Morgridge Family Foundation Leads Formation of New Colorado Research and Implementation Science Team

The multidisciplinary coalition will work together to help small agencies make data-informed decisions to support strong, healthier and safer families
DENVER - Nov. 4, 2022 - PRLog -- The Morgridge Family Foundation (MFF) today announced a new partnership to create a first-of-its-kind research and implementation science team, the Colorado Research and Implementation Science Team (CRIST), that will build a stronger child welfare system for Colorado.

CRIST will be located within the Colorado Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), which is part of the Colorado Department of Human Services.

The multidisciplinary coalition, led by the Morgridge Family Foundation, includes Casey Family Programs, Think of Us, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, Mile High United Way and Colorado Department of Human Services ( The project provides funding, research support, expertise and lived experience to supplement OCYF's work. This coalition has joined forces to help small, local nonprofits gather and use data to prove the efficacy of their programs to the federal child-welfare clearinghouse. By offering a simplified way for agencies to gather and file data, more federal funding will come to Colorado to support child welfare efforts. This empowers the nonprofits to provide advanced support to children and families and prevent out-of-home placements.

"The Colorado Research and Implementation Science Team's innovative approach will give child welfare organizations across the state equal access to data capacity and research so that Colorado children and families can receive the support and resources they need more efficiently. I am committed to providing high-quality resources and saving people money so that every Coloradan can thrive," said Gov. Polis.

The Opportunities CRIST Aims to Create

As of March 2022, the state of Colorado is responsible for 4,635 children ( in out-of-home placements. With additional funding and staff, the Colorado Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) can make advancements in evidence-building for services that support child and family wellbeing and implement new evidence-based services. As a result, OCYF will be able to grow early-stage prevention programs, especially for BIPOC, rural and tribal communities, and increase its capacity to successfully scale, adapt and improve existing evidence-based services.

The ultimate goal of the Colorado Research and Implementation Science Team is four-fold:
  • Increase federal Title IV-E ( funding for prevention services;
  • Advance programs across an evidence-based continuum;
  • Improve access to evidence-based programs throughout Colorado; and
  • Prioritize programs designed by and for BIPOC, rural, tribal and underserved communities.
The Action Plan

The Colorado Research and Implementation Science Team will consist of four full-time research, evaluation and implementation professionals. The hiring process has begun and OCYF expects the new hires to start this fall. Thanks to funding and support from MFF and others, the research team will be integral in establishing:
  • Clear and consistent pipeline of evidence-building activities to ensure a continuum of services that meets diverse family and community needs and leverages strengths;
  • A comprehensive communication strategy that promotes a culture of evidence-building and data-informed decision making, as well as disseminates results to national allies, county and state leadership, policymakers, families, community partners, and funders;
  • Regular use of the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC) to ensure consistent tracking of program/practice outcomes across state agencies;
  • Policies, protocols, partnerships, funding streams to build evidence and make data-driven decisions that are efficient, effective, and transcend programs and offices dedicated to strengthening families; and
  • Strategies for ensuring that related investments are sustained across administrations.
The team is a key component of MFF's new $1.4M Child Welfare Initiative (, which expands on its mission to invest in solutions that solve the world's most pressing challenges. MFF convenes thought leaders, policy experts, child welfare organizations and those with lived experience in order to find community-driven solutions that will have lasting impact.

"The mental, emotional and economic challenges faced by current and former foster youth are immense," said Carrie Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation. "The presence of loving, supportive adults is so critical in the lives of children. We started this initiative so that fewer children experience foster care and those who do enter the system can thrive."

For more information on the CRIST, please visit


The Morgridge Family Foundation invests in leaders and organizations that are reimagining solutions to some of today's biggest challenges. MFF offers vision, community, and resources to support a network of partners achieving their profound impact. Learn more at

Kelsey Thompson
Email:*** Email Verified
Tags:Child Welfare, Morgridge Family Foundation
Location:Denver - Colorado - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse

Like PRLog?
Click to Share