Planning, Designing, and Tracking

I. Selecting a Strategy and Establishing the ObjectivesOnce you are thoroughly grounded in the history, theory, research, and etiology of the identified problem (as analyzed in your first assignment), you are ready to analyze the strategies used for reducing or eliminating the problem by meeting the needs of people who have the problem. The first step is to examine the program’s hypotheses – those statements about what outcomes are expected if a person with the problem(s) identified receive the service(s) you designed. The program hypotheses provide the framework for the development of precisely-stated goals, objectives and activities. In a 10-12 page paper, critically analyze and answer the following questions:
1. Can you spell out the underlying assumptions about your client population andthe expected effects of your program in the form of a series of “if . . . then”statements? If so, state those hypotheses.
2. Can you identify the following as they relate to your program?a.) The independent variable(s) (services that are provided)b.) The dependent variable(s) (expected ultimate or long-term results ofyour servicesc.) The intervening variable(s) (short-term results of your services) If so, state them.
3. Looking at the way you assess client need(s) in your program:a.) Is the assessment quantified? b.) Does it permit you to categorize and compare clients at intake by type and severity of the problem? If so, identify the assessment instrument and list its categories. Provide a copy of the instrument(s) in your report.
4. Does your program have written objectives that specify expected outcomes forclients? If so, provide them.
5. Is there evidence that your program staff consistently attempt to move clients Toward these specified outcomes? If so, describe the evidence.

II. Program DesignEmpirical research indicates that certain problems will respond better to certain precise interventions rather than simply using a generalized “casework” approach. In designing a program, it is ethically imperative to put together the service or combination of services that research indicates will provide the best possible chance of achieving the program’s objectives. You must carefully consider the resources needed to address the needs of clients and how these resources will be organized. Answer the following questions to assess the level of precision achieved in specifying the elements of the program’s design:
1. Does the program have identified problem or need categories that can be checkedoff at intake and used to help in understanding client needs in the aggregate? If so, list those categories.2. Does the program have some method for quantifying or scaling severity of theproblem(s)? If so, describe it.
3. Are quantified data collected on the following:a.) client demographicsb.) client social history datac.) client problem type and severity If so, describe how and what is collected.
4. Does the program itemize service tasks for each service provided and recordthe amount of time or volume of each task provided for each client? If so,list them.
5. Does the program specify acceptable service methods for each type of service?If so, list them.
6. Does the program have some way of identifying those who complete theprogram and those who drop out so that administrators can do some analysis of these as separate populations? If so, describe how they are tracked.
7. Does the program quantify and measure results with clients using some sortof a pre-test/post-test measure? If so, describe it.
8. Does the program follow up with clients and collect data that indicate long-termeffects of the treatment? If so, list the follow-up variables.
9. Does the program have formally defined units of services that are used tomeasure the amount or volume of services provided by the program? If so,cite them.

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