Earlier this month I was privileged to co-present a workshop with two KIPS parenting assessment users at the 2015 Strong Families AZ Home Visiting Conference, sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and attended by many of those involved in Arizona Strong Families. The wide variety of workshops packed into the two-day conference targeted topics of interest to the full gamut of conference participants -- Home Visitors, Supervisors and Administrators.Read More
KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research
The National Smart Start Conference will be held in Greensboro, NC the first week of May.
For a close look at innovative strategies in health, education and family support programs, conference participants can choose from more than 60 workshops during the 3-day conference. This is one of my favorite early childhood conferences because of its manageable size (approximately 1000 participants from across the US), the openness of participants to sharing ideas, and mixing of early education and family support practitioners ranging from frontline teachers and family support workers to administrators, evaluators, researchers and policymakers.Read More
In our last post of 2014, we discussed the White House Summit on Early Education and how James Heckman’s brief speech produced a notable a change in the panel discussions that followed. At the time of that post I was aiming to get a copy, dear reader, so I could share his remarks with you accurately and in more detail. The speech is now available, so I think we are starting 2015 right by delving into Heckman's remarkable address.
I attended the White House Summit on Early Education virtually via web stream. As I was sitting there listening and watching, my first impression was that this was more of the same regarding the research on the importance of early parenting to children’s success. The speakers all agreed that children getting a good start is essential and recognized that one can’t start too early. But most of the conversation was about the need for greater access to quality preschool. Of course this is a great need. However, too often emphasis on the years from birth to 3 is an afterthought at best.
Are you afraid of getting rejection letters after spending your evenings and weekends writing funding proposals? Speak to what funders are seeking, evidence-based models and measures that show how children and families grow from your services. Similarly, board members want to know that your parenting services make a difference in families lives. In this week’s blog we’ll offer some guidance to increase the chance of your parenting services proposals being funded.
I’m excited to share with you highlights from the final keynote presentation at the 2014 National Summit on the Quality of Home Visiting Programs. I found it a refreshing surprise. Most of the Summit sessions addressed issues and interventions related to “toxic stress” experienced by children and families. We highlighted another keynote by Andrew Garner in a prior post. However, this final session presented by Bill McInturff, Public Opinion Strategies, and Michael Bloomfield, the Mellman Group, coached us regarding the messages we need to convey at the local, state and federal levels to rally support for home visiting with families of young children. I want to share this with you because the information can help you advocate for your program. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, we can cite Nobel Prize winner James Heckman’s call for investment in early childhood and focusing on parenting, and the value of strengthening parent-child relationships that build foundations for lifelong health and development. But we must first grab the attention of funders, legislators and the community and hold their attention while we share the evidence base for home visiting, parent support, and family services.
More Funders are requesting that proposals contain logic models; which sounds daunting. Let’s take some of the mystery out of logic models.
In essence, a logic model maps your program.
Like a map, a logic model is a visual representation. A logic model provides a picture that describes your understanding of the way your resources and activities aim to produce your anticipated outcomes. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for logic models. They have a number of purposes, such as guiding program planning, setting a conceptual framework for your program, mapping procedures, and/or planning program evaluation.
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the way to a funder’s heart is with evidence. Serve up a big heaping plate of evidence and your funders’ hearts will melt.
In writing competitive proposals, you aim to convince funders to give money to your program, rather than to other worthy applicants. Convincing potential funders that you will generate evidence of your outcomes makes your proposal more competitive in the race for funding. Not long ago it was sufficient to describe your services to achieve funding. Then you had to describe how you would assure fidelity to your service plan or model. Today, in addition to documenting services and program fidelity, funders expect evidence of outcomes. In a recent newsletter Libby Doggett, Director, Pew Home Visiting Campaign, reviewed some recent research and concluded,
“These studies show the importance of continuing to measure and monitor the outcomes of even evidence-based programs. Doing so is critical to supporting continued effectiveness and improvement as programs expand to new settings and populations.” (Review the PEW Funded research).