Resource | Brief

Program Manuals for Child Welfare Interventions: An Overview of the Development Process

Project: Technical Assistance on Evaluation for Discretionary Grant Programs

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This brief explains how to develop, pilot, and use a manual for a child welfare program or practice.

A program manual provides instructions for implementing a program in a particular organizational setting with a specific population. Use of a manual helps ensure a program is implemented with fidelity—or as intended—to produce desired outcomes.

Program manuals are a valuable resource to direct service staff, supervisors, contracted providers, and other child welfare professionals who are implementing a new intervention or adopting an existing one, particularly when preparing a program for—

  • Long-term sustainability so the program can be implemented with fidelity by new staff or providers
  • Expansion or adaptation in new settings while maintaining fidelity
  • Review by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse and potential funding eligibility under the Family First Prevention Services Act