The Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) selected the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) to design and implement an on-going evaluation system which will assess the overall effectiveness of services provided by SAPC-funded alcohol and drug service providers, the effectiveness of specific service modalities, client outcomes, service components, and review program costs for efficiency and effectiveness. Given this intent, the UCLA (ISAP) has identified the following goals:
- To assess the overall effectiveness of the alcohol and drug services treatment/recovery systems
- To assess the effectiveness of specific service modalities and service components
- To develop a system-wide data collection system to evaluate client outcomes and program performance.
- To use data to influence the future development of the treatment system
- To develop and implement performance standards
- To develop a system of training and technical assistance to improve performance
UCLA, will (1) assist SAPC in providing the initial training of providers in the use of assessment and instruments as needed for the evaluation and to accomplish the treatment goals of the county and (2) assure that providers have a working knowledge of the California Outcomes Measurement System (CalOMS). The use of the Los Angeles County Participant Reporting System (LACPRS) admission/discharge questions, a standardized assessment tool, will allow for comparisons of client outcomes across programs, modalities, etc. as appropriate.
LACPRS will be administered at admission to and discharge from the treatment program. It is expected that the LACPRS discharge will be completed for all participants leaving the program. In addition to the LACPRS, additional information will be collected at the programmatic level, including counselor turnover, alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse treatment training, treatment services provided to the client, ancillary services offered, etc. The results of the analysis of this information will be related back to the client outcomes data obtained from the discharge LACPRS.
Furthermore, specific LACES reports such as the LACES Clinical Narrative Report, the LACES Discharge Outcome Report and the LACES Site Report will be used to increase the level of accuracy in submission of LACPRS admission/discharge information and provide information concerning how participants are benefiting from treatment.
In conclusion, this evaluation provides an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of drug and alcohol treatment over and above other options such as incarceration. LACES will provide a wealth of data on clients, client outcomes, AOD treatment services, program effectiveness, as well as information regarding what constitutes treatment for SAPC contracted programs in Los Angeles County. LACES will continue to lead efforts to review and improve existing treatment forms and instruments, improve the validity and reliability of LACPRS and continue to extensively train program staff on the tools needed to engage and retain participants. Such information and activities may provide for the opportunity to influence the allocation of funds to Los Angeles County for alcohol and drug treatment services.