Evaluation of the New York City Home Rebuilders Demonstration. 1.2 Sampling Strategy and Response Rates for the Follow-Up Evaluation

09/14/1998

The experiment was originally designed with procedures for random assignment of children to either a comparison group that received the regular services offered at the agency or an experimental group that used the HomeRebuilders model. Three agencies, Harlem Dowling, Little Flower, and Miracle Makers, used random assignment procedures. Two agencies, New York Foundling and St. Christopher-Ottilie, compared children in two different offices. At New York Foundling the Bronx office was considered the experimental office and followed the HomeRebuilders approach while the Queens office continued with practice as usual. St. Christopher-Ottilie also divided its caseload geographically with the experimental group at the Queens office and the comparison group served by the Brooklyn office. At St. Christopher-Jennie Clarkson, the entire foster boarding home population was selected to participate in the HomeRebuilders project.

Based on the selection criteria, the state selected children for participation in both the experimental and comparison groups. There were about 3000 cases in the demonstration. Analysis of the administrative data used the entire sample. For the interviews, a sample of caretakers was drawn, with the goal of conducting 500 face-to-face interviews with caretakers and 500 telephone interviews with their caseworkers. To conserve resources, it was determined that interviews would only be conducted with the experimental and control cases in agencies that randomly assigned cases to these two groups. Therefore, no interviews were conducted with New York Foundling comparison cases. St. Christopher-Jennie Clarkson did not have a comparison group. Caretakers served by St. Christopher-Ottilie were interviewed because it was initially thought that the agency had applied random assignment procedures to selecting experimental and control cases. Caseworkers from St. Christopher-Ottilie were not interviewed.

A total of 433 caretaker interviews were completed and caseworkers of 407 cases were interviewed. This represents 73 percent of the caretaker and 70 percent of the caseworker cases that were released for interview.

This report documents the demonstration's implementation process and reports the evaluation findings. Chapter 2 describes the implementation of the demonstration. Chapter 3 presents findings from the analysis of administrative data and interviews with caretakers and caseworkers, conducted approximately 3 years after the demonstration began. Appendix A provides a detailed description of the design and implementation of the follow-up evaluation, Appendix B presents additional tables, and the study questionnaires are in Appendix C.

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