A number of programs in the United States regularly gather and share hard evidence of their positive impact and outcomes for children. The Duke Endowment has committed $16 million since 2008 to help expand the use of proven, evidence-based interventions in North Carolina and South Carolina. This initiative is ongoing, but unsolicited requests for grants are not accepted.
Many organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina work to prevent child abuse, improve parenting, repair lives after abuse, and help children with behavioral, emotional and social problems. The number and types of programs employed to help children and families are almost as varied as the organizations that deliver them — and some are more effective than others. Identifying proven programs with documented, quantitative results and broadening their reach throughout North Carolina and South Carolina is a longstanding challenge.
The Duke Endowment believes that evidence-based interventions are the most effective for successfully improving the lives of children and their families. The Endowment defines "evidence-based" interventions as programs or approaches that have been evaluated with at least two randomized controlled trials and have been successfully replicated in "real world" settings.
In 2008, the Endowment endorsed several evidence-based programs and offered funding to help encourage their use in North Carolina and South Carolina. The programs and their current status are as follows:
- The Incredible Years is designed to work with parents, children and teachers to prevent, reduce and treat aggression and related conduct problems in children. The Duke Endowment is partnering with the North Carolina Division of Social Services to deliver this program to sites in North Carolina.
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is a specific, step-by-step, one-on-one coached behavioral training model for parents of children ages 2-7. The Endowment funds this program through the Duke University Center for Child and Family Health.
- Strengthening Families Program teaches parenting skills and life skills to high-risk families with children ages 3-17. The Endowment is partnering with the North Carolina Division of Social Services to deliver the program for children ages 6-11 at sites in North Carolina. The Endowment is partnering with the South Carolina Department of Social Services to deliver the program to 14 sites in South Carolina.
- Multi-Systemic Therapy is an intensive, home-based intervention for families with 10- to 17-year-olds with social, emotional and behavioral problems. Developed by the Medical University of South Carolina, it is being implemented in North Carolina by several agencies including Youth Villages, a nationally-recognized leader in serving troubled youth and families, Alexander Youth Network and Haven House.
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is designed for children, adolescents and parents to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses caused by or related to abuse. This program is being implemented across South Carolina through the Medical University of South Carolina and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center. In North Carolina, it is being implemented in the state through a partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Center for Child and Family Health in Durham.
- Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) is a parenting and family support system that helps prevent behavioral, emotional and developmental problems in children. The Endowment currently is evaluating the implementation of this program.
The Duke Endowment also endorses and supports the dissemination of another evidence-based intervention, Nurse-Family Partnership.
See participating counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.