Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Case Study Report. 2.2.3 Focus Groups


The focus groups added the perspectives of adoptive parents as a counterpoint to those of the PAS coordinators and providers interviewed during the site visits. Topics discussed included demand for PAS, types of services desired, level of program satisfaction, and program recommendations. In addition, parents were asked about utilization of services and subsidies. Questions were based on primary research topics (Exhibit 2-2).

Exhibit 2-2.
Topics Addressed in Focus Groups with Adoptive Parents
Need: What is the extent of need for post-adoption services and supports as measured by:
  • Utilization of, and satisfaction with, existing services
  • Utilization of subsidies and reasons that subsidy levels are changed
  • Demand from adoptive families (priority needs for current services, satisfaction with services received, needs for services not provided)

Although setting up successful focus groups can be challenging, PAS providers were extremely helpful by actively recruiting parents and by providing a location to meet in the evenings. With the PAS providers direct involvement, the team was able to conduct focus groups with the ideal number of parents (six to eight) in each site.

Because the RTI team needed to rely on PAS providers to recruit adoptive parents for the focus groups, potential biases among these participants cannot be assessed. 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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