Children and Residential Experiences (CARE)

Scientific Rating:
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5

Additional Implementation Resources

Since this program Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) was highly rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, program representatives were asked to provide additional implementation information.

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) as listed below:

As part of the implementation process, baseline surveys are administered to assess organizational culture, perceptions of safety, current status of the organization’s crisis management system, and alignment of staff knowledge, beliefs and practice with the CARE principles. The CARE consultants present findings from this assessment at an agency leadership retreat, and help participants consider how several aspects of culture (proficiency, resistance, rigidity) and climate (stress, engagement, functionality) may have implications for the upcoming CARE implementation process. The surveys are administered only as part of an agreement with Cornell University.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) as listed below:

Cornell University supports agencies with Implementation of CARE through a 3-4 year implementation agreement and contract (see the CARE Information Bulletin 2020). At the start of the implementation agreement, the agency is assigned a CARE team comprised of 2 to 3 Cornell faculty members specializing in CARE content and organizational implementation strategies. These CARE consultants provide onsite assistance 2–3 times a year for a total of 30–33 days of on-site activities throughout the implementation period. Cornell consultants also provide on-going support through regular email, teleconferencing, and video conferencing.

During the implementation period, agency leaders are trained in the CARE model, the 6 core principles, and organizational change strategies during a 4-day leadership retreat. In addition, agency personnel are trained as CARE educators and certified to conduct the CARE training curriculum with agency staff.

Technical assistance visits include observation and feedback, training and coaching for frontline supervisors, developing routines for reflective practice, assistance with survey administration and data analysis, and addressing organizational barriers to create a more therapeutic milieu. After implementation is complete, there is a 3-year sustainability agreement that includes 6-8 days of onsite visits and continued email communication, teleconferences, videoconferences and access to annual regional, national, and international events. Agencies can apply for CARE Agency Certification once CARE is fully implemented. Support during the sustainability agreement includes continued support through onsite visits, training, on-going data collection and survey analysis, certification assessment visit, and on-going certification of agency staff to deliver CARE training throughout their organization.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) as listed below:

The CARE staff surveys (administered annually) measure staff’s knowledge and beliefs about effective childcare practice as well as their actual practices to optimize children’s residential experiences in order to track alignment with the 6 CARE principles. Essential elements of the CARE program model have been identified and fidelity tools that assess the structures and processes necessary to sustain the CARE model have been developed and are being tested. These measures are used by the leadership team as a self-assessment process as well as by the Cornell consultants to provide feedback and recommendation for continued improvement and agency CARE certification.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) as listed below:

There are a number of manuals and guides that assist in the implementation process including:

  • System-wide Leadership Retreat Workbook (multiple site implementation)
  • Leadership Retreat Workbook
  • Midterm Leadership Retreat Workbook

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) as listed below:

Anglin, J. P. (2019). Translating the CARE program model into practice: Lessons learned from the pioneer agencies on changing agency cultures and care practices. Children and Residential Experiences: Creating conditions for change, 11–16.