Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Project




The following link is not a traditional program evaluation. This link provides the plan for a program for runaway youth. In the plan, it includes ideas about program evaluation. In addition, you will find some of the specific points that should be included in a logic model. I thought it would be a good idea for you guys to see the actual planning of a program that is going to need to be evaluated. Take a look at the link and tell me, with a critical eye, what you think.

35 comments:

Sara S. said...

Original posting

Josh,
First of all I want to say thank you for sending us the example of a program evaluation. I think it really helped me understand the ongoing process of what staff, participants, and stakeholders experience when they are doing a program evaluation. I feel like when we are in our groups doing our process or outcomes evaluation I sometimes get “lost” because some of the parts of the evaluation are really abstract. It’s nice to see something in a written form so I can get a more concrete picture of what goes on in an evaluation. I did feel like maybe the example you sent out was a little vague. I am not sure if that is the way it is supposed to be or not, but I just thought a little more detail in areas like “program models” could have been elaborated on a little more. I felt the authors should have added, in a few words, what the different programs were exactly. For example, when they stated they are going to have 18 group maternity homes they could briefly describe what exactly a maternity home is so when people outside of the program read about it they know exactly what the program entails. Other than not being very descriptive in some areas I thought the program evaluation was a good example to have before we present our group projects next week.

Sara S. (Tuscaloosa)

Stu J. said...

Powerpoint left me wanting additional information. I do appreciate the obvious integration of evaluation component in the establishment and oversight of program. I assume over time analysis will look more deeply as to where greater and less success occurs to enhance outcomes overall.

LaTasha T. said...

I enjoyed looking at "The Runaway and Homeless Youth Project." The author clearly identifies the program models, the services offered, and identifies goals for one of the programs. I like the specific example that is given for the transitional living program for males. I think that such a model as this could be effective for children who are in foster care. Many think that once children exit foster care, they are homeless or engage in some kind of delinquent activities. However, this model shows that there are many positive and negative outcomes for runaway youth. Overall, I think that the project is an effective model.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a worthwhile project that definately could change the lives of many runaway youth. It was interesting to see what approaches they tried. Not only was the program's services implemented at shelters and at home but also on the street. If they want to gain homeless participants, then this is the place to start. I found it impressive that in the transitional living program they made sure that their physical, mental and even dental health needs were met. This is so important even if such a large number went right back to street life. According to the findings, an even larger number went to live with a parent/legal guardian. These results were rather impressive and a good start to the problem. Robin G.-Gadsden

Stacey L said...

I really liked the fact that they are hoping for a success rate of completion at 49.6% that is almost half of every teen that they deal. That is a good ratio considering the fact that when you are dealing with the teen population (they know it all and really are not interested in what you might have to say). The fact that the standard report reviewed living situation prior and at exit from program was also helpful information so you can see if the program is making a difference in keeping the teens off of the streets. The goals seemed measurable and easy to understand, such as grade completed and school status at the start and finish of the program. One thing I would have liked to seen was more on funding. They did not mention where the grant money would come from and I would have liked to seen them state they would apply for money from United Way, Children’s Trust Fund, etc. Great information overall. Stacey L

Stu J. said...

Well organized presentation. Helpful in preparing materials for group presentation this past week.

R.A.Montgomery said...

The majority of runaway children who have lived in the streets for some time have been victimized, and they probably have been victimized by people who they thought were their friends. There is always someone willing to use a runaway child to advance their own agenda, such as drug distribution, thefts, or prostitution. There are no such thing as nice strangers, and children do not runaway from happy parental homes. So I was wondering about the periods listed within the program's model, especially the 15 days listed at the basic center level and there are no times listed on the street outreach services.

• Basic centers (15 days)
• Home-based services
• Street outreach and street-based services
• Transitional living arrangements (18 months)
• Maternity group homes (18 months).

My point is that this would be great for recent runaways who realized that they want to go back home, but what about the children who are throw-aways, children who never really had a home setting, or children living within a gang family culture. It will probably take 15 days or more to build a trusting relationship with those children. I would have liked to have more information on the street outreach and street based services criterias. The hard part is not getting these children to sit through a counseling class, but getting them to believe that a stranger really does have their best interest at heart and that there are no personal, physical, or emotional strings attached to hope.

My Reply to Another's comments: No comment made at this time.

STACY C said...

I liked looking at this evaluation information; however, I am not so sure that this information is, well, informative enough. I know that I don't really have experience with program evaluations but in just looking at the link I feel that there is much information regarding the program missing. Mabey it is just the way it is presented and if I had a human body to tell me what some of it meant or to clue me in on some of the key service information then I wouldn't feel that there was info missing. Looking at this is very helpfull in putting me in the mindset of program evals and what to include. It was a good example even if it wasn't how I would do it or even if I felt that there was something a little off about it. STACY C.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this article. It is great that there exist such a program for the runaway youth in society. The article demonstrated what appeared to be a good program with well defined goals. It would be interesting to see the long term effects of those in the program over time.
Faye

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robin in Gadsden. I was impressed that they offered physical, mental & dental services to the youth in the Transitional Living Program. Regardless of where those participating in the program end up in life, atleast they have been given temporary assistance and see that someone cares. Faye

scarlett holt said...

This evaluation was in outline form, and appeared to be skeletal and in need of more detail. Once presented, I am sure that those on staff would offer in depth explanations for each section. It seemed that the evaluators of this program will be busy! It was interesting to see that the program included "street outreach" in addition to in-home services. It was also helpful to view this information in light of our upcoming presentations.
Scarlett Holt

scarlett holt said...

In response to Stacy C:
I agree that if a person were offering an explanation of the material that it would make more sense, and not seem as vauge. Also, it was a great example in relationship to our upcoming project presentation.
Scarlett Holt

Stacey L said...

In response to r. a. Montgomery, you are right on the money in your posting, but one statement at the end says it all --in one word TRUST. We must gain the trust of the "runaways" before we can get them to believe someone really cares. Then next hopefully we can get them to believe in themselves. Stacey L.

STACY said...

I like what r.a. montgomery said about the differences between first time runaways or newly homeless individuals vs. those that have been living on the streets for a long time. I suppose that when a person's way of life becomes not to trust people because that is what they have learned over and over again there really is something to how that effects a programs success. I mean it is one thing to offer all of these great services in a program but it is another to get people to really believe in them and that they will work if all they know is the opposite of that. Working with this population could be a real struggle because gaining trust of the client could take a long time (if they don't bail on you first). I would like to see some follow up infomation regarding the effectiveness of this program.
STACY C.

Anonymous said...

Very informative evaluation research. It tied in very well with our class with J.K. and the assignment reading "Runaways" and also with our Management class for Barbara Chandler. It was very exciting to see how we haved evolved over the years in response to meeting the needs of runaways and also the evaluation stressed the importance of details about the project, demographics, who was served, ages, sex, how many served, programs and assistance offered. Wonderful Evaluation.
C. Paulk

Anonymous said...

Re: Sara's comments
I agree that this was a great presentation to assist and bring even more clarity to our assignment. Sometimes I personally overthink a situation and to see how this model was broken down was very interesting and If I was a funding source for this project it would definitely be eye catching and something that I would want to invest in.
C. Paulk

Destin C- Gadsden said...

I agree with Stu regarding additional information would have clarified the gaps. Also, agree with Robin about the physical, mental and dental needs being addressed, that was an excellent benefit of this program model.

Destin C- Gadsden said...

Good to see the process of an evaluation. However, "gaps" left me a little vague. The descriptive part of this program model needed more clarification. Overall, this appears to be an effective project. Goals were measurable. I was encouraged to see some positive outcomes for runaways. I agree with Stacey, and would have been interested to see funding. sources.

Anonymous said...

I was really impressed by some of the outcomes of this program. I was glad to see physical, mental helalth, and STD testing provided for the youth. AS Rosie said so many of them are victimized. What really impressed me was the fact that 13,237 were living with parent or legal gaurdian after program. And an outcome of 86% were in safe living situations says a lot about the program. But there were some components of the program that I found vague adn would have liked more information. Donna A.

Anonymous said...

I really agree with Sara I did not feel that th earticle's authors gave enough information. I too was wondering what exactly the maternity homes were and what they did. The article should have been more detailed. Donna A.

Linda B said...

I feel that the transitional living services could make a huge difference for youth aging out of the foster system, or other difficult life circumstances. I found this to be an interesting example of a program development and evaluation. Related to the evaluation, I feel that an on-site inspection would be needed more frequently than every 3 years, at least in the initial stage of the program. I feel that this would be necessary to insure that the program is being properly managed, and does not just "look good on paper".I would also want detailed information about the youth's circumstances when existing the program, to properly document the progress made by the TLP.

Linda B said...

Addressing Stacy l's comment: I agree that a 49% success rate sounds very optimistic when working with this population of youth. I guess this rate could be very dependent on the definition of successful completion.

amanda said...

I thought the information was interesting, however i would of like more information. How do clients qualify for services? How are services provided? I definitely agree that more shelters need to be available for homeless children, and this particular one looks promising. The services they are interested in providing would be helpful. the program will more than likely be successful. I am also concerned with the basic centers only being 15 days. I think they may need more time to figure out what exactly the child needs and where to go next.

Amanda H

amanda said...

in response to r a montgomery:

I agree with you on the fact that it may take the full 15 days to build a relationship, so i think that part may need to be extended. However, i disagree with the statement "There are no such thing as nice strangers, and children do not runaway from happy parental homes" . The reasons i disagree are: 1. there are nice "strangers" out there that just want to help and are not out to hurt the children. Yes there are those who are only out to hurt others, but not everyone. 2. As I agree with children do not run away from home for no reason at all, their reason may be a little selfish. I am not saying that some children do not runaway for safety, but once again not all children run away from horrible homes. I know because i worked with teenagers and a number of them ran away and when asked why, i would get comments like: "Mom would not let me see my boyfriend", " mom would not get me new shoes", "mom told me no".
Amanda H

Kristie R said...

This article was interesting but did not include specific details. Although the Project stated is included "individual, and family counseling" a few more specifics would have been nice. Since the project concerns runaway youth, exactly where this counseling is performed and maybe even the type of therapy used could all impact an evaluation with a project of this type.

Stu J. said...

In response to LaTasha, I appreciate your comments regarding foster care. In my limited experience, the contribution of quality foster care providers is immense for the children involved and society at large. These parents can have a tremendous impact on youth. Unfortunately, foster parents can also be a poor substitute for a home when motivated by the limited monies received to do this work at the expense of children. In my work at a residential facility, I was shocked by the instability and movement of youth from home to foster home, and to residential facilities. Passing around our youth makes care and development an incredibly trying task.

LaTasha T. said...

This is a response to Stu:

I agree that the authors of the report seemed to lack needed information. I would like to know how the programs that were discussed will be implemented. It is one thing to say that the what type of programs will be included but another to actually discuss how the programs will be carried out. The authors could have done a better job of making this information more applicable to the different stakeholders that might be involved.

Stu J. said...

In reply to LaTasha, I appreciate the sentiment expressed in regards to children in foster care. Caring for children who are removed from homes is an incredibly difficult issue that our and other societies have struggled with for years. For me, a focus on improved screening, training, and monitoring of foster care families, together with adequate (but not excessive) compensation for foster care families is essential. In Alabama (and many other places), I would perceive that recruitment of foster care families is very difficult, training and monitoring weak, and compensation inadequate. I have not conducted a literature review in this area, but it will be an area that I explore.

Anonymous said...

This program looks like it has potential to be truly effective with runaway youth. As far as evaluation, the presentation covered the services, goals, and expected results. It did not appear to thoroughly cover all the information. The program has optimistic goals (reaching 49.6% of the youth addressed) but I am not sure if this is realistic due to the population they are targeting. I think it’s a great program, but could use more information for a full evaluation.
Heather M.

Anonymous said...

In response to Robyn, I agree that this project is a great start to working on such an overwhelming problem. The programs offered by this project appear to have the potential to reach several different classes of runaways and offer hope to alternatives to street life. I think its implementation will work well with the teen runaway population.
Heather M.

T M Morgan said...

I agree with Stacey, that is an impressive success rate considering all of the problems they face working with this population.

Anonymous said...

I agree with LaTasha about the program being a good thing for ILP males. Working at DHR, we see many older youth without structure and role models. This is a scary thought as many of them are approaching the age when they will not longer be in our custody. Many of these children run the risk of falling prey to drugs, alcohol, and unstable housing.
Robin G.-Gadsden

SWilliams said...

I have to say that based on the information presented in the presentation I’m impressed. There was more information that I would like to have regarding the different procedures with these programs. Many times youth are turned off from traditional services and even if they receive certain services, where are they left when these services end. While many of these youth will not return home, it’s important to provide them with skills to be successful in their future endeavors. I really like the ideas of providing the different programs to these youth. Because of their situations they have an uphill battle to be successful, and they need all the support that they can get.

SWilliams said...

Several people have posted on different issues that surround this program, one being trust issues. Yes, I agree that building a trusting relationship with these youths will be difficult, but it can be achieved. These youths have experienced a lot of things that many of us will never experience, and hopefully never have to. I’ve worked with numerous youths in the past and each of them have their own reasons for doing what they do, sometimes we as adults don’t understand their reasoning, but it’s important to understand that they have their reasons and find someway to overcome issues and work with them towards success.

Sara S. said...

Response Posting:

In response to Robin G.

I also found it impressive that this program was going to provide the residents in the transitional program with a holistic care approach. Not many programs focus on mental, physical and spiritual needs. Holistic care for clients is so important, and I think this program has some great suggestions, although I am not sure how realistic they all are.

Sara S. (Tuscaloosa)