Current Arnold-Funded Child Welfare Projects

What kinds of projects have drawn funding from Arnold so far? Here are details on five that are child welfare-related.

Child First Replication Study ($2,499,968): This is a replication of a previous study of Child First, a home visiting program for families with young children at high risk of child maltreatment. The previous study was a well-conducted randomized controlled trial that indicated it still reduced family involvement with child protective services by 33 percent a full three years after the intervention. The study also showed a significant decrease in child behavioral health problems, among other impacts. The new study will examine the program’s impact after it has been replicated across twelve different sites in Connecticut and North Carolina.

Educational Liaison (EL) Program for High School Students in Foster Care ($498,908): This is a study of a dropout prevention program for middle and secondary school students in the foster care system. The intervention is based on Check and Connect, an intervention that has been shown to improve school attendance and graduation rates in two prior well-conducted RCTs. The new study will examine the program’s impact on participation in alternate graduation path (AGP) programs, which will serve as a proxy for school dropouts. It will also examine other outcomes such as credit hours earned, attendance, academic achievement based on state test scores, disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and expulsions.

Fostering Healthy Futures for Teens ($548,455): This study is of an adaptation of Fostering Healthy Futures, a mentoring program for preadolescent maltreated children (ages 9-11) in foster care. A previous study of the original intervention indicated that it improved mental health symptoms (including trauma symptoms), reduced mental health treatment, and reduced placements in residential treatment centers. The tested intervention is similar to the original program, but adapted for teenagers (8th and 9th graders) with open child welfare cases. The Arnold-funded study will examine impacts on youth delinquent behavior over 15 months.

Fostering Opportunities Program ($266,033): This is a study of a dropout prevention program for 7th-10th grade youth in foster care. The intervention uses a youth advocate to reduce or prevent school transfers, which contribute to lower graduation rates. The program was funded by a pay-for-success initiative launched by the Colorado governor’s office and was piloted in the same Colorado school district where the current study is taking place. The study will examine its impacts on school attendance and course completion.

Rapid Responders for Runaway Youth ($387,093): This study is of a rapid response case management program intended to refer runaway youth and their caregivers to evidence-based services. Rapid responders will meet youth and their families within 72 hours of the runaway incident. Referrals will be to evidence-based programs like Multi-systemic Therapy and Functional Family Therapy, both of which have been rated as “well-supported” by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. One goal of the intervention is to raise referrals to evidence-based services from approximately 10 percent to at least 50 percent. The project was funded through a state pay-for-success project managed by the Colorado governor’s office. The study will measure impacts on criminal charges and out-of-home placements.


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