Program Evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if foster children with emotional disorders and/or behavioral disorders are benefiting from the support from the advocates from the Loving Without Boundaries (LWB) and also to evaluate whether or not the foster parents and group homes are benefiting from the educational programs being offered to them through LWB. The focus of the evaluation will be on the children’s increase in academic success, social and academic knowledge, confidence, home stability, an increase of children housed, and kids that are college bound.

We estimate that it will take at least five years, if not more, to get the complete understanding of our program’s impact. The finding should reveal if LWB children in our community respond in a positive way to an advocate that would help them cope through the daily hardships of being in the foster care system and also any other problems that may arise in their lives. Successful finding will be used to gather more support and participation from the children’s schools, community leaders, potential funders, all to promote Loving without Boundaries and any potential partnerships with other agencies who are working with similar populations.

The evaluation will be used to help evolve the success of Loving Without Boundaries and the kids, foster parents, and group homes impacted by the program. This program hopes to impact the children in a holistic approach, by helping the child and also the people around the child who is supporting them. To summarize our program and service goal outcomes include: To build success within foster care children with developmental and behavioral disorders. To encourage a greater level of interaction between foster children, foster parents, group home operators, and advocates.

To make connections with agencies that can aid foster children to stay successful and in secure living situations. To build the confidence and over all wellbeing of foster children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Scope of Evaluation Loving Without Boundaries hopes to determine if what our program has to offer can produce the results that we will ensure our program’s success and the success among the foster children with behavioral and emotional disabilities. Did we offer appropriate educational programs for foster parents and group home operators?

Did we provide a successful advocacy program that assisted the foster children appropriately? Using interviews, focus groups, and formal data collection, we will determine how successful the program is and what positive changes Loving Without Boundaries creating in the foster care community. Interviews and focus groups will help to determine how the foster children, foster parents, group home operators, and advocates view the successes of the program, the success of the children, and the success of the relationships that are built because of the program.

We are hoping to find increased attendance, involvement in clubs and sports, GPA, and stronger relationships. Also a decrease in behavioral incidents in school and any criminal activity. In the long run, we are hoping that our advocacy program, activities, and educational programs for foster parents and group home operators, and outputs will lead to long time increase in stable home placements for the foster children, and increase in graduation rates, and decrease in criminal activity, up to 70% of stable home placements and foster children graduating with a high school diploma within 6-12 years of program implementation.

Methodology The first method for collecting data will be a focus group among current and past foster children with behavioral disabilities and who have lived in a group home or with foster parents. The group will have between eight and sixteen former or current foster children. They will be asked a series of questions and will be asked to problem solve all of the problems surrounding this project (Appendix A). This focus group will also be an open environment to discuss their concerns and ideas for how the foster care system can be improved.

The second main form of data collection will be to conduct a survey that will be distributed to foster children and foster parents (Appendix B). The survey will consist of yes or no questions followed by an area for the participant to provide individual input. The survey will be distributed to over 500 foster children and over 500 foster parents. These surveys will be mailed with a return postage-paid envelopes.

The projected return of these surveys is about 35% for the foster children and 45% for the foster parents. Both percentages equaling approximately 175 surveys for the foster children and 250 surveys for the foster parents, reaching an approximate number of 400 surveys. The goal of the survey is to determine what the true needs are of behavioral disabled foster children and what the needs are of the foster parents so that they are better suited to help these children succeed and thrive.

The third form of data collection will be through a group interview with one Washington State service provider named Susan Walters, a members of the Executive Leadership team of the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services named Steve Miller, and a Washington State representative named Sue McNab (Appendix C) I will be interviewing each of them individually, so that the appropriate information can be gathers. The interviews will be held in a designated conference room at Everett Community College, and will be scheduled within a two weeks’ time.

This will be qualitative information being gathered, about what is needed to assist foster children with behavioral disabilities and how to better support foster parents or group homes when providing a home for these children. All of the data that has been collected has been qualitative because this program is about these children and what they need, and what the people who are helping them need to help them further. The best way to gather this data is to hear from the people themselves.

This is where the information is that we need and this data could potentially help foster children all over the world. The main reason for this needs assessment is to reveal the need for support for foster children with behavioral or emotional disorders and the foster parents or group homes that are supporting these children. Reflection on this Assignment This project was very useful because it really made me think about my previous assignments, and to determine what would make the program successful. This program has opened my eyes to the truth of the foster care

system. This assignment made me realize how much work would need to go in a program to make it successful and to reach the population we are trying to reach and make the impact we are trying to make. Appendix C Loving Without Boundaries Focus Group Questions 1. Did or do you feel supported as a foster care child? 2. What would have been something that could have helped support you better and helped you be successful? 3. What could have your foster parents or group home could have done to be more supportive? 4.

Would an advocate be a useful resource for foster care children? Why? 5. If there was a way to make this program happen, would you participate and would you encourage your foster parents or group home to participate as well? 6. What type of things would you like for your advocate to help you with? 7. What types of lessons and advice would you give to a foster parent or a group home that would help them be more supportive to foster children? 8. If you could change one major thing about your childhood and being raised in the foster care system, what would you change?