Description: Substance-abusing and HIV-infected mothers and their children are provided a broad range of social, educational and health-related services at 20 federally funded sites nationwide.  The National AIA Resource Center delegated the cross-site evaluation responsibility to the Institute in 2002, in 2006, and extended it for another 4 years in 2010.  The evaluation describes participants, co-occurring risk factors, program services, and changes in family outcomes over time, with the aim of assessing the overall impact of the 20 comprehensive funded projects.


Project Contact:               Kathryn L. Fuger, 816.235.5351,

Project Period:                 2002-2014

Annual Funding:              $150,000 (FY2014)

Funding Source:               Children’s Bureau, USDHHS through the National Abandoned Infants Assistance (AIA) Resource Center

Core Functions

Applied Research:  The Institute conducts a comprehensive descriptive study of the impact of 20 federally funded programs nationwide that serve families of young children affected by HIV and substance abuse.  Institute staff members coordinate data collection across sites, analyze data, and report the findings.

Community Services and Supports: Institute staff provide evaluation consultation with grantee agency programs and their evaluation contractors.

Information Dissemination:  Information is disseminated through annual grantee conference sessions, project kick-off meetings, and reports to the National AIA Resource Center.  The Institute also sponsors and manages a listserv for project evaluators.

Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation: Graduate students assist with data entry, data analysis, and report preparation.  Interdisciplinary students in the LEND Program receive information concerning this study.


Program Need and Historical Context

Since 1988, the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act has provided funds for research and demonstration projects to prevent the abandonment of infants and young children whose mothers experience challenges associated with HIV infection and/or substance abuse.  The original purpose of the act was to reduce or eliminate the problem of boarder babies that often were staying in hospitals well beyond any medical necessity at a tremendous expense.  Today the projects provide comprehensive services not only to mothers and their babies, but also to other family members who may be affected by substance abuse or HIV/AIDS issues.


Consumer and Community Involvement

Staff members from the local AIA project, the TIES Program, identify challenges posed by the current data collection procedures and instruments and offer suggestions for improvement.  Other sites share protocols and forms that they would recommend for tracking program outcomes.


Significant Project Activities and Outcomes

  • Establishment and ongoing maintenance of evaluator listserv
  • Revision of cross-site evaluation data collection instrument for comprehensive programs
  • Development of new data collection instruments for relative caregiver and recreation programs
  • Determination of appropriate outcome measurement instruments for cross-site evaluation
  • Development of annual plenary and evaluation workshops for each grantee conference
  • Delivery of a Webinar for evaluators on culturally competent evaluation and a Webinar for Project Directors on an impact study of AIA projects


Institute’s Role

  • Serve as a member of the national advisory group to the AIA Resource Center, as well as a local task force, a consortium, and an advisory council that focus on this population
  • Provide technical assistance and evaluation support to the 20 programs across the country
  • Collect data from projects, analyze data, and disseminate the findings
  • Provide consultation to evaluation and program staff for each of the grantees
  • Maintain an evaluators’ listserv
  • Orient newly funded projects in a Kick-Off Meeting
  • Plan and present the evaluation track at the annual Grantee’s Conference



  • Annual Cross-Site Evaluation Reports for 2004 to 2014
  • Executive Summaries of Cross-Site Evaluation Reports for 2004 to 2008
  • Codebooks for AIA Data Collection Form
  • Presentations for Grantee Conference Plenary Sessions and Evaluation Workshops 2003-2011
  • Presentations for New Grantee Kick-Off Meetings in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009



System:  This project will evaluate the impact of federal funding of demonstration projects across the country serving families with young children affected by substance abuse and HIV.  The findings will assist service providers and policy makers in determining the best approaches for serving this population, as well as other populations experiencing trauma and multiple challenges.

Personnel:  Training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in data management and analysis exist.

Leveraging:  This project was a direct outgrowth of Institute involvement with evaluation of the TIES Project in Kansas City, Missouri.