Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare: Descriptive Evaluation Design Report

Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare: Descriptive Evaluation Design Report

OPRE Report 2022-265
Published: Oct 31, 2022
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare

Time frame: 2017–2023

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

Key Findings
  • The FCL descriptive study is taking place between June 2021 and March 2023.
  • Five child welfare agencies are participating in the FCL descriptive study, serving Los Angeles County, California; Hartford and Manchester, Connecticut; Denver, Colorado; Prowers County, Colorado; and Wake County, North Carolina.
  • Data collection activities in the FCL descriptive study include: (1) a survey of child welfare staff and partners; (2) analysis of program data; (3) semi-structured interviews with child welfare staff, partners, and community members; and (4) focus groups with fathers and paternal relatives.
  • A final report that describes findings from the descriptive study and includes options for integrating promising strategies into other child welfare settings will be developed and released in 2023.

This design report describes our approach to the FCL descriptive study. The study has three aims. The first is to describe potentially promising strategies and approaches for engaging fathers and paternal relatives in the child welfare system. The second is to assess the promise of the BSC as a continuous quality improvement (CQI) framework for addressing challenges in the child welfare system—for example, whether and to what extent the BSC has potential for use in the child welfare field, and if so, how it may be applied to other child welfare challenges. The third is to assess the extent to which child welfare agencies experienced a shift in organizational culture after implementing the BSC. The FCL descriptive study is not intended to draw causal or other statistical inferences about the effectiveness of the BSC or any of the strategies that agencies developed and tested in the BSC. Instead, we will seek to describe promising practices and potential next steps for continued research.

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