Evidence2Success provides a framework for engaging communities and public systems in improving child well-being. It helps identify problems and solutions proven to work. Four communities — Providence, Rhode Island, Salt Lake County and Selma and Mobile in Alabama — are carrying out that framework.

Evidence2Success tools include:

  • The Evidence2Success Youth Experience Survey: The survey provides public agencies and communities with a “big picture” look at how kids are doing and the strengths and challenges that influence their development. Survey results describe the links between risks, protective factors and well-being and highlight areas in which public agencies and communities should focus their program investments.
  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Blueprints makes it easy to match children’s strengths and needs to cost-effective, evidence-based programs designed to help.
  • Public financing strategies: Cities and states can use these strategies with a strategic financing toolkit to map current program investments and generate or secure sustainable sources of funding for new effective programs.

Evidence2Success sites gain full access to Evidence2Success online tools and technical assistance to support partnerships in achieving goals. Some Evidence2Success tools are available for communities to use without being selected as a site:

The Casey Foundation partnered with the Providence Children & Youth Cabinet (CYC) to formally launch Evidence2Success in July 2012. More than 55 CYC and community members from the two participating neighborhoods — South Providence/Elmwood and West End — came together to set priority outcomes for kids’ healthy development: chronic absenteeism, suspension, anxiety and depression, emotional regulation and delinquency. These priorities — collaboratively selected by public systems and communities — were based on the results of the Youth Experience Survey of nearly 6,000 middle and high school students in the Providence Public School District.

To address the identified priority youth outcomes, a Providence Evidence2Success workgroup selected six programs that had been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective. These evidence-based programs are the Incredible Years, Positive Action, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), Familias Unidas, Nurse-Family Partnership and  Multisystemic Therapy. CYC received a Health Equity Zone (HEZ) grant from the Rhode Island Department of Health, which will help scale evidence-based programs in the pilot neighborhoods. In the first year of evidence-based programming, more than 4,200 children and youth were served.

An action plan to finance and implement the programs was developed, and the programs are now reaching more than 4,000 young people. Read about early results from the CBITS implementation in the Roger Williams Middle School in the South Side of Providence.

In late 2015 and early 2016, the Foundation added three new Evidence2Success communities in Selma and Mobile, Alabama, and Salt Lake County, Utah.

Through testing and evaluation, Evidence2Success aims to demonstrate that cities can improve young people’s well-being at the community level by investing in evidence-based programs:

  • Form partnerships that engage elected officials, public agencies and the community in working together to improve child well-being.
  • Collect and analyze data to establish priorities based on kids’ strengths and needs.
  • Select evidence-based programs that focus on prevention and early intervention, instead of waiting until after problems occur to intervene.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of current investments and shift a percentage of funding toward evidence-based programs.

Casey also provides coaching and technical assistance to help city and state agencies build their capacity to target their investments to support the staffing, training and data analysis required to effectively deliver evidence-based programs.

A video shows how Evidence2Success has been working in Providence, Rhode Island, the first Evidence2Success site.

Another video, Evidence2Success: Tools for Fund-Mapping the Future, shows how Evidence2Success strategic financing tools are helping communities in Alabama, Rhode Island and Utah pull together local data to better align resources with locally determined priority outcomes.

Evidence2Success was profiled in a Stanford Social Innovation Review article about community engagement. The article makes the case that community engagement is a critical component of effective data-driven, evidence-based social change, and profiles Evidence2Success as an example of utilizing such strategies.

Using What Works to Improve Child Well-Being — Casey’s webinar series hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment — is designed to help local government officials, community-based service providers, foundation and nonprofit leaders and others working to improve outcomes for children and families. The series highlights tools and strategies now operating in four U.S. communities.

Evidence2Success builds on the work of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and a range of partners dedicated to researching, developing, testing and communicating what works to improve outcomes for children. Partners include:

The Social Development Research Group (SDRG) is an internationally recognized team of researchers dedicated to promoting healthy behaviors and positive social development among young people. Much of SDRG’s work is based on their pioneering Social Development Model, which led to the development and testing of Communities That Care (CTC), a coalition-based system proven to prevent adolescent problem behaviors such as violence, delinquency and substance abuse.

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at the University of Colorado Boulder was founded in 1992 to build bridges between the research community and the practitioners and policy makers seeking to understand and prevent violence, particularly adolescent violence. The CSPV Blueprints for Violence Prevention website identifies violence and drug prevention programs that meet a high scientific standard of effectiveness. 

Mainspring Consulting helps policymakers, state and community leaders and foundation officers to strengthen and grow their work. To support the design of effective programs and initiatives for children, families and communities, Mainspring advises clients on what works, helps them develop a theory of change and develops training and technical assistance strategies to meet identified needs.

Social Research Unit at Dartington (SRU) is an independent charitable organization dedicated to conducting research and translating evidence into policy and practice to improve outcomes for children. Based in the United Kingdom, SRU conducts research to establish the potential causes of problems that affect children’s development and to test the value of children’s services. SRU also disseminates high quality evidence about what works, for which children, why and at what cost.

From the Blog

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