This is the report of a study conducted in 2005 that identifies and discusses promising practices of the 11 sites of the National Safe Start Demonstration Project, which intends to prevent and reduce the adverse effects of young children's exposure to violence.
A "practice" is defined as "an activity used by a site in the pursuit of improved outcomes for children exposed to violence." In the Safe Start Demonstration Project, a "promising practice" is defined as a practice that has been implemented and has demonstrated the following characteristics: 1) preliminary evidence of effectiveness in local practices or activities (not necessarily across the initiative); 2) successful use in at least one of the 11 demonstration sites; 3) the potential for replication; and 4) an improvement over previous practices. Eight promising practices are discussed. They are 1) data-based decision-making; 2) improving the capacity to collaborate; 3) increasing awareness of children exposed to violence; 4) outreach into the community; 5) increasing identification and referrals; 6) engaging and retaining children exposed to violence and their families; 7) improving court responses to children exposed to violence; and 8) sustainability. The characteristics of each of these practices is discussed in the context of a demonstration site's effort to prevent and reduce the impacts of children's exposure to violence. Methods used in identifying and measuring the success of these promising practice are described. Appendixes contain a promising practice data matrix and ideas for outreach and education products.
Date Published: September 1, 2005