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  Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Overviews    

The purpose of these outlines is to provide a brief overview of some specific evidence-based practices that are utilized in the field of child welfare, based on the information available in The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare’s (CEBC) database. The content presented in the following briefs was retrieved from either SAMHSA’s NREPP or the CEBC’s database, as cited in the briefs. (Last updated June 2013)

The following is a list of commonly used EBPs in child welfare:

Below is a list of additional EBPs:


  Informational & Practice Publications, Resources, & Tools    

For Child Welfare Professionals

  • NRCPFC Permanency Planning Today: Series on Evidence-Based Practice
    • Part One
      This first issue of this series from the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) provides basic foundational information on evidence-based practice and points our readership toward resources and information to support workers, policymakers, administrators, and others involved in the field in implementing policies and practice that are evidence-based. (Spring 2012)
    • Part Two
      The second issue in this series builds on the first, providing more advanced information and delving deeper in exploring evidence-based practice.  An interview with Mark Lipsey, Ph.D provides a more expansive understanding of approaches to evidence-based practice.  Subsequent articles discuss evaluation, logic models, and related resources, tools, and information to support selection and effective implementation of evidence-based practices.  The article, “Making the Commitment to Evidence-Based Practice: The New York Foundling Experience,” discusses the process of making the shift to evidence-based practice in juvenile justice, mental health, preventive, and foster care services at New York Foundling, and describes the positive outcomes achieved as a result of the changes made. (Winter 2012-2013)


  Teleconferences, Webinars, Webcasts & Videos    
  • Evidence Based Interventions: Triple P in San Francisco
    This webinar, co-sponsored by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), focused on San Francisco’s experience with delivering and sustaining the Triple P Positive Parenting Program, a multilevel system of parenting and family support strategies developed for use with families from many cultural groups.  Presenters included: Sylvia Deporto, Deputy Director, Family and Children’s Services, San Francisco Human Services Agency; Stephanie Romney, Director, The Parent Training Institute, San Francisco; and Judith Baker, Program Director/Consultant, formerly with South of Market Child Care, Inc. (January 28, 2014)

  • Evidence Based Interventions: Incredible Years in San Diego 
    Co-sponsored by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), this webinar focused on San Diego’s experience with delivering and sustaining Incredible Years, a set of parent, child, and teacher trainings designed to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioral and emotional problems in young children.  Presenters included:  Roseann Myers, Assistant Deputy Director, Policy and Program Support, Child Welfare Services, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency; Angela Rowe, Senior Operations Director, Vista Hill ParentCare and Incredible Families; and, Sara Cole, Program Manager/Therapist, Vista Hill Incredible Families. (January 14, 2014)


*Many of these resources were developed previously by the National Resource Center for
Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC).

  Informational & Practice Publications, Resources, & Tools    

Databases/Directories of EBPs

  • California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
    The CEBC website is designed to serve as an online connection for child welfare professionals, staff of public and private organizations, academic institutions, and others who are committed to serving children and families; provide up-to-date information on evidence-based child welfare practices; and facilitate the utilization of evidence-based practices as a method of achieving improved outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being for children and families involved in the child welfare system.  Their website has compare feature integrated into every search result page that allows users to view a side-by-side comparison of up to 4 programs.
  • National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
    NREPP, a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a searchable database with up-to-date, reliable information on the scientific basis and practicality of interventions.  Users, such as community organizations and state and local officials, can perform custom searches to identify specific interventions based upon desired outcomes, target populations and service settings.
  • FindYouthInfo Program Directory 
    The FindYouthInfo Program Directory features evidence-based programs with the purpose of preventing and/or reducing problem behaviors in young people.  Programs are searchable by risk factors and/or protective factors.

For Child Welfare Professionals

  • American Psychological Association (APA) Children, Youth, and Families News: EBPs
    CYF News is the newsletter for the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) office, which supports the work of the APA Committee on CYF and liaisons with interested divisions, state associations, other organizations and federal agencies.  The following articles from CYF focus on evidence-based practices (EBPs) in the field of child welfare:
  • Comparison of Three Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce Substance Use 
    The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY), sponsored by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, outlines and compares three evidence-based practices (EBPs) to help reduce substance use/substance abuse, including: Motivational Interviewing, Ecologically-Based Family Therapy, and the Community Reinforcement Approach.  The NCFY provides an overview of each EPB’s approach, goal, process (how it works), target population, length of treatment, pros, and cons. (March 2013)
  • Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)
    This Child Welfare Information Gateway issue brief is intended to build a better understanding of the characteristics and benefits of AF-CBT, an evidence-supported intervention that targets (1) diverse individual child and caregiver characteristics related to conflict and intimidation in the home and (2) the family context in which aggression or abuse may occur.  The brief was written primarily to help child welfare caseworkers and other professionals who work with at-risk families make more informed decisions about when to refer children and their parents and caregivers to AF-CBT programs.  This information may also help parents, foster parents, and other caregivers understand what they and their children can gain from AF-CBT and what to expect during treatment. (January 2013)
  • Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice
    As part of the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative, the Vera Institute of Justice created this guide which describes the process of assessing programs to determine whether they qualify as evidence-based and explains how programs can prepare for evaluation.  This resource aims to guide practitioners in building and monitoring their programs through a three-step evaluation process. (2013)
  • Guide for Child Welfare Administrators on Evidence-Based Practice 
    Published by the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, this resource provides guidelines for a common language and framework with which to understand the conditions, challenges, and opportunities of evidence-based practice in child welfare.  It offers definitions of evidence-based practice and discusses how administrators can use the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) to identify evidence-based practice.  (2012)
  • Implementation Resource Guide for Social Service Programs: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Programming 
    This resource from the Office of Family Assistance, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, provides an introduction to evidence-based programming and focuses on various implementation factors that lead to positive outcomes for evidence-based practices or programs.  The guide refers to a specific program design and programmatic activities and processes, called Evidence-Based Programming or Evidence-Informed Programming, and provides guidelines on project conceptualization and the project implementation phase. (June 2010)

For Youth & Families

  • VCPN: Evidence-based Treatments for Childhood Trauma
    Volume 95 of the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter (VCPN) focuses on evidence-based treatments for childhood trauma.  It provides information about specific evidence-based treatments, the impact of trauma on children, what child welfare workers can do to offer trauma-informed services, and resources.  The resource also includes a listing of questions to ask treatment providers, highlights State Practice Improvement Projects in North Carolina and South Carolina, and discusses INVEST for Children: A Community-Based Learning Collaborative in Virginia. (Fall 2012)

  Research & Reports    
  • Key Implementation Considerations for Executing Evidence-Based Programs: Project Overview 
    This research brief from Child Trends, under contract of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of Human Services Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, introduces key themes from that emerged from a Forum hosted by the ASPE—Emphasizing Evidence-Based Programs for Children and Youth.  The Forum took place to discuss challenges encountered in the selection and replication of evidence-based programs and identify approaches, when evidence-based programs are unavailable or applicable for a specific population, to develop evidence-informed programs. (February 2013)
  • Interim Reports Available on Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting
    In 2008, the Children’s Bureau entered into cooperative agreements with 17 projects in 15 states to support the implementation of home visiting programs designed to prevent child maltreatment.  Interim reports are available from the Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting (EBHV) Cross-site Evaluation being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall.
    • Evidence-Based Home Visiting Systems Evaluation Update: Infrastructure-Building Plans and Activities in 2011
      This report provides a snapshot of subcontractors’ plans for achieving target outcomes and activities that support development of infrastructure to implement with fidelity, scale-up, and sustain evidence-based home visiting programs during year three of the EBHV initiative. It describes the evolution of subcontractors’ logic models and discusses the types of infrastructure-building activities implemented by subcontractors.  The report summarizes contractors’ perceived progress, successes, and challenges in achieving their targeted infrastructure-building outcomes. (December 2012)
    • Replicating Home Visiting Programs with Fidelity: Baseline Data and Preliminary Findings
      This report describes the fidelity measurement framework adopted by the cross-site evaluation team and early fidelity outcomes for 44 agencies implementing home visiting services as part of the initiative. The guiding theory of the fidelity frame work is presented along with its key components and indicators.  It summarizes the extent to which implementing agencies achieved fidelity with respect to their chosen home visiting models in three key areas: home visitor and supervisory caseloads, service duration, and service dosage. (December 2012) 

  Training & Curricula    
  • A Guide to Evidence-Based Practices on the Web
    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides this Web Guide to assist the public with simple and direct connections to websites that contain information about interventions to prevent and/or treat mental and substance use disorders.  The Guide provides a list of websites that contain information about specific evidence-based practices (EBPs) or provide comprehensive reviews of research findings.
  • Understanding Evidence 
    This free online training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps users to utilize evidence-based decision-making in thinking about ways to prevent violence in their communities.  Upon completion of the online training, the learner will be able to: 1) Define the three types of evidence involved in evidence-based decision making, 2) Identify standards of rigor across the key dimensions that make up the best available research evidence, 3) Identify sources of and ways to collect best available research evidence, contextual evidence, and experiential evidence, and 4) Identify key stages and characteristics of evidence-based decision making.  Additional resources, including videos, interactive tools, and model summaries are available.
  Teleconferences, Webinars, Webcasts & Videos    
  • Making ‘What Works’ Work for You: Evidence-Based Components and Adaptation
    This free webinar was hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), in collaboration with the National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC).  NJJEC panelists discussed how to use research-based strategies and techniques in new contexts and how to adapt model programs for local circumstances.  This webinar can help service providers improve current programs and identify research-based practices to address new issues or problems.  The webinar transcript and PowerPoint presentation are also available. (April 2013)
  • Scaling Up an Evidence Based Intervention: A Discussion of Implementation
    This archived webinar from the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) highlighted Kansas’s experience with selecting and scaling up Parent Management Training – Oregon Model (PMTO) to improve permanency outcomes for children and youth with severe emotional disturbances (SED) under the five-year federal Permanency Innovation Initiative (PII).  Presenters shared their experience with using implementation frameworks, developed out of implementation research, during the last two years of implementation, and what they learned about the supports that are critical during the implementation process. (October 29, 2013)
  • Evidence-Based Practices in Child Welfare: Opportunities & Challenges for the Workforce 
    In this webinar from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI), presenters provide an overview of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in child welfare and information about planning and implementing EBPs.  The direction in the field and limitations of EBPs is also discussed.  Presenters shared resources available through the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) website, as well as examples of effectively implemented EBP from various jurisdictions. (February 20, 2013)
  • The Logic Model Builder and Information Gateway Resources for Exploring the Research on Evidence-Based Practices 
    Logic models are critical to good planning, implementation, and evaluation of services.  The FRIENDS’ approach to logic models places a strong emphasis on articulating the rationale behind services provided. In developing a logic model, it is incumbent on service providers to understand and document the research or other evidence that suggests their services will achieve positive outcomes for children and families.  This webinar, offered by FRIENDS National Resource Center on Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention and Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the T/TA Network, provided a demonstration of the interactive, web-enabled Logic Model Builder and explored Child Welfare Information Gateway’s online library.  The webinar covers: the purposes and development of the Evaluation Toolkit and Logic Model Builder; how to use the Logic Model Builder, with options and features for developing and presenting your logic model; and how to use the Child Welfare Information Gateway library to conduct literature reviews and explore the research on child welfare practices. (May 12, 2011)
  • CEBC Webinars
    The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) makes available archived webinars it has sponsored on evidence-based practice.  Presentation materials are also available for download.
  State Examples    
  • Minnesota: Children's Mental Health Strategic Initiative: Evidence-Based Practices 
    This webpage from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), Children’s Mental Health Division provides information and resources pertaining to the State’s initiative on promoting evidence-based practices (EBP) to improve the quality and quantity of clinical treatment available to children and families.  The Children’s mental Health Division, in collaboration with the national Alliance on Mental Illnesses (NAMI) Minnesota, developed EBP fact sheets for parents that are available on the webpage and include the following issues: anxiety, attention problems, depression, disruptive behavior, eating disorder, substance use, and trauma. (Last updated August 2013)    



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Last updated 8/18/14