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Implementation & Accountability

Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Implementation & Accountability


Because of the variety in proven interventions, states and communities have leeway to find programs that suit local values, opportunities, and budgets. The key is to select strategies that have documented effectiveness, assure that they are implemented well, and recognize the critical importance of a strong commitment to continuous program improvement.

  • Match expectations with sufficient resources .  Be clear about the goals, purpose and target audience for specific programs.  Provide sufficient resources to ensure fidelity to the evidence-based model, or modify expectations to accommodate variances.
  • Identify barriers.   Effective policy development requires the identification of factors that may impede effective implementation.
  • Make provisions for broad-based input.  When involvement will increase the likelihood that the needs of children and families are being met by the policy, engage community stakeholders (providers, parents, youth, and courts) in implementation.
  • Support local capacity and communication . Provide technical assistance, monitoring, and oversight to local programs and agencies.  Create opportunities for local-to-local communication, best practices sharing, and local input on state policy decisions.
  • Support ongoing evaluation and continuous program improvement.

  A community-based approach to child maltreatment prevention requires policymakers to balance the need for uniformity with the importance of regional and cultural specificity:


  • Avoid narrowly defining prevention or programs around specific indicators either because the results would be easier to track or because of budgetary constraints.
  • Support local decisions which establish programs that attend to the specific conditions of various populations (e.g., geographic, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic conditions) so the system of care can conform to the inherent strengths and weaknesses of a particular community.


Evaluation is essential for successful policy implementation and ensuring intended outcomes.  Accountability requires determining whether programs are implemented correctly, the right programs and strategies are used, progress is measured appropriately, and children and families are benefiting.

  • Monitoring results.  Through data, other information, and consultation, it is possible to determine if the results we set out to achieve for children and families have been attained.  By reexamining the selected indicators we can measure our progress toward the desired result.
  • Monitoring performance.   Oversight requires policymakers to determine if policy objectives have been achieved by focusing attention on the performance of specific programs or agencies. This involves reviewing individual programs and their impact on the lives of the people the program is designed to serve.


Determine if the strategies are contributing to better results and meeting performance standards.

  • Establish Accountability through Community. To address the effectiveness of a prevention strategy the community needs to be actively participating in the oversight and monitoring.
  • Assign responsibility for realistic outcomes.   Responsibility for outcomes should be designated based on the appropriate roles, resources, and capacity of public and private stakeholders.
  • Establish oversight bodies that consistently review key actions by state agencies.
  • Measure and report progress to stakeholders and the community.  Require public availability of data to allow administrators, policymakers, and the public to measure the state’s progress on key outcomes.

: Alaska State Performance Framework – set a performance measure to decrease the rate of substantiated allegations of child maltreatment, but did not set a specific target. Alaska reports progress toward specific goals. Available online .

Are we ensuring that families being consulted and that their views and experiences are being considered? Are we consulting with appropriate experts, advocates, and constituents?

A checklist of questions to ask in order to increase the likelihood of successful implementation.

1. Does this policy take into account differences in cultures and community norms?

2. Will/Is this policy improving racial equity?