National Evaluation of Safe Start Promising Approaches: Assessing Program Implementation

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


Children's exposure to violence (CEV) — including direct child maltreatment, witnessing domestic violence, and witnessing community and school violence — can have serious consequences, including a variety of psychiatric disorders and behavioral problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Fortunately, research has shown that interventions for CEV can substantially improve children's chances of future social and psychological well-being. Safe Start Promising Approaches (SSPA) was the second phase of a planned four-phase initiative focusing on preventing and reducing the impact of CEV, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP selected 15 program sites across the country that proposed a range of intervention approaches, focused on multiple types of violence, included variations in ages and age-appropriate practices, and would be implemented in different settings. Each site participated in a national evaluation, conducted by the RAND Corporation. The evaluation design involved three components: a process evaluation, an evaluation of training, and an outcomes evaluation. This report presents the results of the first two evaluations. It describes the program and community settings, interventions, and implementations of the 15 SSPA programs for the first two years of implementation (through March 2009), as well as the training evaluation results.


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).

Persistent Identifier