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The good coach: implementation and sustainment factors that affect coaching as evidence-based intervention fidelity support
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    Evidence-based interventions (EBIs) for human services unfold within complicated social and organizational circumstances and are influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of diverse stakeholders situated within these environments. Coaching is commonly regarded as an effective strategy to support service providers in delivering EBIs and attaining high levels of fidelity over time. The purpose of this paper is to address a lacuna in research examining the factors influencing coaching, an important EBI support component.


    The authors use the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment framework to consider inner- and outer-context factors that affect coaching over time. This case study of coaching draws from a larger qualitative data set from three iterative investigations of implementation and sustainment of a home visitation program, SafeCare®. SafeCare is an EBI designed to reduce child neglect.


    The authors elaborate on six major categories of findings derived from an iterative data coding and analysis process: perceptions of “good” and “bad” coaches by system sustainment status; coach as peer; in-house coaching capacity; intervention developer requirements vs other outer-context needs; outer- context support; and inner-context support.

    Practical implications:

    Coaching is considered a key component for effective implementation of EBIs in public-sector systems, yet is under-studied. Understanding inner- and outer-context factors illuminates the ways they affect the capacity of coaches to support service delivery.


    This paper demonstrates that coaching can accomplish more than provision of EBI fidelity support. Stakeholders characterized coaches as operating as boundary spanners who link inner and outer contexts to enable EBI implementation and sustainment.

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