Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume Two. 2.7 Services During the Followup Period

09/01/2002

When caretakers were interviewed a year after random assignment, they were asked some of the same questions about services received, this time since the last interview (since the end of family preservation services for the experimental group and during a comparable period for the control group). Tables 2-9, 2-10, and 2-11 show analyses of these questions.

Caseworker Activities. Caretaker reports of caseworker activities since the post-treatment interview are shown in Table 2-9. In all three states, the experimental group respondents reported more caseworker activities than did control group respondents. In Kentucky, there were five activities the experimental group caretakers significantly more often reported: help with money for rent, electricity, or phone; help with money for other things; transportation; advice on getting medical care; and information about other agencies. In New Jersey, there were two such activities, help in cleaning the house and talk about how to handle anger, with a third

Table 2-9
Caretaker Reports Of Caseworker Activities, Followup Interview
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
C E p C E p C E p
% % % % % %
Caseworker helped with money for rent/elect./phone 1 8 .008 4 5   8 13  
Caseworker helped with money for other things 8 16 .05 8 11   14 37 .01
Caseworker provided transportation 11 23 .01 11 18   17 42 .007
Caseworker discussed proper feeding of child 3 8   3 3   11 23  
Caseworker talked with you about discipline 24 32   24 34 .08 42 62 .05
Caseworker talked with you on relations with spouse 4 9   8 8   19 39 .04
Caseworker helped you clean house 1 1   0 5 .03 (FE) 8 10  
Caseworker helped with painting/house repairs 0 0   0 0   3 4  
Caseworker discussed how to get childcare 8 11   8 5   6 16  
Caseworker helped with welfare/food stamps 2 4   3 2   3 4  
Caseworker advised how to get medical care 2 9 .01 6 6   11 14  
Caseworker talked with you how to handle anger 24 33   16 28 .03 36 59 .02
Caseworker advised you on substance abuse 6 6   7 6   0 18 .009 (FE)
Caseworker discussed with you how to get a better place 8 8   7 4   11 18  
Caseworker advised on job training programs 7 9   4 3   8 15  
Caseworker talked about how to get a paying job 6 9   3 4   8 18  
Caseworker advised on how to continue school 5 6   5 4   17 22  
Caseworker arranged for some childcare 1 0   2 2   0 1  
Caseworker told you about other agencies 14 24 .05 30 41 .06 8 30 .01
Caseworker talked with you about family planning 9 16   5 7   6 7  
Note: "FE" indicates significance determined by Fisher's exact test
C = Control Group, E = Experimental Group

item nearly significant, information about other agencies (p = .06). In Tennessee, there were seven activities significantly more often reported by experimental group caretakers: help with money for other things, transportation, talk about discipline, advice on substance abuse, help with relations with spouse, talk about how to handle anger, and information about other agencies. Differences between the groups were not as great as those reported for the treatment period, as is to be expected, since the treatment did not continue during this period.

Participation in Social Programs. As indicated in Table 2-10, there were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups in any state in involvement in social programs during the post-treatment period.

Caretaker Report of Services. Table 2-11 indicates that there was only one service in the three states on which there was a significant difference between groups in receipt post-treatment; in Tennessee more control group respondents reported having a parent aide. In Kentucky and New Jersey, the proportions of the two groups receiving each service are remarkably similar. Control group families in Tennessee more often received a couple of other services, but the differences were not significant. For the most part, the superiority of the control group in Tennessee in receipt of services observed at the post-treatment interview dissipated at the time of the followup interview.

Summary of Post-treatment Services. A summary of the significant differences between experimental and control groups on report of services at the followup caretaker interview is shown in Table 2-12. In the questions about caseworker activities, there is some indication that experimental group families received more services during the post-treatment period. Since caretakers were asked about the period of time following the last interview, we assume that for experimental group respondents the activities were undertaken by workers other than family preservation workers, perhaps workers in the public agency or workers in other private agency programs to which they might have been referred. Hence, the data may be taken as indicating receipt of somewhat more services by the experimental group families after the end of family preservation services, in accordance with the goal of these programs to connect families with ongoing services. However, this finding was not confirmed by data on social programs or services. It is possible that the finding also reflects something that we have often heard from public agency workers working with family preservation programs, that the family preservation

Table 2-10
Participation In Social Programs, Followup Interview
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
C
%
E
%
p C
%
E
%
p C
%
E
%
p
Food stamps 50 61 .10 49 45   56 54  
Job training 7 13 .10 10 5 .07 11 12  
WIC 24 31   21 18   28 34  
AFDC 34 39   37 39   31 34  
Housing vouchers 13 13   16 18   19 18  
Social security disability 32 32   27 27   19 36 .07
Alcoholism program 5 6   10 8   6 8  
Drug treatment program 3 4   10 11   3 9  
Marriage counseling 4 4   5 6   3 3  
Community mental health program 6 7   29 32   19 22  
Head Start/pre-school 29 35   41 45   50 60  
Note: C = Control Group, E = Experimental Group
Table 2-11
Caretaker Report Of Services, Followup Interview
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
C E p C E P C E p
% % % % % %
Daycare 13 12   14 13   31 33  
Help in finding a place to live 2 2   2 2   14 5  
Staying at an emergency shelter 2 1   2 3   11 3 .09 (FE)
Medical or dental care 6 7   64 62   17 19  
Transportation 13 17   13 14   9 18  
Education services/GED 3 2   3 4   9 8  
Parent education/training classes 14 13   7 8   17 16  
Legal services 6 6   14 18   3 1  
Counseling 50 48   52 57   19 25  
Respite care 1 2   2 4   0 0  
Homemaker services 1 2   6 5   6 5  
A parent aide to help you 1 3   3 2   14 3 .04 (FE)
Family planning services 2 4   2 4   3 1  
Note: "FE" indicates significance determined by Fisher's exact test
Control = Control Group, E = Experimental Group
Table 2-12
Summary Of Services, Followup Interview
Caseworker Activities: Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
Proportion of affirmative answers to yes/no questions C
%
E
%
p C
%
E
%
p C
%
E
%
p
Caseworker helped with money for rent, electricity, phone 1 8 .008 4 5   8 13  
Caseworker helped with money for other things 8 16 .05 8 11   14 37 .01
Caseworker provided transportation 11 23 .01 11 18   17 42 .007
Caseworker talked with you about discipline 24 32   24 34 .08 42 62 .05
Caseworker talked with you on relationship with spouse 4 9   8 8   19 39 .04
Caseworker helped you clean house 1 1   0 5 .03 (FE) 8 10  
Caseworker talked with you about how to handle anger 24 33   16 28 .03 36 59 .02
Caseworker advised you on substance abuse 6 6   7 6   0 18 .009 (FE)
Caseworker told you about other agencies 14 24 .05 30 41 .06 8 30 .01
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
C
Mean
E
Mean
p C
Mean
E
Mean
p C
Mean
E
Mean
p
CT report of # of caseworker activities .97 1.65 .01 1.0 1.3   1.6 3.3 .002
Services Provided: Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
Proportion of affirmative answers to yes/no questions C E p C E p C E p
% % % % % %
Anyone been in job training program 7 13 .10 10 5 .07 11 12  
Anyone receive a parent aide to help you 1 3   3 2   14 3 .04(FE)
Were any needed services not gotten 22 9 .006 48 38 .10 44 32  
Note: C = Control Group, E = Experimental Group.
"FE" indicates significance determined by Fisher's exact test.
Tables only include items with a primary p-value less than .05 in at least one of the states; p-values greater than .10 are not reported. Items in bold indicate significant findings in favor of the experimental group whereas italicized items indicate significant findings in favor of the control group.

involvement gave them more information about the family and enabled them to plan better for services after family preservation.

Endnotes

10. The results of the secondary analyses show slightly greater differences between the experimental and control groups. Here, 8 of the 19 items show significant differences in favor of the experimental group at p = .01 or lower, and an additional 2 items show significant differences in the same direction at p = .05 or lower. See Appendix H-1.

11. These differences were even larger when violations and minimal service cases were excluded from the analyses (4.7 vs. 2.1, ns of 138 and 109, p = .001).

12. Differences were even greater when the violations and minimal service cases were excluded (3.57 vs. 1.90, ns of 181 and 115, p = .0001).

13. In the secondary analysis, the experimental group had an average of 4.99 activities, compared to 2.88 for the control group.

14. When violations and minimal service cases are excluded from the analyses, the differences remained significant and most p-values decreased even further. The secondary analyses showed a significantly greater proportion of the experimental group caretakers report attendance at parent education classes (p = .04). See Appendix H-3.

15. In the secondary analysis (dropping violations and minimal service cases) there was a difference on one item: experimental group caretakers more often received counseling (59% vs. 46%, p = .03). See Appendix H-3.

16. When violations and minimal services cases were excluded, the difference between the groups was even larger (4.6 vs. 2.0, p = .0001).

17. In the secondary analyses, excluding violations and minimal service cases, 13 services were provided significantly more often to the experimental group than to the control group (again, significance levels were all at p = .05 or less). In addition to the 11 primary analysis items showing differences in favor of the experimental group (ten significant items plus the category of "other"), these were: food stamps (p = .01) , and family planning (p = .04). Again, in the secondary analyses, self-help groups was the only service provided significantly more often to the control group than the experimental group. See Appendix H-5.

18. The difference between groups was even larger when violations and minimal service cases were excluded: 3.8 vs. 2.0 (p < .0001).

19. Excluding violations and minimal service cases, only one service was provided significantly more often to the control group, emergency shelter, while nine services were significantly more often provided to the experimental group, the above six plus legal aid, emergency financial assistance, and self help groups.

20. The difference between groups was even larger when violations and minimal service cases were excluded: 3.4 vs. 1.4 (p < .0001).

21. In the secondary analysis, there was one additional service provided significantly more often to the experimental group: household management.

22. Jill Kinney, David Haapala, and Charlotte Booth, (1991). Keeping Families Together: The Homebuilders Model, New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

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