Office of Children and Family Services

Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Improving Child Well-Being

Welcome to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Evidence-Based Practices and Programs website. OCFS has been incorporating evidence and outcome-based practices into its own operations for several years and is committed to supporting the use of evidence- and outcome-based services as means of fostering its goal of improving child well-being and achieving positive outcomes for the children, families, and communities of New York State.

There are a lot of programs out there; some are better or more appropriate than others. Selecting the one program anticipated to provide the best solutions is tough. The idea of "evidence-based" or "promising" or "best" programs is recent and growing. In the literature and on the Internet, there is no single consensus in terminology or minimum amount and level of evidence needed, which makes finding a program tougher.

While OCFS is not in a position to recommend specific programs and/or practices, it can be a guide in the selection process. This site will serve as that guide to help at each stage of the process. It will include helpful information about making a plan, selecting a program, steps to take in the selection process, links to sites that explain program evaluation, and links to program registries with review and ratings of programs. The agencies overseeing the registries have staff to review literature, programs, and practices; impose minimum criteria for the evidence supporting the programs; and assign ratings to the programs listed.

Getting Started

In order to select the most appropriate best program/practice to meet your needs, you should:

  • articulate the population to be served,
  • state the problem, change, or issue to be addressed,
  • clearly state the desired outcomes and
  • make a plan.

You should then search for and select the appropriate program/practice.

What Does “Evidence-Based” Mean?
Are you new to the concept of evidence-based practices? You may find the following links to be helpful.

External links are provided for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Office of Children and Family Services. When users click an external link and leave the OCFS website, they should be aware that they are subject to the privacy and security policies of the external site.

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