Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Evaluation Issues. 2.2.2 Information and Referral Services


The evaluations of post adoption information and referral services include evaluations by statewide PAS programs established in the late 1990s in Massachusetts (Hudson et al., 2002) and Oregon (ORPARC, 2001). The evaluations looked at adoptive parent satisfaction with information and referral services, including the content provided and manner in which the information or referrals were received. In both states, an event-tracking database recorded calls to the toll-free number that served as the basis for the sample of parents. Exhibit 2-10 summarizes key features of the evaluations.

Exhibit 2-10.
Evaluations of Post-Adoption Information and Referral Services
Program Measures Data Sources
Adoption Crossroads Program, Massachusetts
  • Client satisfaction
  • Telephone survey of adoptive families using a toll-free number
Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), Oregon
  • Characteristics of families and children served
  • Services delivered
  • Client satisfaction
  • Mail questionnaire using incoming calls to toll-free number as sample frame

Because of the low intensity of these services, evaluations are generally limited to descriptions of the families and children served and service utilization. Measures of client satisfaction may be the most appropriate outcome measure. Given the brief nature of the interaction, evaluations that require collecting additional information from the client (other than that collected within the information and referral request) are unlikely to be feasible. The Massachusetts Adoption Crossroads Program, however, has used data from its web-based case management system (described in Section 2.3.2) to document the extent to which problems identified in the information and referral service were eventually resolved.

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