An Evidence-Based Approach to Community Planning and Design for Children in Care Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • This report outlines an evidence-based approach to planning and designing a community for children in care as well as local at-risk populations using the Golconda Civilian Conservation Center (GCCC) and the neighboring San Damiano Site as a test case. We conducted interviews, design games, and community meetings to generate a set of programmatic elements and outcomes desired by stakeholders. This public input was cross-referenced with literature and best practices before it was translated into a preliminary master plan for the Community. Our research suggests that the Teacher-Family Model (TFM) where "Teaching Parents" live in group homes with six to eight children at a time is appropriate for children younger than eight at the San Damiano site. On the other hand, for the GCCC site, we recommend serving children between eight and fourteen using institutional care with evidence-based-treatments (EBT), which refer to structured interventions based on empirically-proven theories around factors disrupting adaptive functioning. Children can also elect into one of the two care programs based on personal preferences should their parental relationships influence their level of comfort with one or the other model. Finally, we normalize special education and rehabilitation by integrating them with education and recreation. This synthetic approach to programming is supported by evidence-based community planning and designing for children in care in the proposed Unity Model composed of a series of triads: 1) The play triad of education, rehabilitation, and recreation; 2) the performance triad of sleep,diet, and fitness; 3) the home-fit triad of child, caretakers, and environment; 4) the talent acquisition triad of qualification, cost, and personality; and 5) the community engagement triad of transparency, opportunity, and economy. Through leveraging existing programs and resources for rehabilitation, recreation, and education, the future phases of this project have the potential to provide job training and employment opportunities to local vulnerable populations, including female veterans and women suffering from homelessness due to post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) or domestic violence.

author list (cited authors)

  • Pace, Z., & Rising, H. H

complete list of authors

  • Pace, Zane||Rising, Hope Hui

publication date

  • September 2020