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No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information: Sage Publications, Inc. Sage Publications India Pvt. Kettner, Robert M. Moroney, and Lawrence L. Social service—United States—Planning. Social service—United States—Evaluation. Social service—United States—Finance. Moroney, Robert, II. Martin, Lawrence L. K List of Tables and Figures Figure 1.

Figure 8. Table Preface The effort to write the third edition of this book began with a contact from Sage to explore our interest in updating the material. After several exchanges, we agreed that it was time for a new edition. What remained was to learn from faculty across the country their thoughts about the second edition, what content still worked well for them, and what needed to be brought into the context of current practice.

In prepara- tion for this edition, Kassie Graves, Sage Acquisitions Editor for Human Services, secured agreement to review the second edition from ten faculty members representing a good cross-section of those who were using it at the time. She solicited their feedback and put together a page compila- tion of reviewer comments which formed the basis of changes made in the third edition. From reviewer feedback we learned several things. Reviewers made it clear that the primary reason they use this book is to teach students to write program plans or apply for grants in a way that will meet current expecta- tions of funding sources for documentation of efficiency and effectiveness.

This was consistent with our thinking in creating the first and second edi- tions of the book. Some faculty liked the practical orientation, while others felt a stronger theoretical framework would help set the stage for the plan- ning process. Some reorganization of content was suggested to strengthen the logical flow. Several reviewers suggested that we put the planning model into a more contemporary context using concepts such as the logic model and evidenced-based practice promoted by the United Way and other organizations.

Many advised that we bring our discussion of technol- ogy up to date by calling attention to the role of the Internet as a resource in problem analysis, and giving recognition to the ways in which software is used in data collection, aggregation, and reporting. We have attempted to respond to all of these suggestions in writing this new edition. One of the major changes incorporated into this edition was to take a single example and use it throughout the book. We selected a domestic violence situation as the problem to be addressed, and a shelter as our example of the host agency.

In response to a suggestion that we emphasize that local agencies often deliver services as a part of county or statewide efforts, we used as an illustration a statewide program which we called Victims to Victors , and made the local agency which we called Safe Haven one of the providers contributing to the achievement of statewide goals for the reduction of domestic violence. This does not mean that we eliminated all references to other populations and problems, but it does mean that in following the logic of the program planning process, students will be able to track from one phase to the next the application to three selected programs offered by the Safe Haven domestic violence shelter.

We hope that this will help them to better understand the issues of internal consistency and integrity in program planning—from problem analysis through evaluation—and will enable them to apply the concepts to their own program plans. To further emphasize the importance of a solid foun- dation and consistency in program planning, we added a new chapter on theory in which we establish the place of theory in the approach to plan- ning as well as in understanding the social problem to be addressed.

To reinforce these concepts, we emphasize these themes throughout the book. One reviewer proposed that we eliminate the whole concept of process objectives and several suggested streamlining our material on budgeting and leaving out the details of actually creating a cost allocation plan. Our concern in eliminating content is that we might create more problems than we solved.

We felt that our description of the process needed to be complete, and that it is easier for faculty to skip over material they choose to exclude than to find a way to include it if it has been dropped. Overall, however, we feel that we have addressed the vast majority of points raised by the reviewers. We hope that they are pleased with the contributions they have made to this edition and that others who continue to use it find that it improves and enhances the learning process for their students.

We are grateful to Armand Lauffer, Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Social Work and editor of the Sage Human Services Guides and Sourcebooks, for his consistently helpful and practical advice on all three editions of this book. And finally we would like to express our appreciation to Kassie Graves, Sage Acquisitions Editor for Human Services, and to Veronica Novak, Senior Editorial Assistant, who got this third edition off to a very good start with their thorough analysis and organization of reviewer feedback and who have been so helpful and flexible in supporting the completion of this edition.

As with the first two editions, we have attempted to produce a product that will be useful to both practitioners and students. We are aware that many are currently devoting a great deal of time and energy to analyzing social problems, writing goals and objectives, designing programs and data collection systems, preparing budgets, and designing evaluation plans that will be responsive to the new and continuing demands for accountability.

One of our most gratifying experiences as authors of this book has been to hear from students who have kept their copies of the book, who still have their old, dog-eared first or second editions on their shelves and constantly refer to them as they encounter various challenges in practice. We sincerely hope that this new edition will support and strengthen future student and practitioner efforts in even more effective ways. Peter M. Kettner Robert M. Moroney Lawrence L. Martin Preface xix FM-Kettner There was a time when expectations were relatively simple: do your best to meet local needs, manage the budget responsibly, and pass an audit each year.

This situation began to change in the s when public, tax-funded support for human service programs began to decline. With decreased funding came more competition between human service providers as well as increased demands for accountability, including the monitoring of service provision, performance measurement, and program evaluation. Fast-forwarding to the present day, human ser- vice programs are now embedded in a system of performance accountability. The overriding question being asked by both government and private sec- tor funding sources e. The Government Performance and Results Act has become a major driver of performance accountability at the federal level.

GPRA, as the law is known, requires federal departments and agencies to annually report their performance to the president and Congress. A second driver of performance accountability at the federal level is the performance contracting requirements of the FederalAcquisition Regulation FAR. The FAR represents the formal contracting policies and procedures of the federal government. At the state and local government levels, two major drivers of per- formance accountability are the reporting initiative of the Government Accounting Standards Board GASB and the performance measurement requirements imposed by governors and state legislatures.

GASB sets finan- cial and reporting standards for state and local governments. GASB has long advocated that state and local governments adopt performance accountability systems that track and report on the outputs, quality, and outcomes of government programs. As of , 48 of the 50 states have some form of mandated performance accountability systems Melkers and Willoughby, ; many of these initiatives also tie performance measures to the bud- get process.

Private sector funding organizations, such as foundations and the United Way , , have also adopted perfor- mance accountability systems. Most nonprofit human service agencies that receive government, foundation, or United Way funding through grants and contracts have likewise adopted performance accountability systems in order to satisfy the reporting requirements of their funders United Way, Designing for Monitoring, Performance Measurement, and Evaluation The primary focus of this book is on designing programs and services in a way that allows collection of the kinds of data that will support respon- siveness to funding source mandates for accountability, and at the same time will allow program evaluators to determine whether or not the programs Contemporary Issues 5 Kettner This is an important point.

If monitoring, performance measure- ment, and evaluation activities are anticipated at the end of service provi- sion, they will be possible only if certain design elements are incorporated at the beginning of the planning process. The Urban Institute pioneered an effort to establish criteria by which programs could be assessed in terms of whether or not they could be evaluated.

The term evidence refers to the collection of data around speci- fied variables that define service characteristics and results. Social work has adopted the term evidence-based practice to emphasize that clinical decisions must be based on the best available evidence from systematic research wherever possible Johnson and Austin, ; McNeill, One thing should be made perfectly clear. Designing programs that can be evaluated will mean collecting quantified data on service provision and client response.

It will also require that data be captured in a spreadsheet or database to facilitate analysis. The Logic Model The framework for design is a variation of the logic model approach, which is built around basic concepts associated with systems theory. The logic model can be useful in helping the practitioner establish a context for incorporating theory into the planning process Savaya and Waysman, The purpose of the logic model is to depict the sequence of events that identifies program resources, matches them to needs, acti- vates the service process, completes the service process, and measures results.

The sequence is depicted in Figure 1. This model allows the planner to see the rational flow of addressing a problem and applying a process, while maintaining a focus on the pur- pose of the entire effort: effecting positive changes in the lives of clients and reducing the size and scope of a problem in a community.

Community Focus One result of the emphasis on accountability has been to shift the focus from what an agency is providing and accomplishing to what impact a program is having on the community. Most problems addressed by human service programs are community problems, such as children in need of a safe environment, homeless people in need of shelter and rehabilitation, victims of crime and violence in need of protection, family breakdown, the spread of AIDS, and others.

Researchpractice training 47 2 144 150 doi kelley jf

These problems are so complex that it is unlikely that services from just one agency can have a significant and mea- surable impact on an entire community. For this reason, funding sources have learned that they must put resources primarily money into a com- munity with the expectation that a number of agencies will collaborate in addressing the problem in the interest of achieving a more comprehensive impact.

The consequences of this approach for program planning are that, early in the planning and proposal writing stages of a program, planners need to know something about the problem and the characteristics of the target population and need to include these data elements in their management information systems.

Basic to all program monitoring, performance measurement, and eval- uation is the need for appropriate information technology support in terms of computer hardware, software, and expertise capable of tracking clients and generating program reports. The Issue of Effectiveness Both efficiency and effectiveness have become major considerations in social service program and agency administration. Efficiency can be defined as the ratio of outputs to inputs or, in other words, how much service a program provides in relation to its costs.

Effectiveness refers to the achieve- ment of client outcomes quality of life changes as the result of receiving services. Measuring outputs and outcomes requires that service providers track such factors as the amount of service a client received, whether or not the client completed the program or dropped out, and how much the client improved between entry into and exit from the program.

The term program also has some very specific meanings. A program is defined as a prearranged set of activities designed to achieve a stated set of goals and objectives Netting, Kettner, and McMurtry, This is an important and sometimes elusive concept for a newcomer to the profes- sion to grasp. Client requests for help must be categorized in some way, after which clients are directed into services that offer the best possibility of meeting their needs and resolving their problems.

The Commonwealth of Australia has done a particularly good job of applying the concept of effectiveness-based program planning for government-sponsored services. In defining programs, for example, police services are broken down into four areas or programs: 1 commu- nity safety and support, 2 crime investigation, 3 road safety and traffic management, and 4 services to the judicial process. Services to the aging are broken down into residential care and community care, with specific indicators identified to track access to service and appropriateness and quality of service.

Child Protective Services CPS , in addition to direct services to children and families, include services from police, courts, Contemporary Issues 9 Kettner The point is that services need to be categorized, defined, matched to client need, and deliv- ered to determine whether or not they have been successful. Data collec- tion systems are closely tied to program definitions. Programs may be staffed by specialists who work exclusively with a defined population or problem, or staff responsibilities may cut across more than one program. The important issue is that client data must be associated with specific programs and services so that valid and reliable measures are produced.

Assessing an Existing Program In this opening chapter we will attempt to illustrate, through the use of a series of questions addressed to the reader, that designing effective programs requires a careful, detailed thought process that begins with an understanding of a social problem and ends with analysis of data on effectiveness.

Chapters 2 through 13 will focus on the tasks to be accom- plished and the elements to be considered and defined in order to create programs capable of demonstrating effectiveness. The tasks and processes of program development that will be proposed are by their very nature complex, simply because social and personal problems are complex and sometimes well entrenched. The problems and the populations to be served will require thoughtful study and analysis. The purpose of delving into the complexities of social problems and social service programs is to insure there is a good fit of service to need, so that service can be more precisely focused on getting the kinds of results intended.

In short, it is a more proactive approach that is more assertive in ensuring service providers produce results rather than merely hoping that things turn out well for the client. Perhaps in the same way that an understanding of the law is of critical importance to a practicing attorney or an understanding of the body to a physician, so an understanding of social problems and programs is cen- tral to the practice of social work.

This understanding will require that old assumptions be challenged and new approaches to serving clients be implemented as we learn more about effectiveness. In a sense, we will be proposing that programs go through periodic checkups to determine their continuing effectiveness and relevance in a changing environment. The idea of conducting periodic checkups is, in essence, what effectiveness- based program planning is all about. Designing effective programs requires that social service professionals develop a thoroughly researched understanding about social problems, people in need, and social services.

A commitment to effectiveness requires the collection of new kinds of data—data that will provide information about client conditions at entry into and exit from services, thereby making clear the impact of services on problems. This approach, which we will refer to throughout this book as effectiveness-based program planning, will make clear where changes in programs are needed, so that services provided do more of the things that help and fewer of the things that do not.

The system is designed to be use- ful for both direct service and management purposes. Effectiveness-based program planning involves taking a program through a series of steps designed to produce a clear understanding of the problem to be addressed, to measure client problem type and severity at entry, to provide a relevant intervention, to measure client problem type and severity at exit, and to examine selected indicators in a follow-up study to determine long-range outcomes. The purpose of all these activi- ties is to provide a basis for continual improvement of services to clients and to provide a common database for both clinical and administrative staff for analysis and decision making about program changes.

This way, instead of asking clinicians to fill out forms useful only for completing management reports, clinical staff can record data useful for understand- ing the progress of their clients and, at the same time, provide data and information necessary to good program management. Using Effectiveness Principles to Understand Existing Programs In the following chapters we will present a step-by-step process that will enable the reader to begin with a social or personal problem experienced by clients and end with a program designed to get results and be able to document them.

Before beginning these chapters, however, we propose that you take a few minutes to take stock of current agency practices in a social service agency with which you are familiar as a means of becoming Contemporary Issues 11 Kettner This may be helpful in drawing a contrast between the way social service programs are often designed and the way they must be designed for measurement purposes.

If, on the other hand, you wish to conduct a more in- depth assessment, use the instrument as a basis for interviewing key program staff and fill in answers to the follow-up questions. The program planning model discussed is designed for those programs that provide a direct service to clients. It is not applicable for support programs such as fund-raising, lobbying, and advocacy. Defining Programs In this section we explore the extent to which agency services are organized into programs. Some social service agencies organize their programs so that each offers a specialized set of services to a defined population e.

Others may be designed in a way that all clients come through a common intake point and are systematically assigned to case managers who have room in their caseloads rather than to specialists. This is an important distinc- tion in applying the principles of effectiveness-based program planning, and one of the first elements of design that the practitioner needs to assess. The following two questions are intended to encourage you to think through where your agency stands on its definition and separation of programs. Does your agency provide for clients a number of clearly defined and distinct programs that provide specialized services matched to client need as opposed to providing undifferentiated casework services for all clients?

If your agency does have separate programs, can you identify agency staff and resources that are allocated to each of these programs? Do staff have a clear understanding of the distinct focus and limitations of the services to be provided to clients within each program as opposed to open-ended problem solving? Yes — No — If the answer to the above questions is no, you may conclude your par- ticipation in this survey at this point or select another agency, because the remaining sections focus on questions about programs.

Problem Analysis In Chapters 2 and 3, we deal with the need for a thorough understand- ing of the theoretical underpinnings and the etiology cause-and-effect relationships of the problem the program is intended to address. Sound practice requires that programs be based on a thorough study and analy- sis of the problem, but that is not always the case.

Programs are some- times planned and funded for political or ideological reasons without regard for the facts or the realities of the situation. However, as we hope to demonstrate, those programs that have the greatest probability of success will be those that develop a clear understanding of the type, size, and scope of the problem as well as its relevant historical highlights, theory, research findings, and etiology. For example, if a program is to be designed to treat drug users, it would be important to understand that people use drugs for different reasons, and treatment must be carefully tied to these reasons.

Suburban housewives, junior high school kids, and street gang members, for example, each need to be understood in context. Program planners, therefore, must set out to discover how many of each type are in the community, their rea- sons for using drugs, where they live, and how severe their problems are. This approach provides a solid foundation on which to build an effective and precisely targeted program or intervention.

Contemporary Issues 13 Kettner Thinking of one particular program or service, can you identify the problem s this program is intended to address e. Can you define the target population s this program is intended to serve e. Can you identify geographic boundaries for the population served by your program? Yes — No — If yes, state them: 7. If necessary, could you provide a reasonably accurate estimate based on reliable documentation of the number of people within these boundaries who fit the description in questions number 4 and 5 for problem and target population?

Yes — No — If yes, identify the populations and list the estimates: 8. Can you identify data sources for the above statistics? Yes — No — If yes, list them: 9. Are there commonly agreed-upon understandings among staff who work in your program about the primary or most common causes of this problem and about cause-effect relationships e. Yes — No — If yes, list them: Is there sound theory and research to back up these understandings, and are staff aware of the theory and research?

Needs Assessment When someone is experiencing a problem, that individual has a need. Sometimes the need is obvious: Someone who is homeless needs a home; someone who is unemployed needs a job. At other times the need is more subtle and more difficult to meet—for example, the need for a permanent and loving relationship with a nurturing parent substitute, the need for a mentor to help build self-confidence, or the need to learn a work ethic in order to succeed in employment. Accuracy and skill in matching needs to services comes from solid, thorough work on problem analysis.

Once you are comfortable that you have an understanding of need, it is time to turn to techniques of needs assessment. There are four different perspectives from which we look at need: normative need as defined by experts in the field , perceived need as seen by those experiencing the need , expressed need from those who seek out services , and relative need needs and resources in one geographic area compared with needs and resources in another Bradshaw, The following questions will give you an opportunity to explore your understanding of each of these perspectives on need, and to think through the extent to which your programs have taken these perspectives into account.

Given the problem you identified in question 4, is there agreement among your clinical staff about the major categories of needs of clients who come to you with these problems e. Yes — No — If yes, list the categories of need: Are there any standards that are used to establish normative need i. Yes — No — If yes, identify the standards: Can you define what consumers of your services clients perceive their needs to be? Of those people who seek services from this program, do you know approximately what percentage is served? Is there a waiting list? Yes — No — If yes, state the percentage: Do you know how the volume of services provided in your community compares with the volume of these same services provided in other, comparable communities in terms of percentage of needy population served?

In other words, do you serve a larger or a smaller percentage than other, comparable communities? Yes — No — If yes, cite data that help depict comparative need: Selecting a Strategy and Establishing Objectives Once the problem analysis and the needs assessment have been com- pleted, it is time to begin to think about a strategy for reducing or eliminat- ing the problem by meeting the needs of people who have the problem. This involves a number of steps. By this point in the program planning process, we are well grounded in history, theory, research, and etiology of the problem; therefore, we are in a position to propose an appropriate inter- vention.

We then propose one or more program hypotheses—statements about what outcomes are expected if a person with the problems we have defined receives appropriate service s. Program hypotheses, then, pro- vide a framework for the development of precisely stated goals, objectives, and activities. Can you identify the following as they relate to your program? Looking at the way you assess client need in your program: Does it permit you to categorize and compare clients at intake by type and severity of problem?

Yes — No — If yes, identify the assessment instrument and list its categories: Does your program have written objectives that specify expected outcomes for clients? Is there evidence that your program staff attempt to move clients toward these outcomes? Yes — No — If yes, describe the evidence: Program Design It is one thing to understand a need; it is quite another matter to design an intervention that will meet that need.

Research in the field has made it clear that certain problems will respond better to certain, more precise interventions. Program design involves careful consideration of the resources needed to address the needs of clients and attention to the ways in which these resources will be orga- nized. It is a critical point in the planning and management of programs. When this happens, it becomes difficult if not impossible to examine program effectiveness and to modify program design in the interest of improving services to clients.

On the other hand, bringing precision to each element of program design allows for constant Contemporary Issues 17 Kettner The following questions should help you in assessing the level of preci- sion achieved in specifying the elements of your program design. Does your program have identified problem or need categories that can be checked off at intake and used to help in understanding client needs in the aggregate? Yes — No — If yes, list the categories: Does your program have some method for quantifying or scaling severity of problems?

Yes — No — If yes, describe it: Do you collect quantified data on the following? Do you itemize service tasks for each service you provide and record the amount of time or volume of each task provided for each client? Yes — No — If yes, list the service tasks: Do you specify acceptable service methods for each type of service e.

Do you have some way of identifying those who complete your program and those who drop out so that you can do some analysis of these as separate populations? Yes — No — If yes, describe how they are tracked: Do you quantify and measure results with clients using some sort of a pre-post measure? Do you follow up with clients and collect data that indicate long-term effects of treatment? Do you have a formally defined unit of service that you use to measure the amount or volume of service provided by your program? Do you have written standards to which you adhere that protect the quality of service provided to clients?

Yes — No — If yes, cite them: Data Requirements for Performance Measurement Data collection is the sine qua non of effectiveness-based program plan- ning. All the effort put into the development of a program hypothesis, goals and objectives, and design will mean little if the correct data are not collected, aggregated, and reported. Data collection systems must be designed to answer questions about meeting community need, program implementation, productivity, costs, and achievement of outputs and out- comes.

Principles associated with performance measurement should be understood before attempting to design a management information sys- tem. The following questions may be useful in understanding the data requirements effectiveness-based program planning: Do program planners have a common understanding of the community need that is intended to be met by the program? Yes — No — If yes, state the need: Is there agreement about how data on service delivery requirements, such as service definition, service tasks, and standards, will be collected?

Yes — No — If yes, describe data collection plans: Is there agreement about how data will be collected to measure program success? Is there agreement about how unit costs for services provided, service completions, and client outcomes will be calculated? Yes — No — Monitoring, Using Information Technology Once program data elements have been designed and implemented in accordance with the guidelines established for effectiveness-based program planning, they can be collected, processed, and aggregated in a manner that informs both clinical staff and administrators.

In contemporary social service agency management, computerized data management is absolutely essential. Narrative case recording is use- ful for individual case analysis, planning, supervision, and documenta- tion, but virtually useless for purposes of program management and administration. In effectiveness-based program planning, we propose a client data system that is capable of producing data and information about the progress of clients throughout each episode of service and the effects of these services at termination and follow-up.

This information, we believe, should be used by all levels of staff, each from its own perspective. The following questions may be useful in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of an existing monitoring system. Do you have a computerized data collection and data processing system that is used for client data? Do you collect, enter, aggregate, and cross-tabulate selected variables such as those listed below to help you achieve a better understanding of your clients and their problems?

Do you produce tables of aggregated data about clients and client services on a regular basis? Do appropriate groups such as the following use these tables to better understand the effects of services provided?


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Do you periodically discuss what changes should be made to improve your program based on data produced by your monitoring system? Yes — No — Budgeting All programs and services depend on funding for their continuation, and for many funding sources there are no guarantees that the same level of support will continue year after year. It is, therefore, in the interests of clients and staff to ensure that the best possible results are being achieved for the lowest possible cost. A well-designed budgeting system is capable of generating important and valuable information for use in making program changes in the interest of providing better quality services for clients at a lower cost.

Unfortunately, many budgets in human service agencies reflect only categories for which dollars are to be spent. These are called line-item budgets. In effectiveness-based program planning we propose, instead of or in addition to this simplistic type of budgeting, methods for calculating costs for items such as provision of a unit of service e. Contemporary Issues 21 Kettner These types of calcula- tions should ultimately lead to more cost-effective and cost-efficient oper- ation of social service programs.

The following questions should help you in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current budgeting system. Can you calculate the following from the budget data you collect? How many abusing and neglecting parents completed parent training? Effectiveness-based program planning involves taking a program through a series of steps designed to produce a clear understanding of the problem to be addressed, to measure client problem type and severity at entry, to provide a relevant intervention, to measure client problem type and severity at exit, and to examine selected indicators in a follow-up study to determine long-range outcomes.

The purpose of all these activi- ties is to provide a basis for continual improvement of services to clients and to provide a common database for both clinical and administrative staff for analysis and decision making about program changes. This way, instead of asking clinicians to fill out forms useful only for completing management reports, clinical staff can record data useful for understand- ing the progress of their clients and, at the same time, provide data and information necessary to good program management.

Using Effectiveness Principles to Understand Existing Programs In the following chapters we will present a step-by-step process that will enable the reader to begin with a social or personal problem experienced by clients and end with a program designed to get results and be able to document them. Before beginning these chapters, however, we propose that you take a few minutes to take stock of current agency practices in a social service agency with which you are familiar as a means of becoming Contemporary Issues 11 Kettner This may be helpful in drawing a contrast between the way social service programs are often designed and the way they must be designed for measurement purposes.

If, on the other hand, you wish to conduct a more in- depth assessment, use the instrument as a basis for interviewing key program staff and fill in answers to the follow-up questions. The program planning model discussed is designed for those programs that provide a direct service to clients. It is not applicable for support programs such as fund-raising, lobbying, and advocacy. Defining Programs In this section we explore the extent to which agency services are organized into programs.

Some social service agencies organize their programs so that each offers a specialized set of services to a defined population e. Others may be designed in a way that all clients come through a common intake point and are systematically assigned to case managers who have room in their caseloads rather than to specialists. This is an important distinc- tion in applying the principles of effectiveness-based program planning, and one of the first elements of design that the practitioner needs to assess.

The following two questions are intended to encourage you to think through where your agency stands on its definition and separation of programs. Does your agency provide for clients a number of clearly defined and distinct programs that provide specialized services matched to client need as opposed to providing undifferentiated casework services for all clients?

If your agency does have separate programs, can you identify agency staff and resources that are allocated to each of these programs? Do staff have a clear understanding of the distinct focus and limitations of the services to be provided to clients within each program as opposed to open-ended problem solving?

Yes — No — If the answer to the above questions is no, you may conclude your par- ticipation in this survey at this point or select another agency, because the remaining sections focus on questions about programs. Problem Analysis In Chapters 2 and 3, we deal with the need for a thorough understand- ing of the theoretical underpinnings and the etiology cause-and-effect relationships of the problem the program is intended to address.

Sound practice requires that programs be based on a thorough study and analy- sis of the problem, but that is not always the case. Programs are some- times planned and funded for political or ideological reasons without regard for the facts or the realities of the situation. However, as we hope to demonstrate, those programs that have the greatest probability of success will be those that develop a clear understanding of the type, size, and scope of the problem as well as its relevant historical highlights, theory, research findings, and etiology. For example, if a program is to be designed to treat drug users, it would be important to understand that people use drugs for different reasons, and treatment must be carefully tied to these reasons.

Suburban housewives, junior high school kids, and street gang members, for example, each need to be understood in context. Program planners, therefore, must set out to discover how many of each type are in the community, their rea- sons for using drugs, where they live, and how severe their problems are. This approach provides a solid foundation on which to build an effective and precisely targeted program or intervention.

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Contemporary Issues 13 Kettner Thinking of one particular program or service, can you identify the problem s this program is intended to address e. Can you define the target population s this program is intended to serve e. Can you identify geographic boundaries for the population served by your program?

Yes — No — If yes, state them: 7. If necessary, could you provide a reasonably accurate estimate based on reliable documentation of the number of people within these boundaries who fit the description in questions number 4 and 5 for problem and target population? Yes — No — If yes, identify the populations and list the estimates: 8. Can you identify data sources for the above statistics? Yes — No — If yes, list them: 9.

Are there commonly agreed-upon understandings among staff who work in your program about the primary or most common causes of this problem and about cause-effect relationships e. Yes — No — If yes, list them: Is there sound theory and research to back up these understandings, and are staff aware of the theory and research? Needs Assessment When someone is experiencing a problem, that individual has a need.

Sometimes the need is obvious: Someone who is homeless needs a home; someone who is unemployed needs a job. At other times the need is more subtle and more difficult to meet—for example, the need for a permanent and loving relationship with a nurturing parent substitute, the need for a mentor to help build self-confidence, or the need to learn a work ethic in order to succeed in employment. Accuracy and skill in matching needs to services comes from solid, thorough work on problem analysis. Once you are comfortable that you have an understanding of need, it is time to turn to techniques of needs assessment.

There are four different perspectives from which we look at need: normative need as defined by experts in the field , perceived need as seen by those experiencing the need , expressed need from those who seek out services , and relative need needs and resources in one geographic area compared with needs and resources in another Bradshaw, The following questions will give you an opportunity to explore your understanding of each of these perspectives on need, and to think through the extent to which your programs have taken these perspectives into account.

Given the problem you identified in question 4, is there agreement among your clinical staff about the major categories of needs of clients who come to you with these problems e. Yes — No — If yes, list the categories of need: Are there any standards that are used to establish normative need i. Yes — No — If yes, identify the standards: Can you define what consumers of your services clients perceive their needs to be? Of those people who seek services from this program, do you know approximately what percentage is served?

Is there a waiting list? Yes — No — If yes, state the percentage: Do you know how the volume of services provided in your community compares with the volume of these same services provided in other, comparable communities in terms of percentage of needy population served? In other words, do you serve a larger or a smaller percentage than other, comparable communities? Yes — No — If yes, cite data that help depict comparative need: Selecting a Strategy and Establishing Objectives Once the problem analysis and the needs assessment have been com- pleted, it is time to begin to think about a strategy for reducing or eliminat- ing the problem by meeting the needs of people who have the problem.

This involves a number of steps. By this point in the program planning process, we are well grounded in history, theory, research, and etiology of the problem; therefore, we are in a position to propose an appropriate inter- vention. We then propose one or more program hypotheses—statements about what outcomes are expected if a person with the problems we have defined receives appropriate service s. Program hypotheses, then, pro- vide a framework for the development of precisely stated goals, objectives, and activities.

Can you identify the following as they relate to your program? Looking at the way you assess client need in your program: Does it permit you to categorize and compare clients at intake by type and severity of problem? Yes — No — If yes, identify the assessment instrument and list its categories: Does your program have written objectives that specify expected outcomes for clients? Is there evidence that your program staff attempt to move clients toward these outcomes?

Yes — No — If yes, describe the evidence: Program Design It is one thing to understand a need; it is quite another matter to design an intervention that will meet that need. Research in the field has made it clear that certain problems will respond better to certain, more precise interventions. Program design involves careful consideration of the resources needed to address the needs of clients and attention to the ways in which these resources will be orga- nized. It is a critical point in the planning and management of programs.

When this happens, it becomes difficult if not impossible to examine program effectiveness and to modify program design in the interest of improving services to clients.

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On the other hand, bringing precision to each element of program design allows for constant Contemporary Issues 17 Kettner The following questions should help you in assessing the level of preci- sion achieved in specifying the elements of your program design. Does your program have identified problem or need categories that can be checked off at intake and used to help in understanding client needs in the aggregate? Yes — No — If yes, list the categories: Does your program have some method for quantifying or scaling severity of problems?

Yes — No — If yes, describe it: Do you collect quantified data on the following? Do you itemize service tasks for each service you provide and record the amount of time or volume of each task provided for each client? Yes — No — If yes, list the service tasks: Do you specify acceptable service methods for each type of service e.

Do you have some way of identifying those who complete your program and those who drop out so that you can do some analysis of these as separate populations? Yes — No — If yes, describe how they are tracked: Do you quantify and measure results with clients using some sort of a pre-post measure? Do you follow up with clients and collect data that indicate long-term effects of treatment? Do you have a formally defined unit of service that you use to measure the amount or volume of service provided by your program?

Do you have written standards to which you adhere that protect the quality of service provided to clients? Yes — No — If yes, cite them: Data Requirements for Performance Measurement Data collection is the sine qua non of effectiveness-based program plan- ning. All the effort put into the development of a program hypothesis, goals and objectives, and design will mean little if the correct data are not collected, aggregated, and reported. Data collection systems must be designed to answer questions about meeting community need, program implementation, productivity, costs, and achievement of outputs and out- comes.

Principles associated with performance measurement should be understood before attempting to design a management information sys- tem. The following questions may be useful in understanding the data requirements effectiveness-based program planning: Do program planners have a common understanding of the community need that is intended to be met by the program?

Yes — No — If yes, state the need: Is there agreement about how data on service delivery requirements, such as service definition, service tasks, and standards, will be collected? Yes — No — If yes, describe data collection plans: Is there agreement about how data will be collected to measure program success? Is there agreement about how unit costs for services provided, service completions, and client outcomes will be calculated?

Yes — No — Monitoring, Using Information Technology Once program data elements have been designed and implemented in accordance with the guidelines established for effectiveness-based program planning, they can be collected, processed, and aggregated in a manner that informs both clinical staff and administrators.

In contemporary social service agency management, computerized data management is absolutely essential. Narrative case recording is use- ful for individual case analysis, planning, supervision, and documenta- tion, but virtually useless for purposes of program management and administration. In effectiveness-based program planning, we propose a client data system that is capable of producing data and information about the progress of clients throughout each episode of service and the effects of these services at termination and follow-up.

This information, we believe, should be used by all levels of staff, each from its own perspective. The following questions may be useful in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of an existing monitoring system. Do you have a computerized data collection and data processing system that is used for client data? Do you collect, enter, aggregate, and cross-tabulate selected variables such as those listed below to help you achieve a better understanding of your clients and their problems?

Do you produce tables of aggregated data about clients and client services on a regular basis? Do appropriate groups such as the following use these tables to better understand the effects of services provided? Do you periodically discuss what changes should be made to improve your program based on data produced by your monitoring system? Yes — No — Budgeting All programs and services depend on funding for their continuation, and for many funding sources there are no guarantees that the same level of support will continue year after year.

It is, therefore, in the interests of clients and staff to ensure that the best possible results are being achieved for the lowest possible cost. A well-designed budgeting system is capable of generating important and valuable information for use in making program changes in the interest of providing better quality services for clients at a lower cost. Unfortunately, many budgets in human service agencies reflect only categories for which dollars are to be spent. These are called line-item budgets. In effectiveness-based program planning we propose, instead of or in addition to this simplistic type of budgeting, methods for calculating costs for items such as provision of a unit of service e.

Contemporary Issues 21 Kettner These types of calcula- tions should ultimately lead to more cost-effective and cost-efficient oper- ation of social service programs. The following questions should help you in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current budgeting system.

Can you calculate the following from the budget data you collect? How many abusing and neglecting parents completed parent training? How many can demonstrate improved parenting skills? How many have stopped abusing and neglecting and are progressing toward more effective relation- ships with their children?

This information can bring together direct service staff, supervisors, managers, administrators, and board members around a common set of concerns and interests. In this section we will explore methods of evaluating social service programs from several different perspectives. Do you regularly use any of the following approaches to program evaluation?

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The purpose is to familiarize you with some of the more important concepts, but applying the questions to a program can also provide some clues to where the major work needs to be done to allow for monitoring, performance measurement, and evaluation. The following chapters are intended to explain each of the phases of effectiveness-based program planning. As you proceed through these chapters we encourage you to think through and apply the concepts to a specific program, perhaps the program you have assessed using the fore- going questionnaire.

While the most ideal application of these principles is in designing new programs, you may also find that existing programs can be converted with careful attention to the details of each phase of the planning process. References Bradshaw, J. The concept of social need. New Society, 30, — Proposed statement of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board on concepts related to service efforts and accomplishments reporting.

Norwalk, CT: Author. Contemporary Issues 23 Kettner Johnson, M. Evidence-based practice in the social services: Implications for organizational change. Administration in Social Work, 30 3 , 75— McNeill, T. Evidence-based practice in an age of relativism: Toward a model for practice. Social Work, 51 2 , — Melkers J. Melkers, J. Netting, F. Social work macro practice 4th ed. Savaya, R. The logic model: A tool for incorporating theory in development and evaluation of programs.

Administration in Social Work, 29 2 , 85— Schmidt, R. Evaluability assessment: Making public programs work better. Washington, DC: U. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Report on government services Canberra, Australia: Productivity Commission. United Way of America. Measuring program outcomes: A practical approach. Arlington, VA: Author. Program outcome measurement: Outcome measurement in national health and human services and accrediting organizations. Outcomes measurement resource network. The Use of Theory in Program Planning A reviewer in had this to say about this book: A well organized discussion of an effectiveness-oriented approach to social service program design, management and evaluation.

Essentially it is a cookbook approach in which Step A must be completed before Step B, and each of the remaining activities follows from completion to the previous one. This is a very good cookbook. Community Alternatives, While we appreciated this review of our first edition, we wondered over the years whether we should make a more explicit case that our book is more than an ordinary cookbook that identifies the ingredients that the cook needs to assemble as well as the order of their introduction and how much of each ingredient to use. It was more than just a methodology or a set of activities that, if followed, should result in the development of more effective programs.

A professional wants to know why these activities in specified amounts and in a specified order produce the desired products. We hoped that the reader would see that our approach was based on the assumption that program planning is theory driven, and that the methodology produces effective programs because it incorporates theory on at least two levels. To paraphrase Karl Popper , a preeminent social scientist of the 20th century, researchers who collect data without a road map are merely on a fishing expedition. They hope that if they collect enough data and examine them long enough, not only will there emerge answers, but even questions.

Popper argued that social science research needs to begin not only with the development of hypotheses that will guide the collection and anal- ysis of data, but with hypotheses that can be verified and falsified, tested and refuted. To develop hypotheses a researcher draws on existing theories. Testing hypotheses may also lead to a modification of those theories. We agree with Popper and maintain that a program, which we define as a set of activities to produce some desired outcomes, is basically a hypoth- esis and that a hypothesis, which we define as a set of statements about the relationships between specified variables, is derived from an under- standing of relevant literature and theory.

In program planning we need to introduce and implement a series of steps or activities that guide the planner.

Theory of Practice Before we discuss theory and planning in more detail, we will begin exam- ining theory at a more basic level—the clinical level. Intake data are collected to understand who the client is. These assessment data help the therapist make a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan, and so forth.

In the first two editions we used a number of different illustrative examples drawn from the human service field. In this edition we will use a single issue—domestic violence. In this way, we hope that the reader will more clearly see how each activity builds on a previous activity, how a problem statement is translated into a hypothesis, and how a hypothesis is translated into a hierarchy of goals and objectives, and so forth.

While there are many points of intervention in the case of domestic vio- lence, such as 1 prevention, 2 early intervention when the abuse has begun, and 3 support for a woman who is seeking help to escape from her abuser, the following is an example of the last event.


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  • Each of these three will draw on different literature bases at times and offer different theoretical positions. Here we are looking at the literature that identifies the intrapersonal and external issues that often create barriers to her seek- ing help. When a woman seeks help after being abused by her partner, she brings a number of issues that need to be addressed if she is to achieve a level of independence and self-sufficiency, as measured, for example, by her not returning to her abuser, holding a meaningful job, and obtaining a permanent place to live Campbell and Lewandowski, Women in abusive relationships often experience depression, gener- alized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorders Tolman and Rosen, , and lower self-esteem Kirkwood, They may have been socially isolated, living in an environment controlled by their abusers to the point where they might feel stripped of a sense of self-worth and dignity Johnson and Ferraro, Often the consequences of being abused are substance abuse and chemical dependency Fishback and Herbert, Finally, many have little or no income, little education, few marketable skills, and a sketchy employment history McCauley, Kern, Koladron, and Dill, Each individual client will not be experiencing all of these risk factors, and it is the task of the case manager to determine which of these are pre- sent.

    While it is not often expressed in these terms, the case manager is testing a hypothesis. Theory of Program Planning Program planning as a methodology has its roots in a number of planning theory streams, some of which go back to the beginning years of the 20th century. This does not mean that planning did not occur before this time. Even the canals built 2, years ago by the Hohokam Indians of the Southwest were carefully planned. But it was only recently that planners began to write about planning.

    Most planning efforts prior to the 20th century were developed in response to the then current tensions. Laissez-faire economics dominated decision making, allowing a few very powerful men to do as they pleased, with little outside interference by gov- ernment. Uncontrolled development was the norm and cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago experienced the rise of slums.

    Of these, 1 million had no bathing facilities in their homes, , used outside privies, and 1 family in 2 shared a bathroom. Surveys con- ducted by social reformers highlighted crime, overcrowding, inadequate water supplies and waste disposal systems, filth, and disease. Moreover, existing green space in these cities was taken over by developers to build more and more tenements. Progressives in these cities formed coalitions and were able to convince city leaders that development needed to be regulated and controlled.

    Housing codes were introduced to require builders to meet certain stan- dards of safety and public health. Comprehensive land use plans bal- anced residential and commercial interests and set aside land for parks. Government passed child labor laws, and factories were made safer for the worker. The initial planning was rudimentary, however, in that the reformers began their social investigations with the solutions as a given. Eventually this concern became the basis for planning, and the professions of city and regional planning as well as public administration emerged.

    A second stream is referred to as the era of scientific management. In , Fredrick Taylor published his work, The Principles of Scientific Man- agement, which introduced, among other things, the idea that planning should be based on the notion that there always will be a single best way to achieve desired goals. Since he worked in a steel mill, he was primarily interested in meeting production goals with the least cost, finding the best fit between ends and means.

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    Analysis needs to identify the cause or etiol- ogy of the problem. When this is completed, the planner needs to identify all possible means to solve the problem and evaluate each alternative in terms of its efficiency and effectiveness later this was translated into ben- efit-cost analysis. Other theorists, such as Herbert Simon and Charles Lindblom , basically agreed with this process but recognized the impractical- ity of identifying and analyzing all the alternatives. They suggested that comprehensive planning, although ideal, was neither feasible nor useful. He further argued that decision makers look for a course of action that is good enough to meet a minimal set of require- ments.

    Our basic approach to program planning can be characterized as suboptimizing or incremental rather than as the more demanding comprehensive approach with its require- ment to identify and analyze all possible alternatives. Types of Planning Three major types of planning are used in the human services: 1 strate- gic planning, 2 management planning, and 3 program planning.

    They are concerned with the relationship between ends and means, goals and intervention strategies. Furthermore, to act rationally, the planner needs to identify a course of action that lays out the most effi- cient means—the best solution. The first type of planning is referred to as strategic planning. To be effec- tive organizations periodically need to step back, examine what they are doing, and determine whether changes should be considered if they are to be effective especially in ever-changing environments.

    Strategic planning involves a process of deciding on the future of an organization, setting goals and objectives, and identifying resources needed to achieve these goals and objectives and what policies are needed to govern the acquisi- tion and disposition of these resources. The second type of planning is referred to as management planning. Here, the focus is on the process by which managers assure that the resources, once obtained, are used efficiently and effectively in the accomplishment of the goals identified in the strategic plan.

    The focus is on the entire organization, with the manager being able to expand, modify, or terminate programs as needed.

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    The third type of planning is program planning. Here the focus shifts from the organization as a whole to the development of a discrete set of activities that focus on one aspect of the overall mission of the organization. Program planning to address a specific problem or need is the focus of this book. We recognize that many newer theoretical aspects of man- agement planning, reflective practice, marketing theory, networking, and even critical theory are important in exploring the full range of management and planning theories.

    We recognize that broader concerns, such as agencywide administration, management planning, and developing community partnerships, are critical in human services, but we consider them to be important in their own right and beyond the scope of this book. Moreover, all conceptual approaches of problem analysis emphasize the need to iden- tify the causes of the problem. Needs assessment follows the problem analysis step. The planning task is to estimate the target population, the numbers at risk. Note that the extent to which these objectives are measurable will determine the extent to which the program can be evaluated.

    More- over, just as the hypothesis is a series of statements in hierarchical form, so also are the goals and objectives, demonstrating that the accomplishment of higher level objectives are dependent on the achievement of lower level objectives. Just as the goals and objectives section is a translation of the hypothesis in another format, the description of the actual program is a reformulation of the goals and objectives.