History of the Family Development Matrix Project


The Matrix Outcomes Model utilizes a community-based process to forge horizontal networks across organizational boundaries.  The model builds community collaboration with a process for agency coordination and data monitoring, information driven case management and outcome measurement and reports.

We are celebrating 20 years managing the evolution of the Matrix Outcomes Model. Jerry Endres as Director of the Institute for Community Collaborative Studies at California State University Monterey Bay began with local workshops using these matrices in 1997.

  • From these beginnings, we modified the FDM for outcomes assessment in California neighborhood centers in Gilroy, Santa Cruz, and Girl Scouts in Monterey; United Way in Toledo, Ohio; Nevada Early and Head Start statewide programs, pre-school programs in Atlanta and Tulsa and the State of Washington early childhood education program; In Florida, Disney corporation sponsored an intergenerational preschool reading program in Orlando, Orange County Childrens Commission, revitalization of senior nursing homes, a statewide medical system, a public library and Little Havana community partnerships in Miami.
  • In 1999, the S.H. Cowell Foundation funded the development of the database and the Packard Foundation sponsored a reliability study. The most recent reliability study was completed in 2015.
  • We began our collaboration with the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention in 2005 -2015.  During 10 years in partnership with Strategies developed 25 county public/private partnerships with child welfare and family support agencies using the FDM as a family outcome assessment tool for differential response referrals to keep children in safe, stable and nurturing homes. In 2006-2007, we collaborated with the Harvard University Pathways Mapping Initiative and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C. Our partner’s research resulted in two best practice models since integrated in the FDM entitled the “Pathway to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect” and “Family Strengthening Protective Factors”.  The FDM is registered with the California Evidence Based Clearing House as a screening and  assessment tool.
  • By 2018, over 250 family support agencies have entered 38,000 family cases in the Matrix database. Our website contains their indicators and evaluations, our studies, and presentations with the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.  Access to the Matrix Outcomes Model database provides a family assessment and case management protocol leading to family outcome report data. It aggregates data for reports to funders and for program improvement.