Colorado Kinship Navigator Program Evaluation

Expanding support for kinship families in Colorado

We advised the Colorado Department of Human Services and eight county child welfare agencies in the development and implementation of a pilot Kinship Navigator program under the Family First Prevention Services Act. Currently, we are conducting a randomized control trial aimed at examining the impact of the program on kinship caregiver and child outcomes.


Colorado’s Kinship Connection and Navigation Program is designed to improve caregiver well-being and support networks in order to advance child safety and permanency outcomes. The randomized control trial examines the impact of the intervention in eight pilot counties. Once the pilot is complete, HSRI will submit the study to the federal Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse for an evidence-base rating.

  • Intervention Design
  • Technical Assistance and Training
  • Assessment Instrument Development
  • Evaluation

Building on Success

The Colorado Kinship Navigator program builds on HSRI’s evaluation findings from Colorado’s five-year Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project, which showed improved safety and permanency outcomes for children and youth in the state who received waiver intervention services. Two of the waiver interventions—kinship supports and facilitated family engagement meetings—were shown to be particularly effective in improving safety and permanency outcomes when provided together. Drawing on these findings, HSRI worked collaboratively with the Department of Human Services and eight Colorado counties to develop and pilot the Colorado Kinship Connection and Navigation (CKCN) Program, which incorporates the primary components of both interventions. These components are streamlined into a single cohesive intervention in the CKCN program.

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Kinship Navigation Model

Measuring Outcomes

Our team is conducting a randomized control trial of Colorado’s kinship navigator model to ensure that the evaluation rigorously assesses the effectiveness of the services. We also developed a kinship-specific pre/post measure of caregiver stress, the Kinship Caregiver Stress Index, to examine whether caregivers receiving the intervention have greater reductions in stress compared to those in the control group. Because it looks at specific domains that affect kinship families, the index should provide a more valid and reliable measure of kinship caregiver stress than existing parenting stress indexes. The intervention and the study are both designed to meet the evaluation standards of the Family First Prevention Services Act in order to ensure ongoing federal funding for the program.


Colorado Department of Human Services

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