Victoria’s Outcomes Practice Evidence Network (OPEN) is a unique partnership involving the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and the Victorian government that focuses on bringing together service providers, funders and policy makers, service users, program developers and researchers to drive the development and implementation of evidence and innovation in the family and community sector.

Supporting the Roadmap to Reform: Evidence informed practice, a report by the Centre for Community Child Health for the Department of Health and Human Services, asserts evidence based practice as an integration of three sources of evidence: evidence based programs, evidence based processes, and client and professional values. This month’s OPEN Information Exchange explores a range of resources on Evidence Based Programs (EBPs), the first in a four part series on Evidence Informed Practice.

What are EBPs? View the factsheet. In summary, EBPs are backed by a high standard of evidence that demonstrates positive outcomes for the intended client group and have been rigorously evaluated and consistently show positive changes in knowledge, capabilities and/or behaviour. The highest level of evidence for an EBP comes from systematic reviews, an approach that analyses and summarises data from multiple high quality studies, usually randomised controlled trials, to examine the effects of a particular program.

The Victorian Government recently announced a significant investment in testing a range of EBPs for children and families under new reforms in which organisations, workers and researchers solve problems together, build on good practice, and experiment with new approaches to learn and evolve. Read the full summaries of the recently funded EBPs.

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