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Outcome Measures

For the past 3 decades, HSRI has led the way in establishing the importance of measuring individual outcomes in a range of public systems including developmental disabilities, substance use prevention, mental health and child welfare. HSRI’s work in this area has contributed to an acceptance of the importance of assessing the quality of public services and supports not simply by evaluating the acquisition of skills or the achievement of efficiencies but by determining whether services and supports enhance the lives of the people served. These results – or outcomes – can mean recovery, involvement in the life of the community, having friends, getting a job, keeping a family together, avoiding drugs or, at a basic level, feeling safe in your community. HSRI has pressed for the inclusion of outcome measures in quality assurance systems as part of formative and summative evaluations, and as a way to track system performance over time. We have also used outcome measures as part of computer simulated planning models and embedded them in the National Core Indicators. We have helped federal agencies to measure outcomes across demonstrations of supported employment and programs for people with co-occurring disorders and have looked at the outcomes of various family support and child welfare models. We continue to enhance our approach to outcomes by involving participants in the human services system  in our conversations.