In 2012, key leaders in Providence signed onto a promising initiative to bolster the well-being of the city’s children and youth: they adopted Evidence2Success, a prevention-based framework designed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to help public systems work together more effectively to improve the well-being of children in disadvantaged communities. This initiative is an exciting opportunity for Rhode Island to stem the demand for high cost services such as special education, residential placements and incarceration and redirect funding into cost-effective prevention programs for greater return on investment.

In Evidence2Success, teams of stakeholders—with community members as full partners—analyze high-quality local data and apply their respective experience and expertise as they identify needs of children in their communities to be prioritized for action. They then select appropriate programs that, through rigorous studies, are proven to be effective in addressing the priorities.

Evidence2Success is powered by the Children and Youth Cabinet (CYC), and is championed by leaders from the Providence Public School Department, the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the City of Providence among others. Evidence2Success is central to achieving the CYC’s goals, mission and philosophy of supporting children from cradle to career. For this reason, Providence signed on to be the pilot site. The CYC began by focusing on the communities of Upper and Lower South Providence/Elmwood and West End.

Evidence2Success works by addressing outcomes as well as risk and protective factors. Outcomes are measures that indicate positive, healthy youth development. Risk factors are scientifically validated characteristics that increase the likelihood of negative outcomes. Protective factors shield children from risk. As a prevention framework, Evidence2Success helps communities identify the underlying predictors of the most widespread problems of children and youth, and address those predictors as early as possible, before problems become entrenched. The work happens at the community level, using a public health approach.

"With Evidence2Success, we are investing in programs that were chosen by the community of Providence and that meet the needs of our most vulnerable children. We’re addressing key risk factors that are a priority of Mayor Elorza and ensuring that scarce resources go to proven programs."

—Peter Asen, City of Providence

Success to Date

Much has been achieved over the evolution of Evidence2Success in Providence. See below for a timeline of key accomplishments of this initiative.