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, are available to help service providers collect and document the evidence for and benefits of programs and practices that serve children and families.

A recent brief from the Children's Bureau highlights the key elements and evaluation criteria of clearinghouses that are most relevant to child welfare, factors that figure into whether a program or practice should be submitted for review, evaluation designs to consider when building evidence, how to determine organizational capacity to conduct a rigorous evaluation, and the initial planning steps for evaluating and implementing a program or service. The brief also defines what a clearinghouse is, why it is beneficial for a program to obtain a clearinghouse rating, how to go about building evidence, and next steps.

To learn more, read the brief, Evidence-Building Evaluation Strategies for Untested and Promising Child Welfare Programs.


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