In theory, many leaders recognize the importance of evaluation to the ongoing improvement of their practices. Yet it takes commitment to make it a reality within their organizations. Time and money often push it to the bottom of priority lists. And, many feel that what they do cannot be measured. The truth is that a small investment in evaluation training up front can put an organization miles ahead of its position today. Whether in the eyes of their staff, their clients, their board, or any other stakeholders, the impact of programs and the organization can be significant.
At Child HELP Partnership, evaluation is such an integral part of our process we are uniquely qualified to train others in this aspect of our discipline. To date, our training programs have helped many agencies in areas such as foster care, mental health, and advocacy.
What is embedded evaluation? At Child HELP Partnership, we define program evaluation as a continual, repetitive process embedded within a system that moves between assessment and change in service delivery. The goals of the program inform the evaluation process, which in turn, informs program’s offerings.
How our training can help an organization
- To inform and improve program development
- Repeated assessments help staff be more responsive to the needs and requests of their clients, because they will be monitoring change in those needs.
- This means better care of every client
- Programs can disseminate their findings as a model practice, and assume a leadership role in the field
- Potential clients, staff, and leadership tend to be more engaged by a program that aspires to best practices
- Board members will be more productive, and perhaps raise more money, if they know their improvement is being monitored.
- Objective evaluation of programs provides potential funding sources with essential information about the positive role that the organization plays in the community
At Child HELP Partnership, we train agency leaders in our collaborative process. They learn the steps to program evaluation and apply them to develop one project for their agency under the guidance of expert trainers.
During the training, agency leaders learn to:
- Identify the evaluation project team
- Set the project goals: what do you want to know?
- Translate those goals into methods
- What? Constructs of Interest
- Who? Participants
- How? Assessment Measures
- Why and when? Research Design
- Pilot the procedures
- Manage and analyze data
- Rework the project, implement, and review findings
Whether we are working in medicine, social work or any other discipline, we all have clients, funders, boards of directors or colleagues who clamor for documented results. There are increasing pressures to evaluate programs in measureable ways, yet many leaders – and experts in their fields – may not have been trained in evaluation. Child HELP Partnership can help these experts translate their knowledge into questions that evaluation can answer simply and efficiently. And we teach them how to present the findings that have meaning for their supporters.
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