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Using a capacity-building approach, the Front Porch Project is implemented in partnership between American Humane and the “sustainer” organization in a local community. The four-phase implementation model is based upon program implementation research, as well as experience and feedback from local sustaining organizations.
During Phase I, American Humane provides information and technical assistance to local sites as they identify the sustainers, connectors and supporters who are necessary to deliver and sustain the Front Porch Project in their community.

Phase II is the delivery of the two-day Front Porch Project Community Training, in which participants are exposed to new intervention methods and given an opportunity to develop personal action plans to implement in their own communities. Phase II is comprised of two full days of training, scheduled approximately four to six weeks apart. The timeframe between training days is necessary for participants to encounter opportunities in which to practice their new intervention skills, so that upon returning for the second day of training, these experiences may be processed and analyzed by the group. Participants must commit to attend both training days, with the initial Community Training being delivered and facilitated by American Humane staff. Additionally, three participant follow-up contacts will occur in the 12 months following the completion of training, to gather information regarding the participants' actions and interventions after they have participated in the Community Training.

In Day 1 of the Community Training, participants:

  • Identify when and how to get involved in situations involving a child.
  • Assess their comfort level with intervening in those situations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the definitions, dynamics and indicators of child abuse and neglect, as well as how the public child welfare system responds to reports of child maltreatment.
  • Identify a range of parenting approaches.
  • Develop comfort with different parenting approaches.
  • Describe ways of disciplining and caring for children that can lead to maltreatment.
  • Identify strategies for ensuring personal safety.
  • Identify and demonstrate (through role playing) possible responses, interventions and problem-solving strategies.
  • Develop a personal action plan.
  • Complete an evaluation of the training.

In Day 2 of the Community Training, participants:

  • Identify and describe involvement experiences since Day 1 of the Community Training, by evaluating their personal action plans and interventions taken thus far.
  • Identify challenges to intervening safely, and methods to circumvent those challenges.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact that culture, gender and socioeconomic status can have on parenting and on actions to intervene on behalf of children.
  • Describe the complex issues facing families today, including issues that affect the functioning of parents, children and families.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of resiliency in children and the importance of prevention in helping to protect children and support families.
  • Identify and demonstrate (through role playing) possible responses, interventions and problem-solving strategies.
  • Complete an evaluation of the training.

Phase III is the delivery of the two-day Train-the-Trainers session for participants interested in, and capable of, either providing the Front Porch Project training in their community or fulfilling a support role on the project team through the sustaining organization. Upon completing the Train-the-Trainers session, participants who have been trained to deliver the Community Training of the Front Porch Project will work in collaboration with the local sustaining project organization to organize, deliver and evaluate the Community Training. The Train-the-Trainers session is delivered by American Humane staff immediately following the completion of the Phase II delivery and consists of two full days of training, taking place on two consecutive days. During and after the training, the participants, together with the local sustaining project organization and the American Humane facilitators, will assess their capacity to deliver the Front Porch Project curriculum. The goal is to identify and support competent and effective trainers who can sustain the Front Porch Project in their communities.

In the two-day Train-the-Trainers session, participants:

  • Describe their personal weaknesses and fears related to delivering training.
  • Identify characteristics of positive training experiences.
  • Identify how to organize and set up a Community Training of the Front Porch Project.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose/rationale, “points to stress” and potential challenges for each section of the Community Training curriculum, from a trainer’s perspective.
  • Identify effective training techniques to enhance their delivery of the Community Training.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of adult learning theories.
  • Describe skills for effectively facilitating and leading a group.
  • Prepare and deliver a section of the curriculum to the group.
  • Demonstrate how to provide constructive feedback to fellow participants.
  • Process their practice training experiences and interpret the feedback provided to them by their fellow participants and American Humane trainers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Evaluation Plan for the Front Porch Project and the importance of participating in the follow-up evaluation contacts.
  • Identify the next steps for implementing and delivering the Community Training, as set forth by the sustaining organization.
  • Receive recognition for their commitment and dedication to the Front Porch Project.
  • Complete an evaluation of the training.

During Phase IV, American Humane is available as a resource forongoing technical assistance, consultation and support as communities actively implement, evaluate and sustain the initiative. The Front Porch Project requires a partnership between a local community team of sustainers, connectors and supporters and American Humane.  Each has key duties and responsibilities that will ensure successful outcomes of the project.   


It is critical that the results of the Front Porch Project be systematically documented and analyzed to determine the extent to which the project is making a difference for participants, as well as for children and families in your community. To this end, the local team and American Humane will collect and analyze data measuring change in the knowledge, beliefs, attitude and behavior of participants. In 2009, the evaluation of the Front Porch Project was expanded to include a cross-site evaluation component, managed by American Humane. Different methods are used, including:

  • Evaluations at the conclusion of each day of the Community Training.
  • Personal action plans describing what interventions participants will attempt to undertake.
  • Evaluations at the conclusion of the Train-the-Trainer session.
  • Observation and assessment of trainee skill and performance in Phase III of the training.
  • Participant action plan and intervention follow-up surveys completed six weeks, six months and 12 months following each participant’s completion of the Community Training.

Technical Assistance

The technical assistance provided by American Humane during this phase is tailored to the individual needs of each local project partner site, but can include activities such as:

  • Providing the Community Training Implementation and Evaluation Toolkit.
  • Consulting on Community Training planning and implementation.
  • Consulting on trainer development and support.
  • Coaching/additional training for local trainers.
  • Coordinating quarterly Front Porch Project site technical assistance calls.
  • Presenting to possible funders or at local conferences.

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