Assessing Outcomes in Child and Family Services: Comparative Design and Policy Issues

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on


In this collective portrait, editors and authors do not attempt to draw systematic, country-by-country comparisons. Given the magnitude of the issues, they believed that it would be inappropriate to paint with too broad a stroke. What they have accomplished, however, is to codify and identify what the participants repeatedly noted in regard to issues and difficulties inherent in conducting outcome evaluation. These include: varying definitions of outcome; complexities in measuring outcomes of particular interventions with different groups of consumers and documenting the effectiveness of the intervention; the tendency to focus on evaluation of process more than outcome; the challenge of involving practitioners in the evaluation task, in part because its value is unclear to them or perceived as distant or untrustworthy; the typical inadequacy of resources available for systematic evaluation; and the need to inject rigor into the design and execution of evaluation projects. The authors demonstrate strong conviction about sharing research expertise across national boundaries; learning through each other how to cope with organizational impediments to cross-national collaboration; and strengthening the interaction between practice and research. Their contributions suggest that there is wide interest in pursuing cross-national collaboration. In recent years, largely in response to demands by their funding sources for accountability, assessment of performance, and cost effectiveness, researchers in human services have been devoting increased attention to outcome evaluation. Limited attention, however, has been given to the findings of evaluation studies conducted in different countries. The present volume has been organized and edited to address the task of learning from outcome research across the world. Its goal, an extension of a major goal of the human services in any one country, is to improve life chances of vulnerable children and youth.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Cinzia Canali is research associate at the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Padua, Italy.

Tiziano Vecchiato is scientific director of the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Padua, Italy.

Anthony N. Maluccio recently retired from Boston College where he was professor of social work. He is also professor emeritus of the University of Connecticut, where he taught social work for over twenty-five years. He conducted many research projects on topics such as adoption, permanency planning, and family foster care. His authored and co-authored books include Permanency Planning for Children: Concepts and Methods; Social Work Practice with Families and Children; and Evaluation in Child and Family Services: Comparative Client and Program Perspectives.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contributors Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Outcome-Based Evaluation: Cross-National Perspectives Anthony N. Maluccio, Cinzia Canali, and Tiziano Vecchiato 1 Current Initiatives in the Development of Outcome-Based Evaluation of Children’s Services Harriet Ward 2 The Black Box: Accounting for Program Inputs When Assessing Outcomes Edith Fein 3 The Evaluation of “Community Building”: Measuring the Social Effects of Community-Based Practice Robert J. Chaskin 4 Outcome-Based Evaluation of National Health and Social Programs Tiziano Vecchiato 5 Nonexperimental Methods of Evaluating Social Programs: Applications for Child and Family Services Robert Goerge 6 An Intervention to Reduce Smoking Habits through Counseling from the General Practitioner Giovanni Pilati, Elizabeth Tamang, and Luca Gino Sbrogiò 7 Improving Mental Health Care for Children and Adolescents: Strategies and Lessons John Landsverk and Inger Davis 8 Evaluating Social and Health Services with Children, Adults, and Elderly Persons Alessandro Pompei 9 Outcomes Are Dependent on Inputs: Does Risk Assessment Inform Service Delivery? Marianne Berry and Scottye J. Cash 10 A Learning-Organization Approach to Evaluation Lois Wright and Kathy Paget 11 Outcome Studies in the Context of Organizational Inertia and Political Ideology Frank Ainsworth 12 Family Service Centers: Lessons From National and Local Evaluations Anita Lightburn Author Index Subject Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)