CPR is engaged in a variety of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects.
CPR is developing, implementing and testing a 2Gen approach to provide child support services in several county child support agencies for the State of Colorado, Department of Human Services, Child Support Division. Built upon the CO-PEP model and utilizing a 2Gen lens, CPR has developed a 2Gen Service Approach for child support agencies. The model accounts for the variation among county economic and geographic characteristics and the availability of community resources. The model is divided into three distinct service levels, based on the degree to which the agency is ready to implement a 2Gen approach:
- Fully integrated 2Gen services
- Coordinated 2Gen services
- Emerging 2Gen services
CPR, under a subcontract with the University of Northern Colorado will implement, provide technical assistance and assist UNC in conducting an impact evaluation with select pilot counties, beginning in 2018.
CPR is providing technical assistance to Tennessee’s Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration project (CSPED), an eight-state project testing the effectiveness of providing enhanced child support services, employment services and responsible fatherhood programming to noncustodial parents in the child support system. CPR worked closely with Colorado’s and continues to work closely with Tennessee’s project director to provide implementation assistance, ongoing data management, continuous quality improvement monitoring and project management duties.
The Child Support Office of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has contracted with the Center for Policy Research to conduct research to assess how well the Access and Visitation Grant funds are meeting the needs of parents. The study will involve reviewing documentation from the program, interviewing stakeholders regarding their impressions of the degree to which the program is meeting the needs of parents, and areas in which there are service gaps. In addition, CPR will conduct work to identify approaches being used to address AV issues that may be relevant for New Hampshire. This research will include a review of relevant literature and websites, interviews with AV coordinators in limited number of sites, and an interview with the OCSE program officer.
CPR is currently working on guidelines reviews, updates, and projects for Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, and Northern Mariana Islands. CPR entered into a multi year agreement with Illinois to maintain the state’s reports, tables, and schedules using the income shares methodology. CPR is also evaluating spousal support for Pennsylvania. In 2017, the Eastern Shoshone tribe in Wyoming contracted with CPR to review existing guidelines and offer guidance on improving policies and procedures.
Father Engagement & Healthy Relationships
The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) is a five-year initiative funded by Office of Planning Research and Evaluation to build the evidence base for fatherhood programming. Co-directed by Jessica Pearson of CPR and Jay Fagan, professor of social work, Temple University, FRPN funds teams of researchers and practitioners to conduct rigorous research; provides technical assistance to grantees to improve the quality of the research they conduct; builds the capacity of researchers and fatherhood practitioners by conducting webinars, training programs, preparing written materials, and conducting original research on fatherhood; and disseminates new research and best practices through a comprehensive website, www.frpn.org.
Economic Security & Healthcare
CPR is conducting a Formative Evaluation of Colorado’s Pathways to Success Phase II project. Pathways to Success seeks to address the issue of homelessness and human trafficking among youth aging out of foster care system in three Colorado sites. This project is testing an enhanced model approach to providing services to youth ages 16-21 currently in foster care or who are homeless. The model program fits into Colorado’s State 9-25 statewide youth plan and hopes to become a model for other state child welfare agencies and runaway and homeless youth service providers. CPR’s Phase II evaluation plan calls for usability testing of the intervention components, and ongoing continuous quality improvement. A cost analysis will be conducted as well, which will be part of the final report.
The State Court Improvement Program (CIP) was created in 1993. It provides federal funds to state child welfare agencies and tribes for preventive services and services to families at risk or in crisis. As of fiscal year 2001 all eligible states (50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) are receiving annual Court Improvement Program grants. CPR has been working with the Louisiana Court Improvement Program since conducting the CIP Reassessment in 2005. CPR conducted an evaluation of a child protection mediation program in two Louisiana parishes, and conducted research on new models of legal representation for indigent parents and children that the state adopted in 2010. CPR also conducted an evaluation of a pilot family drug court in Caddo Parish, and has worked with the Court Improvement Program, The Pelican Center for Children and Families, the Louisiana Foster Parent Association, and the Department of Children and Family Services on needs assessments of Louisiana foster parents.
The Mississippi Legal Representation Project for Parents in the Child Welfare System includes both process and outcome data for three groups. The first group of counties have just begun providing legal representation to all parents with child welfare cases. The second group of counties have provided representation for time but have recently received additional attorney training. The final county has introduced a multidisciplinary representation model. This site creates of team consisting of an attorney, a social work and a parent aide.
Colorado has low early literacy rates, especially among low-income youth. Limited literacy threatens a child’s future academic success and future earning potential. The deleterious effects of limited literacy are exacerbated by living in poverty. Colorado contracted with CPR to research and report on how Colorado Works/TANF can support and improve early childhood literacy among low-income children in Colorado.
We are evaluating several programs and efforts at The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). One project involves a satisfaction survey and outcome evaluation of WomensLaw.org–a website of resources for legal issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault. We are also conducting an advocacy evaluation of their public policy efforts. Finally, we are working with NNEDV to identify the core components that explain–and can be used to evaluate–their training and technical assistance efforts as a whole.
We are working with the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence to evaluate a statewide domestic violence prevention effort. This community-based project involves a process evaluation to understand the resources, capacity, support, and activities that facilitate a successful implementation of the prevention effort. We will also conduct an outcome evaluation of their efforts.
The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (TN Coalition) was recently awarded a Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The TN Coalition aims to prevent IPV from occurring or continuing by partnering with multiple stakeholders from the public health, education, non-profit, government, and criminal justice sectors to implement three evidence-based or informed prevention programs in Tennessee.
The TN Coalition will work with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Center for Policy Research to develop a State Action Plan for IPV prevention. In addition, the Coalition will implement, and CPR will evaluate, three programs:
- IPV & the Workplace Training focuses on improving organizational policies and workplace climate.
- Bringing in the Bystander focuses on bystander empowerment and will be implemented by the TN Coalition and Austin Peay State University.
- Moving Ahead through Financial Management and Microfinance focuses on strengthening household financial security and will be implemented by the CEASE, Inc. (a shelter in East Tennessee.)
Early Childhood & Education
CPR’s director, Jessica Pearson, designed and directed A+ Angels, a program at Denver’s East High School which pairs students who struggle academically with adult volunteers. Over 12 years, the program grew to involve more than 100 mentor-student pairs who meet weekly to build relationships and work on homework, longer-term projects and graduation requirements. Mentors help their students navigate the system, self-advocate, and experience a bigger world. Since the program’s inception, East’s graduation rate has climbed from 75 to 91 percent and in 2015, East High School formally adopted the program and assigned its leadership to a teacher, assuring its continued existence. CPR’s evaluations of A+ Angels track changes in academic performance before and after program participation including school attendance, grade point average, and standardized test scores.