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Evaluating Child Welfare Community Collaborations


  • ACF wants to advance the evidence on collaborative approaches to preventing child maltreatment.
  • Abt is providing evaluation technical assistance to ACF grantees and conducting a cross-site process evaluation.
  • Abt will support communities’ scaling of promising practices to ultimately keep more families together.
The Challenge

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is transforming the field of child welfare by supporting communities’ efforts to prevent child maltreatment, rather than only respond once it occurs. ACF funded two cohorts of grantees under the Child Welfare Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families program. These grantees are implementing and evaluating community-based approaches to prevent child abuse and neglect (CAN) to reduce trauma, incidence of child maltreatment, and placements into foster care. To test promising community approaches to address child maltreatment, ACF has invested in both a cross-site process evaluation of all 13 grantees, and evaluation technical assistance to support the quality and rigor of grantees’ local evaluations.

The Approach

Abt supports ACF’s efforts by:

1. Providing responsive and proactive evaluation-related technical assistance to strengthen grantees’ capacity to conduct site-specific outcome evaluations.

2. Conducting a cross-site process evaluation of each cohort of grantees to better understand how communities came together to develop and implement integrated approaches to preventing child maltreatment. Through qualitative and quantitative data collection, Abt will document project and organizational leadership approaches, integration and alignment strategies, and recruitment and assessment methods to identify and engage at-risk families.

The Results

Through our technical assistance, Abt is growing grantee communities’ evaluation capacity and building cultures of data use in organizational decision-making processes. Abt will disseminate cross-site evaluation findings and topical briefs so other communities developing primary prevention strategies to address child maltreatment can leverage lessons learned.