Evaluating Protect MiFamily

The Challenge 

To help keep children safe in their own homes and improve child well-being and family functioning, the Michigan Department of Human Services’ Protect MiFamily program provides intensive and innovative home-based services to at-risk families.

The Title IV-E waivers lift some of the restrictions on how states may spend federal dollars intended for foster care placements.

The challenge is to determine how well the Protect MiFamily service model improves the well-being of these families.

Working with the University of Michigan, Westat is conducting the required evaluation of the waiver demonstration.

Our Solutions 

  • The evaluation includes a randomized controlled trial, statistical measurements, and outcome and cost analysis methodologies.
  • The study includes collecting primary and administrative data; performing model fidelity analysis; and conducting process evaluations, outcomes analyses, and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis.
  • The primary data collected on experimental children and families throughout the stages of treatment include child assessments on social and emotional health, parents’ psychosocial assessments and protective factors, and family satisfaction surveys on services received. Primary data collected on both experimental and control families are on services needed, referred, and received.
  • The child welfare administrative data collected on both experimental and control families include safety and risk assessments, reports of child abuse and neglect, foster care placements, and services needed, referred, and received.

The Results 

  • Our evaluation will show whether the Protect MiFamily project model is able to
    • Lower the rates of child abuse and neglect
    • Decrease the number of children going into foster care
    • Help parents better protect and nurture their children
  • Westat’s evaluation study will
    • Describe the implementation process
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the service model in meeting the needs of at-risk families
    • Analyze the fidelity of the service model
    • Determine if the program is cost-effective

Our Client 

Michigan Department of Human Services