Innovations in Effective Compassion: Compendium of Research Papers. Presented at the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference on Research, Outcomes, and Evaluation. The Scope of FBCO Services and Programs

07/01/2008

Important goals of the FBCI are to reduce barriers to the participation of FBCOs in the federal funding process and to increase their organizational capacities to deliver social services. Researchers are just beginning to understand the menu of services that FBCOs deliver, differences between the types of services provided by organizational type, and barriers to participation. Three papers examine services delivered by FBCOs in different domains:  emergency assistance, mental health, employment, housing, and substance abuse recovery programs.

Scott Allard researches program service delivery, accessibility of services, and organizational stability among faith-based organizations and secular community-based organizations. Drawing on a survey of nonprofit service providers, this study compares services, organizational characteristics, funding, and access to faith-based and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. Notably, the survey distinguishes between faith-based organizations that integrate religious elements into service delivery, faith-based organizations that segregate religious elements from services, and secular nonprofit organizations. Allard found that both types of faith-based organizations deliver more emergency assistance services and less mental health, substance abuse, or employment-related services compared with secular nonprofit organizations. Faith-based organizations that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than faith-based organizations that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. Allard concludes that overall faith-based organizations have fewer resources than secular community-based organizations, and speculates that fewer resources may, in part, lead to a different menu of services compared with community-based organizations.

Richard Hula, Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, and Laura Reese consider the nature of faith-based and secular service delivery models in the housing sector. This study reports on the preliminary results of an ongoing survey exploring the role of FBCOs operating in housing markets in inner cities in Michigan. The authors found that, for the most part, faith-based organizations and secular community-based organizations engage in similar activities and report comparable barriers to growth, suggesting that faith-based organizations are at least as productive as secular community-based housing providers in terms of their activities and involvement in the housing arena. The authors also highlight some important differences depending on organizational type. One example is that faith-based organizations perceive local politics and regulations as more problematic to their participation in delivering services than community-based organizations. The study concludes that increasing the role of faith-based organizations in housing services may require state and local actors to help alleviate some of these participation barriers or at least the perception of barriers.

The role that faith plays in faith-based organizational settings and service components is not well understood (Wuthnow, 2004). In their pilot study, Fred De Jong and Claudia Horn examine the efforts of Gospel Relief Missions (GRMs), faith-based providers of substance abuse recovery support programs for the disenfranchised that are located throughout the country. To develop measurement of the components of faith that permeate the organization and services, researchers convened work groups composed of various GRM staff members and interviewed key stakeholders about the organizational mission and the faith-based substance abuse recovery services as well as any secular services. The preliminary results indicate that clients experienced some variation in the faith-based services received, had strong faith orientations, and rated their relationships with staff highly in terms of quality and trust, which were positively associated with their spiritual growth and faith convictions.

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"intro.pdf" (pdf, 205.29Kb)

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"Johnson.pdf" (pdf, 294.63Kb)

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"Brown.pdf" (pdf, 311.37Kb)

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"Barthle.pdf" (pdf, 266.23Kb)

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"Allard.pdf" (pdf, 344.51Kb)

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"Hula.pdf" (pdf, 1.35Mb)

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"DeJong.pdf" (pdf, 424.94Kb)

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"about.pdf" (pdf, 143.87Kb)

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"appendix.pdf" (pdf, 130.11Kb)

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