Although complex and difficult, analysis of program effectiveness has become an essential component of any human service organization. Many child and family service agencies have some type of continuous improvement system in place, but these efforts vary greatly, which makes it difficult to quantify the overall impact of services in Ohio. Through OACCA’s work with major stakeholders over the years, the need for a comprehensive statewide evaluation system became evident. As a result, OACCA has developed and is implementing the OACCA Outcomes Data Project to empower member agencies in strategically evaluating the services provided to children and families.
The ODP is a valuable tool for agencies to use to measure their program performance and provide an objective basis for clinical and financial decision making. Service providers have information never before available to them that allow them to maximize the benefits their resources can produce and to invest them effectively so that children they serve have the best possible chance to become productive and healthy citizens.
Since 2007, around 20 agencies participated in the ODP. The pilot phase of the project lasted three years and, upon completion, was offered to the full membership. Implementation of the outcomes system is a significant accomplishment for service providers and places child and family service agencies in the forefront of comprehensive measurement of treatment outcomes and program effectiveness.
OACCA began the development of the ODP in 2005 with funding from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by The George Gund Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, and The Levin Family Foundation. OACCA partnered with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs for assistance with instrument development, data analysis, and report generation. Since January 2007, about 20 OACCA member agencies participated in the project.
- To provide agencies with common outcome measurement tools at intake, through treatment, and into post-treatment
- To collect data to show the relationship between the presenting problems of children and families with the programs, settings, or services that provide the most effective, long-lasting treatment approaches
- To produce distinct, agency-owned data to support improvements to programs and services at the individual agency level
- To produce aggregate data analysis to support our policy advocacy and to inform decision makers about needed systemic changes at the state and county levels
- To encourage participation in the ODP by all OACCA member agencies