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Improving Outcomes for Children Exposed to Violence: Safe Start Promising Approaches

NCJ Number
Date Published
123 pages
This report discusses the design and methods used in the outcome evaluation of the Safe Start Promising Approaches (SSPA) initiative, which is the second phase of an initiative that focuses on preventing and reducing the impact of children's exposure to violence; and it presents data on the enrollment, retention, and power analysis, as well as the outcome evaluation results for the sites with fully powered studies.
The implications of the evaluation results and recommendations for the next steps are discussed. The first (demonstration) phase of the SSPA, which was completed in 2006, involved demonstrations of promising practices of care for children exposed to violence. For the second (implementation) phase, 15 sites were selected in 2005 to implement promising interventions for reducing and preventing the harmful effects of children's exposure to violence. The second phase continued in 2019 when the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) selected an additional 10 sites and funded a national evaluation on outcomes. Overall, the evaluation examined whether the implementation of the Safe Start programs resulted in individual-level improvements in specific outcome measures at a particular site. The evaluation data presented pertain to enrollment, retention, and intervention results. The evaluation found little evidence of intervention effects in either the four adequately powered programs or the five under-powered studies. The implementation challenges and successes outlined in the appended program descriptions provide important information for future implementation of these types of programs. Suggestions are also offered for improvements in future evaluation research on SSPA programs. 23 tables, 10 figures, a bibliography, and appended evaluation measures

Date Published: January 1, 2017