Family First Prevention Services Act is sweeping child welfare legislation aimed at keeping families together with a focus on preventative services. This project supports the state in developing and implementing the evaluation components of the Family First Prevention Services Plan.
Only one in four Colorado students who experience foster care during high school graduate with their class. In partnership with Jefferson County, this pilot develops and tests the effectiveness of a program that better aligns child welfare and education practices to ensure that every student who has experienced foster care has a consistent mentor and advocate for their educational success.
Colorado is investing considerably in strengthening families to prevent the entry of young people into the child welfare system. This project supports a randomized evaluation determining the efficacy of the Colorado Community Response program, which provides voluntary services to families reported to the state for child abuse/neglect but whose circumstances do not rise to the level of child welfare service involvement.
The Colorado Lab will serve as the coordinator of Family First rigorous evaluation efforts on behalf of the State to ensure strategic investments in evidence-building for services/programs positioned to meet the needs of Colorado’s children, youth, and families.
This project will provide intelligence to the new Department of Early Childhood regarding early childhood program participation and guidance about creating a common identifier to track program participation in the future.
Crossover youth are the young people with two types of court cases: (1) dependency and neglect and (2) juvenile justice. This project will connect child welfare and court system records to help meet federal reporting requirements and inform state policies and practices aimed at serving crossover youth.
Healthy child development is nurtured by both parents/caregivers and child care providers, and collaboration across early childhood spaces is thus vital. To catalyze innovation partnerships in early childhood, the Colorado Lab is conducting a case study evaluation of a pilot partnership between home visiting agencies and local home child care providers.
The Colorado Office of the Child’s Representative is the state agency charged with providing competent and effective best interests legal representation to children involved in the Colorado court system. This project aims to develop a rigorous evaluation plan to understand the impact of state contracted case consultants on Dependency & Neglect (D&N) and Juvenile Delinquency (JD) case outcomes and youth empowerment.
The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program supports caregivers of children ages six and under—including families, teachers, and program administrators—in developing strategies to foster social emotional development and mental health of children in their care. This project is working to support the program in building evidence, including defining the program’s essential elements, developing a strategy to support fidelity, and building data infrastructure.
The goal of this project is to inform policies and practices aimed at preventing youth homelessness. It builds on a pilot project, “Characteristics of Former Foster Youth Receiving Homeless Services” by expanding innovative administrative data linkages to more systems that serve youth experiencing homelessness.
The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (Partnership) is a cross-sector collaborative of human services and public health partners who believe that intentionally working together at the state and county levels to align funding, priorities, regulations, outcome measures, and implementation makes it possible to create a strong family well-being system.
This project applies lessons learned from the 2Gen Child Support Services randomized controlled trial and implementation study to create implementation guides tailored to county size, refine the case management procedures, and update the fidelity rubric.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST), a community-based intervention targeting youth ages 12-17 who are involved or at high risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system, has a proven record of success. It is delivered by trained teams of therapists over the course of 3-5 months with multiple home-visits per week. This project extends MST to regions of the state where the service was previously unavailable.
Following child abuse and neglect reports, families can become involved in investigations that span multiple government systems including law enforcement, child welfare, and the health system. With so many entities involved, the investigation process can be confusing and frustrating for families. This study assesses the impact of a coordinated multidisciplinary team response used in an urban Colorado county as well as caregiver perceptions of the investigation process.
Preventing homelessness of youth formerly in foster care begins with understanding characteristics of those most at risk. This project connects child welfare to homeless services data in the Denver metro area to inform policies and practices aimed at ensuring youth aging out of foster care have stable housing.
Colorado Department of Human Services is changing the culture of child support from an enforcement model to a 2Gen customer service model. The project is an 11-county randomized trial that examines potential of a 2Gen model to increase child support payments and identifies ways to strengthen implementation.
Some non-custodial parents pay child support one month and not the next. This project describes the feasibility of using routinely collected administrative data to identify employment-related reasons that relate to churn for the cohort of child support cases.
A large number of Coloradans find themselves in need of services from multiple public systems, and government leaders struggle to understand the best way to coordinate a shared response for these multisystem utilizers. This project starts the work of building common metrics of public system utilization across state agencies so that state government leadership and their teams can make more informed decisions about how to meet the needs of multisystem utilizers.
Youth who run away from home are likely to be involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare systems within one year. This Pay for Success project examined the impact of “rapid responders” on connecting youth and families to evidence-based services that ultimately prevent deeper juvenile justice or child welfare involvement.