Center staff have worked on the implementation and evaluation of many family health and family support programs and projects including Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health), Healthy Start, and SAMHSA Systems of Care projects.
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health) is a federal program which aims to promote the health and well-being of Iowa's youngest children from birth to age eight by increasing coordination of child-serving systems, building infrastructure, and improving methods for providing services for children within seven zip-codes of inner-city Des Moines where the poverty level is nearly four times that of the city as a whole. The evaluation of Iowa Project LAUNCH utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods to track improvement in family functioning, health and access to resources, improved delivery of services, and coordination and collaboration of councils. The evaluation will improve the delivery and coordination of program services to more effectively meet the needs of children and families.
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Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) Evaluation
Prenatal and early childhood home visiting is a widely-supported method for delivering a vast array of preventive and early intervention services to families in need of support. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program supports pregnant women and families by utilizing evidence-based, voluntary home visitation models to teach parents to prevent child abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting, and promote child development and school readiness. The evaluation of the program tracks support to pregnant women and families and the help that parents of children from birth to age 5 receive from the program. Results will improve the program’s home visitation services throughout the state so that children are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Family Support Statewide Database (FSSD) Evaluation
The Family Support Family Data Collection Project serves both children and families within various counties throughout the state of Iowa. This Project is used as a supplemental assessment tool for Family home visitors as well as for state and federal agencies that support the project through funding and oversight. The primary purpose of this project is to improve child and family outcomes through evidence based early childhood intervention programs. These reports explore relationships between basic demographic variables including marital status, race, and income, as well as how these demographic variables might be related to child and parent outcomes.
Quality Improvement for Early Care, Health and Education Programs: Benton County Kindergarten Readiness
Benton County, Iowa undertook an effort to gather information on early childhood literacy skills and social emotional development to better understand the relationship between preschool programming and kindergarten readiness. BCE intended to identify strengths and needed improvements for kindergarten readiness. BCE collected information and assistance in analyzing the data was provided by the Center for Evaluation and Research. The study measured early literacy skills, social emotional development, kindergarten test scores and the relationship between these measures.
Evaluation of the Broward County Family Success Center Family Development Program
The focus of the evaluation was to document processes and measure effectiveness of the family development model as it has been implemented in Broward County, Florida. The report provides outcomes of strategies employed by staff and families, the process by which outcomes were achieved and understanding of how the model has worked, where it may be refined, and what lessons have been learned that can inform replication in other Centers. A second focus of the evaluation was to measure and make recommendations for improving community collaboration to reduce fragmentation and foster a more coordinated, comprehensive service delivery system enhancing program effectiveness. The interpretation of these data provided insight into process and outcomes of the program and provided summative evaluation and information relevant for the purposes of program replication and improvement.
Network Guide to Measuring Family Development Outcomes
The Center for Evaluation and Research, in collaboration with the Iowa Community Action Association and the State Division of Community Action Agencies was involved in the design and implementation of Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA). The Network Guide documents a variety of exemplary approaches for collecting and analyzing results and linking services to family development and stability outcomes, and describes how these approaches work. The Center built off of previous experience with developing and implementing outcome measures through work on the AAFP, the California Matrix Model and with other outcome measures systems. Lessons learned were provided for identification, implementation, use, reporting and improvement of outcomes of family development programs.
Evaluation of the Healthy Start Cooperative Agreement
Healthy Start sought to improve health outcomes for infants and mothers in a targeted high-risk area in the city of Des Moines. Healthy Start implemented three primary components: case management, service facilitation (through transportation, childcare, and translation services), and consortium development. The evaluation by the Center for Evaluation and Research included tracking of key performance indicators over time, analysis of case specific data, consumer satisfaction, network analysis of interagency collaboration, and cost analysis. Results were used to illuminate the cost effectiveness of the program to allow program administrators to make informed decisions about the program.