Evaluation of the New York City Home Rebuilders Demonstration. 3.2.4 Services

09/14/1998

Respondents were asked a number of questions about social program involvement, services received, and caseworker activities. A few indexes were constructed from these items and again the focus was on differences between experimental and comparison groups within agencies. These items were examined both for all respondents and for birth parents separately. The results are shown in Table 3-17.

Respondents were asked about involvement in the last 3 months in 11 programs, including income support programs (e.g., food stamps, WIC, and AFDC) and various treatment programs (alcoholism or drug addiction programs, marriage counseling, and community mental health programs) (caretaker interview, question 53). There was enough variation in involvement in six of these programs to make comparisons between experimental and comparison groups. In the analysis of all respondents, 3 of the 24 within agency comparisons were significant. A scale was constructed of the number of income support programs received. There were no significant differences in means of this variable within agencies. Also determined was whether respondents had been in any treatment program. For all respondents, in only one group did this percentage exceed 15 percent (in the JC treatment group it was 19%) and it was often less than 10 percent. For birth parents only, the percentages were higher (reaching 60% of 15 respondents in JC, but 33% or lower in the other groups). None of the comparisons between experimental and comparison groups were significant on this variable.

Table 3-17.  Caretaker respondents' reports of program involvement and services received

Items and Scales Number of Items Number of E-C Comparisons for 4 Agencies Results of Within Agency Comparisons of Experimental and Comparison Groups
Involvement in programs (Q53) 11 (6 analyzed) 24 All respondents:
MM: exp group less often received AFDC (26% vs. 50%, p < .1) and more often received social security disability (33% vs. 13%, p < .1) LF: exp group more often received social security disability (43% vs. 16%, p < .03)

Birth parent respondents:
MM: exp group less often received food stamps (56% vs. 92%, p < .05) and AFDC (38% vs. 77%, p < .05)

Income support programs scale (Q53) 5 4 All respondents:
No significant differences

Birth parent respondents:
No significant differences

Any treatment program (Q53) 4 4 All respondents:
No significant differences

Birth parent respondents:
No significant differences

Receipt of services (Q54) 13(9 analyzed) 36 All respondents:
HD: exp group more day care (53% vs. 11%, p < .01), exp group more medical or dental care (84% vs. 58%, p < .1)LF: exp group more day care (22% vs. 4%, p < .1), exp group less counseling (13% vs. 36%, p < .1)MM: exp group more medical or dental care (78% vs. 46%, p < .05)OTT: exp group more educational services (19% vs. 0%, p < .1), exp group more parent education (p < .05)

Birth parent respondents:
LF: exp group less recreational services (0% vs. 23%, p < .1)

Receipt of services scale (Q54) 13 4 All respondents:
No significant differences

Birth parent respondents:
MM: exp group more services (p < .05)

In the analysis of birth parent respondents' involvement in programs, there were two (out of 24) significant differences within agencies, both in MM. In MM, experimental group birth parent respondents less often received food stamps and AFDC (both comparisons, p < .05).

Respondents were also asked about the receipt during the past 2 years of 13 services, including day care, help in finding a place to live, medical or dental care, and transportation (caretaker interview, question 54). Nine of these services had enough variation to proceed with between group analyses. In the analysis of all respondents, 7 of the 36 within agency comparisons were significant. In all but one of these comparisons, experimental group families more often received the service. In all three true experimental agencies, experimental group clients more often received help finding a place to live, although the differences were nonsignificant.

A scale consisting of a count of these 13 services received was constructed. In the all-respondents analysis, there were no significant differences within agencies, although in all of the four comparison group agencies the experimental group had a higher average number of services received. For birth parents alone, experimental group respondents in MM had a significantly higher level of service use (p < .05) and in LF, experimental group families had a nonsignificantly lower level of use. Otherwise, the results paralleled those for the all-respondents analysis.

Respondents were asked whether their caseworkers had engaged in any of 17 activities, including help with money, transportation, advice about job training programs and school, and help with handling feelings (caretaker interview, question 64). Twelve of these items had enough variation for analysis (see Table 3-18). In the all-respondents analysis, 4 of the 48 comparisons in the control group agencies were significant. In the birth parent analysis, there were five (of 48) significant differences, all in the "wrong" direction, that is, the control group more often experienced the activity. Four of these differences were in MM and one was in LF. On an overall index of caseworker activities, caseworkers for control group birth parents in MM engaged in more kinds of activities (p < .1); there were no significant differences in the other agencies.

Table 3-18.  Caretaker respondents' reports of caseworker activities

Items and Scales Number of Items Number of E-C Comparisons for 4 Agencies Results of Within Agency Comparisons of Experimental and Comparison Groups
Caseworker activities (Q64) 17(12 analyzed) 48 All respondents:
LF: exp group more discussions on getting better place to live (23% vs. 8%, p < .1), exp group more advice on schooling (17% vs. 5%, p < .1)MM: exp group less advice on job training programs (5% vs. 17%, p < .1), exp group less advice on getting a paying job (2% vs. 12%, p < .1)

Birth parent respondents:
MM: exp group less discussion of proper feeding of children (13% vs. 62%, p < .05), exp group less talk about disciplining children (25% vs. 62%, p < .05), exp group less advice on job training programs (13% vs. 46%, p < .01), exp group less advice on getting a paying job (6% vs. 38%, p < .01)LF: exp group less advice on medical care (13% vs. 46%, p < .1)

Caseworker activity scale (Q64) 17 4 All respondents:
No significant differences

Birth parent respondents:
MM: exp group fewer kinds of activities (p < .1)

Nonadoptive and preadoptive respondents were asked whether their workers helped them see their good qualities and their problems (caretaker interview, question 68). None of the within agency comparisons were significant on these two items. For the true experimental group agencies, experimental group respondents more often reported the worker helped them see their problems, but the differences were not significant. For birth parents only, there were no significant differences, but the directions of associations were similar to those for all respondents.

Birth parents whose children had returned home were asked whether there was discussion with the caseworker, foster parent, and child about the child's return home. None of the comparisons within agencies were significant, although the numbers in the agency subgroups were quite small. These respondents were also asked whether the number and length of visits with children had increased in the month before the children returned home. There were no significant differences between the experimental and comparison groups. They were also asked whether they had received any help from the agency since the return of the children. Again, there were no significant differences between experimental and comparison groups. The percentage varied widely in subgroups (from 0% to 56%) and in LF, MM, and OTT such after return involvement was higher for the control group, although again, the numbers were very small.

Respondents were asked about the frequency of contact with the worker in the last 3 months. In nearly all of the comparisons of experimental and comparison groups, for both all respondents and birth parents alone, members of the comparison group had more contact with the worker. This may be due to the fact that experimental group cases were closed earlier than comparison group cases, so that more of the experimental group cases had no opportunity to meet with the worker during the three months prior to the interview.

Finally, respondents were asked whether the worker listened to their concerns and understood their situations. For the birth parents in HD and LF, experimental group respondents more often answered "most of the time" on these two questions, though the differences were not significant. There was little difference between groups in the all respondents analysis of these two questions.

Relationships with Foster Parents. Birth parents were asked about their relationships with the foster parents responsible for their children. The results are shown in Table 3-19. The small number of cases in the analysis hampers interpretation. In LF and MM the experimental group had more contact with foster parents than in the control group. The reverse was true in HD. As to the five activities that were asked about, there were no strong trends in any agency; within agencies, the foster parents in the experimental group engaged in some activities more than the comparison group and in other activities, less than the comparison group. In HD and LF, birth parents in the experimental group rated their overall relationships with foster parents higher than did control group parents; there was little difference between the groups in MM and OTT.

Table 3-19.  Involvement of parents with foster parents (percents, Ns in parentheses)

  HD LF MM OTT JC NYF
C E C E C E C E E E
Contact once a week or more (N) 70
(10)
20
(10)
43
(14)
55
(22)
53
(15)
68
(19)
56
(16)
60
(15)
76
(17)
56
(25)
FP sometimes or often provide transportation 25
(8)
30
(10)
20
(10)
10
(20)
27
(15)
44
(18)
13
(15)
15
(13)
50
(16)
39
(23)
FP sometimes or often join in play 50
(8)
20
(10)
10
(10)
60
(20)
80
(15)
56
(18)
47
(15)
38
(13)
44
(16)
48
(23)
FP sometimes or often lend or give you money 13
(8)
10
(10)
0
(10)
0
(20)
13
(15)
22
(18)
13
(15)
8
(13)
38
(16)
22
(23)
FP sometimes or often take you shopping 13
(8)
10
(10)
0
(9)
5
(20)
13
(15)
6
(18)
13
(15)
0
(13)
6
(16)
17
(23)
FP sometimes or often teach about cooking 0
(8)
20
(10)
0
(10)
20
(20)
13
(15)
17
(18)
7
(15)
15
(13)
31
(16)
22
(23)
Overall relationship (N) Excellent Good (10)
1030
(10)
6030
(14)
3621
(22)
5018
(15)
4733
(19)
3737
(16)
696
(15)
4027
(17)
4129
(25)
2848

Summary.  One would expect to find that the experimental group received more services than the comparison group and that these services would be more intensive. A liberal reading of the above findings might conclude that the experimental group received slightly more and more intensive services. But the evidence in that direction is not strong, and there are a number of instances in which the comparison group received more service.

View full report

Preview
Download

"appa.pdf" (pdf, 120.49Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"appb.pdf" (pdf, 623.25Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"appc.pdf" (pdf, 3.4Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®