Challenges to Learning from Experiments: Lessons from Evaluating Independent Living Services (Chapter 7 in From Evidence to Outcomes in Child Welfare: An International Reader).
Courtney, Mark E. Pergamit, Michael. Woolverton, Maria. McDaniel, Marla.
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This chapter describes the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs and discusses the challenges of using experimental evaluation to build evidence in complex areas of human services delivery, such as child welfare services. Challenges include changes in policy context that lead to changes in the intervention or the counterfactual condition; limited external validity reflecting the unique characteristics of service delivery systems; distinguishing between the impact of programs and practice; and limitations of experimental designs for assessing the impact of policy change.
Child Welfare; Evidence based practice; Outcomes; Outcome based accountability; Outcomes factors; independent living; independent living skills; foster adolescents; program evaluation; barriers; validity; service delivery