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Research: Research Findings


Research Findings

Data Management

Logic Model

Program Information Management System (PIMS)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS AREA OF THE WEBSITE HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE 2004. We are currently in the process of redesigning this section.  (3/7/12)


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.

Making Sense of Research 101

Having trouble making sense of research articles in academic journals or scientific magazines? This guide will help you navigate your way through all the technical information.

Making Sense of Research 101

Guidelines for Determining When and How to Respond to Research Studies

Are your stakeholders looking to you for guidance for how to interpret findings from a recently released research study or evaluation? Not sure how to proceed? This document was designed to provide guidelines for determining if and how you might develop an appropriate response.

Guidelines for Determining When and How to Respond to Research Studies

List of Questions Based on Responses to Mark Chaffin’s Commentary

Looking for a brief synthesis of the recent dialog on home visitation and its real-world effectiveness? This document will bring you up-to-speed on some of the most critical questions being asked in the home visitation field today. Each of the questions in the pre-read list is based on responses to Mark Chaffin’s Commentary: Is it time to rethink Healthy Families/Healthy Start? Responses were published in the March 2005 issue (Vol. 29, #3) of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal. The original commentary by Chaffin was published in the same journal in Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 589-595 (June 2004). Each question includes a brief annotation to provide a convenient summary of the point made by Mark Chaffin in his commentary.


List of Questions Based on Responses to Mark Chaffin’s Commentary: A Pre-Read Prepared for SLAC

Measurement Tools for Use in Evaluating Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs: A List of Resources to Help You Determine What's Out There

Experiencing difficulty in finding a measurement tool for use in evaluating your child abuse and neglect prevention program? Not sure where to look or where to begin? This resource should help point you in the right direction.


Measurement Tools for Use in Evaluating Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs: A List of Resources to Help You Determine What's Out There