Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Dr. Rochelle L. Dalla

Date of this Version

Winter 2020


Roselius, K. (2020). "Always a lesson, never a failure" - An exploration of Community Cafe sustainability in the Midwest [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Nebraska.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth & Family Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Rochelle L. Dalla. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2020

Copyright © 2020 Kaitlin E. Roselius


Child maltreatment is a growing public health crisis. Evidence-based practices and universal prevention strategies have been shown to effectively strengthen families and communities. The Community Café approach is one such strategy that seeks to encourage positive parenting practices through a strengths-based design that fosters meaningful connection, conversation, and change. The goal of this research was to identify the factors that facilitate the sustainable implementation of the Community Café approach and the challenges that hinder potential sustainability in the target city in order to aid in future implementation. To achieve this, three research questions were presented: (1) How do the target city Community Café team members define sustainability in terms of the Community Café approach? (2) What components, or factors, facilitate the sustainability of the Community Café approach? and (3) What are the challenges to the sustainability of the Community Café approach? Informed by the Interactive Systems Framework and Ecological Framework for Effective Implementation, in-depth interviews and interactive focus groups were conducted with 19 participants who held a leadership role on a Community Café team in the target community. Findings highlight the importance of strong teamwork, community investment, and parent ownership in creating strong foundations for all families and children to thrive. Given the current impact COVID-19 has had on communities and Café teams in the target city, the future of the approach is uncertain, but opportunities are endless. Implications for future research and best practices to continue strengthening the impact of this evidence-based practice are discussed.

Advisor: Rochelle L. Dalla