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 identify evaluation tools and strategies for measuring the success of child abuse prevention programs, including State and local examples.
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.
Considerations in Applying Benefit-cost Analysis to Preventive Interventions for Children, Youth, and Families: Workshop Summary
Olson & Bogard (2014)
National Research Council. Board on Children & Institute of Medicine. (2014)
Assesses States and counties in assessing how well their child welfare policies and practices address developmental needs of infants, toddlers and their families and engaging partners constructively.
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.
Evaluating the Process and Monitoring Outcomes
Promising Practices Network
Discusses the importance of data collection for providing feedback on programs, how to define key outcomes, and general information on conducting both process and outcome evaluations.
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.
Toolkit on Mapping Legal, Health and Social Services Responses to Child Maltreatment
World Health Organization, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, & University of New Hampshire (2015)
Provides methods and procedural steps for assessing response to child maltreatment nationally or regionally so agencies can improve systems and build professional capacity.
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.
What is Implementation Research?
Explains implementation research as an integral component of most studies. The work of implementation research is to investigate how the program produces impacts by understanding the services that are delivered to enrollees and the factors that influence their implementation.
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention: What Is It and How Do We Know When It Works? (PDF - 563 KB)
Wisconsin Children's Trust Fund & Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (2010)
Reviews program evaluation approaches used to evaluate prevention efforts and findings from experimental and quasi-experimental studies. The brief also discusses the challenges of measuring prevention and emphasizes the need for continuing evaluation research.
Evaluating Multiple Prevention Programs: Methods, Results, and Lessons Learned
Adler-Baeder, Kerpelman, Griffin, & Schramm (2010)
Journal of Extension, 48(6)
Describes a method of simultaneously evaluating multiple prevention program types to document program impact, share results, and provide lessons learned when assessing outcomes across multiple, distinct prevention programs. The model, results, and lessons learned are described to assist extension professionals with their current or future work with local and State agencies as an evaluation partner.
Hopes Evaluation FY2015 (PDF - 1,219 KB)
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing (2016)
Provides an analysis of Project HOPES in Texas. With the focus on enhancing community collaboration and building capacity on already established community programs, Project HOPES’ mission is to empower local communities and families through education, skills, and resources to prevent child abuse and neglect.