- Dec 2008/Jan 2009
- Vol. 9, No. 10
Review of Tools Assessing Independent Living Programs
The Independent Living Program (ILP) helps youth in foster care transition to independent living by equipping them with the skills they need to live as adults. To advance evidence-based practice in this area, researchers conducted a study of tools designed to evaluate the effectiveness of ILPs. Using a "rapid instrument review" process, eight tools were identified in the literature. These were organized into two groups: life skills instruments and ILP service assessments. Only four instruments reported any statistical properties, and only one showed fair to excellent reliability for measuring outcomes of ILPs.
The study's authors discuss the results in the context of evidence-based practice in child welfare. To identify what works best for children and families, researchers need to develop and test evaluation tools, and the statistical properties of these tools must be reported. Tools need to be administered across populations and across time, and information about reliability and validity needs to be readily accessible.
"A Rapid Instrument Review (RIR) of Independent Living Program (ILP) Evaluation Tools," by Toni Naccarato, Emily DeLorenzo, and AeLy Park, was published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, Vol. 2(2), and is available from Haworth Press:
For more on ILPs, read "Evaluation of Two Independent Living Programs" in this issue.