Through the Family Engagement Impact Project (FEIP), James Bell Associates was contracted through the Education Program at the Heising-Simons Foundation to develop a series of tips and resources for funders, practitioners, and policy makers to better coordinate family engagement efforts across organizations. The project supported multiple collaborations between school districts, community organizations, and early childhood providers.
The FEIP goal was to develop methods to improve the ways communities, professionals, and parents engage in children’s learning, and to promote positive educational outcomes for low-income immigrant children from birth through age 8. The initiative took place in two California counties, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
FEIP engaged Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to evaluate the implementation phase of the project. JBA drew from the evaluation findings to develop a series of six briefs for parents and educators. To view each brief, click on the title.
1. The Family Engagement Impact Project (FEIP): Overview. A visual representation of the goals, strategies, and outcomes of the initiative.
2. Building Capacity for Family Engagement. Read how grantee partnerships that were part of FEIP built the capacity of families, professionals, and organizations to work together and bolster educational outcomes for young children.
3. Evaluating Family Engagement. Discover key steps used to evaluate FEIP and glean insights into methods and instruments that can be used to assess family engagement services and outcomes.
4. Implementing Raising A Reader Plus. Learn about the successes and challenges of FEIP grantee partnerships in implementing Raising A Reader Plus, an early literacy and parent engagement program that helps improve reading skills of children birth through age 8.
5. Supporting Teachers to Engage Parents. Read five important lessons learned about building teachers’ knowledge, skills, and confidence to engage families.
6. Building Community Partnership in Support of Family Engagement. Take a look at 10 tips for community partnerships seeking to coordinate a family engagement initiative.
The National Home Visiting Resource Center (NHVRC) web site, featuring the new 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook is available. The NHVRC provides comprehensive information about early childhood home visiting. Its goal is to support sound decisions in policy and practice to help children and families thrive. Other features on the site include a catalog of home visiting research, an interactive map with data, and stories from the field. To learn more and stay in touch with the NHVRC visit www.nhvrc.org
The 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook presents a portrait of early childhood home visiting across America, expanding the understanding of who receives, administers, and funds home visiting. Highlights from the yearbook include (1) more than a quarter of a million families (including more than 300,000 children) received evidence-based home visiting services in 2015 over the course of more than 2 million home visits and (2) about 18 million pregnant women and families (including more than 23 million children) could benefit from home visiting but are not being reached. For more information on the 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook, click on an overview and yearbook.
NHVRC was established in January 2016 to share knowledge about early childhood home visiting. Quality home visiting programs have demonstrated a range of positive outcomes, including improved child development and school readiness, reduced child maltreatment, improved parent education and employment outcomes, and increased economic self-sufficiency. The NHVRC collects, synthesizes, and disseminates information about home visiting to improve practice and policy at the national, state, and local levels. It focuses on three key areas: the need for home visiting, the status and characteristics of home visiting programs, and new and emerging research on home visiting.
The NHVRC is led by James Bell Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute. Support is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
For fiscal year 2016, James Bell Associates (JBA) was recognized as one of the four TOP AWARDEES by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization and Program Support Center (PSC), Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ), on the inaugural PSC IDIQ Small Business Industry Day 2017, held in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 2017. Among the four awardees, JBA was the only small business receiving recognition; other top awardees were RTI, Urban Institute, and Mathematica.
For the fiscal year 2016, PSC IDIQ awarded over 23 million dollars for new awards to small businesses and over 59 million to new large business awards. This event was specifically designed to give small business awardees under the PSC IDIQ contract and HHS program staff an opportunity to meet in person, learn more about the PSC IDIQ procurement landscape, share ideas in an open dialogue, discuss needs and capabilities, and engage with PSC procurement staff providing support under this contract.
At the 20th anniversary meeting of the National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium on May 24, 2017, in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. James DeSantis, Vice President of James Bell Associates, delivered a presentation on “Challenges in Conducting Evaluation of Capacity Building Services Provided by Three Different Centers.” He presented an overview of the data collected to date for the cross-center evaluation of the capacity building collaborative and discussed the challenges of developing common instruments applying to all providers when there are differences in approach. He also spoke about challenges in making connections between T/TA and outcomes when contextual factors may have an influence. Dr. DeSantis served on a panel: the Evaluation Challenges Associated with Adaptation to Changing Priorities in Training and Technical Assistance Initiatives.
The theme of the symposium, hosted by the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, was Celebrating 20 Years of NHSTES: Honoring Our Past, Fulfilling Our Present, Preparing for Our Future.
The Children’s Investment Fund of Massachusetts contracted with James Bell Associates to design the evaluation of the Early Education and Out of School Capital Fund Grant Program. It supports the positive impact high quality education makes in children’s lives and acknowledges that all children, regardless of family income or circumstances, should be educated in physical environments supporting healthy development and learning. For more information about this, click Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Grant Program.
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 DeSantis, Ms. Tammy Richards, Ms. Joanna DeWolfe, Dr. Pirkko Ahonen, Dr. Chi Connie Park, and Ms. Lizbeth E. Caceda-Castro. To read the journal, click
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.
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 conformance with Section 508 requirements. The survey will yield 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.
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.