Evaluation of Family Treatment Court Program Expansion

Overview

A federal organization contracted with CCNY, and another health and human services organization, to conduct an evaluation of an expanded Family Treatment Court (FTC) program.  The program was designed to (1) increase access to substance abuse treatment services for families in the child welfare system, (2) enhance the array of existing treatment and supportive services, and (3) improve family and child outcomes.  The organization asked the evaluation team to work collaboratively to design and execute an evaluation plan that qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed the program’s implementation and outcomes.

Solution

To complete the evaluation of the FTC program, two studies were proposed: implementation and outcome studies.  As part of the implementation study, client satisfaction surveys were designed, approved, and administered to identify clients’ beliefs and perceived effectiveness of the services.  CCNY’s Research and Evaluation team worked with the team to research previous client satisfaction surveys used for treatment courts and design a survey to be used for the program.  Multiple drafts of the survey were composed with feedback from the FTC program administration to ensure appropriate questions and data points were collected, but not duplicated from other data measures.  CCNY also worked with FTC program staff to identify means of survey administration provided the various sites and times visits with clients occur.  The evaluation team trained program staff in the appropriate manner to administer the survey, while maintaining confidentiality and integrity.

Result

The survey and administration process was then submitted to the organization’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval, which was granted.  FTC program staff were able to easily administer the survey, which was understood by FTC clients.  Currently, one cohort of graduates has completed the FTC client satisfaction survey, as the program is just beginning to complete cases.  Results from the survey will be reported on both qualitatively and quantitatively.  These results will aid the customer in future discussions of expansion and continued funding of the FTC program.