This web page has been set up to support Project LAUNCH programs across the country in using the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Program resources. Links to recorded videos, as well as PDF documents, are available and organized following the five steps to implement the comprehensive DECA Program. Additional resources are also available on the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) website. If you are not finding the information that you are looking for on this page, please visit www.centerforresilientchildren.org or call us at (866) 872-4687.
Understanding Resilience: The Framework of the DECA Program
Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”  A resilient person copes and “bounces back” when faced with stress, change, or risk factors – negative influences in a person’s life. Strengthening children’s protective factors to offset the negative impact of risk is essential to supporting children’s resilience. A webinar has been recorded to provide an overview of risk factors, protective factors, and resilience, which was used to inform the development of the DECA Program. This webinar also speaks to the first step of the DECA Program, collecting information. The recordings and supplemental handouts from the e-DECA Trainings are now available for download on the TA Gateway – LAUNCH Expansion Grantees CoP Files > e-DECA Training Recordings.
Step One – Collecting Information
Prior to completing a DECA on a child, it is critical to collect information to better understand children’s behaviors. This includes observing children and collecting information about the environments where children spend time. Many programs have systems already in place to collect this kind of information. Devereux also offers optional resources that might improve these systems. Following are several pdf documents that programs many want to consider using to help better understand children’s behaviors.
Step Two and Three – Administering the DECA, Summarizing and Interpreting Results
All of the nationally standardized, reliable and valid DECA tools can be completed on paper or on a web-based electronic platform. Participants in Project LAUNCH have access to the web-based platform called the e-DECA. A webinar has been recorded specifically to help participants understand how to administer and interpret results for the DECA Infant, Toddler, and Preschooler on the e-DECA System. The recordings and supplemental handouts from the e-DECA trainings are now available for download on the TA Gateway – LAUNCH Expansion Grantees CoP Files > e-DECA Training Recordings. To view these materials, please log into your TA Gateway account.
The webinar above does not include information on the DECA Clinical Form (DECA-C) or the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA).
Step Four – Planning and Implementing Strategies
In best practice, results from the DECA always lead to strategies to help promote children’s social and emotional skills. The recommended planning process begins with focusing on a child’s strengths, and using competencies to improve any identified areas of need and to set goals. Strategies are available directly on the e-DECA System and strategies may also come from other resources. A webinar has been recorded specifically to help participants understand how to use the strategies offered in the DECA Program for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. The recordings and supplemental handouts from the e-DECA trainings are now available for download on the TA Gateway – LAUNCH Expansion Grantees CoP Files > e-DECA Training Recordings. To view these materials, please log into your TA Gateway account.
Several resources are mentioned in the webinar that may be of interest. Following are links to the optional planning forms that individuals may want to use.
Step Five – Evaluating Progress
Project LAUNCH participants using the e-DECA System have access to Pre/Post Comparison Reports that can be used to determine if a child has made statistically significant progress related to increasing protective factors and reducing behavioral concerns. A short video has been recorded that illustrates how to access this report on the e-DECA. To watch it now, click here.
Download a document that provides guidance on measuring outcomes for individual children, groups of children, and program evaluation/quality improvement using the DECA-I/T and the DECA-P2.
For those individuals who would like more detailed information about pre/post results, the User’s Guides and Technical Manuals available under HELP on the e-DECA provide even more detailed information about how to interpret pre/post results.
Promoting the resilience of children is strongly connected to the resilience of their caregivers. To support adults in the process of better understanding their own social and emotional health, e-DECA users can complete the Devereux Adult Resilience Survey (DARS) online. When you log into the e-DECA, click on Input Ratings to find the DARS.