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Evidence-Based Assessment Tool. A Guide for Family Support Providers and Funders. History. Developed in 2005 Original purpose was to assist funders in making the best investment possible Reviewed by the Family Support Leadership group. Who should Use this tool?.

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Evidence-Based Assessment Tool

A Guide for Family Support Providers and Funders

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  • Developed in 2005

  • Original purpose was to assist funders in making the best investment possible

  • Reviewed by the Family Support Leadership group

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Who should Use this tool?

  • Funders, such as local empowerment boards

  • Program staff that wish to improve their program

  • Community members that are interested in better results

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Evidence Based Definition

  • The Level of evidence that supports the efficacy and generality of a practice as indicated by research.

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Types of Evidence

  • Type One: Empirical Evidence

  • Type Two: Evaluation reports analyzed by an outside source

  • Type Three: Evaluation reports analyzed by the system developer

  • Type Four: Survey research published in peer-reviewed journals

  • Type Five: Multi-authored consensus documents published by a professional organization

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  • Be cautious with reports and evidence that are developed by the program developer or provider and not reviewed by an outside organization or a peer review journal.

  • Reports should document positive outcomes for children and families

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What does that mean for us?

  • It is challenging to find a program in Iowa that meets the evidence-based definition

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Why Should We Use This Assessment?

1. Informed Decision Making2. Better Programs3. Better Results for Children and Families

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Implementation For Funders

  • Use the Assessment to interview your contractors

  • Include elements of the assessment in your request for proposals

  • Ask your evidenced based contractors to cite the supporting research in their request for proposals

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Implementation for Programs*Review a few questions a week with staff during your regular staff meetings*Complete the Assessment as a planning/program improvement activity*It is important to include direct service staff. They are the ones responsible for service delivery.

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Program Improvement

  • Be honest

  • Be willing to hear the good, the bad and the ugly

  • Pick a place to start

    Key Question: With limited financial resources, what can we do to improve our services?

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Program Model Fidelity

  • Understanding the logic behind the model helps service delivery staff understand what the program should be doing, what their role is and what are the expected results.

  • Regular reviews of the program model with all staff help keep the program on course.

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Program Model Fidelity

  • Why was the program chosen?

  • What evidence supports the decision?

  • Is the model based on essential researched based components?

  • Are the program’s goals appropriate for the intended population?

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Program Staff

The decisions that staff make on a daily basis can make a difference as to whether the child or family receives services that are scientifically proven to have a positive impact.

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Program Staff

1. The staff at all levels have professional development opportunities to ensure a level of competency prior to serving children and families.

2. The caseloads of staff reflect the program model recommendations and are monitored periodically.

3. Different types of supervision and monitoring are provided on a regular basis.

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Program Model Monitoring

  • Program Model fidelity provides standards for replication.

  • Attention to fidelity is critical for successful program replication. 

  • Many organizations fall short when attempting to implement an evidenced based model without adequate funding.

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Program Model Monitoring

  • The frequency and intensity of the program is being provided at the program model recommendations.

  • The program is reaching the intended population of the program.

  • There is process for continuous improvement for staff and management.

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For More Information:

Quality Services and Programs Co-Chairs:

Gretchen Hageman, 515-281-7585

[email protected]


Ruth Krueger, 641-648-5036

[email protected]


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This product was developed by:

Quality Services and Programs

A component group of Early Childhood Iowa