This article describes promising findings from the Los Angeles County Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project, a systems change approach to developing relationships between public child welfare, allied public agencies, and community-based networks that offer family-centered services, economic assistance and capacity building to support all kinds of families. It describes the conceptual underpinnings and unique structure of the initiative, the evaluation methods used to assess results, and a pattern of promising results.

Author Biography

Jacquelyn McCroskey is the John Milner Professor of Child Welfare at the University of Southern California School of Social Work.

Peter J. Pecora is Senior Managing Director of Research Services at Casey Family Programs and Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Todd Franke is Associate Professor and Director of the Social Welfare Department at the University of California Los Angeles School of Public Affairs.

Christina Christie is an Associate Professor and Head of the Social Research Methodology Division in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. Christie’s research on evaluation practice is designed to strengthen our understanding of evaluation as a method for facilitating social change. Her theoretical scholarship intends to advance frameworks for understanding evaluation models with the goal of refining practice.

Jaymie Lorthridge, MSW is a Research Associate at Westat and PhD Candidate at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. At the time of the research she was a Doris Duke Fellow for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (now known as the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being) and a Casey Family Programs Doctoral Scholar.