Select a project to learn more:

The Impact of Access to the Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE) Process on Caregiver Preventative Health Care Use and Well-Being

The goal of this project is to assess the impact of the TCARE process on caregiver well-being and preventative health care. TCARE is designed to support family members who are providing care to adults or children with chronic or acute health conditions or developmental disabilities through an array of services for the caregiver (e.g., respite care; stress buster classes). The project will also fulfil aspects of the Respite Task Force legislative duties, which was put into Colorado HB15-1233 creating a “Respite Task Force” within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). This task force is charged with taking a data-informed approach to determining the dynamics of supply and demand of respite and related caregiving services in Colorado and to make recommendations to improve services for non-professional caregivers (e.g., taking care of aging loved ones, taking care of children or adults with developmental disabilities).

This program evaluation will (1) describe the services and supports that are recommended by the TCARE treatment planning process to inform efforts to improve access to caregiver supports across regions; (2) replicate an evaluation that occurred in WA state that found when care managers have access to TCARE, caregivers report lower levels of depression, identity discrepancy, and burden; and (3) examine the potential effect of access to the TCARE program on caregivers’ use of preventative health care. Together, this will inform the work of the Respite Task Force and CDHS’ decision to provide access to TCARE statewide.


Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Community Access and Independence

Easterseals Colorado

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab

Fostering Opportunities

Fostering Opportunities is an innovative student engagement program for middle school and high school students who have experienced foster care. The goal of the program is to help youth who have experienced foster care to be successful in school and ultimately earn a high school credential.

With a foundation in social capital theory, the three key components of Fostering Opportunities are designed to be responsive to and respectful of fluidity in students’ living situations, caregivers, eligibility for services, child welfare case statuses, and safety precautions or plans. The three components are: (1) Child Welfare and Education Systems Alignment; (2) The Role of the Specialist; and (3) A System to Track Students Across Placements and Schools. Once the program is established, specialists meet with students regularly to advocate, mentor, and provide social-emotional support and academic support. They also consult and coordinate information to ensure that students experience a consistent network of support in the school environment and beyond. A database is the final critical component, and it is necessary to ensure that information can be shared with the student’s network.

The Fostering Opportunities project is funded by Pay for Success.


Governor’s Office (Pay for Success)

Colorado Department of Human Services, Child Welfare

Jefferson County School District

Research Partners: 

JeffCo Public Schools

Jefferson County Human Services

To learn more, please refer to the Fostering Opportunities Program Manual:  Fostering Opportunities Program Manual – Middle and High School Version

Colorado Community Response

The Colorado Community Response program provides voluntary services to families who are reported to the state for child abuse or neglect but whose circumstances do not rise to the level of child welfare service involvement. The program is designed to reduce incidences of neglect by increasing the financial stability and self-sufficiency of caregivers. The Colorado Lab is supporting a randomized control trial determining the efficacy of the program.


Colorado Department of Human Services, Office
of Early Childhood

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and
Action Lab

Denver Runaways

Denver Collaborative Partnership is taking an upstream preventative approach to serving youth who run away and their families. A rapid response team is meeting the youth and families where they are and connecting them to evidence-based services (e.g., Multi-Systemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy) aimed at preventing juvenile justice involvement and the need for out-of-home care. The Lab will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the project. 

The Denver Runaways project is funded by Pay for Success.


Colorado Department of Human Services

Denver Police Department

Governor’s Office of Information Technology

Research Partners: 

Denver Collaborative Partnership

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for the Underserved

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an evidence-based model to help system-involved youth that is not widely available. The Center for Effective Interventions at the University of Denver has identified Adams, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld counties to participate in a pilot providing MST to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The Lab is evaluating the impact of the MST expansion on youth recidivism. 

The MST Underserved project is funded by Pay for Success.


Colorado Department of Human Services

Office of State Planning and Budgeting

Research Partners: 

Infinite Frontier Consulting