This week, Lantern’s Chief Program Officer, Leslie Abbey, presented to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation’s symposium about child welfare agencies effectively using research evidence and experience to drive good practice and positively impact children, youth and families.
In her previous role as NYC Administration for Children’s Services Associate Commissioner, Leslie spearheaded an agency-wide expansion of evidence-based practices in child welfare and juvenile justice. Over the past 18 months, she’s brought that expertise to Lantern, implementing evidence-based practices to promote employment and behavior change, manage mental health symptoms, and increase access to disability benefits. Presenting with current ACS Associate Commissioner Kerri Smith, Leslie highlighted key elements of successfully connecting research and practice, including:
- Selecting evidence-based models based on a service needs assessment, its relevance to the population served, and the capacity of the model developers
- Finding ‘Champions’ in your organization, not just ‘Buyers-In’
- Aligning monitoring and evaluation with the requirements of evidence-based models, such as fidelity monitoring
- Creating structured decision-making processes for referral
- Meetings, meetings, meetings – you need to create ‘feedback loops’.