National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Guide for Child Welfare Administrators on Evidence Based Practice

Shapiro, P.,
Wilson, C.,
Alexandra, L.
Year Published: 2005
Paper/Research Report
The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators
The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators

The purpose of this brief is to provide guidelines for a common language and framework with which to understand the conditions, challenges, and opportunities of evidence based practice in child welfare. While the discussion pertains to prevention and intervention services, the author say, the overarching principles can be applied to all practices in child welfare. After providing a brief overview and history of evidence-based practice, the authors look at challenges for the child welfare field in implementing evidence-based practices. These challenges pertain to the research base in child welfare, concerns about replication, unrealistic expectations, the pace of science, and definitions of terms. Then, they propose a definition for evidence-based child welfare practice and offer guidelines for finding and implementing evidence-based practices, assessing practices as potentially evidence-based, rating the strength of the evidence, and overcoming barriers to adopting evidence-based practices.

American Public Human Services Association, 810 First Street, NE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002; Telephone:(202) 682-0100; Website:
Publication is free of charge