Evaluating Outcomes of Prevention Programs FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention A Service of the Children’s Bureau www.friendsnrc.org
Overview of the Day • Review of Logic Models: a template for planning, evaluating, and reporting • Using data to develop and maintain a CQI environment • Administering the Protective Factors Survey (PFS) • Identifying other methods for measuring outcomes • Managing and reporting on outcomes
Tell me, why evaluate? If you measure it, it’s more likely to get done. If you don’t measure results, how do you know you’ve succeeded? And, how do you tell others what you’ve done? How do you learn what needs improvement? We also need to show funders, staff, & parents that their time, money & efforts are well spent. Plus, with limited funding opportunities . . . . Good evaluation could lead to better chances of funding? Well. . . yes
Evidence-based and evidence-informed programs require evaluation I’m convinced. . . How do I get started? It all begins with a logic model . . .
What is that fancy one-paged chart? Is it a program map? A tool for planning evaluation? A report template? Is it a requirement for grant applications? It’s all of that and more! Friends, it’s a Logic Model!
A Program Map? ! • Yes! • A logic Model outlines: • Where you want to go. • How you plan to get there • What will you see that tells you you’ve arrived at your destination • If we do this . . . Then this will happen . . .
A tool for planning evaluations? Yes! A logic model can specify the tools that will be used to measure to what degree you achieved your desired outcomes
A report template? Yes! When you’re ready to report on your services, pull out your logic model and use it as a template to organize your report.
A requirement for grant applications? Yes! Most grant applications are asking for a logic model as part of the proposal. Don’t leave home without one.
Logic Model Components • Vision • Population • Services • Assumptions • Resources • Outcomes • Indicators • Measurement Tools Remember: These components sometimes go by different names.
Vision (Goal, impact, long-term outcome) A broad statement of well-being; the long-term impact on social, economic or environmental conditions. Examples: * Children &Youth are Nurtured, Safe & Engaged * Families are Strong & Connected * Communities are Caring and Responsive * From Pathways to the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect, Pathways Mapping Initiative , Schorr, & Marchand, 2007 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/CDSSWEB/entres/pdf/Pathway.pdf
Population (consumers, participants, audience) • Who are your participants? • What are their characteristics and demographics? • What are their needs? • How do you know? • Needs assessments • Focus groups
Services (outputs, Activities) • Based on the needs assessment of your target population- • What services are you providing/will you provide? (You will revisit this section as you move further in your logic model) • What will they look like? • How frequently will they occur?
Assumptions (theory of change, research base) • What assumptions are you making that suggest your services will be successful? • Services should be based on what is known to be effective. • Your research into assumptions should result in understanding the degree to which you are providing evidence-based services.
Assumptions, continued If uncertain of the empirical foundations of your approach, now is the time to stop and investigate what works. This link will help get you started: http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/programs/whatworks/index.cfm The FRIENDS website has additional guidelines on Evidence-Based Practices. Please check the site regularly http://www.friendsnrc.org
Services • Twelve 1 hour parenting education sessions using the ”Safe Homes” curriculum. • Access to concrete materials (such as fencing, stair gates, car seats, etc.) Assumptions Two evaluations of the Safe Homes curriculum (Fisher, 2000, Hale & Carter, 2003), each conducted over a 3-year period, found that children of parents who had participated in the program were 50% less likely to experience preventable injuries than children in comparison groups.
Resources (inputs) Do you have the infrastructure needed? • Based on the services you identify, • What resources do you need? • If you don’t have them, can you get them? The Implementation Plan worksheet on the FRIENDS web-site can help. http://www.friendsnrc.org/download/dtappendices.pdf page 45
Outcomes (Goals, objectives) Movement towards or attainment of a change in attitude, belief, behavior. Ask yourself: “If you conduct your program’s activities, and succeed with participants, what do they believe, know, have or do as a result?
Short-Term Outcomes(engagement, knowledge) • Engagement outcomes: First steps: gaining trust, interest and involvement • Learning outcomes: Changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs
Intermediate Outcomes(practice) Intermediate • Moving from learning to action • Practicing and refining new skills • Adopting or changing behaviors
Long-Term Outcomes(integration) Long-term • When participants have integrated new behaviors into their lives over time. • Consistently practicing new skills and behaviors
Writing Outcome Statements Who (example: Participants) Will Do (example: will describe) What (example: a child-safe home) The FRIENDS Evaluation toolkit has examples of outcomes a click away! http://www.friendsnrc.org/outcome/toolkit/outin.htm
Formatting Outcomes • Short-term: Participants demonstrate knowledge of how to appropriately supervise their children. • Intermediate: Participants provide appropriate supervision of their children. • Long-term: Participants provide appropriate supervision according to the changing needs of the children as they grow and develop.
Outcomes need indicators Desired Change Evidence of Change
Indicators (performance indicators) • Indicators are specific signs needed to track progress • Indicators answer the question: What would I see or hear that would tell me that the outcome was being achieved? • Can spell out a level of achievement to attain in #’s or %’s
Participants appropriately manage child behavior. Participants encourage positive behaviors Participants set realistic, age-appropriate household rules. Participants consistently enforce their household rules. Participants enforce rules without coercion or physical punishment
Participants encourage positive behaviors Participants state expectations clearly Participants look for their children’s “good” behavior Participants use words of encouragement to their children Participants model appropriate behavior
Setting Benchmarks • You may need to identify performance targets (benchmarks) for each indicator). • If possible, set benchmarks based on earlier evaluations. • If you need to set benchmarks before you provide service, consult with peers to set realistic benchmarks and adjust them based on your evaluation findings.
Parents demonstrate knowledge of how to provide a safe home environment for their children. 80% of the participants name 6 features of a child-safe house. 80% of the participants identify at least 6 common household hazards. 80% of participants describe how to eliminate or reduce at least 6 household hazards.
Measures How will you know if you’ve achieved targeted outcomes? Outcomes Indicators
Measurement Tools “test” whether the indicator was achieved. Outcome Student is proficient in 4th grade math. One Indicator: Student knows multiplication tables up to 12 One Measure: Student scores 90% in the Tedious Tables in the Nuts about Numbers text book
Participants foster their infant’s social/emotional development Parents correctly identify their infants verbal and non-verbal cues Subscale 3 on the NCAST PCI Feeding and Teaching Scales.
Selecting Measurement Tools Look for tools that are • linked to outcomes • culturally appropriate • valid and reliable • practical (think time & money) Compendium of annotated tools: http://www.friendsnrc.org/outcome/toolkit/annot.htm
Simple Counts & Checklists • Children receiving a dental check-up • Parents who attended a parent/teacher conference • Mothers who received pre-natal care • Number of fathers who maintained regular contact with their children
Is your home safe for children? Bathroom: All medications are kept out of reach and sight of my children. Chemicals I use for cleaning sinks, toilets and floors are inaccessible to children. Example Counts and Checklists
Public Agency Records • Police Reports • CPS Records • Court Records • School Records A potentially good data source but there’s a lot to consider before using them. Informed consent, reliability of data, accessibility . . .
You may choose to construct your own tools This should be undertaken very cautiously. Check out the FRIENDS Evaluation Toolkit for information. friendsnrc.org
Qualitative Data Captures information that evaluation tools can’t always capture. Can be gathered through Surveys, interviews, focus groups, key informants, case notes, observations For more information: FRIENDS Guide to Qualitative Evaluation: http://www.friendsnrc.org/download/outcomeresources/qualitativedata.pdf
“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, NEVER forget!” “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Continuous Quality Improvement is. a process to ensure programs are systematically and intentionally increasing positive outcomes for the families they serve. It is about getting better and better. Instead of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” CQI emphasizes that even if programs aren’t broken, they can always be improved.” FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention A Service of the Children’s Bureau
Plan, Do, Study, Act Cycle PLAN services that are • responsive to consumer needs & desires • evidence based or evidence informed • mapped in a logic model Develop a manual Plan your evaluation methods FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention A Service of the Children’s Bureau
Do Provide services • Hire, train and supervise staff • Document activities • Monitor fidelity • Collect data • formally • informally FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention A Service of the Children’s Bureau
Study Study your data • formally, in the course of staff supervision, full staff meetings, board meetings, and • informally, through daily discussions with staff and participants; self-assessment of job performance, observation of day-to-day participant progress and satisfaction. FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention A Service of the Children’s Bureau
Act Act by adjusting practices • formally, at the agency level by adopting new practices, programs, policies and procedures based on findings • informally, by making personal adjustments to improve job performance Plan, Do, Study, Act may begin as a linear process but soon all steps are happening all the time.
What Drives CQI? • System Wide • Consumer Involvement • Logic Model • Manual • Staff • Evaluation • Data Driven Decision Making Safe Environment
CQI Self Assessment Tool • What CQI activities are occurring in your agency? • How you would like to strengthen the atmosphere of CQI in your agency?
The Protective Factors Survey (PFS) It is difficult to show that a program prevented negative things from happening Increasing protective factors minimizes the risk for maltreatment The Protective Factors Survey is one way to measure the effectiveness of prevention programs.
Protective Factors • There is no single cause of child maltreatment. • a number of risk factors or attributes commonly associated with maltreatment. • a number of protective factors to reduce the occurrence of child maltreatment.
Risk Factors Parent Factors – mental health, substance abuse, attitudes and knowledge, age Family Factors – economics, stress, domestic violence, household size, Child Factors – Age, disabilities, temperament Environmental Factors – poverty, unemployment, lack of social support, and community violence