National Evaluation of Family Support Programs, 1994-1999

Project Overview

The purpose of the National Evaluation of Family Support Programs was to understand the effects of family support on families and children. A central task of the evaluation was to synthesize and analyze the body of research on family support, to answer the following questions:

  1. What were the effects of family support programs and services on families and children?
  2. How effective were different types of family support programs and services?
  3. How effective were family support programs and services for children and families with different characteristics, needs and circumstances?

The decision was made to undertake a meta-analysis of research studies and evaluations of family support programs conducted within the last 25 years. In addition to providing a more accurate assessment of the collective results of this research, the strategy has the advantage of producing a publicly-available database of studies that could, if desired, be continuously updated, and that would provide an analytic tool to address a variety of research questions.

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