We need YOU... to join an exciting national study!
Due to the outstanding reputation of WA state DV programs, our state has been chosen for a study on what survivors say about community-based advocacy (all non-shelter services). When we participated in a similar study in 2008, the results were very encouraging, and showed that shelter services are highly effective.
If you volunteer, you will be asked to:
- Give a survey to all of your participants whom you’ve seen at least twice, except those in shelter and those in crisis.
- Administer these surveys every other week between March 1 and August 31.
- Have your director complete a survey about your services.
If you are a WA state DV program, please volunteer to participate today.
The Bare Minimum
All programs that serve survivors benefit from having some method of evaluating their services, to make sure they are truly useful to survivors. If you receive DSHS funding, you are required to collect and report information about your services. Here's what you need to know:
- The two questions that you must ask
- Tips on preparing staff
- Ideas for encouraging clients to participate
- Basic instructions about who you need to ask, and how often
- You don't have to ask every person every time, you can do sampling.
Sympathy for Busy Advocates
Advocates are monumentally busy. Dealing with outside pressure demanding that you "prove the worth" of what you are doing can seem overwhelming. Take heart! This short paper, written by an ally, will tell you how to make program evaluation work for you.
Use Survivor-Tested and Approved Forms
Avoid re-inventing the wheel. Careful work and testing went into creating the best questions in the best format to use with survivors. Why mess with success?
- Entering Shelter (English) (Spanish) (Vietnamese) (Korean) (Hmong) (Traditional Chinese) (Simplified Chinese) (Russian) (Polish) (Bosnian) (Kurdish) (Creole)
- Leaving Shelter (English) (Spanish) (Vietnamese) (Korean) (Hmong) (Traditional Chinese) (Simplified Chinese) (Russian) (Polish) (Bosnian) (Kurdish) (Creole)
- Counseling (English) (Spanish) Note: this form does not evaluate advocacy based counseling, but rather more traditional forms of counseling. Though most community based programs do not provide this type of counseling, for those that do, these forms are useful.
Compile Your Own Data
You can download ready-made databases that are set up to help you compile information off the forms listed above. Databases that come with instructions are available for both Access and Excel. NOTE: use the word outcomes for a user name and password.
The Gold Standard for Program Evaluation
If you want to explore more in-depth ideas about program evaluation, then there are great resources to help. Some years ago, the best thinkers, activists and researchers in the domestic violence movement came together to think critically about program evaluation. Here is the manual they created: FVPSA Outcomes Manual
Help Bring Your Data to Light and Life
The final chapter, Making Your Findings Work For You, in the FVPSA Outcomes Manual is a must-read for anyone anxious to make sure that all the effort you put into evaluation is not wasted. Amplify the voices of survivors by bringing your hard earned data to life. It is one of the truly gratifying parts of our work to inspire the people in our neighborhoods and communities to understand and to act.
Examples of how data tells a compelling story:
- The National Census of Domestic Violence Services, Washington Summary Reports data about services provided by Washington programs in one single day in 2008.
- National Domestic Violence Shelter Study: Washington Overview Washington took part in a national study, a survey of survivors in shelter between October 2007 and March 2008. Go here for findings from the nationwide study.