The Families and Children Thriving (FACT) Study is a longitudinal panel study (2015-present) of risk and resilience among nearly 2,000 racially and ethnically diverse low-income families in Wisconsin who received home visiting services. Study participants are primary caregivers who completed a comprehensive household survey soon after the birth of a child. Additional survey data are collected at wave 2 when the children are 1-2 years of age and again at wave 3 when the children are at the age of school entry. Measurement domains include but are not limited to caregiver health, mental health, adverse experiences, resilience and life satisfaction, social support, household functioning, parent-child interactions, child health and development, and therapeutic alliance with home visitors. Comprehensive surveys also have been administered to more than 400 home visiting professionals since 2015. Data collected include indicators of work environment, supervision, cultural competence, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and self-care.
The Healthy Families Study is a randomized field trial of two home visiting programs at the Milwaukee Health Department that serve low-income, pregnant women. One program implements Healthy Families America, an evidence-based curriculum, and the other is a briefer and less intensive prenatal care coordination program. The two program groups are compared to each other and to a third quasi-experimental comparison group that did not enroll in services. Data collection is now complete, and initial results have been published. Further analyses are planned to examine intervention effects on other outcomes such as maternal and infant health, caregiving practices, and child development, which were assessed at four time points beginning prenatally and ending at the child’s first birthday.
Racine Elevates All Children’s Health (REACH) is an impact study of Family Connects, a universal nurse visiting intervention that is being implemented by the Central Racine County Health Department in partnership with Ascension All Saints Hospital. Extending the results of studies conducted in North Carolina by Dodge and colleagues, this replication study uses a natural experimental design to test the impact of Family Connects. Data collection is now complete, and analyses are underway to examine hypothesized program outcomes such as improved maternal health, infant development, and family functioning. Program impacts on healthcare utilization and child protective service involvement also will be assessed in the future.
The Trauma and Recovery Project (TARP) is an ongoing implementation project that aims to increase the accessibility of trauma-responsive treatments for families who are involved in the child welfare system. Survey data have been collected from more than 200 clinicians who have been trained to implement trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, or child-parent psychotherapy. Program implementation, intervention fidelity, and outcome data have also been collected to assess the extent to which the project strengthens systems of care, increases equity in service access, and improves children’s mental and behavioral health outcomes.
Healthy Workers, Healthy Wisconsin is mixed-methods study of a local job enhancement project that aims to strengthen employment services by increasing client access to health and mental health care. The project has introduced a novel trauma screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (T-SBIRT) protocol that helps to identify trauma-related mental health concerns and link clients to therapeutic services. Completed analysis of study data indicate that it is feasible for non-clinical service providers to implement T-SBIRT with low-income adults accessing employment services. Additional analyses of impact are planned for 2021-22.
Alternative Response in Wisconsin is a completed evaluation of the implementation of Alternative Response (i.e., Differential Response) in county public child welfare agencies statewide. Alternative Response is a child welfare system innovation designed to address the needs of low-to-moderate-risk families who are screened in for maltreatment allegations. The Institute collected survey data from 1,073 caregivers about their child welfare experiences and service needs along with their health, mental health, and adverse experiences. Matching statewide administrative records were also used to conduct a longitudinal analysis of family CPS contact between 2011 and 2018. Survey data were also collected from 1,225 child welfare and community service professionals about Alternative Response implementation as well as mental health, burnout, and organizational culture. Implementation and qualitative data were also gathered to further explore the experiences of case workers and administrators.
Family Drug Treatment Court is an ongoing mixed-methods evaluation of a voluntary program that provides substance abuse treatment and family support services to parents or guardians whose substance use disorder is a safety concern that results in the removal of the children from their care. Qualitative data are being gathered annually from program participants and a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including judges, district attorneys, guardians ad litem, case managers, and treatment providers. A quasi-experimental impact study is also slated to begin in 2021 to determine if program participation is associated with better safety, permanency, and substance use recovery outcomes.
Other Datasets Frequently Used by the Institute
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of over 20,000 adolescents who were in grades 7-12 during the 1994-95 school year, and have been followed for five waves to date, most recently in 2016-18. Add Health has collected demographic, social, familial, socioeconomic, behavioral, psychosocial, cognitive, and health survey data from participants and their parents; contextual data from participants’ schools, neighborhoods, and geographies of residence; and in-home physical and biological data from participants, including genetic markers, blood-based assays, anthropometric measures, and medications.
See ICFW publications utilizing Add Health:
- Childhood polyvictimization and marijuana use trajectories
- Disparities in adverse childhood experiences by race/ethnicity, gender, and economic status
The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) follows a cohort of nearly 5,000 children from disadvantaged families in large urban areas of the United States. Launched in 1998, the study data were collected from interviews with mothers, fathers, and other primary caregivers at birth, and again when children were ages one, three, five, nine, and fifteen. Available data includes information on household demographics, caregiver attitudes and relationships, parenting, physical and mental health, employment, and community characteristics. See ICFW publications utilizing FFCWS.
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) is a voluntary data collection system that gathers information from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico about reports of child abuse and neglect. The data are used to examine trends in child abuse and neglect across the country. See ICFW publications utilizing NCANDS.
The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation.