Evaluation in CBCAP is driven by the need to show results based on the outcomes of programs, often referred to as Outcome Accountability.
What does Outcome Accountability mean?
Outcome Accountability is telling stakeholders what you are going to do, doing what you said you would do, and providing evidence that you lived up to your promises. These activities are essential for all CBCAP programs. The language of CAPTA makes clear that outcome accountability is expected of CBCAP funded programs.
But outcome evaluation is essential not just to satisfy funders or stakeholders. All programs need periodic self-assessment to ensure they are providing quality services.
If adequately funded over a sufficient period in enough communities, child-abuse prevention and family support programs such as those offered with CBCAP funding can realistically be expected to produce a progression of outcomes, from the short term (such as measurable increases in a program participant’s knowledge) through the intermediate term (behavior changes) to contributions to long term outcomes (such as reduced risk/incidence of child abuse and neglect).
Outcome accountability is an obligation, not an option. It is crucial not just to satisfy funders or stakeholders. All programs need periodic self-assessment to ensure they are providing quality services.
We know evaluation terminology can be confusing, but don’t get bogged down in the words- the key is being accountable to demonstrate the results of your work.
Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs
Over time, FRIENDS has developed a variety of tools and resources to support CBCAP programs in their evaluation efforts. These range from entry-level tools for internal evaluations of CBCAP programs that can be used by programs ranging from little to no previous experience in evaluation all the way to much more advanced tools for more seasoned practitioners.
To learn more, please explore the various sections and resources found here under evaluation.