In September 2009, the Children’s Bureau awarded 24 grants to support demonstration projects that help reconnect family members with children in or at risk of entering foster care.
Grantees implemented projects in four programs areas: kinship navigator, family-finding, family group decision-making, and residential family treatment. Eight grantees implemented services in two or three program areas.
Grantees conducted local evaluations to improve processes and services and to demonstrate linkages between project activities and improved outcomes related to safety, permanency, and well-being. They also participated in a national cross-site evaluation that documented the progress of projects within each program area and the 24-grantee cluster as a whole.
JBA synthesized information from grantee summaries and profiles, evaluation reports of aggregated process and outcome evaluation results, and discussions with a cross-section of grantee representatives. Results are organized across seven key themes:
- Projects provided family connection services to diverse populations.
- Grantees implemented multiple service models tailored to participants.
- Adult, child, and family-level outcomes demonstrated success.
- Family connection affected changes in policies and procedures, attitudes, and awareness.
- Projects encountered facilitators and barriers to implementation.
- Grantees actively planned to sustain services.
- Grantees provide lessons learned and recommendations on project implementation and evaluation.