Nc family outcomes survey parent calling pilot project
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NC FAMILY OUTCOMES SURVEY PARENT-CALLING PILOT PROJECT. ECO Center Family Outcomes Community of Practice 11/10/2009 Angela Deal, DPH; Patrice Neal, FPG; Melanie Long, FSN. Please do not copy or distribute without permission of authors. NC Part C Survey Background.

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Nc family outcomes survey parent calling pilot project


ECO Center Family Outcomes

Community of Practice 11/10/2009

Angela Deal, DPH; Patrice Neal, FPG; Melanie Long, FSN

Please do not copy or distribute without permission of authors

Nc part c survey background

NC Part C Survey Background

  • Use NCSEAM family outcome survey -- mailed

  • Average return rate 20% every year

  • Returned surveys have not been representative of the population served

Improvement strategies apr 2009

Improvement Strategies (APR 2009)

  • Pre-verify addresses to reduce number of undeliverable surveys

  • Surveys mailed to families currently receiving services vs. at exit

  • Postcards hand-delivered by service coordinators to families to be expecting surveys in the mail

  • Providers asked to also remind families to expect survey in mail

  • Follow-up with families of minority populations who historically have a low return rate

  • Requested input from subcommittee of ICC on ways to improve return rate and families’ understanding of the survey process

Pilot project


  • Committee brainstormed multiple options

  • Selected most feasible: small pilot

  • Ultimate goal more representative and useful family data

  • Trained, unbiased, local parents

    • Provide information

    • Offer assistance and support

    • Encourage participation

  • Determine if approach results in improved return rate

  • Obtain feedback about survey and process

  • Collect data on time, expense, usefulness, practicality

  • Develop recommendations



A joint project of:

  • NC Collaborative Outcomes Project (GSEG)of the

    FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-CH

  • Child and Family Outcomes Committee of the

    NC Interagency Coordinating Council

  • Family Support Network (FSN)of North Carolina

  • Family Support Network/HOPE

  • Family Support Network of Central Carolina

  • Greensboro and Morganton/Hickory CDSAs

    Children’s Developmental Services Agencies

    in association with

  • NC Early Intervention Services: Together We Grow

    Infant-Toddler Program



  • Site selection (2)

    • More urban/larger and more rural/smaller

    • Close ties between CDSAs and local FSN affiliate

      • Shared staff and on-site presence

    • Capacity and mission

    • Willingness to “volunteer”

  • Training

    • Previous Support Parent training, incl. Confidentiality

    • Developed in-depth Caller Guide

    • Pre- and Post- training at each site (input & feedback)

    • On-going TA for questions, clarification

Local parent callers


  • 3 at smaller, more rural site and 5 at larger more urban

    • One Spanish speaking parent caller at each site

  • Sent local personalized flyer in advance

  • Calling times flexible, mainly in evenings

  • Paid hourly rate by grant partner

  • Referred to Caller Guide

    • Key points (‘non-script’, scenarios, resources)

  • Talked to parent or left message

  • Used tracking forms

  • Asked follow-up questions (evaluate pilot)

Nc family outcomes survey parent calling pilot project


  • “Detective” work

  • Obtain replacements as needed

  • Offer a children’s book as thank-you for answering questions about survey and process

  • Opportunity for outreach and connections

    • provide info about local FSN and activities offered

  • Shared thoughts and opinions on pilot

    • Challenges: Unable to contact

      wrong/disconnected phone #s, no voicemail

  • Highlights: Appreciative parents

What we learned

What We Learned

  • ~ 1000 calls were made (~ 600 families on both call lists)

  • 75% successful (40% spoke to parent; 35% left message)


  • Site 1 34.1%

    • Previous year: 14% increase of 143%

  • Site 2 26.7%

    • Previous year: 19% increase of 41%

  • State average = 21.1%

  • National average = overall 33%; NCSEAM 31%; census 32%

    mailed: distributed 26%; returned 30%

What we learned follow up evaluation questions asked to families by parent callers

What We LearnedFollow-up Evaluation Questions asked to Families by Parent Callers

  • >80% said it was helpful to get a call

  • ~1/3 said they would not have returned without reminder

  • > 90% said they understood survey purpose

  • 63% overall recommended calling in future

    (61% White; 84% Black; 71% Hispanic; 78% Spanish-speaking)

    Differences by Ethnicity/Language

  • Spanish speakers twice as likely to answer no/not sure if they would return survey without call; higher %-age did not understand purpose: 15% (small n) compared to <3% English-speaking; more likely to say survey was too long, not easy to fill out, & took longer to complete

Next steps

Next Steps

  • Prelim report to state ICC

  • Committee review results

  • Develop recommendations

  • Present full final report and recommendations

    to ICC and EI Branch

  • Share materials and process

    can be adapted across EC agencies


Contact information

Contact Information

Angela G. Deal, ACSW, LCSW, ITFS

Regional Consultant

Early Intervention Branch, Department of Public Health

1429 E. Marion St., Suite 5

Shelby, NC 28150

[email protected]

Patrice Neal, PhD

Director, NC Collaborative Outcomes Project

FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

521 S. Greensboro Street

Carrboro, NC 27510

[email protected]

Melanie Long

Parent Co-Chair, NC-ICC Child & Family Outcomes Committee

Family Support Network/HOPE

P. O. Box 5413

Hickory, NC 28601

[email protected]

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