Preschool-aged children who experience child maltreatment are at an increased risk for mental and behavioral problems compared to their non-maltreated peers (Scheeringa et al., 2004). Evaluating community-based therapeutic programs is crucial for ensuring that this vulnerable population is receiving adequate care; however, guidance on how to implement an effective evaluation of interventions continues to be limited. This paper aims to provide one example of how to design and implement a program evaluation of a therapeutic day treatment and outpatient program in a community-based agency that provides services to preschool-aged children who have been exposed to maltreatment. Researchers completed a multi-modal needs assessment of the agency's procedures (i.e., review of medical records, administration of an anonymous survey, and interviews with staff) and provided detailed recommendations for implementing a sustainable evaluation of their day treatment and outpatient programs. In collaboration with researchers, the agency implemented the recommendations; however, modifications were made overtime (e.g., decreased frequency of data collection). Several lessons were identified throughout the implementation and data collection phase of the program evaluation which may provide guidance for others interested in establishing similar evaluations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science