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Current Projects

Clearinghouse for Military Families at Penn State Stars

family in therapy session

New Parent Support Program (NPSP): Continuous Quality Improvement Pilot Project

The New Parent Support Program(NPSP)is a voluntary home visitation parent education program.It is designed to support positive parenting practices and prevent child maltreatment in families who are expecting a new baby and in families with children up to five years of age. This program is provided across all four Services at every installation.In our first phase, we designed an expanded program evaluation model.In the second phase, we’ve developed training, implementation, and project management protocols for a pilot test of the evaluation model within a selected site for each Service. Currently, we’re overseeing data collection and maintaining a secure website that holds the training for implementation, the secure data entry system,and online resources for our pilot installations.

There are four objectives of this pilot implementation:

  • Test a common evaluation plan for NPSP across all four Services.
  • Assess current and potential measures for their respective abilities to reflect and assess reductions in risks for child maltreatment and in unhealthy parenting practices.
  • Understand how variation in program implementation may impact program outcome data across the Services.
  • Provide Home Visitors with tools that may have increased utility for better meeting needs of NPSP families.
Students smiling leaning against lockers

Parental Absence Support Research Project (Funded by Department of Defense Educational Activity DODEA)

Military children face unique challenges in relation to parental absence. One of the largest gaps reported by parents and school personnel was the lack of staff training for educators with regard to military culture and the impact parental absence has on military children. With this information, we’re moving forward with the second phase of this project. The focus for this phase is on trainings for military-connected school personnel, which includes the following:

  • a review of publicly available online learning products related to the unique challenges of the military child and the military family, including culture, transitions, deployments, potential outcomes and interventions, and the Interstate Compact;
  • a review of information available to any stakeholder through a public, online search related to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children and geographic transitions of military students; and
  • development and evaluation of standardized learning products for school personnel related to the unique factors of the military child and how to work with the military family.

Moving forward, we’ll create custom learning products that focus on military culture,military families, geographic transitions, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children, and parental absence. In addition, we’ll create a web-based portal to host the training modules and develop a toolkit of resources that will be identified within each of the modules. We will also provide a database of the Top three online, publicly available resources by topic (e.g., deployment, parental absence, transitions). To ensure our work is successful, our team will conduct process and outcome data from school personnel on the learning materials.

service woman being welcomed by her family

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) (Funded by Office of Reserve Affairs)

Our partnership with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program through the Center for Excellence (CfE). The focus of this partnership is to provide the CfE with program evaluation and improvement support. Examples of these efforts include:

  • Developed a Logic Model;
  • Reviewed a standardized curriculum to ensure alignment with research;
  • Standardized a Post-Event Survey;
  • Automated data cleaning and analyses for ongoing data collection efforts;
  • Evaluated the Program Specialist position and how it was utilized in support of program implementation tasks by the respective Services; and
  • Tailored evaluations of the Services’ YRRP.

In 2016, our partnership with CfE was expanded to include other programs within FEPP, specifically,the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). You can learn about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program here:

kids doing soccer

Navy Youth Sports & Fitness (YSF)

Because Navy families relocate often,our goal is to aid Navy Child and Youth Programs in providing consistent youth sports and fitness programming across all installations. We want to help ensure families have access to safe, positive, and predictable opportunities. To help Navy Child and Youth Programs achieve this goal, the Navy YSF project will have several phases.

Initially,we helped to establish the Navy YSF Program guidelines and requirements in the core service areas of sports, fitness, health and nutrition, outdoor recreation, and motor skill development.During the next phase, we assessed the individual Child and Youth Programs at each installation and used the material gathered to create a baseline to construct individualized recommendations for each location.

To assist Child and Youth Program personnel in meeting the recommendations, we provided implementation support, including online trainings and materials. Some installations may need additional support to maintain a successful Navy YSF Program, and,in those instances, we will help to establish service contracts to provide supplemental resources and opportunities.In the coming phases of this project, we will conduct re-evaluations of the programming requirements at individual installation Child and Youth Programs and use the information collected to update the Navy YSF Program guidelines and requirements. We will also continue to develop additional resources for installation Child and Youth Programs to meet requirements successfully.

Partner: Navy Child & Youth Programs

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Army Community Service (ACS): Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis

The Army Community Service(ACS)provides a system of viable social services designed to meet the unique needs of all members of the military community.Increasing the use of evidence-based programs among ACS social service providers is a priority, which is where our expertise comes into play. Using a process called an evaluability assessment(EA), Clearinghouse professionals began this project by systematically determining if select ACS programs had robust evaluation data that could be used to conduct cost benefit/cost effectiveness analyses for the programs. Using information gathered from the EAs, three programs received a more detailed cost benefit analysis. In this step, evidence is gathered to help to monetize the value and,where possible, the impact of the programs.

Overall our objectives with this project include:

  • Produce a cost report detailing overall expenditures for ACS
  • Develop a comprehensive logic model for all ACS programs
  • Conduct EAs for 11 select programs using data gathered through telephonic feedback sessions and site visits
  • Conduct cost benefit analysis for three ACS programs selected based upon results of the EA process

Partner: U.S. Army Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSIM).

Servicemen setting at a formal gathering outdoors

The Veteran Metrics Initiative (Funded by Public and Private Organizations)

The Veteran Metrics Initiative is a collaborative three-year study of military personnel as they transition from military service to civilian life. The study will evaluate the effect of public and private programs on their well-being and will use a novel application of the common components analysis approach to determine which program elements best serve Veterans. We will accomplish this through the following tasks:

  • Surveying Veterans about their well-being in four domains (i.e., vocation, finances, mental and physical health, and social relationships);
  • Distilling programs,which Veterans use as they reintegrate,into common content, process, barrier reduction, and sustainability components across programs; and
  • Examining the link between common components on both Veteran characteristics and their well-being.

Please note: This research was managed by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.(HJF) through its Center for Public-Private Partnerships; and collaboratively sponsored by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Health Net Federal Services, HJF, Lockheed Martin Corporation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Northrop Grumman, Onward Veterans and Schultz Family Foundation, Philip and Marge Odeen, Prudential, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Rumsfeld Foundation, Walmart Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Inc., and the Veterans Health Administration Health Services Research and Development.

child holding a donut

Resource Center for Obesity Prevention

This initiative is responsible for providing an interactive, searchable web-based platform to support professionals in addressing health promotion behaviors among the military families they serve. We intend to create a cohesive, supportive, virtual community that can help. So far, we’ve vetted more than 350 obesity prevention and intervention programs – find them on our Continuum of Evidence.

Do you need help finding a program? Please contact support.


child sitting alone against a brick wall

DoD Family Advocacy Program Severity Scales

The Severity Scales project focuses on the development of a web-based scale that provides reliability and objectivity in determining the severity level of a child or domestic abuse incident. Once complete, this project will enhance the capabilities of more than 900 clinicians across the Services.

Our work includes the content analysis, design, development, implementation,and evaluation of custom learning solutions,such as online modules, FAQs, videos,and websites to serve the clinicians across the Services.

We’re continuing our work with Family Advocacy Program to monitor and collect information from the field to determine the quality and confidence level of the data as a result of using the scales.

mother and child playing with vegetables

5210 Healthy Military Children (HMC) & 5210 Healthy Children (HC)

5210 Healthy Military Children (HMC) & Healthy Children (HC), located within our Resource Center for Obesity Prevention, are parallel campaigns developed to improve child health and enhance the long-term health of military children and their families. 5210 promotes healthy behaviors with four key messages:

  • 5 or more servings per day of fruits and vegetables;
  • 2 hours or less per day of recreational screen time;
  • 1 hour or more per day of vigorous physical activity; and
  • 0 sweetened drinks per day.Want to learn more? Check out the 5210 HMC Website.

We’ve also got plenty of resources to assist –including online trainings, a downloadable implementation guide, posters, and other marketing materials. Our research scientists are here to help military and civilian communities get the campaign off the ground through coaching calls, training, and additional resources, as requested. The team can also assist in the creation of a 5210 evaluation plan to ensure the program is meeting desired goals. Reach out to our support team to get started.

infant sleeping on fathers shoulder

Mission: Dad

Mission: Dad is an interactive online program intended to support fathers’ engagement with their young children. It includes information on child development, ideas on fun activities and games for fathers to play with their children, resources to track child development, and a platform for multimedia engagement among caregivers. We worked with our partners to develop the web-based application for the program,and we’re currently conducting a study to determine usability and user satisfaction. We want to know how fathers engage with the program, which individual components are most used, and fathers’ sentiments on the program as a whole.

Partner: Air Force Medical Operations Agency (Air Force or AFMOA)