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Program Evaluation & Application

Provide brief description of a human services organization.
1. explain one specific purpose for conducting a program evaluation in that organization.

2. Describe the program evaluation

3. Evaluate the program evaluation, indicating strengths and limitations

4. Explain whether the program evaluation you selected is robust (in terms of integrity, reliability, validity) and why

5. Provide one example that illustrates how program evaluation might be utilized for this purpose.

6. a conclusion about the usefulness of program evaluation in assessing human services programs and services

Solution Preview

Program Evaluation: Homeless Outreach Program

For this exercise, I have chosen to look into a specific program by the Volunteers of America's Utah chapter. The organization, Volunteers of America or VA (2014) is a, "human services nonprofits organization with more than 140 paid staff who serve more than 10,000 people across the state each year through a dozen programs addressing homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, and volunteer opportunities." There 36 VA affiliates including its Utah chapter. Since VA runs in 44 states, this non-profit human services organization is both an advocacy as well as a charity as its many programs make a difference in the localities where they are run since their founding by Ballington Booth and his wife, Maud in 1896. For this exercise I have reviewed VA-Utah's Homeless Outreach program currently deployed in Salt Lake City. According to VA-Utah (2014), "The Homeless Outreach Program delivers mobile street outreach to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake County. Outreach workers seek out individuals in need living on the streets, under viaducts, and other places not meant for human habitation. The team offers basic survival items, food, sleeping bags, coats, and other necessities. Through consistent contact, the outreach team works to build trust in order to learn about the needs of those served. Outreach workers offer referrals, care coordination, and transportation to services in the community." Utah's 2013 state report on Homelessness write that 13.5% of the state's population live below the poverty line. 45% of the renting population cannot afford reasonable housing. Poverty in most cases leads to homelessness where 3% of the homeless population are chronically homeless. 75% of the homeless are white and, 43% are family groups, including children while youth aged 18 to 24 make up 28%. VA-Utah's program therefore is a great lifeline to these groups as they allow not just for basic services and care to reach the homeless but also help to re-house them and provide psychological and social support.

Purpose & Program Evaluation Information

The purpose of this activity is to evaluate VA-Utah's Salt Lake City Homeless Outreach Program. Providing a host of services to the homeless in Salt Lake City, VA-Utah's Homeless program consist of many sub-programs specialising in resolving or providing assistance in relation to varied causes and mitigating factors as well as co-morbid elements that drive, enforce and lead to recidivism of homelessness. First off however, let me discuss program evaluation. Program evaluation is a systematic method ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of program evaluation. Impact evaluation is given focus and used in looking at a human services organization (Volunteers of America-Utah) and one of its specific programs (Homeless Outreach). Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.