Title

Beyond Head Counting: Empowering a Rural Community Agency to Measure its Occupational Performance

Presenter Information

Janet DeLany

Start Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 1:45 PM

Abstract

Personnel in small rural community agencies often work on a shoestring budget to procure and allocate scarce resources for their clients. Such is the occupational context for a small, teen parenting program ineligible for federal dollars because of county and state fiscal structures. Though expected to be fiscally self sufficient, the agency personnel were stretched beyond their performance capacity to simultaneously attend to daily life crises of teen parents and to produce those program outcomes measures necessary to compete annually for limited local dollars. This paper examines the collaborative journey initiated by an occupational science researcher and the director of the community agency to devise a system for defining and measuring the occupational performance of the community agency that moved beyond simply head counting of people served to focusing on the occupational performance of the teen mothers and their children. Specifically, this paper explores how the researcher and the agency director: Developed a logic model to determine and prioritize evidenced based outcome measures related to the physical and emotional health and education of the teen mothers and their children Examined the existing pencil-paper procedures that the agency employed for collecting data and added others, as necessary to measure the identified occupational performance goals Converted the existing pencil-paper data collection system into a computer based system to generate descriptive statistics and visual diagrams about program performance outcomes and trends related to the physical and emotional health and education of the teen mothers and their children Used that computer generated data to seek sustained funds to continue providing needed community services to an underserved population. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential of occupational science to contribute to the understanding and analysis of occupations in which clients, as collective members of an organization, rather than as individuals, engage.

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Oct 26th, 11:45 AM Oct 26th, 1:45 PM

Beyond Head Counting: Empowering a Rural Community Agency to Measure its Occupational Performance

Personnel in small rural community agencies often work on a shoestring budget to procure and allocate scarce resources for their clients. Such is the occupational context for a small, teen parenting program ineligible for federal dollars because of county and state fiscal structures. Though expected to be fiscally self sufficient, the agency personnel were stretched beyond their performance capacity to simultaneously attend to daily life crises of teen parents and to produce those program outcomes measures necessary to compete annually for limited local dollars. This paper examines the collaborative journey initiated by an occupational science researcher and the director of the community agency to devise a system for defining and measuring the occupational performance of the community agency that moved beyond simply head counting of people served to focusing on the occupational performance of the teen mothers and their children. Specifically, this paper explores how the researcher and the agency director: Developed a logic model to determine and prioritize evidenced based outcome measures related to the physical and emotional health and education of the teen mothers and their children Examined the existing pencil-paper procedures that the agency employed for collecting data and added others, as necessary to measure the identified occupational performance goals Converted the existing pencil-paper data collection system into a computer based system to generate descriptive statistics and visual diagrams about program performance outcomes and trends related to the physical and emotional health and education of the teen mothers and their children Used that computer generated data to seek sustained funds to continue providing needed community services to an underserved population. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential of occupational science to contribute to the understanding and analysis of occupations in which clients, as collective members of an organization, rather than as individuals, engage.