Discussion 4

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  Measuring Program Effectiveness

“Quality care. Quality education. Quality parenting. Quality time. Total quality management. Continuous quality improvement. Quality control. Quality assurance. Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Quality is the watchword of our times” (Patton, 2002, pp. 145–146).

Often, when we hear about this concept of quality we may think in terms of products. However, it is also true with services, in general, and social services, in particular, that the idea of quality is essential.

In HUMN 4003, you had the opportunity to evaluate program effectiveness as well as to analyze program design, evaluation, and ethical concerns for at-risk populations. Additionally, you had the chance to examine the impact of program evaluation for social change and develop two specific program evaluations: a needs assessment and a logic model. Each of these evaluation tools serves to measure human services program quality and effectiveness.

For this Discussion, think about how and why agencies measure program effectiveness. Also, explore the potential impact of measuring program effectiveness on quality service delivery.

To Prepare for this Discussion: Review your coursework and Assignments from HUMN 4003: Measuring Effectiveness of Human Services Delivery. Review the article, “Setting the Context: Assessing the Effectiveness of Faith-Based Social Services.” Review the article, “The Logic Model: A Tool for Incorporating Theory in Development and Evaluation of Programs.” Review the article, “Jewish Social Service Agencies and Effective and Impactful Community Relations.” Review the article, “Evaluating Children’s Rehabilitation Services: An Application of a Program Logic Model.” Review the article, “Comparative Logic Modeling for Policy Analysis: The Case of HIV Testing Policy Change at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.” Review the web resource, “Evaluation Strategies for Human Service Programs: A Guidebook for Policy Makers and Providers.” Pay close attention to the variety of program evaluation strategies as well as current models. Review the media titled “Measuring Program Effectiveness.” Select a human services agency in your community. Think about an approach to program evaluation that you might use in that agency.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post  a brief description of the human services organization you selected. Explain how the organization might approach measuring program effectiveness. Then, explain how the organization, employees, and clients might benefit from program evaluation. Finally, explain how program evaluation might help to ensure quality service delivery for the organization you selected. Provide clear and concrete examples to support your response. Respond to someone and suggest an additional approach they could use to measure program effectiveness and explain why.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.