Evidence-Based Interventions for Children

Child & Family Well-Being  |  Support Implementation for Tested Programs, Commit to Innovation, Advocate for Improvement

The Duke Endowment works to identify and support organizations with proven, quantifiable results successfully addressing crucial issues that impact child and family well-being in the Carolinas.


There are many organizations in North and South Carolina that work to prevent child abuse, improve parenting, repair lives after abuse, and help children with behavioral, emotional and social problems.

The reality is that some programs are more effective than others and identifying successful programs through evidence-based, quantitative results is a challenge as the Endowment seeks partners to support broader child and family well-being services throughout the Carolinas.

Evidence-based Interventions: programs or approaches that have been evaluated with at least two randomized controlled trials and have been successfully replicated in real world settings.


The Duke Endowment believes that evidence-based interventions are the most effective for successfully improving the lives of children and their families.

Since 2008, The Duke Endowment has committed $16 million to help expand the use of proven, evidence-based interventions in North Carolina and South Carolina.

This initiative is ongoing; unsolicited grant requests are not being considered at this time.

Evidence-Based Programs

In 2008, the Endowment endorsed several evidence-based programs and offered funding to help encourage their use in North Carolina and South Carolina.

  • The Incredible Years — Designed to work with parents, children and teachers, this partnership with the North Carolina Division of Social Services seeks to prevent, reduce and treat aggression and related conduct problems in children.
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy — This step-by-step, one-on-one coached behavioral training model for parents of children ages 2 – 7 is funded through the Duke University Center for Child and Family Health.
  • Strengthening Families Program — This program teaches parenting skills and life skills to high-risk families with children ages 3 – 17. The Endowment partners with the North Carolina Division of Social Services to deliver the program for children ages 6 – 11 in North Carolina. South Carolina is supported by partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
  • Multi-Systemic Therapy — An intensive, home-based intervention for families with 10- to 17-year-olds with social, emotional and behavioral problems, this program was 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 — This therapeutic program is designed for children, adolescents and parents to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses caused by abuse. This program is being implemented across South Carolina through the Medical University of South Carolina and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center. Implementation in North Carolina is 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 — The Endowment currently is evaluating the implementation of this parenting and family support system to help prevent behavioral, emotional and developmental problems in children.

Participating Sites

Health care map 01

North Carolina Counties

Beaufort, Bertie, Cabarrus, Camden, Carteret, Catawba, Chowan, Cleveland, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Durham, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Lenoir, Martin, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Moore, New Hanover, Northampton, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Polk, Robeson, Rutherford, Tyrrell, Wake, Washington, Wilson

South Carolina Counties

Abbeville, Anderson, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Cherokee, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Union, Williamsburg


Each year, the Endowment’s efforts continue to accelerate the growth of evidence-based interventions in the Carolinas. Every dollar spent on intervention saves eight dollars in later support and care.

Since 2008, implementation sites delivering the evidence-based interventions in this initiative have reached approximately 10,000 children and families, and have trained more than 200 child service providers.

TDE CCC evid based graphic 2023 Nov06

Lessons Learned


The draw of evidence-based practices is compelling, but implementing them successfully in new locations requires the right infrastructure to assure appropriate service delivery and results. New sites must have the financial means and human resources to provide ongoing quality assurance, training, monitoring and data collection to remain true to the fundamental tenets of an evidence-based program.

The Duke Endowment determined that its support would be best used to create or strengthen infrastructure for implementing a program, rather than simply supporting service delivery. This approach allowed the Endowment to complement the existing efforts of public funders and expand their effectiveness.

CFWB Evidence Based Interventions for Children 03

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