Evaluation of Pascale Sykes’ South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative
From 2012 to 2022, WRI conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the Pascale Sykes Foundation’s Strengthening Families Initiative across multiple nonprofit interagency collaborations in Southern New Jersey. This Initiative was centered on The Whole Family Approach, a preventative, family-led strategy that provided adults and children tools to set, plan for, and achieve goals together. Collaborating agencies worked together with families to develop long- and short-term goals. WRI’s evaluation of the Initiative included:
- A longitudinal, quasi-experimental evaluation of families’ changes in forming healthy relationships, child well-being, and financial stability.
- A process evaluation to understand how the Whole Family Approach was implemented across collaboratives, including observations, interviews, focus groups, and document review.
- Multiple focused evaluations that examine the impact of the Initiative in areas of interest including, student social, emotional, and behavioral growth, service delivery, family-community partner relationship development, and the cultural responsiveness of the Whole Family Approach.
From 2012 to 2022, the Initiative:
- Funded 18 “collaboratives” formed by groups of social service organizations working together in their communities
- Engaged thousands of families across Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties
- Funded programming targeting healthy relationships, financial stability, and child well-being
- Caregivers’ perception of social support from their family increased over time and when compared to the comparison group
- At the beginning of the pandemic, families also reported consistent levels of resilience compared to those pre-pandemic, although these levels went down during the second year of COVID.
- Increased health coverage over time
- Fewer financial challenges (e.g. utilities, borrowing money) compared to the comparison group
- Increased knowledge of financial strategies over time
- Caregivers’ awareness of children’s activities
- Sustained positive relationships with children
- Increase in academic aspirations and importance of education for children’s future over time
- Collaboratives focused on the development of social networks first through their one-on-one relationship with families, and later through connecting families to community events and members whenever possible.
WRI conducted four focused evaluations from 2018 through 2022 to examine specific areas of interest in which there were strong preliminary findings or a need for further research.
Child Connection Center
Whole Family Culturally Responsive Approach
Family Strengthening Network Evaluation
WRI’s evaluation of the Strengthening Families Initiative was:
- Quantitative data:
- Surveys using validated scales in English and Spanish
- Secondary data from reliable sources for region’s demographic and economic background
- Qualitative data:
- Interviews with families in English and Spanish
- Focus groups with collaboratives
- Family surveys every 6 months for 2 years
- Ongoing observations at collaborative meetings and events
- Data from 2012-2022
- Longitudinal analysis for changes over time
- Analysis of comparison group of families in the same region
Next page: List of participating collaboratives