Counseling Services Program--#2
Assessment, Evaluation and Analysis
- Steinhatchee -

Evaluation Topics
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Cost Savings

PART V:  PROGRAM COST COMPARISON  -- continued

Program Summary

Proprietership

Limitations & Strengths

Survey Disclosures

Reliability / Validity Discussion

Partnerships & Collaborations

Clinical Acknowledgements

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related to the counseling services program, or to find out if counseling services can begin in your school or school district contact us.

How much was the overall contract cost for the academic year (maroon)?  How much would these same services cost in the private non-contracted sector (blue)?   And what is the cost savings between the actual contract amount and the comparable private party amount (yellow)? 

Assessment, Evaluation and Analysis for
Counseling Services
Program #1
(Same Data)

PROGRAM SUMMARY, CREDITS, AND LIMITATIONS, ETC.

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Basis for Counseling Services Program.  The counseling services program was provided based upon the contents of an extensive written proposal that was directed to the superintendent of schools in the county where the services were provided.  The content of the proposal for counseling services is a detailed and lengthy description of the service provisions that are/were provided to the district, the school, the students, the parents, the teachers and the administration. 

Proprietary Program Aspects.  The program proposal document is a proprietary document in the sense that the program components are explicated and detailed by LaRose, and they are unique to the program that was designed, developed, and implemented by LaRose.  Thus the proposal identifies the program and labels it in its entirety as the "counseling services program" to which LaRose is the program developer, designer, implantation administrator, and direct service provider.  Treatment methods, assessment and diagnosis methods, and any of the theory on which such program aspects are/were based are not proprietary as these are academically and professionally known, published, researched and acquired.   

Program Limitations & Strengths
.  While the development of this program has been duplicated in multiple school settings, in part modeled after those that have been in existence through FSU's College of Social Work (at the FSU Multi-Center) for some time, the evaluation instruments used for this analysis are those that were created and designed by the author.  Where issues of reliability and validity have been considered, in spite of the absence of true psychometric assessment, and where foundational aspects of psychometrics have been incorporated into the instruments used, specific program evaluation notes have been included throughout.  Most of the limitations of the instrumentation used for this analysis are listed in the appropriate item by item "evaluation note[s]." 

Because of the infancy of the counseling services program as evaluated in this report, and in consideration of other program duplications with similar outcome evaluation results, the strengths of the program are noted respectively herein and consistently elsewhere.  Repetitive, similar, and cross-community evaluations and outcomes give credence to the inputs and outputs that facilitate the overall success rate of the counseling services program and its evaluation component.

Survey Disclosures & Additional Limitations.  The inherent bias of the author of this report should be considered in the interpretation of the findings that are noted here, and such a bias is disclosed herein.  True statistical analysis has not been performed, even as foundational structuring for such an assessment is evident in the program evaluation notes that sporadically appear throughout the report.  Areas of limitation include: 1) Grading information, census information and demographics that are generally and often accepted as independent data references and as such they are usually believed to be without subjectivity of researcher(s); 2)  The administrative surveys and school personnel surveys were distributed by the principal of the school at the request of the author of this report, and the principal used distribution and collection methods that were entirely autonomous, without input of the author.  The author did not investigate how distribution and collection methods can be factored into the return rate for surveys; 3) The youth exit interviews were completed with face to face interviews between the program evaluator (who is also the counselor).  The youth who participated and answered exit interview questions did so voluntarily.  Complicating this evaluation component is the variable of social desirability, which may be heightened given the power differential that inherently exists in the counselor/patient dynamic.  Lastly, the grouping of qualitative in the exit interview responses was necessary in order to tally youth reports, however the process of grouping is admittedly a subjective one.  And even in relationships where rapport is fully developed and the interpretations of the interviewer are believed to be representative of youth responses (and they are/were), the evaluator grouping of responses may not accurately reflect the intent of the youth; 4) The pre and post self-administered CRI index is based upon the subjective opinion of the author of this report, and the counselor who provided the counseling services program to the assessed youth.  The subjective nature of self-administered surveys, not to mention those that are also designed by the program administrator and evaluator, is an inherent limitation - however - the use of case notes could serve to mitigate bias because case notes were recorded at the close of each session, week after week, not at the time of the evaluation.  The CRI comparison to the GAF is not indicative of statistical equivalency between instruments.  The self-administered pre-post youth evaluation by the counselor, with biases noted, was needed to correlate other evaluation aspects into this report and to factor into the overall equation of program success or failure issues of value in evaluation: clinical significance, practice wisdom, and psycho-social-occupational functioning that is not limited to the observable and measurable constructs that can be operationalized in the purest forms of statistical evaluation. 

Reliability & Validity with Program Limitations Discussion.  Equally important to mention in addition to bias disclosure, is that this assessment was developed using the highest standards of program evaluation and outcome measures that could be reasonably and affordably developed to compile the data that has been explicated in this report.  Issues related to psychometrics have been addressed in the limitations of this report, and in various program evaluation notes, but also in the outcome graphs and charts of this report, the highlights of the potential strengths in psychometric considerations are labeled: the potential for inter-item reliability, test/re-test reliability (between two different programs), and construct validity that is further strengthened by reliability indicators.  The goal in bias and validity limitation disclosures is not to negate the findings of the evaluation or the efficacy of the counseling service program, but rather to address the potential limitations in reliability and validity to diffuse reservations about ongoing duplication of the counseling services program in other school settings. Similar and overall positive results have been realized in other school program evaluations that have been published on the author's website (to find research and analysis information go to the "Site Map & Index" page for specific links).  Hopefully, the limitations are addressed when the various forms of data gathering and reporting are compared and contrasted so that collectively the symbiotic outcomes reveal the true successes and failures of the counseling services program at this school and other schools like it.

Partnerships, Collaborations, and Affiliations
.  The efficacy of the program was assessed for multiple reasons: 1) it is an academic and professional standard in the field of clinical social work to evaluate whether or not a program is helping the people who depend on the profession for human services interventions, 2) it is necessary in order to improve, adjust and terminate various program components, 3) if program efficacy is measured and outcomes warrant ongoing support, the counseling services program can continue to obtain increased funding, and 4) similar services can hopefully be similarly duplicated in a more global degree, as evidenced based practice becomes clearer in the counseling services program evolution process.  This evaluation and analysis will also be used to further the counseling services program in multiple school settings, for as long as the services can be provided in the interests of the school districts who will sponsor the services, in the interest of the school settings who serve the youth enrolled in counseling services, and in the interests of the students themselves who have the most to lose - and the most to gain - if/when they succeed.  All of the original documentation for this analysis and interpretations report is on file at the office(s) of LaRose and queries related to such records can be directed to the author. 
   
Clinical Acknowledgements.  It is important to note and credit other people who have directly and/or indirectly contributed to the successful design, development, and implementation of the counseling services program.  Much of the technique and methodology used in

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