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Research: Research Findings


Research Findings

Data Management

Logic Model

Program Information Management System (PIMS)


The ability of PCA America to accurately track and report on HFA activities is essential to ensuring program quality and development. Since HFA has been built on those service delivery features found to have a measurable impact on participant outcomes, it is important to document and disseminate new evaluative findings being generated by existing sites. HFA has the potential to provide policy and program planners with solid empirical data on a variety of issues (i.e. how to work with teen parents, middle-class parents, substance-abusing parents, fathers, non-English speaking parents, families in different geographical settings, etc.).

Collecting and utilizing this data requires both a forum for researchers to exchange and disseminate findings and a tool to capture programmatic data. To facilitate networking among researchers PCA America established a Research Network for evaluators of HFA programs.

The Research Network is comprised of over 50 evaluators who are involved with assessing the impact of HFA Services. The overall goals of the network are to improve the quality, comparability and relevance of evaluations of HFA-type programs and ensure they lead to enhanced service delivery.

HFA Evaluation Results

Approximately 30 evaluations have been or are currently being conducted at the state or site level across the country. Key findings from these evaluations are included in the Healthy Families America Research Folder which was developed in 2002. The folder contains multiple one-page fact sheets designed to provide the reader with quick, easy-to-read summaries of relevant research demonstrating the effectiveness of the program. Materials include highlights related to positive outcomes in the areas of:

  • Reducing child maltreatment;
  • Ensuring healthy child development;
  • Encouraging school readiness;
  • Promoting family self-sufficiency; and
  • Demonstrating positive parenting.
To download the HFA Research Folder, click here.

In 2004, PCA America completed the HFA Implementation Study, which evaluated the effect of program, staff, and family characteristics on family retention, intensity of services, and staff turnover across approximately 90 HFA sites. To access fact sheets from this study, click here.


Interested in more comprehensive information? Several HFA evaluations that have been conducted are available on-line. Links to these reports are provided below.

We encourage all sites and states to share their evaluation findings and reports with staff of the Research Center of Prevent Child Abuse America. To see a table of HFA evaluation references, click here. For more information contact the Research Department at Prevent Child Abuse America at 312-663-3520.

Collaboration Among Practitioners and Researchers

PCA America received funding from the Packard Foundation and the Gerber Foundation to facilitate collaboration between researchers and practitioners. This funding will enhance efforts of the Research Network and open dialogue between these two critical bodies. Practitioners will better be able to incorporate research findings and best practice standards and researchers will become enlightened about the realities and challenges of day-to-day service delivery. Click on any topic below for more general information on research-practice collaborations:

Technical Assistance with Research and Evaluation


Research center staff provide the following technical assistance to members of the HFA network:

  • Provide guidance around outcome tool selection;
  • Conduct literature reviews for pertinent articles;
  • Answer questions about research, evaluation, data management; and
  • Link members of the network to evaluation experts and resources;
  • Provide access to an evaluation database which provides information on evaluations that have been done;
  • Provide PIMS training; and
  • Conduct conference presentations and workshops.