CPR is engaged in a variety of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects.
CPR is conducting an evaluation of Araphaoe County, Colorado’s Generational Opportunities to Achieve Long-term Success program, known as GOALS. The evaluation will lead to the first detailed process and outcomes evaluation of a Two-Generation approach to securing economic stability for homeless families. The evaluation of the GOALS program is the first structured attempt to assess the needs of parents and child(ren) in homeless families, and families who are at high-risk of homelessness and report on the impacts of the intervention in a Two-Generation framework. The GOALS project assists single and two-parent households and provide service components for both adults and children. Interventions for children will aim to improve child learning/early education and development. Interventions for adults will aim to improve economic stability, housing, employment, health and well-being.
CPR is evaluating multiple Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) digital media demonstration projects. The number of child support applications has been on a downward trend in recent years, and OCSE seeks to determine if marketing campaigns using digital tools will increase applications and two-way communications with existing clients. The projects will include three intervals of different interventions, such as Facebook advertising or website search engine optimization and remarketing. The results of each intervention will be evaluated in a rapid-cycle process in order to apply lessons learned to the next intervention. The cumulative learning from all the sites will be shared with child support agencies across the country. Fourteen digital media demonstration grants were awarded to states and tribes across the country. CPR is working the Colorado, Washington and Lac Courte Oreilles child support agencies and is the only external evaluator engaged with this project.
CPR is currently working on guidelines reviews, updates, and projects for Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, Utah, Oklahoma, and Guam. CPR entered into a multi year agreement with Illinois to maintain the state’s reports, tables, and schedules using the income shares methodology. 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.
This study looks at three inter-connected interventions to help unmarried parents in Colorado establish parenting time orders. The three services are:
1. An online parenting time plan that parents can complete alone, in mediation, or during the Virtual Access and Visitation Clinic.
2. The Virtual Access and Visitation Clinic allows individuals to have a virtual meeting with an attorney to discuss any civil or domestic relations matter.
3. Virtual Mediation in which parents participate by video-conference and work with a neutral party to develop a parenting time plan.
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.
Center for Policy Research is leading the evaluation of The Colorado Rural Collaborative for Runaway and Homeless Youth (Rural Collaborative). The Rural Collaborative seeks to increase the capacity of rural communities to serve runaway and homeless youth (RHY). Since its inception in 2008, the Rural Collaborative has continued to grow and currently covers a wide rural geographic area within the Balance of State Continuum of Care’s boundaries in Colorado, including:
- Alamosa and the San Luis Valley
- La Plata
- Morgan and the Northeast Quadrant of the State
Funded under a Basic Center Grant program (BCP), the Rural Collaborative adheres to a comprehensive youth centered service model that is guided by the United States Inter-Agency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The Rural Collaborative’s overall BCP goal is to meet the emergency needs of youth in crisis caused by their runaway or homeless status and reunify them with their families when appropriate, or to transition them to an alternative, preferably permanent, housing situation. The BCP serves RHY ages 12 years old and up to the first day of the month in which the youth turns 18.The BCP serves both males and females; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning; white, Hispanic/Latino(a), African American, American Indian, Asian, and other ethnicities; pregnant and parenting teens; youth with prior systems involvement; and those with disabilities.
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.