Research and Evaluation

To continually improve our agency, The Family Center regularly evaluates both our organization and the community we serve. By analyzing internal data and participating in independent research studies, we pinpoint the most effective strategies for our clients. We also respond to emerging challenges, such as the spiking rate of diabetes. With clear business principles and passionate dedication, we restore families’ health and hope.

Research Projects
Health and Well-Being Concerns of HIV-Affected Individuals and Families

  • Testing the effectiveness of an electronically timed pill bottle (MEMS cap) on medication adherence in HIV-positive persons.
    Using a MEMS cap to provide feedback on medication adherence improves adherence and leads to higher CD4 count and lower viral load.
  • Predicting progress toward permanency outcomes in families affected by HIV/AIDS or substance abuse (with K. Fuger, University of Missouri – Kansas City)
    Receiving services from AIA-funded programs across the country enables families to keep their biological children living at home.
  • Benefits of social support for mental and behavioral health (with D. Lounsbury and B. Rapkin, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
    Persons living with HIV/AIDS who have a confidant show better mental health than those without a confidant.
  • Reasons for engaging in safer sex
    The longer one lives with HIV/AIDS, the more likely one is to practice safer sex out of concern for the welfare of others.
  • Accuracy of self-reported CD4 counts
    Nearly 3 in 4 HIV-positive clients estimate their CD4 count to within +/- 10% of their lab reported count.
  • Safer sex negotiation
    AIDS-affected youth accurately understand that girls and women need to be assertive in negotiating for safer sex.
  • Self-images of AIDS-bereaved youth
    AIDS-affected youth with negative images of themselves might better understand the vulnerability of riskier sex than youth with positive self-images.
  • Family Pride
    Family Pride, a structured multi-family conflict resolution intervention, helps parents and children to better understand each other.

Permanency Planning

  • Risk factors in permanency planning
    Incoming clients with a reported history of substance, physical, and/or sexual abuse are less likely to engage with Family Center attorneys, and to complete a permanency plan.
  • Social services and permanency planning across the country
    In three programs across the US (including The Family Center), clients who use psychosocial supportive services in addition to legal services are more likely to complete a permanency plan than those who only use legal services.
  • Engagement with staff and success in permanency planning
    Clients who emotionally engage with Family Center staff in their first few sessions are more likely to complete a permanency plan.
  • Permanency planning among cancer clients
    Cancer clients at The Family Center who work with social workers on discussing their illness with their family are more likely to complete a permanency plan.