What process and outcome evaluation could be used to display the effectiveness and efficiency of the following program?
At the Greenby Community Mental Health Center, the Consultation and Education Department was about to go under. Although consultation and education are required for all community mental health centers, not all centers have fully staffed and active departments. Instead, they implement consultation and education as a percentage of each professional’s work. That was what Henry McDonald, the executive director, was suggesting for Greenby.
“You have to understand my position,” he exclaimed to a distraught consultation and education director. “Our funding has been cut back. We’re more dependent than ever on fees for service and third-party payments. Consultation and education are luxuries we really can’t afford. They don’t bring in the funds we need, and we’ve got to put our resources into programs that carry their weight.”
“But you know that C and E programs are a high priority. Every center has to have one to keep up its funding,” Andy Cutler replied.
“Andy, let’s not play games here. You know we don’t have to have a C and E department with a full-time director. We only have to provide the service. The real issue is whether your program stays in operation the way it is now, and I’m saying it can’t. Now, stop worrying. Your job isn’t in jeopardy. You’ll be able to move over to the clinical program.”
“Henry, believe it or not, it’s not my own job that I’m concerned about. No matter what kind of measurement you use, you have to see that the C and E department does pull its weight. We’ve developed liaisons with every major employer in the area, we’ve got preventive programs going in the schools, and our divorce and family workshops are attracting more people every time we put them on. Word is getting around in the community.”
“Sure, the workshops attract people. At five dollars a head, why shouldn’t they? The program is self-supporting, I’ll grant you that, but it’s not pulling in enough capital to pull its weight with the center as a whole. There’s no way it can.”
“But what you’re not recognizing, Henry, is that this program is supporting the other programs. You’ve had an increase in the number of people referring themselves for alcohol and drug abuse programs. I’m telling you that this is because of the preventive programs we’ve been doing at the factory. You’ve had an increase in self-referrals for family therapy. I think they’re coming from our workshops. The programs we offer help people recognize their problems, and when they recognize them, they start to come in for more help.”
“That’s very possible, Andy. But I’ve got a board of directors to deal with, and I don’t know whether they’re going to buy that line of reasoning. They’re not professionals, you know, and they don’t necessarily see those relationships that way. What they can see is

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  1. This sounds very much like the psychobabble one hears on Dr Phil.

    I would never evaluate a program on its own, but as an alternative, then evaluate them all on the same criteria: cost, performance objectives.
    It is most uncertain what the performance objectives of C and E are from reading this, surely there are some objective measures of satisfactory performance, in which alternatives could be ranked.

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