National Evaluation of Safe Start Promising Approaches: Assessing Program Outcomes

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Safe Start Promising Approaches (Program) -- Evaluation, Children and violence -- United States -- Prevention, Children -- Services for -- United States -- Evaluation, Child welfare -- United States


Safe Start Promising Approaches (SSPA) is the second phase of a planned four-phase initiative focusing on preventing and reducing the impact of children’s exposure to violence (CEV). This project was supported by Grant Nos. 2005-JW-BX-0001 and 2009-IJ-CX-0072, awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. The RAND Corporation conducted the national evaluation of the SSPA phase of the initiative in collaboration with the national evaluation team: OJJDP, the Safe Start Center, the Association for the Study and Development of Communities (ASDC), and the 15 program sites. The evaluation design involved three components: an outcomes evaluation; a process evaluation, including a cost analysis; and an evaluation of training.

This document provides the results of the outcomes evaluation, supplemented from the previous version of this report after funding was made available to analyze additional data collected at four of the original 15 sites. In the main body of this report we provide information on the designs of the studies, instruments used, data collection and cleaning, analytic methods, and an overview of the results across the 15 sites. In the appendixes, we provide a detailed description of the outcome evaluation conducted at each SSPA program, including a description of the enrollees, enrollment and retention, the amount and type of services received, and child and family-level outcomes over time.

These results will be of interest to researchers, clinicians, practitioners, policymakers, community leaders, and others interested in evaluating and implementing programs for children exposed to violence.

This research was conducted under the auspices of the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE) and under RAND Health’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program.

The mission of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment is to improve the development, operation, use, and protection of society’s essential physical assets and natural resources and to enhance the related social assets of safety and security of individuals in transit and in their workplaces and communities. Safety and Justice Program research addresses occupational safety, transportation safety, food safety, and public safety—including violence, policing, corrections, substance abuse, and public integrity. Information about the Safety and Justice Program is available online (http://www.rand.org/ise/safety).

RAND Health, a division within RAND, is one of the largest private health research groups in the world. The projects within RAND Health address a wide range of health care policy issues; the agenda emphasizes policy research that can improve the health of people around the world. This project was conducted within the RAND Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program (HPDP). RAND HPDP addresses issues related to measuring healthy and unhealthy behaviors, examining the distribution of health behaviors across population subgroups, identifying what causes or influences such behaviors, and designing and evaluating interventions to improve health behaviors. A profile of the Health division, abstracts of its publications, and ordering information can be found at www.rand.org/health.


This product is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. Reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND documents to a non-RAND website is prohibited. RAND documents are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND permissions page (http://www.rand.org/publications/ permissions.html).

Library of Congress Control Number: 2011935596

ISBN: 978-0-8330-5822-5

Persistent Identifier