- EMCF Evidence Base - Children's Home Society of North Carolina - Current Grantees - Grantees - EMCF
Children's Home Society of North Carolina

Children's Home Society of North Carolina

Family Finding

Preliminary internal data shows that, over the course of the program, foster youth are connected with a significantly expanded number (from 8 to 59) of relatives or resources. In 86 percent of cases, at least five relatives commit to ongoing relationships, and in 52 percent at least one relative commits to a permanent relationship, such as adoption or legal guardianship.

CHSNC participated in a multi-site randomized controlled trial conducted by Child Trends of the Family Finding model in North Carolina. The evaluation was not large enough to test CHSNC sites individually but found that, for the entire sample, children in Family Finding were no more likely than those in the control group to experience a “step-down” to a less restrictive placement. 

Based on the results of this study, CHSNC made program enhancements, and Child Trends conducted an implementation assessment of fidelity to the enhanced model, as a precursor to a second rigorous impact evaluation.

This formative evaluation, publicly released in December 2016, found that:

  • CHSNC implemented the enhanced model “in a purposeful and supportive manner.”
  • Overall, the children in the study experienced better placement and permanency outcomes than children in the previous evaluation.
  • Services delivered with higher fidelity were associated with better outcomes.

Although Child Trends cautioned that only rigorous impact evaluation can establish whether improved fidelity actually caused the improved outcomes, it concluded that CHSNC’s “efforts to … enhance the original Family Finding model and expand Family Finding services across the state were successful” and likely warranted additional evaluation.  

Within EMCF’s framework for assessing an organization’s evidence of effectiveness, Wise Guys meets the standard of “proven effectiveness” and Family Finding that of “high apparent effectiveness.”

Wise Guys

A 2009 report on a randomized controlled trial of the Wise Guys program, conducted by University of North Carolina-Greensboro, found participants had significantly greater knowledge than a peer group of sex, reproductive biology, and sexually transmitted diseases, and more responsible attitudes toward sex and sexual behavior.

Philliber Research Associates and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Department of Public Health are undertaking further evaluation of the Wise Guys program.