Description

Initial Post
Measurement and establishing measurable items is an important part of program evaluation.  It’s often an underdeveloped part of program evaluation.  Think about your own agency (His House) and discuss one item, or point, that you think would be important in program evaluation.  What data are important for review and how is the data measured?  Discuss what the measure means in your agency.  What is acceptable and unacceptable and why?  For example, consider how much of a social worker’s time involves clients not attending scheduled appointments (also known as a no-show rate).  The data to be reviewed in this example is the number of unattended appointments compared to the number of total appointments.  The measure, in this example, is the number of unique appointment slots. The average no show rate for most mental health services is 25%.  Most agencies set target goals for no show rates to be much lower than 25% and spend a good deal of time thinking different ways to reduce the no show rate.

Response Post
Respond to the initial posts of at least two classmates.

Suppose you are invited to be a paid professional consultant to your classmate on the program evaluation team working on the point presented.  Discuss what the goal measure might be and changes you suggest to help move the measure from the current mark to the goal mark.  Do some research here to explore the issue and how others have targeted moving the goal in order to achieve change.  Use references to support your ideas.Discussion 1:
Agency
Child Welfare Services (CWS) provides many services to children and families such as
Immediate Response (IR) and 10-day responses that require measurement in program
evaluation in some way. According to the NASW Code of Ethics (2021), one of the
duties of a social worker is to monitor the implementation of programs and interventions.
This would include monitoring the measures that produce outcomes within the program.
Measurement
One way the agency measures program objectives is through Safe Measures.
According to Grinnell et al. (2019), this program is considered an automated dataset
that stores data analyzes it in a more sophisticated way than a manual dataset. Safe
Measures were put in place to provide the best outcomes for the families we serve by
keeping track of everything that is entered into our statewide system. The program
records when the social worker made contact within the designated timeframe of
response and if the social worker entered their contact notes in time. This is important
for the families and children served because time is critical when it comes to abuse and
neglect of children.
Safe Measures works in conjunction with a Structured Decision Making (SDM) tool and
the statewide system CMS/CWS. The SDM tool ensures the social worker is completing
a safety and risk assessment on time and assists in determining response time. Another
benefit of Safe Measures is that it monitors how many referrals each worker has if they
were closed in time and what the outcomes were. All this information captured by Safe
Measures is reported back to the state and then reported to stakeholders. The measure
is important to the agency because it provides necessary data to show what is working
and what is not. The agency can then make improvements to the internal structure of
each service offered. Another way the data is used is if social workers are not
responding to referrals on time, the agency can then develop teams to target those
areas of need. For example, the data reported to the state identified that 10-day
referrals were not meeting the objectives of the program. The agency then implemented
a team called DOTS which consists of lead workers whose primary focus is to address
referrals past 10-days. This measurable instrument is acceptable, and it provides fidelity
to the program.
References
Grinnell, R. M., Gabor, P. A., & Unrau, Y. A. (2019). Program Evaluation for Social
Workers: Foundations of Evidence-Based Programs. Oxford University Press.
National Association of Social Workers. (2021). NASW code of ethics. Retrieved June
16, 2023, from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-ofEthics-English.
Discussion 2:
Important Client Data to Collect
One of the goals of my agency includes providing effective treatment with measurable outcomes
(Columbia Wellness – About Us, n.d.). As clients initiate services with the agency the goal is to
provide treatment that alleviates their presenting mental health concerns and move them through
treatment with the ultimate goal of discharging them from services after successful treatment. At
my community mental health agency, it would be important to measure if a client feels that their
mental health concerns have been effectively treated before they exit services. Through a process
review, gaining data on a client’s satisfaction with their progress would help the clinician to
identify if discharge is an appropriate next step for the client, or if there are changes that need to
be made to the client’s current or future treatment plans.
Data to Review
In order to identify a client’s satisfaction with the efficacy of their treatment, measurement tools
may be used to quantify how a client feels about their condition following treatment. For
example, after receiving treatment as prescribed in the agreed upon treatment plan, the client
could disclose how they feel about upcoming termination of services in regards to attaining or
maintaining their treatment goals. Grinnell et. al (2019) list a variety of methods to measure data,
but note that summative scales are objective and yield precise results. Summative scales are able
to measure progress during and following treatment (Grinnell et. al, 2019). Using a summative
scale that asks clients to rate their experience with achieving their treatment goals and feelings
regarding an impending discharge may prove useful to the clinician as they plan for termination
of services.
Agency Implications of Client Satisfaction
Measuring client’s satisfaction with treatment can lead to improving the quality of
treatment that clients receive (Al-Abri & Al-Balushi, 2014). If there exists a trend of client
dissatisfaction it could highlight an underlying problem. For example, if a client felt that they did
not achieve their treatment goal, they likely should continue to receive services until they were
comfortable with termination from treatment.
References
About Us — Columbia Wellness. (n.d.). Columbia Wellness.
https://www.columbiawell.org/about-us
Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality
improvement. Oman Medical Journal, 29(1), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.5001/omj.2014.02
Grinnell, R. M., Gabor, P. A., & Unrau, Y. A. (2018). Program Evaluation for Social Workers:
Foundations of Evidence-Based Programs. Oxford University Press.

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