A Blueprint for Embedding Evidence-Based Programs in Child Welfare

Posted September 18, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog ablueprintforembedding 2018

States can implement evidence-based practices to improve child welfare services.

A new guide, pub­lished by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion, helps child wel­fare lead­ers select, imple­ment and sus­tain proven pro­grams in their systems.

The pub­li­ca­tion, A Blue­print for Embed­ding Evi­dence-Based Pro­grams in Child Wel­fare, stems from a Casey-fund­ed col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nation­al Imple­men­ta­tion Research Net­work at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na Chapel Hill and the New Jer­sey Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies. Work­ing togeth­er, these orga­ni­za­tions set out to align the agency’s evi­dence-based sys­tem of care with the best prac­tices of imple­men­ta­tion sci­ence — a set of meth­ods and approach­es for pro­mot­ing the sys­tem­at­ic uptake of proven interventions.

This work sin­gled out four crit­i­cal imple­men­ta­tion activ­i­ties derived from the Nation­al Imple­men­ta­tion Research Network’s for­mu­la for active imple­men­ta­tion. These activ­i­ties, described in the pub­li­ca­tion, are:

  1. assess­ing and select­ing inter­ven­tions (effec­tive practices);
  2. estab­lish­ing and sus­tain­ing imple­men­ta­tion teams (enabling context);
  3. devel­op­ing and align­ing an imple­men­ta­tion infra­struc­ture (effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion); and
  4. sup­port­ing data use and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for con­tin­u­ous qual­i­ty improve­ment (enabling context).

Evi­dence-based and evi­dence-informed mod­els need the right con­di­tions to thrive and take root in child wel­fare sys­tems, which are not always equipped to deliv­er them with fideli­ty,” says Suzanne Barnard, direc­tor of Casey’s Evi­dence-Based Prac­tice Group. This guide walks lead­ers through an imple­men­ta­tion process that fos­ters the right con­di­tions and increas­es their abil­i­ty to offer kids pro­grams and ser­vices that best fit their needs.”

In addi­tion to a step-by-step review of each activ­i­ty, the guide includes a quick tips for lead­ers as they deter­mine key roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties in the imple­men­ta­tion process.

The active imple­men­ta­tion for­mu­la and oth­er ele­ments of the blue­print were dis­cussed dur­ing a Sept. 18 webi­nar, Assess­ing Readi­ness for Imple­men­ta­tion: Intro­duc­ing the Hexa­gon Tool.

Addi­tion­al Child Wel­fare and Evi­dence-Based Prac­tice Resources

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