Goals are ambitious visions of our future. Goals established by the Oregon Commission on Children and Families are:

  • Strong Nurturing Families
  • Healthy Thriving Children
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Caring Communities

These four goals are interrelated. As shown in the model below, caring communities provide the foundation for strong families, thriving children, and positive youth.

Four goals

Oregon Benchmarks

Oregon benchmarks are state and local population level indicators of where we are relative to our goals. Examples of key Oregon benchmarks are state and county rates of:

  • Family poverty
  • Readiness for school at age 5
  • Child maltreatment
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Juvenile crime


Outcomes are results for participants in programs or initiatives. Effective outcomes are clearly linked to Oregon's goals and benchmarks. Outcomes may include improved knowledge, skills, circumstances, or behaviors. Examples of outcomes include:

  • Parent knowledge of health risks for young children
  • Reduction in family risk factors for child maltreatment
  • Outcome Assessment


Resources for Results Accountability

As the foundation for this system, the OSU Family Policy Program faculty identified the empirical links between Oregon's social goals and benchmarks, achievable program-level outcomes, and proven prevention approaches. This research was summarized in two guides entitled:

  • Building Results I: From Wellness Goals to Positive Outcomes for Oregon's Children, Youth, and Families (1997)

    Building Results I reviews research to identify the best practices and specific outcomes that are strongly related to reaching Oregon's goals and benchmarks for children, youth, and families.
    Chapter 1: Linking Goals to Outcomes
    Chapter 2: Best Practices to Reach Wellness Goals
    Chapter 3: Strong, Nurturing Families
    Chapter 4: Nurturing Families' Special Concern
    Chapter 5: Healthy, Thriving Children
    Chapter 6: Positive Youth Development
    Chapter 7: Positive Youth Development Special Concerns
    Chapter 8: Educational Progress and Success
    Chapter 9: Caring Communities and Systems


  • Building Results II: Measuring Outcomes for Oregon's Children, Youth, and Families (includes 350-page appendix of measures) (1998)

    Building Results II identifies measurement approaches and tools for assessing the specific outcomes identified in Building Results I. This resource guide includes a 350-page appendix of measurement instruments.
    Chapter 1: Accountability and Performance Measurement
    Chapter 2: Principles of Performance Measurement
    Chapter 3: Measurement Approaches
    Chapter 4: Developing Surveys
    Chapter 5: Family Outcomes Measures
    Chapter 6: Child Outcomes Measures
    Chapter 7: Youth Outcomes Measures
    Chapter 8: Educational Outcomes Measures
    Chapter 9: Child and Youth Environments Measures
    Index of Measures
    Index of Outcomes


Using the guides, communities mesh research findings with local needs and resources and select locally appropriate strategies and outcomes. Communities also use the guides to institute results-based accountability efforts.