Research & Evaluation
Iowa Center for Evaluation & Research
DMC Resource Center

Research and evaluation - Past projects

Refer to our publications catalog to order any of the following reports.

Completed 1990's
Permanency for Teens Project [See Brief Report in Prevention Report Fall, 1999, page 14]
An evaluation of a demonstration project funded by DHHS, Adoption Opportunities Program, conducted by the Iowa Department of Human Services in collaboration with Four Oaks of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Over a three-year period, this project has sought to achieve permanency for thirty teens legally freed for adoption. The evaluation uses a quasi-experimental design, comparing permanency outcomes between the target adolescents and a group of adolescents eligible for but not selected for the project (1995-1998).

Evaluation of Iowa's System of Early Intervention Services
Funded by the Iowa Department of Education, this statewide evaluation examines Iowa's System of Early Intervention Services to families of infants and toddlers with developmental disability or delays. The evaluation focuses on family-centered practice and interagency collaboration, and includes a statewide series of focus groups with parents and regional councils, surveys of parents and providers, and case studies of interagency collaboration (1996-1999). To see the report click here.

Evaluation of Iowa's Family Preservation and Family Support Services Program
An evaluation of the 12 sites originally funded under the federal Family Preservation and Support Services Program in the state of Iowa. The yearlong study examined process, outcomes, and impacts of this program, using qualitative modes of data collection and analysis, and developed a community collaborative assessment tool for evaluating progress (1997-1998). [ASPE report on Iowa's Program]

Evaluation of the Parent Child Visit Project

Funded by the Iowa Department of Human Services (1998), this evaluation examined the outcomes of a pilot project implemented in all five DHS regions. The project used an approach to foster care visitation that provided frequent visitation and conducting assessments of each visit by the parent and supervising aide. The NRC/FCP evaluated outcomes developed by the project staff.

Family Partnerships Program
An evaluation of interagency collaborative involving four service providers, funded by the Linn County Decategorization Project in eastern Iowa (1996-1997). The program had as a primary objective preventing group placement of high-risk adolescents. The evaluation focuses on selection criteria, implementation of the treatment model, case outcomes, and customer and provider satisfaction.

Collaborative Integration Project
An evaluation of a school-based program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, which had as its objectives providing early intervention services to elementary school-aged children at risk of developing serious emotional and behavioral problems, and increasing positive interaction between families and school personnel (1995-1996).

Homeless Headstart Project
An evaluation of a demonstration Headstart project for homeless families, provided by the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (1994-1996). The project sought to provide positive early educational experiences for children of homeless families and to provide supportive services for families as they move toward housing and economic stability.

Evaluation of Project REPARE (Reasonable Efforts to Permanency through Adoption and Reunification Endeavors)
OHDS funded, 1992-1995, #1072. A demonstration project of the Iowa Department of Human Services in collaboration with Four Oaks, Inc., a private non-profit agency. Project REPARE sought to reduce the length of stay in residential treatment and to provide comprehensive aftercare community services to children being reunified or being placed in adoptive families. The quasi-experimental evaluation design included a comparison group of children receiving the agency's standard residential treatment services.

Length of Service and Cost Effectiveness in Three Family Based Placement Prevention Programs
[read more]
OHDS Grant No. 90-CW-0964. An experimental study testing the effect of length of service on case outcomes and cost-effectiveness in three family-based treatment programs. Families were randomly assigned to three-month or six-month treatment groups. Various family characteristics, measures of family functioning, and child maltreatment and placement incidents were obtained at intake, termination, six-month and 12-month follow-ups, and services were recorded monthly. Study was completed in 1996.

Evaluation of the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment Project for Adolescents/Juvenile Justice
Funded by the Center for Alcohol and Drug Services Inc., Iowa and in collaboration with the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation (1992-1995). This project evaluated a range of programs for adolescents with substance abuse or juvenile justice involvement. Program components included outreach, outpatient, day treatment, and residential treatment.

Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

An evaluation of a HUD-funded demonstration project of the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (1990-1995). This project provided transitional housing and supportive services for homeless families with the objectives of achieving housing stability and economic self-sufficiency. Data includes background information from caretakers obtained through structured interviews and self-sufficiency measures at intake, termination, and six-month follow-up to evaluate progress in housing, job, education, and income stability.

[Report located at Educational Research Information Center]

Evaluation of the Milwaukee Public Schools-Department of Human Services Collaborative Project

An evaluation of a demonstration project in Milwaukee, funded by the Philip Morris Foundation/Milwaukee Foundation. This project developed collaborative structures between the public school system and county human services department, established neighborhood-based child protective service units, and provided family preservation services to at-risk families.

Family Functioning of Neglectful Families

OHDS Grant No. 90-CA-1415. The National Resource Center on Family Based Services, in collaboration with the Northwest Indian Child Welfare Association, Inc., and Regional Research Institute at Portland State University. This research study, conducted in Iowa and Oregon, compared family functioning in a sample of 50 neglecting families with a sample of 50 non-neglecting low-income families. Families in each group represent Caucasian and Native American populations. Data collected from 1992-1994 were gathered through structured family interviews conducted at six-month intervals.

The Self-Sufficiency Project

OHDS Grant No. 90-CA-1395. A demonstration project using an empowerment model to work with families referred repeatedly for child neglect. Parent support groups, multiple family groups and children's groups formed the core of the program, supplemented by individualized counseling and parent aide services. The project was conducted in a rural Oregon county from 1988-1991 and evaluated by the NRC/FCP.

Evaluation of Families First of Minnesota

Funded by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services, 1991-1992, in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Economic Development. An evaluation of seven family-based crisis intervention pilot projects, two of which served primarily Native American populations. Project included analysis of case data on 448 families and 1225 children, follow-up placement and child maltreatment data, focus groups and key informant interviews at all projects, and a survey of social workers.

Completed 1980's
A Study of Chronically Neglecting Families in a Large Metropolitan County

OHDS Grant No. 90-CW-0732101, and Vira J. Heinz Endowment. Project followed 250 families who had been reported for child neglect to the County of Allegheny Children and Youth Services Agency for a 12-month period in 1988-1989. Three interviews were conducted at six-month intervals to collect information on demographics, service utilization, psychological functioning, environmental conditions and stressors, social isolation, parenting, and family functioning. Additional information was gathered from an intake instrument, case files, and census data.

Analysis of Factors Contributing to Success and Failure in Family Based Child Welfare Services

OHDS Grant No. 90-CW-0732. Study of predictors of success and failure in family-based pre-placement prevention services. Study sites included 11 agencies in six states (Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Oregon). Data collected between 1986 and 1988 included 535 case reviews and a survey of over 100 social workers. Bivariate and multivariate data analysis techniques were utilized.

Performance Contracting: A Preventive Services Model to Manage Pre-Placement Prevention Services

OHDS Grant No. GP #3892. Under contract to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, the project developed practice-specific performance standards for planning, monitoring and evaluating programs to prevent placement of children in foster care. Data were collected from 1985-1987on 600 cases from six sites in four states (Iowa, Florida, Delaware, and Texas).

Evaluation of Fourteen Child Placement Prevention Projects in Wisconsin

Funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Community Services, this study examined characteristics of families served by the projects, proportion of workers’ time spent in various tasks, factors associated with successful and unsuccessful outcomes, maintenance of client progress after case closure, and achievement of project goals. The study population consisted of 331 families (826 children) served by the projects (1983-1985).

Evaluation of Nebraska's Intensive Service Project, Lincoln and McCook, Nebraska

Funded through the Lancaster County Division of Public Welfare, this project-examined services, outcomes, and cost effectiveness of placement prevention services. Evaluation activities included case file reviews, interviews with service staff and their state liaison, and ongoing monitoring of case data collected by the families' caseworkers (1983-1984).

For more information, please contact:
Miriam Landsman
Executive Director
(319) 335-4934

Brad Richardson
Associate Research Scientist
(319) 335-4924


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