Newark Trust for Education Project

The Newark Trust for Education (NTE) Parent Child Plus (PC+) program is an evidence-based early childhood education program for families in the Newark, NJ. NTE seeks to evaluate performance by conducting analyses of existing data for a cohort of over 80 families, assessed four times over 46 weeks using observational measures of parenting practices and children’s socio-emotional skills. PC+ is intended to result in “improved child behaviors related to social‐emotional development and self‐regulation skills” (Organizational Research Services [ORS], 2010, p. 23).

The Quality-Impact-Equity Design and Methods (QDM) Toolbox (Smith, Peck, Roy, & Smith, 2019; Smith, Peck, & McNeil, 2020) was used to: (a) reconfigure existing measures for Parenting Practice Quality and Child SEL Skill to maximize reliability and validity for measuring socio-emotional skills and learning (SEL); (b) produce holistic profiles of parent and child skill (e.g., “whole child”) at each timepoint; and (c) apply pattern-centered analytics to estimate impact and equity effects of the PC+ program as implemented in Newark. Please note: We define impact in terms of the actual “in-the-world” structure of causes and effects, not in terms of counterfactuals. A brief description of the QDM methodology is provided in Appendix A (see also Smith et al., 2019)..

The PC+ program results reveal an overall impact pattern that suggests both a strong relation between parent and child skills and an effect of home visitors on both parent and child skills. Although, in almost all cases, the children of parents with high or growing parenting skills outperformed children with low or declining parenting skills, many children with parents in the low-skill profile for Parenting Practice Quality still experienced growth in SEL skills. This finding suggests that PC+ is working as it should, with parents and home visitors both having direct effects on child SEL skill growth. To fully demonstrate the impact of the NTE PC+ program given this “triadic” causal flow, we recommend (a) improving measures of PC+ fidelity and (b) including a small no-program sample of parents and children.

Impact Evaluation Report


Summary Report


Report Appendices A-I


Child SEL Skill Infographic


Parent Practice Quality Infographic


Citation for the full report: Peck, S. C., & Smith, C. (2020). Impact Evaluation for the Parent Child Plus Program, Newark Trust for Education. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.

The Afterschool Learning at a Distance: Key Themes and Promising Practices

The Afterschool Learning at a Distance: Key Themes and Promising Practices describes the experiences and practices of Genesee Intermediate School District: Brides to Success’ (GISD) Team Leads and direct staff serving children and families after substantially redesigning afterschool programming due to the COVID-19 crisis. While the original evaluation plan was to do a (second) round of in-person observations (no longer possible due to school closures), QTurn conducted 15 staff interviews via zoom. Key themes from the interviews include professional uncertainty made manageable because of their strong organizational culture, the importance of addressing inequity, adjustment to flexible service, and a focus on a whole child, whole family approach.

Citation: Smith, C., Smith, L., Roy, L., & Peck, S. C. (2020). Afterschool learning at a distance: key themes and promising practices [Grantee Evaluation Report]. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.

Promoting Healthy Development of Young People: Outcomes Framework 2.0

In the summer of 2018, the Local Government Association (LGA) in England commissioned the Centre for Youth Impact to produce an outcomes framework to help partners across the English youth sector to develop and agree on mutual aims to support young people in their local areas. The work was in response to LGA’s consultations that led to its vision statement described in the report, Bright Futures: our vision for youth services, published at the end of 2017. In that report, the authors noted:

“A clear outcomes framework can help to effectively monitor the impact of a service at key milestones to spot where things aren’t working and provide opportunities to make changes where needed. It can also support evidence of collective impact across the system.”

The proposed framework was intended to support partners’ efforts to track and understand the short-, medium-, and longer-term impacts of their work on the lives of young people. The framework needed to be simple and adaptable to provision for different groups of young people and for diverse approaches.

This document is an update on the framework and is the result of two phases of work: an initial phase including desk research and widespread consultation with practitioners, commissioners and elected members, and a second phase to test the proposed framework in action. The work was undertaken by the Centre’s network of regional impact leads and its central team.

Impact Evaluation for the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System (QIS) using Fully Pattern-Centered Analytics

In this study, we used performance data generated by Prime Time Inc. in Palm Beach County and fully pattern-centered methodology to describe the chain of causal effects as a cascade of sequential impacts. We sought to answer two specific questions about implementation and children’s SEL skill growth: What is the impact of QIS exposure on program quality (i.e., best practices, low staff turnover, great content), particularly for programs that have lower program quality at baseline? What is the impact of exposure to high program quality on student SEL skills?

Citation: Smith, C., & Peck S. C. (2019). Impact evaluation for Palm Beach County quality improvement system (QIS) using fully pattern-centered analytics. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.