Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume Two. 7.2 Philadelphia Intake Worker Questionnaire

09/01/2002

Resisting the use of another survey form solely for the purposes of the evaluation, staff in Philadelphia negotiated the use of a data collection instrument other than the investigating worker survey that was administered in the three Homebuilders sites of this study. Instead, investigating workers completed a brief intake questionnaire focusing on conditions in the home, problems for adults and children in the household, and service referrals that occurred as part of the investigation. This questionnaire was completed for 280 of the 353 randomly assigned cases (79%). Table 7-5 summarizes the findings for all items in the questionnaire.

When asked about the conditions observed during visits to the home, a majority of workers responded favorably on each of the 7 items. However, in 30 percent of the cases workers said they did not find the home in generally good repair; in 32 percent of the cases workers indicated there were not an adequate number of beds and bedding; and in 27 percent of the cases workers reported that they did not feel the neighborhood was safe.

In over 80 percent of the cases, the intake worker responded affirmatively to each of three questions about the relationship between the caretaker and the victim: did the caretaker show affection for the victim, did the caretaker show concern for the victim, and did the victim show signs of attachment to the caretaker.

According to the intake workers, the most frequently noted problems for adults in the household included parenting skills in general (88%), depression (56%), and inadequate supervision of the children (51%). The most frequently noted problems for children in the household included parent child conflict (37%), inadequate supervision of children (37%), and insufficient income for necessities such as food, rent, or clothing (37%).

The overwhelming majority of cases (92%) were referred for family preservation services (evidently, in the remaining 8% someone other than the intake worker made the FPS referral), and approximately a third were also referred to other services. Intake workers reported that in fewer than 10 percent of cases, the court ordered each of the following: family preservation services, foster care placement, other substitute care placement, or other services.

Table 7-5
Philadelphia Intake Worker Questionnaire
  N Yes
(%)
No
(%)
Don't know/ did not observe (%)
When you visited the home, did you find
the home in generally good repair 274 69 30 2
the electricity in working order 279 98 1 1
the toilet, bath and shower in working order 279 89 8 3
the refrigerator and stove in working order 278 87 10 2
adequate number of beds and bedding 278 66 32 2
the home to be physically safe 279 87 11 2
the neighborhood to be safe 275 61 27 12
  N Yes
(%)
No
(%)
Don't know/ did not observe (%)
Thinking about the relationship between the caretaker and the victim(s)
Did the caretaker show affection for the victim(s) 278 82 14 4
Did the caretaker show concern for the victim(s) 278 89 9 1
Did the victim(s) show signs of attachment to the caretaker 277 83 10 6
  Adult(s) Child(ren)
N Yes
(%)
No
(%)
DK
(%)
N Yes
(%)
No
(%)
DK
(%)
Indicate whether the child(ren) or adult(s) have these common problems that may exist in the household.
Physical health problems or disabilities 257 32 60 9 268 31 64 5
Depression 269 56 25 19 256 22 60 19
Other mental illness 266 15 50 35 263 7 68 25
Mental retardation 265 5 85 11 267 5 85 11
Alcoholism 270 21 63 16 260 0 95 4
Drug abuse 275 43 42 15 252 3 93 4
Parent child conflict 269 42 52 6 266 37 57 6
Arrests or convictions on criminal charges 271 13 54 34 261 2 89 9
Domestic violence 273 23 61 17 248 11 77 11
Inadequate supervision of children 267 51 43 5 250 37 58 5
Insufficient income for necessities such as food, rent or clothing 272 43 51 6 243 37 58 5
Overly severe discipline measures toward children 268 23 73 4 238 17 90 3
Finding or holding on to a place to live 269 37 61 2 234 24 74 2
Lack of discipline toward children 267 27 67 6 230 24 72 4
Parenting skills in general 274 88 11 1 202 45 52 4
Where was this case referred? N (%)
Family preservation 280 92
Foster care 280 1
Other services 280 31
The case was closed 280 3
Don't know 280 1
Table 7-5,
continued Philadelphia Intake Worker Questionnaire
  N Yes
(%)
No
(%)
Don't know
(%)
In the course of or as a result of the investigation of the children in this complaint, has the court ordered . . .
Family preservation services 257 6 84 2
Foster care placement 253 1 88 1
Other substitute care placement 255 3 86 1
Other services 255 8 81 2
Note: The maximum N for individual questions ranged from 202 to 280.

Endnotes

102. In a few cases, these instruments were completed by phone.

103. In Kentucky, some cases were kept open under the investigating worker in order to provide services. It is also possible that these timeframes reflect variations in what is meant by a "complete investigation." It is possible that all but the paperwork was completed in a shorter period of time.

104. Not all cases necessitate contact with these additional sources of information, and the character of the allegation obviously affects whom it is relevant to contact.

105. Ten of these cases were coded as juvenile court

106. The small proportion of cases with drug or alcohol presence is expected given that these family preservation programs avoided serving cases with known drug or alcohol use.

107. The length of time from the date the interview was completed to the date the placement occurred according to the administrative data varied from five days to two years. The placement in the administrative data may or may not be the removal that was referred to by the investigating worker. In any event, a placement is accounted for in the administrative data analysis.

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