• In striving to continually improving the System of Care in Southeastern Indiana and therefore outcomes for children and family, OCOF is committed to evaluation. Evaluation helps us know what needs to be improved, what is working, and how do we make sure it keeps working.

    OCOF has partnered with researchers at Indiana University for over 10 years to ensure that programming and services are evaluated and that decisions are data-driven. In the past, Indiana University provided the extensive evaluation of the SAMHSA System of Care Initiative in Southeastern Indiana and currently OCOF works with two research centers at Indiana University. These research partners not only assist OCOF in evaluating OCOF, but also provide evaluation services for OCOF partners and assist with grant writing as appropriate.

    Research Partners:

    The Center for Collaborative Systems Change:

    The Center for Collaborative Systems Change, located at Indiana University’s Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC), is focused on empowering communities to maximize their strengths and improve environments so that all individuals, children and families are safe and supported. Creating opportunities for communication and integration of all perspectives is central to their work. They study how agencies and groups work together to solve social problems by forging lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, enhancing the capacity of their partners, and facilitating collaborative data practices. The Center Director is Allison Howland, Ph.D.

    Current evaluation projects:

    • Milan Community Schools CARES Initiative
    • Southeastern Indiana Safety PIN
    • Project LAUNCH

    FoCuS (Families, Communities, and Schools), located within the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Education, is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary collaborative team composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional researchers who strive to promote education, collaboration, and a growth mindset for children, families, and service providers. Through research and evaluation, team members aim to advocate for equal opportunities for all students to learn and provide the necessary services for the child and their families in relation to mental health and special education services. As a team, we encourage and help develop models of interagency collaboration to achieve the social change that will close the gaps and reduce the stigma associated with mental health and wellbeing. The Center Director is Jeff Anderson, Ph.D.

    In 2016, the FoCuS team explored the impact that the One Community One Family (OCOF) system of care (SOC) has had on the wider community since its inception in 2005. The study critically examined the perspectives of various community stakeholders regarding the SOC’s mission, implementation strategies, sustainability efforts, and long term impacts on the community. The study further served as an investigation into some of the attributes of Southeastern Indiana’s unique service population and is intended to offer a valuable resource for future program design, implementation, and evaluation. The primary goal that drove the Community Impact Study was to understand the perceived impact that the OCOF SOC has had on the broader communities it has served over time.

    Current projects:

    • School Impact Study: This study will critically examine the perspectives of various school personnel, administrators, and other stakeholders regarding OCOF’s influence on the Kindergarten through community college educational system.
    • County Comparison: This study is comparing the impact of OCOF in specific counties, specifically Franklin and Ripley. Results will be used to determine gaps and areas for improvement.
  • The Evaluation Advisory Board (EAB)

    The Evaluation Advisory Board (EAB) meets monthly to discuss challenges related to the evaluation data collection and to develop or review local evaluation studies. The purpose of this board is to ensure that the evaluation is participatory and collect information that is relevant to the needs and strengths of the community. During the monthly EAB meetings, the committee will discuss any topic that the evaluation team is in need of direction, explore recent data, and distribute data results to the general public.

    The board consists of the external evaluators from Indiana University, OCOF Executive Director, representatives from area schools, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, youth, and parents.

  • Questions?

  • Jeffery Anderson, PhD
    Lead External Evaluator, Indiana University


    Allison Howland, PhD
    Co-External Evaluator, Indiana University Purdue University Columbus