Research and Evaluation Projects

Child Welfare Early Education Systems Transformation

In September 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families has awarded a two-year grant to the University of Maryland, School of Social Work for a demonstration program to build on the existing Promise Heights Initiative that serves the West Baltimore neighborhoods of Upton and Druid Heights. The area is notable for a high rate of poverty and crime, students with low levels of academic achievement, and a population with poor health.  In this small neighborhood, child protective services investigations following reports of abuse and neglect averaged approximately 78 per month in 2010.  

The Child Welfare Early Education Systems Transformation (C-WEST) Initiative will involve a collaborative effort between the School of Social Work, the Institute for Innovation and Implementation (The Institute), Promise Heights, and over 20 community city and state partner agencies in Baltimore. The 24-month project will build infrastructure capacity between state and local child welfare agencies and early childhood systems to ensure that infants and young children who are at-risk of entering into foster care have access to comprehensive, high-quality early care and education services. In addition, this effort will work to mediate the effects of adverse experiences and improve the socio-emotional well-being of infants and young children, between the ages of birth to 5 years old.  The Institute will support project management and the evaluation as well as provide training.