Research and Evaluation

Research and Evaluation

Research and Evaluation

Learn about theories of change, logic models, evaluation plans, and other research tools that help IECMHC teams measure program fidelity and impact.

Evaluation Measures

Evaluation Toolkit

This resource presents a start-to-finish guide to conducting high-quality evaluations of Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation programs. Tips and examples are provided for each stage of the evaluation process, including articulating a logic model, selecting appropriate measures, and applying findings to quality improvement and advocacy efforts.

Outcome Measures for IECMHC

This search engine is designed to help users explore the measures used to evaluate IECMHC based on a range of key considerations including topic, respondent, and language(s). Measures are described for child, teacher, teacher-child, and classroom outcomes.


Logic Models and Theory of Change Examples

Maryland Project LAUNCH

Logic model for school-based I/ECMHC in a Maryland County that articulates detailed inputs, outputs, and outcomes, alongside the assumptions and external factors that impact consultation.

RAINE Theory of Change

National leaders in I/ECMHC practice and policy articulated an overarching conceptualization for the manner in which I/ECMHC produces positive outcomes for children, families, and programs, highlighting important activities, attitudes, and characteristics for those involved.


Sample IECMHC Program Evaluations

The Smart Support Program in Arizona

This report presents outcomes from four years of Arizona’s statewide I/ECMHC program, Smart Support. In the large sample (over 1,000 children and 100 MHCs), there were positive outcomes across domains, including improved teacher-child relationships, classroom climate, and child social-emotional skills.

Healthy Futures Year 4 Program Evaluation (District of Columbia)

This report presents evaluation findings from the 4th annual evaluation of D.C.’s I/ECMHC program, Healthy Futures, in which MHCs were embedded in 25 child development centers, primarily in low-income neighborhoods. Among other positive impacts, analyses indicated that there were significant improvements in children’s social-emotional skills after child-focused consultation, as well as significant improvements in teacher-child interactions after programmatic consultation. Process outcomes and lessons learned were also articulated. Sample evaluation tools are included in the Appendix.

Michigan’s Childcare Expulsion Prevention Initiative

A mixed method evaluation was conducted for Michigan’s I/ECMHC program, the Childcare Expulsion Prevention Program (CCEP), which served center- and home-based childcare settings statewide. Results indicated some positive findings for children (e.g., decreased hyperactivity, improved social skills), parents (e.g., increased empowerment to advocate for child, decreased work/school problems) and childcare providers (e.g., increased sense of competence to manage challenging behavior). Additionally, the team reported on fidelity to the model and parent and provider satisfaction with CCEP.

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (Connecticut)

This report describes the first random-controlled evaluation of an I/ECMHC program, Connecticut’s Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP), a 12-week model in which school-based services were provided to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Results indicated that ECCP yielded significant improvements in child hyperactivity and oppositionality as well as increased communication between school and home, but did not significantly affect classroom climate. Additionally, information was provided regarding the budget for ECCP in comparison to alternative responses to challenging behaviors.

Pennsylvania Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project

In 2016, the Pennsylvania ECMH Consultation Project contracted with Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to conduct an external review geared towards situating their program in a national perspective. By analyzing Pennsylvania’s program based on the insights from the national “What Works” (2009) study, the authors identified the strengths of the program as well as areas for continued growth, which were then pursued by program leadership. Among others, one strength included their strong data collection system, and one suggestion was to hire a reflective supervisor. In addition, two years of program evaluation data were analyzed. Findings included: improved child behavior, reduced teacher stress, and increased teacher adherence to the Pyramid Model.


IECMHC In Home Visiting

Colorado IECMHC in Home Visiting

Colorado’s HRSA-Funded Home Visiting Programs (MIECHV) have been implementing IECMHC in home visiting since 2016. The evaluation team has conducted several evaluations to understand how mental health consultation is implemented across three evidence-based home visiting programs in Colorado. This brief provides an overview of findings from the most recent evaluation phase, including information on facilitators and barriers and important lessons learned.

This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.