We have the great privilege of working with talented professionals that are dedicated to using research and data to improve services to children and families. Here are some examples of our recent projects.
Evaluation of the OhioKAN Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program
Funded by Kinnect under contract with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), we are taking a participatory and developmental approach to prepare a new intervention for rigorous evaluation. Evaluation activities are conducted in close partnership with an implementation team and statewide advisory team. Major deliverables include an evaluability assessment, readiness assessment, usability assessment, implementation evaluation and continuous quality improvement (CQI). We have also developed a rigorous outcome evaluation using a Type 1 hybrid effectiveness-implementation design using a cluster randomized control trial to examine community-level and child/family-level outcomes.
Evaluating the Jim Casey Initiative’s Youth Leadership Institute
Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we are evaluating the transfer of learning from Jim Casey Initiative’s Youth Leadership Institute to child welfare leadership and advocacy among young people with a history of placement in foster care. We are using a mixed-method multi-informant study using online surveys and qualitative interviews with young people and their mentors before training, after training, and one month following training. This study is guided by the Kirkpatrick model for training evaluation.
Evaluating 30 Days to Family® Ohio
Funded by Kinnect under contract with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), we are working closely with the state implementation team to develop a robust fidelity monitoring system, and conduct an implementation and outcomes evaluation across 15 counties to explore the impact of the program on placement with kin, placement stability, and permanency. Ohio is one of several states replicating the 30 Days to Family® model initially developed by the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition.
Building Evidence about SAFE and Safe@Home
Funded by ACTION for Child Protection, we are working closely to model developers to build research evidence about program models that were developed with strong theoretical foundations and practice wisdom that have been widely implemented across the United States. We are supporting the development of a standardized assessment of Caregiver Protective Capacities and Caregiver Stages of Change. We are also conducting a rigorous quasi-experimental study to examine the impact of Safe@Home on out-of-home placement and time to reunification in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada.
Supporting Implementation-Informed Replication of the Wee Cuddle and Grow Model
Funded by the Kennedy Krieger Fund and Weinberg Foundation, we provided consultation in implementation science to support the implementation and evaluation of the Wee Cuddle & Grow model in Early Head Start. We partnered with model developers at PACT Helping Children with Special Needs to develop a replication toolkit with implementation support tools to support exploration, preparation, implementation, and evaluation.
Assessing the Evaluability of the Structured Intervention Treatment Foster Care Model
Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we conducted an evaluability assessment of an innovative model for training and supporting relatives and other kin caregivers to provide therapeutic-level placements for children and youth in out-of-home care. We used stakeholder interviews and document review to define of the model’s theory of change. Then, we operationalized practice behaviors and identified data sources and collected available data through administrative data and case record review.
Assessing Child and Family Service Needs and Resources in Prince George’s County, Maryland
Funded by the Prince George's County Department of Families Services, we convened and facilitated a team of 15 MSW students from the University of Maryland to conduct a comprehensive needs and resources assessment of child and family services. The assessment included analyzing child well-being data, surveying youth and families, and taking inventory of all child and family services in the county. The results of the assessment were used to identify priorities and develop strategies as part of the Commission on Children, Youth, and Families strategic plan for the next three years.
Comprehensive Implementation Evaluation of Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs in Washington, DC
Funded by the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration, we partnered with Georgetown University to co-lead the evaluation of Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grant to the District of Columbia Department of Health. Implemented models included HIPPY, Parents as Teachers (PAT), Healthy Families America (HFA), and the Fussy Baby FAN (Facilitating Attuned iNteractions). We used the RE-AIM implementation evaluation framework to develop a comprehensive evaluation plan, and led data management and analysis for implementation and effectiveness outcomes. In a related sub-study, we were one of the first evaluation teams to use Qualitative Comparative Analysis in home visiting. We used QCA in a comparative case study drawing from triangulated interviews, case notes, and administrative data to understand the causal conditions for retaining families when their home visitor resigns.
Assessing Progress in a Modified Settlement Agreement after a Class Action Law Suit
Under the direction of the Office of Grace Lopes, Federal Court Monitor, we conducted several studies of Mississippi's progress toward meeting the requirements of their modified settlement agreement. Research methods included interviews with state and county staff, designing and managing a case records review--with a team of over 30 reviewers, and analysis of administrative data. The studies examined (1) maltreatment in out-of-home care, (2) provision of services to children in out-of-home care, and (3) an array of safety, permanency, and practice indicators.
Developing Implementation-Science Informed Strategies to Improve Replication of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program
Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we worked with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to help them think about increasing the spread of their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program by building capacity through training and technical assistance. The toolkit that we developed used implementation science to identify which capacities need to be built in implementing organizations and individuals. It summarizes best practices in technical assistance to outline strategies that can be used to build those capacities.
Developing an Implementation Evaluation Plan for PAT Replication in Delaware
Funded by the Federal Children’s Bureau, we consulted with the University of Maryland School of Social Work to develop the implementation evaluation of Parents as Teachers by Children and Families First in Delaware. We introduced implementation frameworks and helped to develop process, practice and outcome evaluation components which defined implementation strategies and implementation outcomes that should be measured. We also recommended data collection plans for efficiently capturing relevant information.
Developing Strategies to Assess Capacity in Child Welfare System’s Data and Technology
Funded by Westat, we consulted with staff evaluating the services provided by the National Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology to state child welfare systems. Drawing from research literature on topics such as, evaluation capacity-building, data-informed decision making, and capacity building--we offered recommendations on how to conceptualize and operationalize project outcomes.