Topic: Motivation and Engagement Programs

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Motivation and Engagement Programs:

Motivation and Engagement Programs are defined by the CEBC as programs that increase the involvement of youth and/or families in child welfare or related services. Motivation and engagement programs typically involve working with family and youth in an inclusive, comprehensive, and results-oriented process that respectfully engages and draws upon strengths of the family. By valuing the perspectives of family members and all other participants, motivation and engagement work acknowledges, promotes, and maximizes the positive contributions of each member. This approach increases the likelihood of successful outcomes for the children and families involved.

  • Target population: Families and youth involved in child welfare services
  • Services/types that fit: Typically outpatient services, with individual, group, or family formats that target one of the following: the child directly, the parent and child together, the entire family, or providers who work with these families
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target the motivation or engagement of youth and families in child welfare or related services
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes such as retention in services, satisfaction, and recidivism

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

One Program with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:

Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

  • Multidimensional Family Recovery (MDFR)
    [Engaging Moms Program]
    Parents with children from birth to 18 who have come to the attention of, or are involved with, the child welfare ...
  • Parent Connectors Program
    Parents/caregivers of children or adolescents (ages 6 to18) at-risk for or having a serious emotional disorder.

One Program with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

  • Signs of Safety
    Children and families where there has been suspected or substantiated child abuse or neglect

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Motivation and Engagement Programs topic area is relevant to child welfare because engaging families in constructive and trustworthy relationships is at the heart of effective child-welfare casework. Understanding motivation and engagement is essential to furthering child-welfare improvement efforts such as the Children and Family Services Review (CFSR) and its corresponding Program Improvement Plan (PIP).

Chris Mathias
Former CEBC Advisory Committee member

Topic Expert

The Motivation and Engagement Programs topic area was added in 2006. Mark Chaffin, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date in 2006 (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC) or others loaded earlier and added to this topic area when it launched. The topic area has grown over the years and any programs added since 2006 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Chaffin was not involved in identifying or rating them.