The Community Advocacy Project (CAP)

Scientific Rating:
2
Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence: Services for Victims and their Children.

Target Population: Designed for and tested with survivors of domestic abuse who have utilized shelters. Can be expanded to non-shelter users.

Brief Description

The Community Advocacy Project involves providing home-based and community-based advocacy services for survivors of intimate partner abuse. Highly trained paraprofessionals, receiving intensive supervision, work with survivors of domestic abuse (and their children), helping them obtain the community resources and social support they desire. This is an empowerment-based, strengths-focused intervention designed to increase women's quality of life and decrease their risk of re-abuse.

Program Goals:

The goals of The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) are:

  • Increase children's self-competence
  • Decrease women's depression
  • Increase women's quality of life
  • Increase women's access to resources
  • Increase women's social support
  • Increase women's and children's safety

Essential Components

The essential components of The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) include:

  • Services offered are community-based and home-based.
  • Activities are driven by the women, not the advocates.
  • Advocates are proactive and engaged in linking women with community resources.
  • Advocates are knowledgeable about available community resources and effective strategies for obtaining them.
  • Advocates focus on enhancing women's social support.
  • Advocates should be highly trained in empathy and active listening.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Languages

The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

No specific resources are needed to implement the intervention. It occurs in women's homes and communities

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Advocates must be highly trained in strengths-based philosophy, domestic abuse dynamics, safety planning, and obtaining community resources. Advocates need ongoing, intensive supervision to ensure they are maintaining fidelity of the model.

Supervisors should have at least two years experience providing domestic abuse services, ideally in community settings. They should be highly trained in empathy, active listening, strengths-based services, and safety planning.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Tailored to each request

Number of days/hours:

8 hours

Additional Resources:

There currently are additional qualified resources for training:

Nicole Allen
Psychology Dept.
University of Illinois
email: allenne@illinois.edu

Implementation Information

Since The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

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Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for The Community Advocacy Project (CAP).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) as listed below:

There are certified instructors who train on this model and provide technical assistance.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) as listed below:

A fidelity measure, in the form of a self-report checklist with scoring instructions, is available from the certified instructors.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) as listed below:

Training tools and manuals are available by contacting the certified instructors.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement The Community Advocacy Project (CAP).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "2 - Supported by Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The program must have at least one rigorous randomized controlled trial with a sustained effect of at least 6 months. The article(s) below that reports outcomes from an RCT showing a sustained effect of at least 6 months has an asterisk (*) at the beginning of its entry. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Safety and Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

*Sullivan, C. M., & Bybee, D. I. (1999). Reducing violence using community-based advocacy for women with abusive partners. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(1), 43-53.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 278

Population:

  • Age — 17-61 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 45% African American, 42% European American, 7% Latina, 2% Asian American, and 4% other
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were from a shelter program for women with abusive partners.

Location/Institution: Midwestern U.S.

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Women in the shelter program were randomly assigned to work with an advocate (Community Advocacy Project) or to a comparison condition. Women in the comparison condition were not contacted again until the post-intervention interview period. Measures taken of violence experienced included the Conflict Tactics Scale and the Index of Psychological Abuse. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Measures of quality of life, effectiveness in obtaining resources and difficulty in obtaining resources were created for the study. Women who worked with advocates experienced less violence over time, reported higher quality of life and social support, and had less difficulty obtaining community resources. More than twice as many women receiving advocacy services experienced no violence across the two years post-intervention compared to women in the comparison condition who did not receive services. The authors note that a significant difference in violence experienced did not appear until the two-year post-intervention assessment.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2 years.

Bybee, D. I., & Sullivan, C. M. (2002). The process through which an advocacy intervention resulted in positive changes for women over time. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(1), 103-132.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 278

Population:

  • Age — 17-61 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 45% African American, 42% European American, 7% Latina, 2% Asian American, and 4% other
  • Gender — 100% Female
  • Status — Participants were from a shelter program for women with abusive partners.

Location/Institution: Midwestern U.S.

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: This analysis uses the same sample as Sullivan and Bybee, 1999. This report is an analysis of the factors influencing the improved outcomes of women who received help from an advocate (Community Advocacy Project) relative to those who did not. The advocacy intervention first resulted in women successfully obtaining desired community resources and increasing their social support, which enhanced their overall quality of life. This improvement in well-being appeared to serve as a protective factor from subsequent abuse, as women who received the intervention were significantly less likely to be abused at two-year follow-up than were women in the control condition. Limitations included a lack of economic diversity in the sample and reliance on a small number of measures of re-abuse and well-being.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2 years.

Allen, N. E., Bybee, D. I., & Sullivan, C. M. (2004). Battered women’s multitude of needs: Evidence supporting the need for comprehensive advocacy. Violence Against Women, 10(9), 1015-1035.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 278

Population:

  • Age — 17-61 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 45% African American, 42% European American, 7% Latina, 2% Asian American, and 4% other
  • Gender — 100% Female
  • Status — Participants were from a shelter program for women with abusive partners.

Location/Institution: Midwestern U.S.

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: This analysis uses the same sample as Sullivan and Bybee, 1999. This analysis examined whether the extent to which advocacy (Community Advocacy Project) was effective was dependent on the types of needs that survivors presented. Statistical analysis revealed five distinct subgroups of survivors: one group focused primarily on activities to acquire housing, a second worked more on education and employment, a third focused heavily on legal issues, and two groups were characterized by survivors’ overall activity level over a variety of needs (“high” and “low”). Broad-based advocacy appeared to enhance survivors’ self-reported effectiveness and level of activity in mobilizing needed community resources. The authors note that this study is limited to women who sought shelter services.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2 years.

Bybee, D., & Sullivan, C. M. (2005). Predicting re-victimization of battered women 3 years after exiting a shelter program.American Journal of Community Psychology, 36(1-2), 85-96.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 124

Population:

  • Age — 17-61 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 46% White, 42% African American, 7% Latina, 2% Asian American, and 3% other
  • Gender — 100% Female
  • Status — Participants were recruited from a domestic violence shelter program.

Location/Institution: Michigan

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: This study uses a subgroup of the original sample used in Sullivan & Bybee, 1999. Participants in the original study were randomly assigned to receive assistance from an advocate (Community Advocacy Project) or to a control condition. Measures for the 3-year follow-up interviews included the Conflict Tactics Scale and self-report scales focusing on quality of life, social support, and difficulty obtaining resources. Analysis found that the advocacy program’s effect on risk of re-victimization did not continue at three years. However, having worked with an advocate three years earlier continued to have a positive impact on reported quality of life and social support. Women also reported less re-abuse if, one year prior to the current study, they were employed and/or reported higher quality of life.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 years.

The following studies were not included in rating CAP on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Sullivan, C. M., Bybee, D. I., & Allen, N. E. (2002). Findings from a community-based program for battered women and their children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17(9), 915-936.

This study examined the impact of The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) for battered women and their children. Families were randomly assigned to CAP combined with the Learning Club (TLC) for children or a control group. Measures included a shortened version of the Index of Psychological Abuse, a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), the Self-Perception Profile for Children, The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Inventory, along with several project developed measures. Results showed that children in the CAP/TLC group reported significantly higher self-competence in several domains compared to children in the control group. Women in the CAP/TLC group had improvements in depression and self-esteem over time. Limitations include differences between the two groups at baseline and the small sample size. Note: Because this study examined CAP combined with TLC, it cannot be used in the rating of CAP, as it is not possible to determine whether the outcomes resulted from CAP, TLC, or the combination.

Allen, N. E., Larsen, S., Trotter, J. L., & Sullivan, C. M. (2013). Exploring the core components of an evidence-based community advocacy program for women with abusive partners. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1), 1-18

The current study examined survivors’ reflections on the Community Advocacy Project. The study examined the service delivery processes that survivors affirmed or identified as core components of the intervention. Measure utilized was a semi-structured qualitative interview protocol. Results indicated that 3 main service delivery elements contributed to positive outcomes: orientation to the whole person, unconditional validation and acceptance, and an orientation to information provision and action. Limitations include concerns regarding possible bias in the responses.

References

Sullivan, C. M. (2000). A model for effectively advocating for women with abusive partners. In J.P. Vincent & E.N. Jouriles (Eds.), Domestic violence: Guidelines for research-informed practice (pp. 126-143). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Sullivan, C. M. (2003). Using the ESID model to reduce intimate male violence against women. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32(3), 295-303.

Contact Information

Name: Cris M. Sullivan, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Michigan State University
Website: cap.vaw.msu.edu
Email:
Phone: (517) 353-8867
Name: Nicole Allen, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Website: cap.vaw.msu.edu
Email:
Phone: (217) 333-6739

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2007