News

May 18
Special Issue - Supporting Change in Child Welfare: An Evaluation of Training and Technical Assistance

As a result of the James Bell Associates (JBA) project, Cross-Site Evaluation of Child Welfare Implementation Centers and National Resource Centers​, for the Children's Bureau, JBA staff members produced papers now published in the "Special Issue - Supporting Change in Child Welfare: An Evaluation of Training and Technical Assistance" in the journal Training and Development in Human Services, the Journal of the National Staff Development and Training Association (an affinity peer group of the American Publich Human Services Association)​​. JBA contributing authors are Dr. James DeSanis, Ms. Tammy Richards, Ms. Joanna DeWolfe, Dr. Pirkko Ahonen, Dr. Chi Connie Park, and Ms. Lizbeth E. Caceda-Castro. To read the journal, click here​.

Apr 26
JBA Presents at SRCD 2017 Biennial Meeting

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) held its 2017 Biennial Meeting from April 6 to April 8 in Austin, Texas. The SRCD biennial meetings provide an opportunity for child development professionals and other researchers to connect and exchange information and ideas.


James Bell Associates (JBA) staff member Colleen Morrison, Ph.D., presented as part of a symposium titled “Child Health and Developmental Outcomes in the Context of Parental Trauma.” Dr. Morrison’s presentation was titled “Exposure to Trauma and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Low-income African American Women.” This presentation reported​​ findings from a study that examined the relationship between trauma, adverse health behaviors during pregnancy, and adverse birth outcomes in low-income, African American women.


Mar 28
U.S. Forest Service 40,000 Employee Workforce to Be Surveyed

As part of a contract with U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Criterion Web Accessibility Solutions contracted with James Bell Associates to design and administer a Web-based survey to the U.S. Forest Service 40,000-employee workforce to assess the current state of knowledge and c​​​​​​​onformance with Section 508 requirements. The survey will yie​​​​ld information that can be used to identify gaps in training, support​​​, and implementation of Section 508 requirements. The survey will be designed to elicit employee opinions and knowledge of Section 508 requirements and conformance within the USFS. Data on these constructs and primary questions will enable statistical analyses of the current  status of USFS 508 conformance.​​​​

Mar 25
JBA to Evaluate American Indian Tobacco Prevention Initiatives

James Bell Associates (JBA) has been contracted by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to evaluate the tobacco prevention initiatives being implemented in its American Indian communities. To read more click on Evaluation of the Montana American Indian Tobacco Use Prevention Program.​

Mar 18
FLASH-V Awarded to James Bell Associates

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration of Children and Families  in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded a 4-year contract, Family Level Assessment and State of Home Visiting (FLASH-V), to James Bell Associates in partnership with MDRC. This study will increase the understanding of how families are selected to receive home visiting services through the Federal Home Visiting Program. For more information about this new study, click on Family Level Assessment and State of Home Visiting.

Feb 22
SAMHSA AWARDS IDIQ to JBA

​James Bell Associates (JBA) has been prequalified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) for the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) performance-based contract, which will remain in effect for a 5-year period​. Prequalified means JBA is a part of a limited number of organizations that will receive certain requests for task order proposals. JBA is prequalified as a contractor in domains I and III—Feasibility, Pilot, and Evaluation Projects and Policy Analysis and Program Related Projects—and as a subcontractor for domains II and V—Statistical Projects and Technical Assistance and Training Projects. 

IDIQ performance-based contracts are used to provide services to SAMHSA officials and staff to help achieve their individual centers/divisions/offices missions in a timely manner. They also enables SAMHSA to improve its technical, management, and administrative operations by reducing the time and labor required to obtain critical contract services and products. For more information, click here.​

Feb 20
CW Practice Model Implementation Projects: Lessons Learned

​James P. DeSantis, Ph.D., a Vice President at James Bell Associates (JBA); Jill G. Sanclimenti, M.B.A., a writer for the Capacity Building Center for States of the Children's Bureau; and Lizbeth E. Caceda-Castro, M.Ed., Expert Consultant at JBA collaborated on the article "Child Welfare Practice Model Implementation Projects: Lessons Learned," published online for the Journal of Public Child Welfare.

Based on qualitative analysis from a cross-site evaluation of Child Welfare Implementation Centers, this article provides an overview and lessons learned from 14 practice model implementation projects and the use of training and technical assistance (T/TA) to support them. Child welfare agencies implement practice models to guide their processes and practices, clarify expectations, and enhance service delivery to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Changing child welfare practices is a tremendous undertaking requiring assimilation of new concepts, policies, skills, and behaviors. The integration of a new practice model can be facilitated through tailored T/TA grounded in implementation science. To read this article in its entirety, click here​. ​


Nov 30
MUSE-New Tribal Home Visiting Contract

Administration for Children and Families through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded James Bell Associates (JBA), partnering with the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Multi-Site Implementation Evaluation of Tribal Home Visiting (MUSE) contract. The MUSE Team will engage tribal grantees, tribal and organizational leadership, and subject matter experts to create an innovative yet feasible multi-site implementation evaluation of Tribal Home Visiting. MUSE builds on the Mother Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) conceptual model for implementation. This adaptation of the MIHOPE model highlights unique cultural and contextual inputs, outputs, and outcomes. MUSE will examine how cultural and contextual adaptations, enhancements, and supplements of tribal home visiting programs relate to quality of services and outcomes in tribal communities. For more information click on Multi-Site Implementation Evaluation of Tribal Home Visiting.

Nov 30
Video Series on Data Driven Decision Making

​James Bell Associates in conjunction with the Children’s Bureau (CB) produced a three-part video series on Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM). DDDM changes the conversations in human service organizations from opinions, anecdotes, and “turf” issues to one focusing on hard facts ​and actionable information. These videos focus on the importance DDDM places on fostering learning and improvements in child welfare and other human service organizations and systems. The primary target audiences are program directors and both newly funded and ongoing CB discretionary grantees. Managers and front-line staff from a broader range of state and local child welfare and other human service organizations will find the videos useful.

This three-part video series provides an overview of data-driven decisio​​n making (DDDM), a systematic process for collecting and using data to inform practice and policy changes that improve an organization’s operations and outcomes. Using the example of a fictional child welfare service organization (Green County Department of Human Services), the videos cover key DDDM concepts that include developing a theory of change, collecting and analyzing data, communicating findings, and making organizational improvements.

The first part of the video series  provides an overview of DDDM, explains its importance in the context of human service organizations, and describes the process of developing a theory of change as a first step in the DDDM process in the context of a fictional human services organization.

The second video explores the process of collecting and analyzing data to inform decision making in a human service context. Using the fictional example of a foster care recruitment and licensing program, the video describes the creation of data collection and tracking systems, the monitoring of ongoing recruitment and licensing activities, and using data to identify and troubleshoot problems.

The final part of the DDDM video series describes strategies for communicating information collected through the DDDM process to key stakeholder groups in a clear and concise manner and for using findings to solve problems and make program improvements. The fictional example of a foster care recruitment and licensing program is used again to illustrate these strategies.

To view the videos, click here​.​


Oct 19
CB/CDC AWARD JBA CONTRACT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FASDs RESEARCH

​The Children’s Bureau (CB) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the contract to James Bell Associates (JBA) in partnership with ICF International (ICF). ICF originally conducted an Exploratory Study of prenatal substance exposure in a single jurisdiction. Prenatal substance exposure can result in adverse birth outcomes and physical, behavioral, developmental, and cognitive effects. In child welfare (CW) populations, the extent of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is not well established, but estimates suggest about two-thirds of families have substance use/abuse issues. The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) may be significantly higher than what is found in the general population. CW agencies are challenged when it comes to detection and intervention, and these issues are under-identified. To read more about the project, click on Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in Child Welfare.​

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