Program evaluation

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As a program director, you would have the responsibility of conducting program evaluations. The Riverbend City scenario, A Day in the Life of a Human Services Leader, provides some insight into how a program director may need to conduct different types of program evaluations to meet various requests for information. This assignment will give you an opportunity to evaluate the three types of program evaluation to determine how the program is most effective in meeting the needs of a specific population.

In addition, a program director would adhere to ethical standards.  You will critique the program director’s application of two ethical standards from the National Organization of Human Services relative to these program evaluations.

Be sure to address the following:

  • Identify three types of program evaluation that were presented in the Riverbend City scenario.
    • Describe the three types of program evaluation and their application in the scenario.
  • Assess the program, utilizing the three types of program evaluations from the Riverbend City scenario.
  • Examine ethical issues that arise in program evaluation, using at least two ethical standards from the National Organization of Human Services.
  • Critique each program evaluation’s use of multiple stakeholders’ perspectives in determining their effectiveness for meeting the needs of special populations.

A Day in the Life of a Human Services Leader

·
Introduction

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Office

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Credits

Introduction

Leadership in the human services world is a demanding task.

A leader must balance a wide variety of demands ranging from the clients, staffing, and funders. To address these concerns and meet the information needs of stakeholders, human services leaders engage in various types of program evaluation.

In this simulation, you will get a sense of how various program evaluations are used to address stakeholders’ concerns. As a human service leader, you will assume the role of the director of Second Chance Riverbend (SCR), a nonprofit human services organization in Riverbend City. SCR is active in partnering with the school system and county court system to provide a second chance program that serves students who have drug arrests by diverting them out of the criminal justice system and into an alternate educational track.

As you review the issues and requests that such a leader receives, consider how different types of program evaluation are used to address these needs.

First, look at a 1-sheet description of the organization.

Download Org Summary (.docx)

Office

Accreditation Email

From: Andrew Weiss, Accreditation Specialist, BBB Wise Giving Alliance

Subject: RE: Change in Specialist and upcoming reaccreditation

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Dina Murry, your longtime Accreditation Specialist, has retired. I would like to introduce myself as her replacement.

According to our records, Second Chance RBC has met our accreditation standards for years. Currently, Second Chance RBC is due for a reaccreditation in 3 months. The accreditation standards and processing information is available on our website under the “For Charities” tab. As in previous years, our accreditation process asks for information on governance, effectiveness, finances, as well as solicitation and information materials.

If you have any questions or concerns, please, feel free to contact me for technical assistance. I look forward to being a resource for you in this process.

Sincerely,

Andrew Weiss,

Accreditation Specialist

Accreditation Eval



Download Accreditation Eval (.docx)

Outcomes-based Email

From: Rebecca Reeves, Board Chair, Second Chance Riverbend

Subject: RE: Outcomes Evaluation

As you are aware, our organization relies heavily on grant funding with a significant portion through the United Way. Likewise, we are in a constant effort to further diversify our funding sources.

In this morning’s email, I found two potential grants that seem to align with our mission.

One grant is specific to supporting success for low-income students. This seems like a grant that would support our First Chance programming. The second grant is specific to supporting engagement across diverse populations. This seems like a possible fit for our First Chance programs specific to the Somali refugee and the Hmong communities here in Riverbend.

While I forwarded the full grant applications to Grant Weeks, Development Director, I am requesting that you forward a program evaluation for the First Chance Program for next month’s board meeting. Since there are new members to the board that are just starting their term, an updated program evaluation would orient them to the First Chance Program. The board will be adding the First Chance Program to the agenda to specifically discuss the development and success of the program along with areas that need improvement or the need for expansion. If you have any questions or concerns about this request or this initiative, please, contact me.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

I look forward to seeing you at the board meeting.

Best,

Rebecca

Outcomes-based Eval

Download Outcomes Based Eval (.docx)

Process Evaluation Voicemail

Hi, this is Pat. I wanted to let you know about a phone conversation I just had with a parent who was pretty steamed at us…

Long story short, the parent in question was a Hmong woman whose daughter was suspended from McCrory High last month. After the suspension, the woman had reached out to us and wanted to see if her daughter was eligible for the Second Chance program. She says she called us and talked to someone briefly to request more information, and never heard anything. Then, she called again two weeks later and spoke to someone else, and had kind of a runaround. She says she never got anything after getting two promises. She’s frustrated that she can’t get information or help for her daughter.

I’ve looked back through our phone logs, and I think I can find a record for the second call. Although I can’t tell who took it, the notation just says, “difficult to understand.” While she has a pretty thick accent, I could understand her. I’m not sure how this impacted how the call was processed, but there’s no notation whether a packet was sent to her. It’s bad. I told her that we’d want to try to make this right. I’ll be going to make a home visit to drop off information about the program, and to complete an initial intake to see if her daughter qualifies for our Second Chance program at her school.

While this takes care of this individual, it doesn’t address the bigger issues of our whole intake process, especially the phone log. I think it’s high time that we look at our intake processes, so we can make sure no one else falls through the cracks.

OK. I’ll send you an email with her information if you want to follow up with her directly. Sorry to leave such a long message! Talk to you later.

Previous Process Eval

Download Intake Process Evaluation (.docx)

Reflection Questions

How will the standards-based evaluation be used?

Your response:

This question has not been answered yet.

Who requested the outcomes-base evaluation to be integrated into a larger report?

Your response:

This question has not been answered yet.

What is the potential impact of the process evaluation?

Your response:

This question has not been answered yet.

Conclusion

Congratulations!

You have finished this activity.

Now that you have spent some time in the life of this nonprofit’s leader, you have seen the three types of program evaluation: standard-based, outcome-based, and process-based. Each of these reports are specific tools to fulfill stakeholders’ unique requests for information. With this activity, you had the opportunity to review these information requests and the related program evaluation that best serves the stakeholder’s need.

Credits

Subject Matter Expert:

Ruthanne Hackman

Interactive Design:

Marty Elmer

Interactive Developer:

Dre Allen, Matt Taylor

Instructional Design:

Sherry Stern

Media Instructional Design:

Keith Pille

Project Management:

Andrea Thompson



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SECOND CHANCE RBC


Organizational Summary



Mission:
Second Chance RBC purpose is to provide programming to offer alternatives to the criminal justice system in Riverbend City.


Overview:
As a nonprofit organization, SC RBC provides services to adults and juveniles throughout the city. While the programming for adults focuses on reducing recidivism, the programming for juveniles provides prevention and diversion services. The adult programs are integrated throughout Riverbend City. The student programs are available in all high schools within the district.

Who we serve:

Adults
37% female, 63% male
57% Hispanic/Latino, 26% White/Caucasian, 16% African-American, 1% other

Second Chance Program
32% female, 68% male
12% middle school, 88% high school
62% Hispanic/Latino, 22% White/Caucasian, 13% African-American, 3% other
77% of participants also receive Free School Breakfast and/or lunch

First Chance Program
41% female, 59% male
27% middle school, 73% high school
68% Hispanic/Latino, 19% White/Caucasian, 11% African-American, 2% other
81% of participants also receive Free School Breakfast and/or lunch


History

: SC RBC was established in 2000, when it brought 10 of the city’s halfway houses into one nonprofit. This initial focus was on adults and supporting adults in their reentry into society.

In 2005, the programming was expanded with the collaborative partnership with the RBC School District, the Police Department and the RBC Juvenile Justice system. The RBC School District had instituted zero-tolerance policies for weapons, drugs and other school violations. As a result, they had experienced an increase in expulsions and drop-outs while the juvenile justice system saw an increase in juvenile offenders. To address this school-to-prison pipeline, Second Chance RBC began offering alternative programming for students with non-violent school offenses. After several years of this public-private partnership, the RBC School District began to see a decrease with students entering the juvenile justice system. Nevertheless, RBC School District was interested furthering this success to translate into decreases in expulsions and drop-outs. In 2008, Second Chance RBC launched its First Chance programming, providing character development, counseling and anger management. While the First and Second Chance programs are in all the high schools, there are culturally competent First Chance programs offered at Orrin Collins High School for the school’s Latino and African-American students, and at Swann High with a focus on the school’s Somali students.


Nonprofit Transparency:

Second Chance is a nonprofit organization with a board that provides oversight. The board meets at least five times per year. The board membership includes:

1 Rebecca Reeves, Chair

2 Keshana Berger , Treasurer

3 Michael Santos

4 Erika Jensen

5 Neha Lang

6 Richard Allen


Funding Sources:

First Chance Program Evaluation –Working Draft for next Month’s Board Meeting

Although the primary mission of the Second Chance Program of RBC is to provide an alternative to criminal justice for school-based the offenses, we further support this effort with additional prevention services through the First Chance Program. The First Chance Program offers youth development programming to build character in supporting at-risk youth in adopting behaviors that serve them better in school and society. The success of this program is measured not only by participant completion, but their academic improvement, high school graduation, and the lack of school offenses or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Currently, the First Chance Program is available to all students in the school district by a referral from their principal or their guidance counselor. The First Chance Program is offered at several of the school campuses, specifically Ruby Lake High School, Riverbend North, and Orrin Collins High School. These schools were chosen due to their high portion of at-risk youth, and immigrant populations, the wards’ socioeconomic condition, and the lack of other resources in the area. For the schools with high immigrant populations, additional English as a Second Language tutoring is provided.

The information for this report has been gathered through the ongoing joint reporting system of the First Chance Program with the school district. Students who participate in the First Chance Program and their parents are informed of the program evaluation to receive consent to share the information across the two organizations. The information gathered includes qualitative data primarily related to demographic information about the students that are served by this program. The quantitative data is derived from students’ academic records and First Chance Program records. In addition, participants receive a survey via mail and email when they turn 18 years old and 21 years old to capture long-term outcomes. The statistics presented are those for the last three school years.

Who we serve

41% female, 59% male

27% middle school, 73% high school

68% Hispanic/Latino, 19% White/Caucasian, 11% African-American, 2% other

81% of participants also receive free school breakfast and/or lunch

What we do:

During the past academic year, we provided:

Tutoring

General Study Skills

1,045 sessions to 207 students

Math Skills

701 sessions to 129 students

Reading Skills

686 sessions to 141 students

Writing Skills

812 sessions to 234 students

English as a Second Language

1,224 sessions to 340 students

Courageous Characters Programs

171 courses to 166 students

Anger Management Programs

73 courses to 71 students

Programs

Goals

Benchmarks

Outcomes

Tutoring

Improved academic skills

Passing grades

Persistence in School

Graduation

*ESL proficiency

85% of participants graduate on time

84% of participants graduate on time.

5% of participants received GED

90% of participants pursue more education

Courageous Characters

Leadership skills

Healthy habits

Creative outlets

Interpersonal skills

Communications

75% of participants reach age 18 yrs. without a school violation

80% of participants adopt extracurricular activities

35% of participants take on leadership positions in school or other groups

60% of participants do not receive school violations before age 18yrs.

12% of participants receive detox or substance abuse services

7% of participants are referred to the anger management program

25% of participants join a sports team

35% of participant engage in the Arts

45% of participants join a club

35% of participants are active in a religious youth group

37% of participants report leadership positions in the organizations that they participate in

Anger Management

Coping with strong emotions

Alternatives to violence

Interpersonal skills

Communication skills

70% of participants will not require additional interventions to not engage in violence or disruptive behavior in school settings

65% of participants graduate without a school offense

15% of participants require additional outside counseling and/or treatment for disruptive behaviors

7% of participants become involved with criminal justice due to gang activity or violence

Discussion

Overall, the First Chance Program has experienced a fair amount of success. Not only are participants in this program more likely stay out of trouble, they tend to graduate and adopt lifestyles that support leadership, wellness and good citizenship.

Although the First Chance Program continues to struggle in attaining its benchmarks, the annual percentages continue to rise closer to that goal. During this time period, the First Chance Program has seen continued growth and is in the process of opening a new center next year. With the growth of the program, the First Chance Program is continuing to review its evaluation processes to determine what additional measures would be beneficial to track. The ongoing program evaluation process informs the program improvement initiatives so that the First Chance Program can better serve the School district and its students.

Intake Process Evaluation



The purpose of this process evaluation is to identify ways to improve the referral process for a more timely start of programing for eligible students. The findings of this process evaluation will be included in a larger process evaluation of the Second Chance Program RBC.

Background

The Second Chance Program is a public-private initiative with the RBC School District. The Second Change Program RBC provides an alternative to the criminal justice system for students with school offenses. Students are referred to this program by guidance counselors, school social workers, truant officers, principals, security officers and School Resource officers. While the Second Chance Program can receive referrals from all of these entities, the referrals tend to come from the principals, guidance counselors and school social workers. It is unknown why truant officers, security officers and School Resource officers do not refer or delay referring to the Second Chance Program.

Method

This process evaluation is to assess this issue to inform program improvements. The information gathered will include qualitative and quantitative data to answer these research questions:

· How is the referral process being implemented by these officers?

· How is the overall Second Chance Program RBC being received by these officers?

· What barriers to making referrals to the Second Chance Program RBC do these officers identify?

The data was collected through an online survey of officers, focus groups of officers and ethnographic interviews of other referrals sources and Second Chance Program RBC Intake workers. In addition, a document review was done of intake records for one quarter. The thematic analysis was interpreted with constructs of Implementation Theory. Implementation Theory recognizes that implementation is a process with characteristics of Capability, Capacity, Potential, and Contribution; each can impact the success of implementation and its outcomes (May, 2013).

Findings

While all officers were invited to participate in this evaluation, all but two security officers participated. All Second Chance Program RBC Intake workers did participate in this evaluation.

From the online survey, the officers indicated that they completed paperwork for a referral at the same time that they completed paperwork documenting the incident. Their referrals were attached to the report that was sent to the principal. They indicated that they made referrals for 80% of the incidents that they report. To facilitate making referrals and getting students in the program faster, the 100% of the officers wanted to make referrals online.

From the focus groups, the officers indicated that they thought the Second Chance Program RBC was a significant resource for these students, the school district, and the community at large. They emphasized that this youth development program redirects students at-risk and curbs their entry or recidivism into the criminal justice system. While they were adamant that they complete paper referrals in a timely fashion, the officers complained about not being able to make online referrals. Several officers explained that they attached the referral to the report and forwarded it to the principal because there was no Second Chance Program RBC office on their campus and did not know where to send it. Lastly, a handful of officers indicated that they would like to call in to make a referral because they were not sure which program would best serve the student.

The interviews with the Second Chance Program RBC intake workers gave a different perspective, but corroborated a fair amount of information that the officers had provided. Intake workers confirmed that the officer referrals were received as hard copies through the school district mail. One worker noted that they often come in the same envelope as those from the principal. They noted that the guidance counselors and social workers tended to submit their referrals online, and occasionally called in referrals by phone.

Through the document review, this confirmed that the officers complete hard copy referrals. The referrals are dated the day of the incident. There can be a delay of 10-14 days from the date of the incident and the date that referral was received and processed at the Second Chance Program Intake. The referrals from the guidance counselors and social workers were primarily done online (85% of the time). As for the principals, the ones with a program on their campus used online referrals and the ones without used hardcopy referrals through the school district mail. The officer referrals were primarily for the Second Chance program while the referrals from the guidance counselors and school social workers were for the Second Chance Program and the First Chance Program.

Discussion

The findings provide many insights into the referral process and how it is currently being implemented. Overall, the information from the various data sources converged further corroborating the findings.

On a positive note, the officers were supportive of the Second Chance Program and recognized it as a resource for the students, the School District and the community. They were interested in getting their referrals completed and these students into supportive services and keeping them out of the criminal justice system. This is significant in supporting the contribution of the program and the referral process.

The referral implementation process of the officers demonstrated their capability to complete paper referrals in a timely fashion. The capability of the Second Chance Program is to receive referrals by paper, by phone, and online. Since the officers requested to do online referrals, this demonstrates their capacity to adopt this change in their referral processing. By changing to online referrals, the potential would be to eliminate the confusion regarding where to send paper referrals, provide explanation about different types of services on the online form, and decrease the delay in students receiving services.

Recommendations & Plan of Action

To improve the referral process for more timely start of programing for eligible students, the recommendation is to provide access, information and training to the truant officers, the security officers and the school resource officers regarding online referrals. Although these officers are not Second Chance RBC employees, they will be given direct, but limited access to the online referral page. This is the same access that is afforded the guidance counselors, social workers and principals. While relatively intuitive, a workshop will be provided for them to learn a bit more about the programs as well as the online referral process. Individual training will be offered to those who are unable to attend the initial workshop. The timing of this change and the training is dependent upon the IT support along with the school schedule. Nevertheless, the goal is to have this complete within the quarter. As this quality assurance process continues, there will be ongoing process evaluations on how the change is being implemented, including: an outcome evaluation of the training, and a follow-up process evaluation in one year.

References:

May, C. (2013). Towards a general theory of implementation. Implementation Science. 8:18.

Doi:
https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-8-18

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