The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) provides leadership in targeted efforts to improve the lives of children and families served within the child welfare system. As part of their improvement strategies, CDSS selected the Chadwick Center for Children and Families - Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, in cooperation with the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC), to create the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC).
The CEBC helps to identify and disseminate information regarding evidence-based practices relevant to child welfare. Evidence-based practices are those that have empirical research supporting their efficacy. The CEBC provides guidance on evidence-based practices to statewide agencies, counties, public and private organizations, and individuals. This guidance is provided in simple straightforward formats reducing the user's need to conduct literature searches, review extensive literature, or understand and critique research methodology.
The CEBC is being guided by two main entities:
- A statewide Advisory Committee comprised of state and local child welfare leaders, supporting organizations, and nationally respected authorities on child welfare.
- A national Scientific Panel comprised of five core members who are nationally recognized as leaders in child welfare research and practice.
The CEBC is a critical tool for identifying, selecting, and implementing evidence-based child welfare practices that will improve child safety, increase permanency, increase family and community stability, and promote child and family well-being.
CEBC Review Process
A standardized process is used to identify and review child welfare programs and practices for inclusion on the CEBC.
- The statewide Advisory Committee selects topic areas each year.
- The CEBC staff then works closely with the Scientific Panel to identify a leading child welfare authority with expertise for each selected topic area (Topic Expert).
- Working with the Scientific Panel and the Topic Expert, the CEBC staff selects programs for inclusion on the website. These generally involve 5 to 15 discreet programs selected within a topic area that fit one of the following criteria:
- An identified representative from each program is sent a questionnaire to complete. This questionnaire includes all of the information in the detailed report that is seen on the CEBC website.
- The answers to these questions are reviewed by the CEBC staff and edits are sent back to the program representative to ensure the final version accurately reflects the details of each program highlighted on the CEBC.
- The CEBC research staff works with the Topic Expert and directly with the program representative to identify all relevant literature.
- The CEBC research staff and Topic Experts (a minimum of three raters) independently review the research supporting the program. The programs are rated by the following criteria:
- The ratings are then compared. If there is a disagreement on a rating between the CEBC research staff and the Topic Expert, then the CEBC's Scientific Director determines the rating for the program, with consultation from the Scientific Panel as needed.
- The CEBC research staff also determines the relevance to child welfare populations (Child Welfare System Relevance Level).
- The information from these research reviews and the program information from the representatives are synthesized to create the program outline contained on this website.
Policy on Non-Responding or Declining Programs:
All programs identified by our Scientific Panel that meet our screening criteria* are highlighted on the CEBC website, even if we do not receive a completed questionnaire from the program representative. Programs which are highlighted on the CEBC website that did not have input from the program or representative have a note documenting that the program representative did not respond to the CEBC's request for information. Programs which fall into this category undergo a Scientific Review. Brief information for these programs is compiled by CEBC staff from publicly available sources and displayed on the website. In addition, these programs are rated on the Scientific Rating and Relevance to Child Welfare Scales as well as the Relevance to Child Welfare Outcomes. Program representatives are invited to complete the full questionnaire at anytime and can contact the CEBC at email@example.com for more information.
* Screening criteria includes the following: 1) A written manual is available on the program, or 2) Training or informal consultation is available on the program to allow interested parties to replicate the program.