Child Welfare and Evidence Registries: Comparative Analysis of the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development

Presented at the at the 36th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment in San Diego, CA on January 27, 2021

Evidence registries are used to make service array decisions. This presentation will explain the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, which was developed for the Family First Prevention Services Act. Then, similarities and differences with two well-established registries, the CEBC and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, will be described.

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss how registries can inform decision-making in the adoption of evidence-based interventions specific to the child welfare system. Registries provide reliable information about the state of the science for prevention and treatment models, programs and services, and many support policy-related requirements. For example, the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was developed in response to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018. Established by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Prevention Services Clearinghouse is charged with systematically reviewing research on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements. It reviews evidence on mental health, substance abuse, in-home parent skill-based, and kinship navigator programs and services to determine if they meet well-supported, supported, promising or “does not currently meet criteria” ratings. Research on programs and services designed for child-welfare involved families, however, is inherently difficult to conduct and this can impact the review of evidence. Such methodological challenges may include the additional steps required for sample recruitment and the fact that children in foster care often change placements. Further, child welfare-specific outcomes (e.g., time to permanency, placement changes, return to foster care) are frequently influenced by many factors that extend beyond the aegis of a particular intervention. Other, more established registries have tackled similar challenges. Such registries include the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC), a state-funded clearinghouse founded in 2006 that identifies and disseminates information regarding practices relevant to child welfare and provides information on evidence-based and non-evidence-based practices. In addition, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development is a privately funded registry housed at the University of Colorado Boulder. Founded in 1996, interventions certified by Blueprints are family, school, and community-based and target all levels of need—from broad prevention programs that promote positive behaviors while decreasing negative behaviors to highly-targeted programs for at-risk children, troubled teens or formerly incarcerated adults that get them back on track. This panel discussion will include representatives from the Prevention Services Clearinghouse, the CEBC, and Blueprints. It will start with an overview of the Prevention Services Clearinghouse, followed by a comparative analysis of each registry’s standards and review processes. The panelists will then facilitate a discussion around the role of registries in supporting advancements in implementation science specific to child welfare involved families.

Learning Objectives

1. Increase knowledge about available evidence-based practice registries serving child-welfare involved families, including similarities and differences. 

2. Expand knowledge about the role of evidence-based practice registries in providing enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements.  

3. Improve understanding of how registries can support advancements in implementation science specific to child welfare involved families.