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ERIC Number: ED541166
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-24
Pages: 60
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Free To Grow: Head Start Partnerships to Promote Substance-Free Communities. Program Results Report
De Milto, Lori
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
"Free To Grow"--a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)--supported efforts by Head Start agencies and their community partners to strengthen the families and neighborhood environments of high-risk preschool children living in low-income communities. The goal was to reduce the children's vulnerability to substance abuse and related problems in later life. The program ran from 1992 to 2005 and included a pilot phase with five geographically diverse Head Start sites and a demonstration and evaluation phase involving 15 Head Start agencies. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine conducted an independent evaluation, tracking changes in family and community risk and protective factors at 14 demonstration sites and 14 matched communities selected for comparison. The Head Start agencies partnered with local police departments, school systems and other organizations to implement an integrated mix of family and neighborhood strategies to address substance abuse, child abuse and other risky behaviors. This paper presents key results of "Free To Grow" reported to RWJF by the national program office in December 2005 at the conclusion of the demonstration phase. It also shows key findings that Wake Forest University evaluators reported in 2008 in a written summary submitted to RWJF and in a report, "Evaluation of Free To Grow: Head Start Partnerships to Promote Substance-Free Communities." Appended are: (1) "Free To Grow" National Advisory Committee; (2) "Free To Grow" Evaluation Advisory Panel (Demonstration Phase); (3) "Free To Grow" Pilot Sites; (4) Additional Findings from the Pilot Phase Evaluation; (5) "Free To Grow" Standards for Demonstration Sites; (6) "Free To Grow" National Demonstration Project List; (7) Quantitative Evaluation Survey Methodology; (8) Measures Used in the Evaluation; and (9) Some Lessons Learned from the Pilot Phase. A bibliography is included.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. P.O. Box 2316, Route 1 and College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08543. Tel: 877-843-7953; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; Kentucky; New Jersey; New York; Puerto Rico