Cross-Center Evaluation of the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative
Child welfare systems are continually challenged to achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families. In 2014, the Children’s Bureau restructured its approach to support those systems in states, tribes, and courts by creating the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative.
As the prime contractor for the 5-year cross-center evaluation (2020–2025), JBA is evaluating the Collaborative’s efforts to help systems build their capacity to meet federal standards intended to improve child safety, permanency, and well-being. The evaluation examines the technical assistance services provided by the Collaborative’s three Capacity Building Centers—the Center for States, Center for Tribes, and Center for Courts. This includes service delivery, quality, and satisfaction; implementation and outcomes of tailored services; factors influencing effectiveness, sustainability, and costs; collaboration among Centers and partnerships with federal staff; and the national recognition and reputation of the Centers.
Using a mixed-methods longitudinal approach, the evaluation collects data through surveys, interviews, focus groups, document review, and an online service delivery and outcome tracking system. Formative and summative evaluation findings are shared with the Centers and the Children’s Bureau.
The current evaluation builds on lessons learned from the previous evaluation of the Collaborative (2014–2020), which addressed the types of services provided and their effectiveness, recipient satisfaction with services, collaboration with and across Centers, and cost of services. The mixed-methods process and outcome evaluation and cost study spanned three phases: assessment and design; evaluation implementation and data collection; and analysis, reporting, and dissemination. A final evaluation report was disseminated to the child welfare field, and three articles on aspects of the findings were developed for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Previously, JBA also conducted a cross-site evaluation of the Children’s Bureau Child Welfare Implementation Centers and National Resource Centers, which preceded the Capacity Building Collaborative.
James P. DeSantis, Ph.D.
James P. DeSantis is a developmental psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in research, program design, evaluation, technical assistance, and project...
Anne Fromknecht, M.P.H.
Senior Research Associate
Anne Fromknecht has more than 12 years of experience in applied social science, evaluation, and technical assistance. Her technical skills include project...
Pirkko Ahonen, Ph.D., M.S.
Senior Research Associate
Pirkko Ahonen has more than 20 years of experience in evaluation studies, technical assistance, and applied research. She currently serves as the project director...
Erin Ingoldsby, Ph.D.
Erin Ingoldsby has nearly 30 years of experience in applied social science research, program evaluation, and evaluation technical assistance in diverse content...
- Tammy Richards, M.Ed. Senior Research Associate
- Amanda Thomson, M.P.P. Research Associate
- Chi Connie Park, Ph.D., M.A. Senior Research Associate
- Kathy Kopiec, M.S.W., M.A. Research Associate