Evidence-Based Practice in CBCAP

What are the evidence-based programs and practices?

Programs and practices recognized as evidence-based have demonstrated the highest level of evidence of effectiveness based on a set of evaluation or research criteria. These programs or practices, if implemented with adherence to the developer's model, are likely to produce similar positive outcomes demonstrated in the evidence. In the most general terms, evidence-based programs and practices can be defined as the use of research to improve practice. However, what is meant by "research," "practice," and even "improve" may look very different in different contexts. It can be difficult for funders and programs to sort through various wording and determine what programming will be most effective for their needs and desired outcomes. FRIENDS tools and resources provided here are intended to assist in the understanding and selection of evidence-based programs and practices for CBCAP.

How does CBCAP define evidence-based practice?

For CBCAP programs, evidence-based (EB) practice is defined as the integration of the best available research with child abuse prevention program expertise within the context of the child, family, and community characteristics, culture, and preferences. Some form of documented scientific evidence validates these approaches to prevention. This includes findings established through scientific research, such as controlled clinical studies; however, other methods of establishing evidence are also valid.
Evidence-based practices may be considered "supported" or "well-supported," depending on the strength of the research design. (See the graphic below.)

How does evidence-INFORMED practice differ from evidence-BASED practice?

Evidence-informed practice is similar to evidence-based, but the level of evidence supporting the programs or practices is not as strong. Evidence-informed practices may be considered "promising" or "emerging," depending on the strength of the existing research or documentation of its evidence. (See the graphic below.) Evidence-informed practice allows for innovation within CBCAP, while still incorporating lessons learned from the existing research literature.

Where can I learn more?

In addition, FRIENDS offers free on-line training in Evidence-Based Practice and different areas of Evaluation. Visit our Online Learning Center for more information and to enroll in the courses.

If you are a CBCAP Lead and require assistance in this area, contact your TA coordinator for help.