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Evaluation of the Implementation and Outcomes of the Maternal & Child Health Bureau's Federal Healthy Start Program

Abt Associates has conducted 20 cross-site evaluations of the federal Healthy Start program since 2002 to understand what leads to successful outcomes for Healthy Start projects.

For the first evaluation, Abt Associates conducted a project director survey to document all of the program components implemented by each Healthy Start (HS) project. This was followed by an evaluation that included a set of case studies and a participant survey in eight HS project sites. This resulted in two articles in the Maternal and Child Health Journal and a profile report on the HRSA website.

In the second evaluation, Abt built on the previous evaluations by using data from a number of sources, including a second survey of project directors. This updated information on the implementation of required core components and other subcomponents, grantee project implementation strategies, and perceived project outcomes.

In 2016, Abt Associates won a contract to support the implementation of the current national evaluation plan for the federal Healthy Start Program.  The activities under this contract include:

  • Obtaining vital statistics data and Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Data (PRAMS) from multiple states;
  • Linking these data with the individual participant data from 100 HS programs nationwide;
  • Conducting a survey with a sample of Healthy Start women in all programs; and
  • Conducting analyses of the data. 

Read more research from Abt’s Healthy Start evaluations:
Intermediate Outcomes, Strategies, and Challenges of Eight Healthy Start Projects

North America