Session: Is Child Welfare Ready for an Evidence-Supported World? Successes and Challenges of the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) (Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference - Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice)

79 Is Child Welfare Ready for an Evidence-Supported World? Successes and Challenges of the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII)

Friday, January 12, 2018: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Marquis BR Salon 10 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Symposium Organizer:
George Gabel, Westat
Maria Woolverton, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
In 2010, the Children's Bureau funded the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) as part of a larger Presidential initiative to use evidence to inform programs and policy, known as evidence-based policymaking. PII is a multi-site demonstration project supporting the implementation and evaluation of innovative intervention strategies to improve permanence and other outcomes for children in foster care who face the most serious barriers to permanence. Grantees examined their foster care populations to discover which children were most likely to experience long-term foster care and determine what type of interventions might best serve the needs of the targeted children and families to prevent or reduce their time in long-term foster care. The PII populations included African American and Native American children, LGBTQ children and youth, and children with trauma-related mental health symptoms or serious emotional disturbances. The ACF Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) funded the PII Evaluation Team (PII-ET) to conduct site-specific formative and summative evaluations, as well as cross-site implementation, cost, and case studies for the PII projects. PII-ET, along with the CB-funded technical assistance provider (PII-TTAP), developed the PII Approach, a phased-based approach to implementing and evaluating evidence-supported interventions. This symposium will present findings from the PII evaluation to highlight the current state of evidence-based policymaking in the child welfare field; and emphasize the importance of developing and testing promising evidence-supported interventions (ESI). Presenters will discuss findings from the development and evaluation of CAPP, an innovative practice model to reduce long-term foster care and improving permanence outcomes in California, particularly among African American and American Indian children; the development and evaluation of RISE, a new intervention to support LGBTQ children and youth in foster care in Los Angeles County; TARGET project, a trauma-informed adapted intervention focused on improving outcomes for Illinois foster youth experiencing mental health symptoms; and evidence building implications from the cross-site implementation study. Finally, presenters will discuss the lessons learned from PII and the implications for the future of evidence building in child welfare.
* noted as presenting author
Formative Evaluation of a New Program to Support LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care
Jaymie Lorthridge, PhD, Westat; Leanne Heaton, PhD, Westat; Marneena Evans, BSFS, Westat
Evaluation of a Trauma Intervention Adapted for Youth in Foster Care
Leanne Heaton, PhD, Westat; George Gabel, Westat
Findings and Implications for Evidence Building from a Cross-Site Implementation Study
James Bell, PhD, James Bell Associates; Heidi Melz, PhD, James Bell Associates
Building Capacity of Child Welfare Agencies to Use Evidence Supported Interventions
Mark Testa, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; James Bell, PhD, James Bell Associates; George Gabel, Westat
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