Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Evaluation Issues. 2.2.1 Crisis Intervention/Counseling

11/01/2002

The evaluations that have assessed crisis intervention and counseling services include two relatively new statewide PAS programs in Georgia (L. Liphart, personal communication, December 10, 2001) and Massachusetts (Hudson et al., 2002) and three more locally based PAS projects (Barth, Gibbs, and Siebenaler, 2001) in Illinois, Oregon, and Washington that were established in the early 1990s. Two of the latter programs are still operating: the Illinois Adoption/Guardianship Preservation Program that assists families who were referred to adoption preservation services, now on a statewide basis, and the Oregon Post-Adoption Family Therapy Project that provides counseling and case management services to families who have adopted from the state and live in the metro-Portland area. Although families may have received other services available under the programs, these evaluations pertain only to specific services and interventions. Exhibit 2-9 summarizes key features of the evaluations.

Exhibit 2-9.
Evaluations of Post-Adoption Crisis Intervention and Counseling Services
Program Measures Data Sources
Adoption/Guardianship Preservation Program, Illinois
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Client satisfaction
  • Outcomes
  • Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
  • Case opening and closing records
  • Interviews with program staff
  • Parent feedback forms
  • In-depth case reviews and caseworker interviews of children out-of-home at time of case closing
Post-Adoption Family Therapy Project, Oregon
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Outcomes
  • Case records
Medina Children's Services, Washington
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Outcomes
  • Case records
MENTOR Crisis Intervention Program, Georgia
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Outcomes
  • Child Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS)
  • Global Assessment of Functioning (GCF)
  • Case records
Adoption Crossroads Program, Massachusetts
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Client satisfaction
  • Outcomes
  • Case management/program information system data on intake assessment and service utilization
  • Satisfaction survey of adoptive parents referred to regional providers

Crisis intervention and counseling services are more likely than other interventions to include outcome evaluations, using either subjective ratings by parents or workers, events such as out-of-home placement, or clinical assessments. If services are offered on a flexible rather than time-limited schedule, evaluators must grapple with the problem of defining an endpoint at which outcomes are to be measured. The evaluations summarized here had widely varying study populations, ranging from 22 children and families (Medina) to 1,162 children and families (Illinois). Evaluations with very small populations will lack the statistical power needed to demonstrate significant differences in outcomes.

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