Today’s post is called “Another day, another clearinghouse!” But before we get too cynical, let’s take a closer look.
Policy landscape changes are like the climate – we can expect shifts over time, influenced by changes in policy leaders and reflecting changes in priorities. The Families First Prevention Services Act (worth many kudos for shifting the focus to prevention services to support children, youth and families and to prevent placement in foster care) has created the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is live and can be found here.
As of July 15, 2019 there are 10 programs rated as either “well-supported,” “supported,” “promising,” or “does not currently meet criteria.” In order for states to use the Federal Title IV-E funding for prevention activities, the programs must fall into one of these three categories: “well-supported,” “supported,” or “promising.” So how are programs reviewed/rated?
The answers lie in the Handbook of Standards and Practices (the Handbook) issued by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation of the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Handbook provides a very detailed overview of the process by which programs are identified and rated and can be found here.
The Handbook provides an excellent overview of the methodological issues that must be understood when reviewing program research, and also provides lists of other clearinghouses that are commonly used. Thus, the Handbook is a valuable resource and teaching tool as well as a way to make transparent what happens when programs are reviewed for this important legislation.