Evaluation of the New York City Home Rebuilders Demonstration. 2.5.2 Program Staffing

09/14/1998

A HomeRebuilders project director was identified for each of the experimental programs. Within each program there were units with approximately four to five caseworkers to one supervisor. Each caseworker was the primary person responsible for a set of clients.

Experimental Group Caseworkers. Four of the six agencies, St. Christopher­Ottilie, Little Flower, Harlem Dowling, and Miracle Makers, recruited caseworkers specifically for the experimental group. The criteria set for these caseworkers were at a higher level than for the comparison group. For example, some agencies stipulated that the caseworker have at least 1 year of experience and good writing and assessment skills. Some of the directors stated that they looked for "mature" staff. Little Flower and Harlem Dowling paid the experimental group staff higher salaries. In part, the higher salary was because the staff had either more credentials or were more experienced. Although the administrators at St. Christopher­Jennie Clarkson did not specifically hire new staff at the beginning of the HomeRebuilders program, staff were expected to adhere to the set of beliefs that were promoted through the HomeRebuilders program. Staff who weren't able to or didn't agree with the philosophy of the program were let go. At New York Foundling, because the agency assigned cases by location, the existing staff at each location served as the experimental and comparison group staff.

Specialists. Each agency hired a number of specialists for the experimental group. Table 2-2 summarizes the area of expertise of the staff that were hired specifically for the HomeRebuilders program. As shown, a wide variety of specialists were hired to implement the program; the number of specialists ranged from 4 at Miracle Makers and St. Christopher­Ottilie to approximately 22 at St. Christopher­Jennie Clarkson, excluding caseworkers and aftercare workers. The agencies assessed the needs of their clients in relation to the services already in place at the agency. Almost all of the agencies found a need to hire additional housing and substance abuse specialists. In addition, the six agencies mentioned 16 other specialists that were hired to implement the HomeRebuilders model.

Table 2-2.  Type and number of specialists hired for the HomeRebuilders Program

Specialist Harlem Dowling Little Flower New York Foundling Miracle Makers St. Christopher­Ottilie St. Christopher­Jennie Clarkson
Adoption     1A      
Education   1        
Budget   1   1    
Child Special Needs 1          
Case Aides   5       3 (1 yr.) 4 (2nd & 3rdyr.)
Domestic Violence 1         1
Housing   1 1C 1B 1 2
Nurses   2       2 (visiting)
Mental Health 1       1  
Medical Coordinator           1
Parent Advocate     1     8D(average at one time)
Program Assistant         1  
Psychologist   2 (part-time)       1
Secretary   4   1   1
Sexual Abuse 1         1
Substance Abuse 2   1 1 1 1
Teen Advocate           1
Trainer   1 (part-time)        

A.  This person provided support to the experimental caseworkers for cases in which the goal changed from return to home to adoption.
B.  This person served the experimental and the control group.
C.  During the study, these two positions were combined.
D.  23 were trained over the course of the program.

The comparison group, except as noted for Miracle Makers, did not have access to these specialists. In addition to the specialists, some of the agencies had individuals or clinics that served both the comparison and the experimental groups. Some examples of these services included in-house or affiliated medical and preventive health clinics and staff, social support groups, mental health staff, dentists, attorneys to work on case processing, visiting nurses, Healthy Start programs, and housing programs.

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