Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Interim Report. 4.3.8 Violations and Exceptions


As part of our negotiations with DYFS, it was agreed that a limited number of eligible cases could be excluded from the study. DYFS administrators felt it was important that they not deny services to families that district office staff felt were at an unacceptably high level of risk. It was agreed that eight cases prior to random assignment and six cases post- random assignment could be identified as exceptions in the study. The number of exceptions was calculated to minimize the impact of the exclusions on the outcome analysis. The post-random assignment exclusions (called violations in this report) would be used for cases that were assigned into the control group and became higher risk after a few weeks due to the return of an abusive spouse or other critical changes in the case. Interviews with caretakers and caseworkers were conducted on cases excluded from the study after random assignment and they are included in the analysis.

A district office manager or screener made requests for exclusion to Central office staff. Only the Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) or the Administrator of the Office of Case Planning, Screening and Emergency Response (OCPSER) could approve exceptions. The TSU took responsibility for developing criteria that could be used statewide for approving the exclusions. Many more violations (24) and exceptions (33) occurred than originally planned.