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.
A Developmental Approach to Child Welfare Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: A Self-Assessment Tool for States and Counties Administering Child Welfare Services (PDF - 492 KB)
Colvard & Szrom (2012)
Zero to Three
Discusses an instrument that articulates the outlook of key child welfare and early child development organizations on critical approaches in policiesand programs in addressing needs of vulnerable children and toddlers contained in A Call to Action. It assists 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.
Evaluation Brief: Critical Issues in Evaluating Child Welfare Programs (PDF - 180 KB)
James Bell Associates (2009)
Discusses the Children's Bureau discretionary grants promoting research on and the development of innovative child welfare programs and practices that improve permanency, safety, and well-being outcomes for children and their families in or at-risk of entering the child welfare system. The brief examines critical issues that have affected the assessment efforts of many child welfare discretionary grantees and reviews a range of strategies that grantees may consider to address these issues effectively.
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.
Evaluation for Improvement: A Seven Step Empowerment Evaluation Approach for Violence Prevention Organizations (PDF - 2929 KB)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2009)
Discusses seven steps violence prevention organizations can take to hire an empowerment evaluator to help them build their evaluation capacity through learn-by-doing processes.
Bhattacharyya, Reeves, & Zwarenstein
Research on Social Work Practice, 19(5), 2009
Presents a collection of articles describing efforts to implement and evaluate evidence-based practices in a variety of settings.
Indicators for Child Maltreatment Prevention Programs (PDF - 513 KB)
Ross & Vandivere (2009)
Recommends that evaluations of child maltreatment prevention programs use a combination of indicators that measure risk and protective factors in several areas: parenting capacity, substance use, financial solvency, family conflict, child well-being, and home and community.
Key Components of a Successful Early Childhood Home Visitation System: A Self-Assessment Tool for States (PDF - 181 KB)
Zero to Three
Examines how additional funding will expand evidence-based home visiting programs, while creating inevitable challenges on States ability to replicate high-quality programs and maintain model fidelity. An assessment tool is provided to assist States define the home-visiting system, assess the home-visiting system's capacity, prioritize areas for improvement, and prepare States for the Federal home visiting grant application process.
Peer Review in CBCAP: A Source Document for Assessment and Best Practice
FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2011)
Presents a snapshot of current peer review practices across the States, breaks down the peer review process into manageable steps, and provides an assessment tool to assist in that process.
Response to Indicators for Child Maltreatment Prevention Programs, by Tim Ross and Sharon Vandivere, Child Trends (PDF - 189 KB)
Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood
Presents themes that emerged during the discussion of the indicators and measurement tools proposed by Child Trends in the categories of agreements, tensions, challenges, and recommendations. Recommendations include: move ahead with a comprehensive set of outcomes (optimal development, reduction in maltreatment, and increase in family functioning); frame the research projects narrowly then pick indicators and instruments to measure them; and focus on the risk/protective factor shifts in families.
Using Qualitative Data in Program Evaluation: Telling the Story of a Prevention Program (PDF - 470 KB)
FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2009)
Helps program administrators, managers, direct service practitioners, and others use qualitative evaluation techniques to better understand results found in quantitative data.
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.
Evidence-Based Practice and Logic Models (PDF - 345 KB)
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (2010)
Explains the decision to develop an efficiency measure that examines dollars and services on a continuum of evidence-based and evidence-informed programs and practices, as well as explains the use and components of the logic model developed by the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention.