Persuading Policy Makers: Effective CIT Program Evaluation and Public Relations Maria Felix-Ortiz, Ph.D. & Megan Brodie University of the Incarnate Word Presentation for the CIT International Conference in San Antonio, TX June 2010
Today… The connection between good program development and evaluation, and policymaking Advocacy and community involvement in program development/evaluation, and in selling CIT to policy makers Program evaluation “in a nutshell” Resources
How can you convince policy makers and stakeholders to support your CIT program? Become familiar with the policy making process “Policy making is a cyclical process. It begins with recognition and definition of a significant public problem ... In response, government may formulate, adopt, and implement a strategy for addressing the problem. Analysis of policy effectiveness in turn often reveals shortcomings...” http://www.laits.utexas.edu/txp_media/html/bur/features/0303_01/policy.html
How can you convince policy makers and stakeholders to support your CIT program? Build relationships with friends in your state capitol. Advocacy: the process of education through relationship building and sharing personal experiences that “move” people to action. Lobbying: telling someone how to vote. Defining goals and showing “results.” Aim for handshaking, not head butting “Tongue handshake” by Skorpion of the Independents
The Old and New in Persuading Policy Makers Use The New The use of scientific data obtained through regular program evaluation numbers as well as interviews or observations. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and other advocacy groups Facebook, blogs, Twitter Work with the PTA/O, faith-based communities, and business but keep The old Take consumers with you on visits to the policymaker and or their aides. Policymakers are influenced by consumers, stakeholders, other policymakers, and “campaign contributions”
Visit gatekeepers of powerful political institutions, social services, and neighborhood institutions
letters to the editor of your newspaper, television, radio
Invite the community to an open-house or panel discussion
The Old and New in Persuading Policy Makers Get to know your opponents and their positions so you can respond to/address their concerns In one page of bullets, show that your program Stretches the dollar Impacts real people for whom your community has sympathy Women Children Veterans Thank you notes build relationships
Why involve the community in your CIT program development and evaluation? can offer insightful perspectives on what works and what needs changing, but getting community input can be time consuming, and sometimes it’s difficult to identify consensus or the main themes.
Community “buy in”
This means people will use your program, refer others, and be your best publicity.
Constituents who vote can be very persuasive to policymakers.
Stakeholders can provide a variety of resources to the program.
Program Evaluation (in a nutshell) Needs Assessment Research design and time frame Collecting data Analysis and feedback Program modification and second evaluation Analysis and feedback Program modification…
Needs Assessment What is it? A needs assessment is a lot like what you do when your TV cuts off. A needs assessment is about getting lots of information about what’s happening, and using it to develop a response, a program. Benefits of? Important so you can show results (get the TV going again…). Challenge of? In a needs assessment, you often discover that you were wrong about what “the community” needs. You might have to add to the mental health programming as well as develop a diversion program…
Needs Assessment How’s it done? Begin with formal or informal talks with EVERYONE Check the information gathered Identify resources Organize a “town hall”-style meeting or legislator’s lunch
Research Design and Time Frame Research Design? “Experimental” vs. “Control” Group Compare people in your program to those who get the usual “pre” and “post” intervention comparison Compare people in your program to themselves Compare the number of their arrests before and after being in your program What is your time frame? Looking for short-term effects Looking for long-term effects: 3, 6, or 12 months after the program
Collecting Data Focus of study Consumers/Families of consumers Rookie/Cadet vs. Veteran Officer’s Perspective First Responders Linear Study Gathering Information Observation Visiting other programs Case Study: Following various “typical” individuals before the program, through the program, and after Interviews Surveys
What outcomes can you measure? Outcomes in your consumers How many referrals were diverted from jail? When were they identified (pre or post booking)? How were they identified (What kind of screening, who did it)? Where did they go? What are the demographics of those diverted? What kind of illness is going untreated in your community? Are there racial/ethnic or gender disparities? Gains in independent living skills, reduced drug use, better “quality of life,” and reduced psychological distress one year later (Cosden et al., 2003) Lower re-arrest, violence, homelessness, hospitalizations on year later (Lamb, Weinberger, and Reston-Parham, 1996) Less jail time two months later (Steadman, Cocozza, and Veyzey, 1999) Changes in the type of arrest Health problems, social support, financial circumstances, living arrangements, ongoing use of outpatient mental health services. Outcomes in your officers Attitudinal change Increase in skills and knowledge Behavior in the field Outcomes in the system Document changes Keep track of costs
EXCELLENT RESULTS It met your goals. It was accepted by the community. Things you measured changed in a positive direction. There are better outcomes among your program participants compared to those who didn’t participate. LITTLE OR NO CHANGE? There was no improvement, BUT there was also no deterioration or worsening of the problem AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED Interpret changes in a larger context. How might the small differences be a big deal? Allow stakeholders and consumers themselves to see the data and help you interpret your findings. Analysis: How do you know that your program worked?
Choosing an Evaluator helps you plan your program so that it can be evaluated for effectiveness Advantages of a University-based evaluator less costly than professional evaluators (or work for free in exchange for access to the data for publications), can help develop your local coalition and collaboration, provide student interns, and be more willing to develop measures/tools specific to your needs. Advantages of a professional program evaluation company more resources, can draw from their experience with programs from other regions, might be able to devote more time to your project since evaluation is their primary work. An evaluator should have a background in statistics and measurement, publications that showcase this expertise, and experience with making programs work in real-world settings. American Evaluation Association: www.eval.org
Resources University relationships Partner with a county that already has a program NAMI and In Our Own Voice, their speaker program American Evaluation Association Society for Prevention Research The Center for Mental Health Services GAINS Center
GAINS Resources With the help of its supporters, GAINS has produced several documents that focus on increasing meaningful peer involvement in jail diversion and reentry initiatives. Click on the links below to read more on best practices used to increase the inclusion of peers in systems change. Leveling the Playing Field: Practical Strategies for Increasing Veterans' Involvement in Diversion and Reentry Programshttp://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/pdfs/veterans/levelingthefield_veterans.pdf Overcoming Legal Impediments to Hiring Forensic Peer Specialistshttp://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/pdfs/integrating/Miller_Massaro_Overcoming.pdf Peer Support within Criminal Justice Settings: The Role of Forensic Peer Specialistshttp://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/pdfs/integrating/Davidson_Rowe_Peersupport.pdf Additional Resources Medicaid Coverage of Peer Support for People with Mental Illness http://cms.hhs.gov/PromisingPractices/downloads/PeerSupport.pdf Mental Health Consumer Providers by the Rand Corporationhttp://consensusproject.org/bja-ta-training-event-july-2009/materials-bja-ta-09/Rand_Article.pdf Mentoring Formerly Incarcerated Adultshttp://www.workingventures.org/ppv/publications/assets/265_publication.pdf Navigating the Child Support Systems http://ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/274_publication.pdf Peer Specialist Compensation/Satisfaction 2007 Survey Report by NAPShttp://www.ncmhcso.org/downloads/NAPS_survey_report.doc Additional Resource Sites: Community Access: Howie the Harp http://www.communityaccess.org