Cross-Site Evaluation of Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health), 2008-2018

Project Overview

In FY 2013, OPRE awarded a contract to NORC to develop and implement a multi-site evaluation of Project LAUNCH (Linking Action for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health). This evaluation will focus on the outcomes for children and families living in Project LAUNCH communities, and will examine the impact the initiative is having on increasing community wellness. This work is funded through an intra-agency agreement between OPRE and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In FY2008, OPRE awarded a contract to Abt Associates to develop and implement a cross-site evaluation of Project LAUNCH. Abt collected information from Project LAUNCH grantees related to state, tribal, and community systems development; implementation of evidence-based services  in local communities; and local grantee evaluation designs and findings. This evaluation was also funded through an intra-agency agreement between OPRE and SAMHSA.

Project LAUNCH is a SAMHSA discretionary grant program designed to promote the wellness of young children ages birth to 8 years of age by addressing the physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development. Project LAUNCH grantees implement a range of evidence-based public health strategies to support young child wellness. Participating states, territories and tribes work to improve coordination among child-serving systems, build infrastructure, and improve methods for providing services. The majority of grant funds are passed from the state/territorial/tribal level to a local pilot community where the grant supports the enhancement and integration of services in addition to implementation of five prevention and wellness promotion strategies: Screening and Assessment in a Range of Child-serving Settings; Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care Settings; Mental Health Consultation in Early Care and Education; Enhanced Home Visiting through Increased Focus on Social and Emotional Well-being; and Family Strengthening and Parent Skills Training.

The multi-site evaluation design involves primary data collection of child-specific outcomes from parents recruited from schools and early childhood education (ECE) centers randomly selected from LAUNCH grantee locations, and matched control schools and ECE center from non-LAUNCH grantee locations. The evaluation design also involves the structured collection and compilation of data regarding system changes in LAUNCH target areas, and control areas.  In addition NORC will collect data on LAUNCH grantee strategies, resource allocation between strategy types, and school or ECE level covariate information on the demographic and other relevant characteristics (crime statistics, and school level historical differences in performance) of the target and control areas under observation.

The point of contact is Laura Hoard.

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