The present evaluation of CareerAdvance represents a strong collaboration between university research partners and CAP. The research partnership began in 2008 when nationally-recognized leaders in workforce program and policy development worked with CAP to design CareerAdvance, which was launched in 2009. In early 2010, national experts in developmental science broadened the research scope of the study to focus on children's development and family functioning in addition to parents' education, training, and financial well-being. CAP and its research partners then sought to expand the program and secure funding to examine the short-term synergistic effects of two-generation programs on parents and children. In September 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at Health and Human Services (HHS) funded a 5-year scale-up of CareerAdvance and a two-part evaluation study through the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) Program. The research component of this first HPOG award included: (1) a short-term small-scale outcomes study; and (2) an implementation study. The initial short-term outcomes study has a one-year focus and examines several areas: program participation and advancement; career credentialing; job readiness; earnings; and a small set of child and family outcomes. The implementation study examines the systems-level influences on the structure and implementation of CareerAdvance, focusing on the degree to which the various training pathways are successfully offered, coordinated, and integrated. Recognizing the need to examine the longer-term influences of CareerAdvance, the research team secured funding from Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) University Partnership in September 2011 to conduct a quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study of all CareerAdvance participants and a matched comparison group. The goals of the second award are to examine: (1) possible long-term family, parent, and child outcomes as influenced by participation in CareerAdvance; as well as (2) variations in program participation and their potential links to differential patterns of educational attainment, employment, and family health and well-being. The full research project is now referred to as the CAP Family Life Study. A key goal of Year 2 was to build on and strengthen the organizational capacity to support the ambitious research agenda. During Year 2, the researchers have focused on (1) expanding the research team, developing partnerships, and facilitating team communication; (2) designing measures as informed by our theory of change; (3) collecting data from parents, children, teachers, and staff from both CareerAdvance and CAP using quantitative and qualitative methods; and (4) processing data from multiple sources and preparing it for analysis. (author abstract)
CAP Family Life Study: Year 2 report: September 30, 2011-September 29, 2012
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