Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Evaluation Issues. 2.1.4 Client Satisfaction


An assessment of family satisfaction with services received is a common evaluation approach to improving PAS program staffing and programmatic planning. Most client satisfaction surveys involve the adoptive parent. In several of the case-study states, program staff and evaluators used client satisfaction surveys to guide service delivery. Exhibit 2-6 illustrates the type of data collected in client satisfaction surveys for PAS provided by statewide programs in Texas, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

The Oregon survey focuses on information and referral services, providing the opportunity for parents to comment on the services in an open-ended fashion. The Massachusetts survey has tailored questions for each type of service provided by the program and also provides the opportunity for parents to comment by service. The Texas survey also collects information on the services parents received and additional information about the provision of services: how the family heard about the program, how services were coordinated, and whether the location providing the services was safe. It also allows parents to comment in an open-ended manner.

As with needs assessments, the validity of client satisfaction survey data is often limited by poor response rates. Nevertheless, these efforts serve as a useful barometer for program staff, as well as an opportunity to maintain communication with adoptive families regarding their needs and preferences.

Exhibit 2-6.
Examples of Evaluations of Client Satisfaction
Program Measures Data Collection Method
Statewide PAS Program, Texas
  • Services received
  • General satisfaction with services
  • Response time in receiving services after intake
  • Ability to reach staff
  • Coordination of services
  • Safety at service location
  • Services met client needs
  • Services benefited children
  • Family unit (time spent receiving services was appropriate and services helped family stay together)
  • Custody status of any adoptive child in family
  • How family heard about program
  • Number of adopted children and their ages
  • Suggested improvements or modifications to PAS program
Mail survey
Adoption Crossroads Program, Massachusetts
  • Satisfaction with referral and services (by service)
  • Overall quality of referral and services (by service)
  • Suggestions or comments regarding referral and services (by service)
  • Problems in getting started with referred services (information and referral [I&R] only)
  • What was least and most helpful in counseling and support group meetings
  • Ratings of progress (counseling only)
  • Main reasons for ending service or participation (counseling and support groups)
Mail survey

Focus groups

Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), Oregon
  • Clients' assessment of their telephone interaction with ORPARC staff
  • Satisfaction with agency I&R services
  • Satisfaction with follow-up I&R services (if needed)
  • Respondents' demographic characteristics
Mail survey

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