Program and Service System Evaluation (PSSE) Print E-mail

Our Team:

Joy S. Kaufman, Ph.D. and Cindy A. Crusto, Ph.D., Directors
Jessica Costeines, MSW, Evaluation Assistant
Doreen Fulara, MSW, Evaluation Consultant
Amy Griffin, MA, Evaluation Consultant

Evaluation has been an integral part of The Consultation Center since its inception over 25 years ago.  The overall mission of the evaluation services is to enhance scientific knowledge about a given question, program, or service, and to inform public policy.  Evaluations are conducted by Center faculty and professional staff and are tailored to meet the needs of an individual client or project.  Both qualitative and quantitative methods are employed in evaluations, and in many instances, are combined in a single design in order to understand better a particular issue in context. Evaluations are conducted on a local, regional, or national basis, and may involve single or multi-year assessments. 

Evaluation activities include need and resource assessments, process and outcome evaluations, focus group studies, cost-outcome evaluations, service system analyses, and assessments of community coalitions.  Our approach to evaluation is collaborative; we work to empower community-based organizations and their staff to take a leadership role in evaluating their program or organization.  The goal of our evaluation work is to enhancing the evaluation capacity of community-based organizations so that they can collect and utilize data to inform their on-going program development and implementation.  Additionally, faculty and staff from the PSSE area partner with our community collaborators to prepare manuscripts that highlight strategies that bridge the gap between science/evaluation and practice.

Examples of current evaluation projects include:

  • Evaluation of a school-based system of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties and their families;
  • Evaluation of family violence programs and large scale initiatives;
  • Evaluation of a community-wide after-school initiative focusing on teenage pregnancy, dropout prevention, and academic achievement;
  • Evaluations of model and evidence-based youth substance abuse prevention programs;
  • Providing evaluation consultation to state departments implementing programs for juvenile defenders, children with emotional and behavioral challenges, adults with severe and persistent mental illness, etc.
  • Technical assistance and training regarding the development, implementation and utilization of program evaluations;
  • Evaluation of a community-based collaborative focused on the integration of primary care and early care;
  • Evaluation of the Child Specific Team process implemented in Connecticut as part of KidCare;
  • Additionally, staff and faculty are available to provide trainings and technical assistance to community-based organizations regarding the planning and implementation of needs assessments and program evaluations on a fee for service basis.
Examples of recent publications include:
  • Kaufman, JS; Crusto, CA; Quan, M.; Ross, E.; Friedman, S.R.; O'Reilly, K.; Call S.  Utilizing program evaluation as a strategy to promote community change: Evaluation of a comprehensive community-based family violence initiative.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 2006, 38 (3-4), 191-200. 
  • Crusto, CA, Ross, E & Kaufman, JS. A practioners guide to evaluating domestic violence prevention and treatment programs, In Gulatto, T; Hampton, R.  The Prevention and Treatment of Interpersonal Violence within the African American Community: Evidence-based Approaches.  New York: Springer Publishing, 2006. 
  • Crusto, CA, Lowell, D, Paulcin, B, Reynolds, J, Feinn, R, Friedman, SR, Kaufman, JS.  Evaluation of wrap-around services for children exposed to violence.  Journal of Best Practices in Mental Health, in press.
  • Bruent, R; Crusto, C; Hightower, D; Epstein, M; Kaufman, JS.  Development and psychometric refinement of a screening tool for young children exposed to violence. Journal of Best Practices in Mental Health, in press. 
  • Friedman, SR; Reynolds, J; Call, S; Quan, M; Crusto, CA; Kaufman, JS.  Measuring Changes in Interagency Collaboration: An Examination of the Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative.  Evaluation and Program Planning, in press.