Well-designed evaluations help child welfare agencies and organizations assess program effectiveness and develop a path for improvement. Evaluations can be used to determine if interventions are being implemented properly, are reaching the intended populations, and are achieving the anticipated outcomes.
The evaluation process—from planning through completion—should be a collaborative effort between program staff, evaluators, those served by the program, and other partners.
Evaluations are a critical tool for measuring the existence of disproportionality and disparity in child welfare, developing strategies to address inequity, and assessing approaches that support diverse populations that have been underserved or discriminated against. When designing the evaluation, the team should ensure the approach is antiracist and consider if the data may reflect biased decision-making.
The Family First Prevention Services Act adds further importance to evaluation capacity since Federal funding is available to States for prevention and kinship navigator programs that meet certain evidence levels. Evaluations also can inform sustainability planning and decision-making for programs, including whether a program should be amended, expanded, or stopped.
Use these resources to learn more about planning and implementing evaluations to assess and improve child welfare programming. Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.
Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
Use of Research Evidence: Building Two-Way Streets
Presents how research and evaluation can improve child welfare practice. Dr. Tseng urges researchers and evaluators to think differently about the ways that research is used and how to close the gap between research and practice.
The Power of Lived Expertise in Research and Evaluation: Child Welfare Edition
Watch videos from individuals with lived experience that have collaborated with agencies to lead research and evaluation efforts in child welfare to better inform policy and practice.
Resource List: Using Data and Evaluation to Advance Racial Equity in Child Welfare
Learn strategies for using data to build evidence, engage youth and families, and move toward racial equity in child welfare. The resources also connect to a video on using data and evaluation to advance racial equity.