UC Evaluation Update Fall 2014

Over the past five years the UC Evaluation Team’s efforts have evolved from determining which outcomes are important and how to capture necessary data, to assuring that the data that are collected from programs are accurate and meaningful, to refining our data collection methods and the ways in which we analyze data and share the results with stakeholders, to developing a plan for how FAST TRAC can use this data in order to sustain services. To this end, our Team spent the spring and summer months examining data, tools, and resources from the perspective of sustainability Considerable effort has been directed towards obtaining data related to service costs that we anticipate will help explain the financial benefits of FAST TRAC services to key decision-makers. Recently, our team engaged in a technical assistance process with the University of Washington related specifically to sustaining Wraparound services. By the end of summer we hope to have a solid plan about how best to achieve sustainability for all FAST TRAC programs as we approach the final year of the grant.

In April, much of our efforts went into preparing for the May 8th Evaluation Workgroup meeting in which we presented findings from our evaluation of the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) program. Results indicated TIP participants improvement in physical wellbeing, mental health symptom management, and securing independent housing after receiving services. Last fall FAST TRAC purchased a new data system that will be helpful for future data processing, analysis, and report-writing. The UC Evaluation Team has been learning this new system in our effort to assist FAST TRAC to identify efficient and effective ways to use the system for ongoing program evaluation. By June, we began working with the School-based Mental Health Services program and provided them with technical assistance for developing strategies about how best to analyze and present their data for the August Evaluation workgroup meeting. All of this has been in addition to creating our usual Evaluation Briefs, meeting and presenting information to FAST TRAC stakeholders, and presenting our work at national conferences and workshops including the Georgetown Institutes in Washington, D.C. (Jonathan Sutter) and the Childhood Mental Health Initiative’s national “Evaluation Talk” webinar (Rachel Smith).

Another MAJOR success worth mentioning is that the national longitudinal study reached its goal over the summer of recruiting 220 families. These data will continue to be critical in our evaluation of FAST TRAC services and, equally as important, published findings based on these data will serve to advance the science of children’s mental health prevention.

As always, FAST TRAC Evaluation Briefs describing FAST TRAC evaluation results are available for download at http://clermontfasttrac.org/category/evaluation.

From your UC Evaluation Team… have a wonderful Fall season!