English

The purpose of this paper is to present a model of the first component of a complex outcome evaluation which was designed to provide short-term process and cost information to management of a Canadian child welfare agency regarding family support prevention programs. Nine family support programs, developed to prevent admission of children to care, were the focus of this study. Data on the programs' 549 clients and 35 workers were collected by means of a time budget study which used daily time sheets filled out by workers. Detailed information on the types of contacts with clients were recorded, as well as detailed information on non-client activities. Findings regarding time spent with clients indicated a great deal of variation among programs, even though the programs treated similar clients with similar approaches. Cost analysis also indicated a wide variation in the cost per case, as well as cost per hour of drect client service. Several recommendations were made with the intent of increasing the efficiency of programs without affecting the quality of service.

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Pages
37-49
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