CSWE #APM19

It’s that time of year again where I am attending the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I wanted to provide a bit of context for a Poster Presentation I am giving with a colleague from Eastern Michigan University. 4f616c91_3217_4da7_807e_ede1e41bf98e_276dbd3a-8822-49ba-9246-41767b077386Dr. Angie Mann-Williams and I have been working with Virginia Repertory Theatre and Families Forward Virginia for the past decade on evaluating the Hugs & Kisses Child Sex Abuse Prevention and Awareness Play. The poster we are presenting demonstrates the unique and innovative model of how this evaluation demonstrates that children in kindergarten through fifth grades are able to increase their knowledge of good, bad, and secret touching as well as understanding that they can take action to stop secret touching. Here is the conference proposal:

The American Medical Association (2008) identified childhood sexual abuse as a silent epidemic whereby at least one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18 (Centers for Disease Control, 2011). It has been widely documented in the literature that being sexually abused as a child increases the risk of developing behavioral issues, mental health disorders, as well as other health issues (Dong et al., 2002; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000; Whitaker et al., 2008).  As a result, significant interest and resources have focused on child sexual abuse prevention.  The aim of this presentation is to highlight Hugs & Kisses, a school-based child sexual abuse prevention play, along with the program’s robust mixed-methods evaluation model. The presentation will also address how this program and evaluation model has been carried into social work coursework to demonstrate the role that evaluation research has on social work curricula at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Since 1983, Hugs & Kisses has been presented annually in elementary schools throughout Virginia. The primary safety lessons taught in the play are: 1) the concept of secret touching; 2) if you experience secret touching you should tell a trusted adult; 3) private parts of your body are those that are covered by a swimsuit; 4) children have the right to say “no” to secret touching; and, 5) secret touching is never the child’s fault.  Hugs & Kisses is a joint production of Families Forward, Virginia Repertory Theatre, and the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS). With a rich 36-year history, Hugs & Kisses continues to be an innovative prevention program with a rigorous evaluation model.

Families Forward, Virginia Repertory Theatre and the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) each play a unique role in the facilitation of the Hugs & Kisses play.  The presenters, who act as the program evaluators, interface with all stake-holding agencies to facilitate the evaluation. To evaluate the efficacy of the play, a mixed-methods systematic evaluation model was developed.  The evaluation model includes a teacher evaluation form to test pre-play preparation and post-play experiences, a valid and reliable children’s questionnaire to assess the level of knowledge children gain as a result of viewing the play, and comparative results over time. The aim of the teacher evaluation is to evaluate their understanding of the content of the play as well as their readiness to discuss the main themes of the play in a post-play discussion.  The children’s survey targets the post-play knowledge of the key themes of the play.

The sample was gathered during the spring 2016 tour of Hugs & Kisses.  The aim of the sampling process is done to maximize representation of all counties and cities in which where the play is booked, including urban, suburban, and rural localities. Families Forward distributed evaluation materials to 50 schools that initially book the Hugs & Kisses play.  All participating schools were asked to choose one class per grade for the children’s evaluation process.   Thirty-one of the 50 schools where the play was booked (62% response rate) participated in both the student and teacher evaluation process. This participation netted 2,700 children’s questionnaires and 154 teachers’ surveys.

Based on the data received, this presentation highlights key findings from the systematic analysis.  Such findings will include the pass rates for the children’s questionnaire (overall and by grade), teachers’ readiness to discuss various aspects of child sexual abuse, and factor analysis of the children’s survey instrument. Lastly, findings from the analyses whereby the teacher’s surveys and children’s surveys are matched to determine the effectiveness of in-class discussions, in-service training, and study guide on enhancing the children’s understanding of the themes of the play.

Just in case you wanted to see a quick snippet of the play, here is a video from Virginia Repertory Theatre:

The play is really amazing and over one million children have seen the play in Virginia since 1983. Our evaluation data clearly show this play is having a tremendous impact. One thing we did differently with our poster was utilized a new design that has been developed by Mike Morrison. Below you can see our poster and you should be able to click on it to expand it and see a bit more information.

[Insert Poster from slideshare here]

 

We have a paper under progress so we don’t want to share too much information at this time. We are also moving forward with several papers related to this overall project and I hope to be updating regularly about the Hugs prevention program, so stay tuned 🙂

 

Why Do Nonprofits Fail?

One of the other jobs I perform is as a volunter for the ARNOVA Listserv. I act as a facilitator to help others with subscribing, unsubscribing, and posting to the list. Currently, the list has over 1,500 different Nonprofit and Voluntary Organization related individuals, professionals, scholars, and students. It is a great community that I would encourage you to become part of if you are interested in Nonprofit Organizations. The other day Jessica Sowa from the University of Colorado Denver posted a question on behalf of a student. The student was interested in quintessential research on Why Nonprofits Fail. The List responded with some amazing resources that I thought I would share here for anyone interested in the Nonprofit and Voluntary sector. The list may not be comprehensive and as some pointed out on the List, the question about why Nonprofits Fail is fairly broad. Therefore, what follows may or may not answer the question. However, I think provides a great example of how a community of individuals can help shed light on a particular issue. The references may not be complete (as in ready for a Reference list or Bibliography, or even in alphabetical order), but I hope you find this helpful.

  • Hager, M. A., Galaskiewicz, J., & Larson, J. A. (2004). Structural embeddedness and the liability of newness among nonprofit organizations. Public Management Review, 6(2), 159-188.
  • Mark A. Hager. 1999. Explaining Demise Among Nonprofit Organizations. Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota, Department of Sociology.   
  • Beth M. Duckles, Mark A. Hager and Joseph Galaskiewicz. 2005. “How Nonprofits Close: Using Narratives to Study Organizational Processes.” Pp. 169-203 (chapter 7) in Qualitative Organizational Research, edited by K.D. Elsbach. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.  
  • Mark A. Hager. 2001. “Financial Vulnerability among Arts Organizations: A Test of the Tuckman-Chang Measures.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 30(2): 376-392.
  • Mark A. Hager, Joel J. Pins and Cheryl A. Jorgensen. 1997. “Unto Thy Maker: The Fate of Church-Based Nonprofit Clinics in a Turbulent Health Care Environment.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 26(Supplement): S85-S100.
  • Mark Hager, Joseph Galaskiewicz, Wolfgang Bielefeld and Joel Pins. 1996. “Tales From the Grave: Organizations’ Accounts of their Own Demise.” American Behavioral Scientist 39(8): 975-994.
  • Keating, EK., Fischer, M., Gordon, TP., & Greenlee, J. (2005)  Assessing Financial Vulnerability in the Nonprofit Sector   https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=151
  • Lecy JD. & Van Slyke DM. (2013),Nonprofit Sector Growth and Density: Testing Theories of Government Support J Public Adm Res Theory  23 (1): 189-214.
  • Joe Galaskiewicz and Wolf Bielefeld’s Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty is really the classic study.  Mark, Joe and Wolf’s “Tales from the Grave” article in a special American Behavioral Scientist issue on organizational failure (8/96) is close to quintessential. The volume, edited by Helmut Anheier, also has takes by other leading sociologists on org failure in general.
  • The Pollyanna Principles: Reinventing ‘Nonprofit Organizations’ to Create the Future of Our World.  You can find those 4 chapters online here http://pollyannaprinciples.org/info/read-part-1/
  • Seibel, Wolfgang (1996): Successful Failure: An Alternative View on Organizational Coping. In: American Behavioral Scientist 39 (8), pp. 1011-1024.
  • Meyer, Marshall W.; Zucker, Lynne G. (1989): Permanently Failing Organizations. London: Sage.
  • Hall, P. D. (1999). Vital Signs: Organizational Population Trends and Civic Engagement in New Haven, Connecticut, 1850-1998. Civic engagement in American democracy. T. Skocpol and M. P. Fiorina. Washington, D.C.; New York, Brookings Institution Press ; Russell Sage Foundation: 211-248.
  • King, W. I. and K. E. Huntley (1928). Trends in philanthropy; a study in a typical American city. New York, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Kingma, B. R. (1993). “Portfolio Theory and Nonprofit Financial Stability.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 22(2): 105-119.
  • Chang, C. F. and H. P. Tuckman (1991). “Financial Vulnerability and Attrition as Measures of Nonprofit Performance.” Annals of Public & Cooperative Economics 62(4): 655.
  • Tuckman, H. P. and C. F. Chang (1991). “A Methodology for Measuring the Financial Vulnerability of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 20(4): 445-460.
  • Foster, W., B. Dixon, et al. (2003). Funding: Patterns and Guideposts in the Nonprofit Sector. Boston, MA, Bridgespan: 24.
  • Foster, W. and G. Fine (2007). “How Nonprofits Get Really Big.” Stanford Social Innovation Review 5(2).
  • Kim, P. and J. Bradach (2012). “Why More Nonprofits Are Getting Bigger.” Stanford Social Innovation Review 10(2): 15-16.
  • Chikoto, G. L. and D. G. Neely (2013). “Building Nonprofit Financial Capacity: The Impact of Revenue Concentration and Overhead Costs.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.
  • Tuckman, H.P., and C.F. Chang. 1991. “A methodology for measuring the financial vulnerability of charitable nonprofit organizations.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly no. 20 (4):445-460.

So again, the list is not comprehensive, but I know when doing research it is always good to have a place to start. Best of luck in your research and feel free to share any other resources that you find.

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