Social Work Office of Research & Public Service

Child Welfare – Prevention Special Initiative

We are a strategic evaluation and research partner to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) working to improve the effectiveness of Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) prevention efforts through rigorous evaluation, actionable data, and the co-creation of sustainable, effective policies and practices with families and youth, providers, community organizations and state agencies.

Strategic Guidance and Technical Assistance

  • Partner with DCS to identify family needs and aligned resources and supports
  • Support contracted providers implement evidence-based programs through coaching, data use and evaluation, and mentorship
  • Collaborate with providers and community organizations to use data to inform decision-making about programs, practices, and policies
  • Supporting the development of a shared vision and accountability measures
  • Provider peer learning sessions and convenings

Fidelity Monitoring

  • Develop fidelity monitoring measures, checklists, and data collection systems
  • Co-design data collection tools to garner family feedback
  • Conduct Archival/Administrative Data/Document Reviews
  • Hold data reflection and sense making sessions

Outcomes Evaluation and Impact

  • Assess impact on child and family well-being outcomes (e.g., parenting skills, mental health, family relationships, repeat maltreatment, entry into foster care
  • Develop and host learning sessions that highlight prevention and implementation best practices and lessons learned

Team Members

Brian Barber

Implementation Specialist

Amanda Berry

Administrative Specialist

Nate Brophy

Statistical Analyst 

Siobhan Costanzo

Lead Evaluation & Research Specialist

Amy Ford-Hulen

Implementation Specialist

Raymond Jenkins

Implementation Specialist

Casey Knotts

Implementation Specialist

Angela Walker-Griffin

Implementation Specialist