Evidence & Evaluation

If you want to talk about a research design or have your own Parent Café evaluation findings to share with us, please contact us.

Be Strong Families Parent Cafés: An Emerging Research-Informed Practice 

Be Strong Families Parent Cafés are a research-informed practice, drawing on the research base of the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors. The effectiveness of Parent Cafés is supported by over a decade of experiential evidence in communities in the US and internationally, as well as by evaluation and research conducted independently which shows that Parent Cafés are effective in achieving short-term outcomes that are the foundation for the intended long-term outcomes, such as families experiencing increased well-being.

Be Strong Families is working to strengthen the research and evidence base for Parent Cafés and is partnering with researchers across the US  to conduct studies needed to earn CEBC and CBCAP standards of evidence.

Our research partners include Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services in California and the Early Childhood Innovation Network at Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C.

Independent Research on Parent Cafés

Independent evaluations of Parent Café efforts conducted by partners have found statistically significant increases in:

  • Mean scores on combined Protective Factors to reduce child maltreatment and on family functioning and resiliency

  • Cross-ethnic group social interactions

  • Ability to listen carefully to children, family members or friends

  • Quality of interactions and relationship with their children

  • Ability to handle stressful situations with their children or other family members

  • Motivation to become involved in their community or their child’s school

  • Overall summary score for the Connor-Davidson Resiliency Scale

Click here to download a PDF summary of independent evaluation efforts, as well as links to download the reports themselves.

The National Parent Café Evaluation Project


Be Strong Families is committed to long-term learning and building the evidence-base about the effectiveness of Parent Cafés. We started our national evaluation in 2019 to document the experience of Café participants across the country and begin telling the story of the outcomes of Cafés for parents, families, and communities. In 2020, we added online tools for collecting participant feedback.

How It Works 

Parent Café participants complete a brief, anonymous feedback form, available in English and Spanish, at the end of each Café. Questions on the form ask participants to share short and long-term outcomes of being part of the Café, as outlined in the Parent Café Theory of Change. We have integrated time to complete the feedback form into the Parent Café process to reinforce participants’ experience of learning and reflection.

Parent Café Evaluation Partners

Every organization that gets trained to host Parent Cafés becomes a Parent Café Evaluation partner. Partners are responsible for ensuring that every Café participant completes a feedback form (PDF downloads available in English and Spanish) and for sharing that information with Be Strong Families. In turn, evaluation partners receive regular reports summarizing their Parent Cafés and feedback on how to strengthen their effort. Reports provide information on: how well Cafés are being implemented (emotional safety, individual deep self-reflection, peer-to-peer learning); impact of Café on participants (building protective factors, connecting to host agency, leadership); and number and characteristics of Café participants. Be Strong Families also compiles all the data nationally to share in the Parent Café Annual Report (coming soon) on the state of Parent Cafés.