Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 3.1 Methods

11/01/2002

Case studies drew on information from adoption managers, program coordinators, providers, and parents.

The RTI team selected candidate sites for the case study based on interviews conducted with state adoption managers by the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University (ILSU) and expert opinion.(3) Using this information, ASPE selected five well-regarded state programs for the case study: Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. Data for the case study included semistructured interviews with staff from PAS programs and public adoption agencies, informal focus groups with adoptive parents, and PAS program documents. The RTI team conducted the five 2- or 3-day site visits between October and December 2001.

Site interviews were semistructured, collecting information on client needs, existing services, and program evaluation efforts. The team interviewed a broad range of service-based stakeholders with direct involvement in post-adoption programs and services. Specific questions asked of each interviewee varied, according to the circumstances of the program and the role and expertise of the individual. Topics discussed in the focus groups with adoptive parents included services desired, level of program satisfaction, utilization of services and subsidies, and areas for improvement.(4)Although findings from these focus groups cannot be generalized to the larger population of PAS recipients, the diverse opinions expressed suggest that participation was not unduly biased toward parents who were highly satisfied with the services they had received.

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