Spring 2014 Evaluation Update

The UC Evaluation Team spent the winter months examining data from multiple sources in our continual effort to evaluate the effectiveness of FAST TRAC services, as well as provide real-time feedback to FAST TRAC program leadership. We are becoming quite adept at “matching” datasets, which is allowing us to use data collected through the national longitudinal study to examine (or even statistically predict) FAST TRAC participant outcomes and shed light on question such as, “To what extent are FAST TRAC services working? “For whom do FAST TRAC services appear to work best? Which types of FAST TRAC families may need extra support in order to be successful?”

We also spent time this winter fine-tuning an instrument developed collaboratively with the Peer Support Partner (PSP) program that measures the intended goals of the PSP program: (1) Assist families to identify their natural supports; (2) Enhance families’ sense of empowerment to navigate the children’s services system; (3) Provide emotional, social, and practical support to families; (4) Prepare families to be efficient and effective service users; and (5) Positively impact overall family stability. Preliminary results indicate that families who received PSP services at least four months or more experienced a significant positive change (i.e., ranging from a 27% to 81% increase) across all goals since enrolling in the program. Results of this “PSP Outcomes Survey” were presented at the February 2014 Evaluation Workgroup meeting along with results from the PSP satisfaction survey, which includes participant narrative comments about strengths of the program and areas of need.

Evaluation Briefs describing these and other results in detail will be disseminated in May 2014 (please go to http://clermontfasttrac.org/category/evaluation to download copies of existing Evaluation Briefs). Other dissemination efforts include presentation of FAST TRAC evaluation findings at national venues, such as the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference in Tampa, FL (oral presentation) and the 2014 National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health Training Institute in Washington, DC (poster presentation).

Recruitment for the national longitudinal study continues to be strong, with 184 families (i.e., youth and/or caregiver) currently enrolled.  We want to acknowledge and thank the daily efforts of Clermont FAST TRAC program staff and our family interviewers who administer surveys and interview youth and caregivers. Without their efforts, we would simply be left to guess about the impact of FAST TRAC services.

From your UC Evaluation Team, have a wonderful spring!