The Institute on Disability Will Evaluate New Hampshire’s newest parental assistance program to strengthen families and communities

DURHAM, N.H. - The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has received a 3-year contract from the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide evaluative support for the new Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families (CCSFP) grant, which will strengthen primary and secondary prevention services efforts.

The CCSPF model will focus on building the capacity of communities to have an array of services for families with children from birth through age 8 that strengthen parental resilience and social connections, increase knowledge of child development, promote the social and emotional competence of children, and provide concrete support in times of need. The IOD will evaluate outcomes related to the program’s focus on strengthening families and child well-being in two identified regions, Manchester and the Winnipesaukee Public Health Region. The goals are to build integrated family support systems by creating continuums of services and resources that support child and family well-being and strengthen protective factors to prevent child maltreatment, reduce risk and ultimately reduce entries into foster care. New Hampshire was only one of four awardees selected by the Administration for Children and Families – Children’s Bureau at the US Department of Health & Human Services and the only state Health & Human Services agency. The IOD’s Dr. Tobey Partch-Davies will lead the evaluation.

“I am very excited about being part of this important initiative,” shares Dr. Partch-Davies. “Community partners are eager to align resources, and increase collaboration in proactive and effective ways so that families’ needs are addressed early.  Our evaluation seeks to confirm whether the upstream supports and services significantly increase family functioning compared to those who do not access the supports and services.   

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to promote full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons by strengthening communities and advancing policy and systems change, promising practices, education, and research.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.