1. What do you wish to sustain? The entire intervention or just some key components?
2. Why do you wish to sustain it (what are the benefits and what evidence is there that it should be sustained)?
3. What is required to sustain it (changes required, cost, potential funding sources, etc.)?
4. Whose help will you need and how can you secure their support?
5. If there are components that will not be sustained, how will you manage the transition?
6. How can effective dissemination and communication help you achieve your sustainment goals?
Sustained level of services to children, youth, and families requires strategic program planning and the ability to adapt to changes over time. Use the resources listed in “Spotlight On” and below to learn more about sustainability planning for child welfare and other social service organizations.
Budgeting and Program Sustainability
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
Provides resources for tapping the full range of funding resources available to a state or community in order to develop multiyear stability. The webpage also includes examples of budgeting and program sustainability from different states.
Building Sustainable Programs: The Framework
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health (2017)
Provides information on eight factors that impact sustainability as well as resources on building collaborations, community mobilization, building stakeholder support, and sustainability. The website includes A Guide to Sustainability Resources, an Assessment of Current Sustainability Efforts for organizations, as well as E-learning modules on sustainability.
The Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) Framework
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) for Child Welfare (2017)
A framework adopted by CEBC that is based on existing research on implementation. EPIS was developed specifically for use in child welfare and similar service sectors.
Factors That Contribute to Capacity Building and Sustainability
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016)
Provides five factors and actionable steps organizations can take to asses organizational and infrastructure development and sustainability. The webpage provides links to additional resources on sustainability.
Funding & Sustainability
National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (2017)
Provides resources for funding and sustainability for mental health and juvenile justice systems.
How Youth Services Programs Stay Relevant & Sustainable (PDF - 101 KB)
MANY Center for Research and Innovation
Identifies key considerations and strategies for agencies to include as they develop and sustain both their programs and the services they have identified as critical to their communities.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Provides resources to help generate ideas and guide planning for sustaining and expanding child trauma services. The webpage includes a Sustainability Planning Framework as well as guidance on grant writing. .
Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices (PDF - 548 KB)
Justice Research and Statistics Association (2016)
Describes sustainability and how it relates to evidence-based program implementation. The briefing paper presents a number of factors and strategies for achieving program sustainment.
Sustaining New Approaches in Child Welfare (PDF - 416 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams (2016)
Presents a framework for sustainability based upon key elements that fit together to support the common vision and sustain culture, behavior, policy, and practice changes. The brief also contains additional resources to support sustainability.
Sustaining the Work or Initiative
Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas
Presents practical information and examples of ways to sustain a community initiative over time.