Evaluations of Family to Family
The Anchor-Site Phase: 2006 - 2009
In 1992, the Annie E. Casey Foundation embarked on an initiative entitled Family to Family: Reconstructing Family Foster Care. By the time it concluded in 2009, dozens of localities in more than 20 states had participated in Family to Family. The final phase from 2006 through 2009 focused on a smaller set of "anchor sites" in nine states. The decision to concentrate effort on a smaller number of sites grew out of an extensive self-assessment by Foundation staff and the technical assistance team in 2005. Also, a research team conducted an assessment of the challenges sites had faced in implementing the initiative and how they had overcome them (see Implementing Family to Family). Drawing on their experience with the initiative, each anchor site developed a workplan to integrate efforts across four core strategies designed to achieve the transformation of policy and practice envisioned for Family to Family. To assess the impact of resulting changes in policy and practice on outcomes for children and their families, the Foundation sponsored an evaluation by a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina, Wildfire Associates, the University of California at Berkeley, and Case Western Reserve University.
Components of the final report include an executive summary, a comprehensive report with technical appendices, and individual profiles of the following anchor sites:
Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio
Guilford County (Greensboro), North Carolina
Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky
Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona
Wake County (Raleigh), North Carolina
Alameda County, California
Fresno County, California
Los Angeles County, California
Orange County, California
San Francisco, California
Please direct questions about the evaluation to Lynn Usher, the principal investigator.
Crampton, D., Usher, C., Wildfire, J., Webster, D. & Cuccaro-Alamin, S. (2011). Does community and family engagement enhance permanency for children in foster care? Findings from an evaluation of the Family to Family initiative. Child Welfare, 90 (4), 61 - 77.
Crea, T., Wildfire, J., and Usher, C. (2009). The association of team composition and meeting characteristics with foster care placement recommendations. Journal of Social Services Research, 35(4), 297-311.
Crea, T., Usher, C. & Wildfire, J. (2009). Implementation fidelity of Team Decisionmaking. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 119 - 124.
Crampton, D., Crea, T., Abramson-Madden, A. & Usher, C. (2008). Challenges of street-level child welfare reform: The case of Team Decisionmaking. Families in Society, 89, 512 - 520.
Crea, T. M., Crampton, D. S., Abramson-Madden, A., and Usher, C. L. (2008). Variability in the implementation of Team Decisionmaking (TDM): Scope and compliance with the Family to Family practice model. Children & Youth Services Review, 30, 1221-1232.
Webster, D., Usher, C.L., Needell, B. & Wildfire, J.B. (2008). Self-evaluation: Using data to guide policy and practice in public child welfare agencies. Child Welfare Research. Shlonsky, A. & Lindsey, D. (Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Usher, C.L. & Wildfire, J.B. (2003). Evidenced-based practice in community-based child welfare systems. Child Welfare, 82, 597-614.
Usher, C. L., Locklin, E., Wildfire, J. & Harris, C. (2001). Child welfare performance ratings: One state's approach. Administration in Social Work, 25, 35-51.
Usher, C. L. (1999). From social experiments to reform initiatives: Implications for designing and conducting evaluations. Protecting Children, 15, 4-9.
Usher, C. L., Randolph, K. A., & Gogan, H. C. (1999). Placement patterns in foster care. Social Service Review, 73, 22-36.
Usher, C. L., Wildfire, J. B., and Gibbs, D. A. (1999). Measuring performance in child welfare: Secondary effects of success. Child Welfare, 78, 31-51.
The Initial Phase: 1992 - 1997
The 2009 evaluation is the second initiative-wide assessment of the initiative. A report concerning the first phase of Family to Family can be downloaded using the links shown below. In addition to an executive summary, the report includes assessments of how the initiative changed policy and program operations, its impact on families and children, and the enhancement of grantees' capacity for self-evaluation. Each section of the report is available in Acrobat format.
Title, preface, table of contents, and references
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Public Policy Context
Chapter 3: Program Management and Structure
Chapter 4: Program Operations
Chapter 5: Program Impact
Chapter 6: Self-Evaluation