All programs should strive to incorporate evaluation activities into their ongoing efforts to reduce child abuse and neglect and improve the well-being of children, youth, and families. However, it is important to choose evaluation strategies that are best suited to measure the program's intended outcomes based on factors such as program design and characteristics of the families and communities they serve. Use the following resources to find reports that summarize the effectiveness of general child abuse prevention programs, and evaluations of specific types or models of prevention programs.
Accountability and Evaluation
ZERO to THREE
Explains how regular and ongoing review and use of data on the health, development, and well-being of toddlers and infants can guide continuous improvement and inform planning, policy, and practice. The website provides access to featured resources related to evaluation.
Child Welfare Evaluation Virtual Summit Series
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Children's Bureau (2017)
Presents a series of short videos that each describe an evaluation-related topic, and many propose solutions to common evaluation problems and direct viewers to additional tools and resources. The videos are intended to help build capacity for improved evaluation in child welfare, promoting further dialog among evaluation stakeholders and disseminating information.
Evaluating Community Programs and Initiatives
University of Kansas Community Tool Box
Provides a framework for program evaluation and community intervention research, discusses the importance of stakeholder involvement, and considers strategies to use evaluation results to improve programs.
University of Wisconsin-Extension, Program Development and Evaluation
Provides information and resources pertaining to effective evaluation planning, method selection, and analysis and use, all of which are necessary to design and implement a program evaluation.
Evaluation Planning Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing a Rigorous Evaluation (PDF - 1,085 KB)
Corporation for National and Community Service & Social Innovation Fund (2014)
Offers a detailed, step-by-step planning guide for organizations that wish to implement rigorous evaluations that emphasize evidence and impact of program effectiveness.
Evaluation Resource Guide for Children's Bureau Discretionary Grantees, Second Edition (PDF - 628 KB)
James Bell Associates (2018)
Explains how researchers and program evaluators can design program evaluations specific to the child welfare context. The guide provides background information on program evaluation, explores evaluation in the field of child welfare, explains research design and methodology, reviews data collection and analysis, and more.
A Framework for Program Evaluation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017)
Guides public health professionals in their use of program evaluation and provides a practical, nonprescriptive tool designed to summarizes and organize essential elements of program evaluation.
Low-Cost RCT Competition: Building Evidence To Drive Effective Social Spending
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (2014)
Explains the benefits of implementing low-cost randomized controlled trials to evaluate social programs in areas of child welfare, early childhood intervention, teacher incentives, and criminal justice.
Measuring Child Welfare Outcomes: A Compendium of Standardized Instruments (PDF - 870 KB)
James Bell Associates (2015)
Outlines common child, caregiver, family, and organization-level instruments that have been used to measure changes in child welfare-related outcomes. The document serves as a resource for evaluators and presents instruments organized by categories and set up into a table of information.
A Video Series for Building Evidence on Effective Programs
Child Trends (2018)
Presents videos that summarize workshops on building evidence for effective programs. Videos two through five cover the steps in the process of becoming an evidence-based program.