June 2017
« Mar    


Do what works.

- Program Evaluation -
Changing the child welfare system will require innovation and data.


We strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for both parents and their children.

The Center for Children and Families’ is committed to providing the families we serve with national best-practice, evidence-based, and data driven clinical services that result in the best possible outcomes for both parents and their children.

To determine whether our services are accomplishing these goals, our evaluation team uses a standardized psychological assessment battery and standardized clinical interviewing techniques to assess the psychological well-being of both parents and children.

We assess multiple domains of functioning including:

  • history of trauma exposure
  • post-traumatic stress
  • depressive symptoms
  • quality of parent-child relationships
  • parenting stress
  • children’s developmental functioning
  • children’s adaptive functioning
  • children’s executive functioning
  • family protective factors




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All measures used by Research and Evaluation are standardized clinical assessment tools that have been rigorously tested for their validity and reliability. These measures have been used in numerous national peer-reviewed clinical research studies.

To provide our team with a comprehensive, holistic picture of children’s psychological and emotional well-being, we also collect information from parents, teachers and other caregivers.

  • Parents report on their personal functioning as well as their children’s functioning.
  • Foster parents, daycare providers and teachers report on children’s functioning.

We also assess parents’ recovery outcomes, children’s safety and permanency outcomes. This requires consistent follow up with both parents and children: upon entry into our program, every 6 months while they are in our program, at program discharge, and every 6 months after discharge.

Analyzing our operationsin 3 important ways

The Center for Children and Families is
not interested in “business as usual.”

Procedure – Are we meeting our goals?

We have a detailed plan, policies and procedures. Internal checks and balances ensure that our methods are consistent, which means you can count on our results.

Impact – Does it make a positive difference?

We use evidence-based programs to produce positive outcomes: more happy, healthy kids living in stable homes and less child abuse and neglect. If our efforts don’t achieve these results, we will modify our approach.

Cost-Benefit – Is it a sound investment?

We are taxpayers too. We believe that we can improve the child welfare system by spending Montana’s tax dollars differently. Seeing is believing, so we’re crunching the numbers.

Jordan Webber

Program Evaluator

Email: jordanw@forfamilies.org

Cathy Sotomayor and Anica Wickenburg

Evaluation Technicians