The FRIENDS Outcome Accountability Guide was published in 2001 and authored by Ann Peisher, Meg Sewell and Ray Kirk. This Guide includes everything that a family support program needs to start identifying, measuring, and reporting the outcomes of their services.
Volume I is an in-depth reference manual on outcome accountability. It provides information on logic models and other steps in designing an outcome accountability plan.
Volume II is a "Quick Start" guide for busy program staff who are new to outcome accountability. It includes:
- A brief introduction to outcome accountability
- A glossary which provides definitions of terms used in the guide
- Worksheets for identifying desired outcomes & developing an evaluation plan
- Examples of completed worksheets
- Forms for collecting demographic, service and customer satisfaction data
- Outcome measurement instruments that can be photocopied and used (click here to download the Measure of Family Well-Being)
- Samples of copyrighted standardized instruments and ordering information
- Instructions for constructing scales
- Instructions for collecting and analyzing outcome data
- Instructions for writing an outcome report for funders
- Instructions for using outcome data to make program improvements
- Resources for further information on outcome accountability
Outcome data is gathered by asking participants and direct service staff to respond to surveys which ask them to rate the condition and status of the family in a variety of domains both before receiving the service, and after receiving it. In some of the surveys, a retrospective pre-test model is used, a model which offers the following advantages:
- It is less intrusive than gathering baseline data at the beginning of service, when relationships are being established.
- It provides more accurate data since service consumers are much better able to accurately assess their initial condition once they have received some education and support.
- It has the advantage of producing a large amount of high quality data in a very short period of time.
- It allows collection of baseline data on participants who were already receiving services when the evaluation began and would otherwise be excluded using the pre-post test model.
The outcome evaluation model used in the FRIENDS guide does not require a rigorous, experimental, long term evaluation, with random assignment to control groups and treatment groups, or high level statistical analysis of the data. It does provide data expected to accurately and reliably demonstrate progress on short term and intermediate term outcomes which are expected to contribute to improvements in long term outcomes/impact. For small community-based programs that are new to the world of outcome evaluation, the FRIENDS guide will provide all the help that is needed to achieve their first steps toward outcome accountability.
To order a copy of the FRIENDS Outcome Accountability Guide, send a check or purchase order for $25 plus $6 postage and handling made out to "FRIENDS" to:
, 800 Eastowne Drive, Suite 105, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
The Family Support Program Outcome Survey
While providing evaluation-related training and technical assistance to CBCAP programs, FRIENDS staff learned that prevention programs often focus on very similar participant-centered outcomes. Additionally, many State CBCAP administrators expressed interest in a way to collect and compare information on these similar outcomes from the wide variety of programs they help to fund. In response, FRIENDS pulled together a task force of parents, CBCAP administrators and prevention program staff to develop a tool for measuring outcomes that are shared across prevention programs. The Family Support Program Outcome Survey was the result of their efforts.
The Family Support Program Outcome Survey is generic in nature, and looks at broad outcomes that are likely shared across CBCAP programs. It asks parents to rate changes that occurred as a result of receiving family support services. The survey solicits both quantitative and qualitative responses to items related to prevention factors such as access to formal and informal support systems, parenting skills, advocacy and ability to meet basic needs.
This tool comes with an instruction guide and database. A feature of the database is that it allows for programs to enter data from additional survey items that they develop to measure outcomes specific to their programs.
Download the Survey
Family Support Outcomes Survey Report
Family Support Outcomes Survey- Full Version
Family Support Outcomes Survey only
Family Support Outcomes Survey Informed Consent
Family Support Outcomes Survey Database
(*Note that you should also download the Read Me file before downloading the Database)