Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 4.2.3 Evaluation Facilitators


PAS program evaluations may be facilitated by staff dedication and lessons learned from other family service programs.

Although outweighed by barriers to evaluation, some facilitators were noted in case study interviews. First, the rapid evolution of the PAS field has given rise to a ferment of new approaches, and those involved in these programs tend to share a genuine curiosity about what works? and is this an improvement on other approaches? Evaluations that respond to this appetite for program improvement could garner substantial cooperation in spite of the evaluation barriers described above. Second, adoptive parents (a major source of data for such evaluations) have an enormous investment in adoption-related topics and will often be ready participants in evaluation. Although PAS program staff are appropriately protective of parents time and desire to normalize family life, the study teams experience suggests that many adoptive parents are very willing to participate in activities that can improve PAS programs. Finally, although PAS programs are relatively new, they can draw upon evaluation experiences in other areas of child and family services and on the existence of psychometrically tested instruments for both children and families. Use of these instruments allows considerable streamlining of evaluation design, as well as the opportunity for comparability across evaluations.

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