An agency contracted with CCNY to provide evaluation services for their implementation of new programs under a grant. These new programs require significant cooperation and collaboration between multiple programs and agencies. It had become clear that despite best efforts, referrals to new programs were extremely low and the programs were not being utilized as planned. In addition, the agency looked to develop and understanding of how implementation was looking in the field and identify that barriers and accelerants to implementing the new services.
In order to identify barriers and accelerants to implementation and to understand the low level of referrals, CCNY, together with their evaluation partners, conducted a series of focus groups – administrative and executive staff, social workers from the referring agency and new program providers. All of the groups were audio recorded which allowed the evaluation team to record the focus groups’ responses to questions about referrals, barriers and accelerants. The team was then able to identify themes that occurred across all focus groups, and identify areas of success and areas of need.
The evaluation team presented feedback from focus groups back to the project’s Implementation team, as well as provided tailored reports for each of the individual focus group participants. These reports will help guide changes to the agency’s plans for implementation as well as foster collaboration between all levels of staff involved in the implementation of grant activities.