Program Evaluation for Health and Human Service Programs: How to Tell the Right Story Successfully

  • Michael GassEmail author
  • Edward G. Foden
  • Anita Tucker
Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)


Over 50,000 children in the United States alone are placed into residential treatment programs each year. The failure to properly address these issues can compound the problems, which can then result in costly and long-term treatment issues. At both a micro-level (involving the client and the client system) and macro-level (involving an entire healthcare system), program evaluation can help protect clients’ and families’ well-being, justify costs, and monitor effectiveness. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general understanding of the rationale, purposes, and methods of program evaluation, with specific attention to the role of family therapy in residential treatment. The primary focus of program evaluation performance will center on the five areas of needs assessment, feasibility study, process evaluation, outcome evaluation, and cost–benefit analyses. Note that program evaluation is only as effective as its ability to follow several critical standards/guidelines in its process—utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy.


Program evaluation Needs assessment Feasibility study Process evaluation Outcome evaluation Cost–benefit analyses 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) Research CenterCollege of Health and Human Services, University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.College of Health and Human ServicesUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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