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Program Evaluation

How do we make sure you get the best help possible through MeckCARES?

MeckCARES involves changes in the services and supports families receive. It is important to the community that these changes are helpful to your child and your family. To make sure that you and all families get the help they need, the program is being carefully evaluated.

The program evaluation for MeckCARES has 2 major parts:

  1. an evaluation of how MeckCARES provides help (process) and
  2. an evaluation of how well MeckCARES helps youth and families (outcomes).

Process Evaluation:
The process evaluation looks at how well the wraparound (child and family) teams are working to help families. At the end of each Child and Family Team meeting, all team members are asked to complete a brief questionnaire in which they say how well that team meeting worked. Trained observers will also come to your team meetings to observe the meetings. Observing team meetings and having team members report their views can help us see if team leaders or facilitators need more training, or teams need more support. We want to make sure the team is working well to help your family.

Outcomes Evaluation:
When you enroll in MeckCARES, you are asked if you want to learn about the "national evaluation". This study tracks how youth in MeckCARES are improving. When you enroll, and every 6 months thereafter, trained interviewers will ask you questions about how your child and family are doing and what services you have received. We will also ask your child how s/he is doing. Because your time is valuable, we will reimburse you and your child for the time you take to answer these questions. In this and all aspects of the evaluation, your participation is voluntary.

Your answers to the evaluation remain confidential, and you will be given regular feedback about how your child and family are doing. You can then decide if you are making the progress you need, or if changes in your family's plan need to take place.

What happens to the information I provide for the program evaluation?
Information about your Child and Family Team is given back to the team, so you can compare your team to other MeckCARES teams, and to see if your team is becoming better able to support your family. Based on this information, you and your team can then decide if changes are needed. Information collected about Child and Family Teams is then combined, protecting the identity of each family, and reported to community support agencies and the MeckCARES governing board to help make sure that they provide any support that teams need.

Information from the many families in MeckCARES is also combined to help the community see how well MeckCARES is helping families. This information will be used to increase support for families, and identify the help that is most useful to families. In addition, information about MeckCARES families is combined with information from other communities around the country, to see how well these types of programs are working. This information does not identify you in any way.

Who conducts the MeckCARES program evaluation?
Drs. Jim Cook and Ryan Kilmer from UNC Charlotte have been working with systems of care for several years. They have been contracted to evaluate MeckCARES, and Interviewers and observers are university students working for them.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jim Cook at 704-687-4758.

 



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