State Grant to Expand Use of Proven Programs in Providence, Rhode Island

Posted March 11, 2015, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Foundation's partners in Providence, Rhode Island, have received a state grant to expand the use of proven programs to enhance child well-being in two focus neighborhoods as part of Casey’s first Evidence2Success site. 

The Providence Children and Youth Cabinet, which serves as the home organization to Evidence2Success in Providence, will receive up to $1 million over the next four years to increase the reach of two evidence-based programs in West End and South Providence: Positive Action and Incredible Years. These two programs address chronic school absence, emotional well-being and delinquent behavior among local youth -- priority outcomes chosen by a representative group of public system leaders and local residents based on survey results from neighborhood young people.

The new grant was awarded by the Rhode Island Department of Health to create Health Equity Zones to improve children's health and well-being using funding from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The HEZ funding comes in addition to $234,000 already committed by local public agencies to three evidence-based programs chosen as part of the Evidence2Success process. In addition to the Rhode Island Health Department, these agencies include the Providence Public School Department and Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. All three programs are currently being piloted with 2,000 youth in West End and South Providence. 

Evidence2Success helps public system leaders and community residents work together to gather data on the needs and strengths of local youth, use the data to set priority areas to improve well-being young people and shift public funding to address those needs with programs that research has proven effective. The Foundation provides tools and technical assistance such as the Youth Experience Survey, public financing strategies and the Blueprints database of evidence-based programs to help communities implement Evidence2Success, and will choose new communities to begin the Evidence2Success process later this year.

"This grant shows exactly what we hope will happen with Evidence2Success – that communities can work together with their government system leaders to find a better way of investing public resources for young people, and that demonstrating this data-driven, collaborative process will attract new public and private investments to support what works for kids," said Suzanne Barnard, director of Casey’s Evidence-Based Practice Group, which manages Evidence2Success.

For more information, read the press release from the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet. 

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