Child Development Services
The Engagement and Retention of Participants in Family Support Programs
This national study examined the factors that affect family participation in home visiting programs in five states: Arizona, Florida, New York, Oregon and Wisconsin. Public Policy Research sub-contracted with the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall to enroll families who were receiving home visiting services through Oregon Healthy Start and supervise the data collection process. Responsibilities included recruiting and training interviewers for multiple in-person interviews with participating families, conducting surveys of agency staff members, and analyzing and reporting on data for the Oregon sample.
Documenting Activities And Achievements In Family Resource Centers
Developed for the Lane County Commission on Children and Families, this report created a performance measurement system for Lane County's Family Resource Centers. A logic model showed the relationship of planned activities to anticipated intermediate outcomes, leading in turn to high level outcomes or benchmark measures. Also included were systematic methods of gathering information about the resources used, the numbers and types of activities conducted, and the numbers and types of families participating in the multitude of Family Resource Center activities. Outcome indicators were identified with appropriate measurement instruments.
Planning for the Delivery of Great Start Services to Families with Young Children
In 1988, as part of the Children's Agenda, Oregon established a Great Start program in order to bring comprehensive health and child development services to children under the age of six. In order to develop a comprehensive plan for the delivery of these services, consultants from Public Policy Research collaborated with a citizen task force to conduct a needs assessment in Washington County. A telephone survey of 400 randomly sampled Washington County residents was conducted, two community forums were held to solicit public opinion, involvement of minority communities was obtained through special forums and interviews, a questionnaire was sent to key agencies currently providing services to young children and families and personal interviews were conducted with the key respondents who represented a respected professional or cultural viewpoint in service areas. Results indicated a top priority for the county was finding quality child care for individuals characterized as working poor, who were ineligible for child care rebates.
Developing Interim Indicators for Oregon Benchmarks
In the early 1990s, the State of Oregon adopted a system of social progress goals, called Benchmarks, to guide social policy and programs over the next decade. The 272 Benchmarks address peoples well-being, quality of life, and the economy. The Benchmarks set standards for directing statewide progress and place priority on measuring results rather than efforts. The staff at Public Policy Research have undertaken projects with the Commission on Children and Families in several Oregon counties to identify a set of interim indicators and measures for Benchmarks that specifically address the well-being of children and families. On-site training and consultation was provided on the application of these indicators to individual programs including developing objectives, monitoring and evaluating outcomes.
Development of Baseline Data for Childrens School Readiness
Consultants at Public Policy Research have also participated in a feasibility study for establishing baseline measures of the State of Oregon Benchmark addres sing early childhood development. This study was conducted for Washington Country to insure that all children in the Country demonstrate appropriate cognitive, physical, and social emotional readiness when entering kindergarten. The feasibility study proposed an ecosystem model of School Readiness that requires direct measurement of childrens early learning, development and abilities. The model also entails measurement of the family, community, and school factors that are supportive of childrens development. The study identified indicators of these factors and proposed instruments to measure them.